A New Update on COVID-19

A Blog by INTELITY

At Your Service

The latest innovation and trends in contactless guest experience and the products that are revolutionizing the service industry.

In-Room Tablets

Recouping Losses from a Drop in Occupancy

Short-term and long-term strategies for hoteliers to future-proof their properties and position themselves for a bounce-back

The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the travel sector into a cloud of uncertainty. As the result of worldwide travel slowing to a near standstill, US occupancy rates have declined over 67% compared with the same time period last year, with average daily rates (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) seeing similarly drastic drops.

However, there is some silver lining. The hotel industry is cyclical and has shown its ability to come back from every major downturn it’s experienced in the past. Two relatively recent events, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the 2009 financial recession, severely impacted hotel ADR and RevPAR in a similar way to the current coronavirus outbreak. In both cases, though, these average performance metrics for hotels quickly rebounded and exceeded their pre-event levels as economies recovered and mass traveling resumed.

The strength of the hotel industry lies in coming together in the face of hardships, and this current situation is no exception. Here are some steps hoteliers can take — both today and in the future — to position themselves for a future bounce-back once travel and hospitality resume on a global scale:

Do Now

1. Stay top of mind by leveraging digital marketing channels.
People around the world are currently working from home and planning future aspirational travels. While working remotely, they are more likely to engage with digital advertising channels like email and social media. Hoteliers can keep their brands relevant through targeted messaging on these channels.

2. Email future-stay discounts to loyalty members.
Engaging with and showing appreciation to loyal guests through personalized discounts and offers can strengthen relationships with these valuable customers, further ensuring they remain repeat customers when they begin traveling again.

3. Offer direct booking perks and gift cards.
Gift cards and perks that can be redeemed for future stays provide ancillary revenue in the immediate while locking in future occupancy for the travel bounce-back. Restaurants, service providers, and other establishments are using similar methods to help lessen the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their businesses.

4. Consider ‘staycation’ messaging and marketing promotions.
It is very likely that once daily life begins to return to normal, many people will be eager to get out of their homes, but may still be cautious about traveling on planes or to far-flung destinations. By targeting a local audience with staycation messaging, hoteliers can address short-term occupancy rates once social distancing measures are scaled back.

Future-Proofing Through Technology

From telemedicine to self-driving cars to remote work software, the coronavirus outbreak will undoubtedly lead to an increase in technology adoption across numerous industries. The same will hold true for hospitality technology; the outbreak is forcing hoteliers to re-think the role of technology in providing an optimal guest experience while ensuring the public health safety of staff and guests. In order to bounce back from the current occupancy drop and be best positioned for long-term success, hoteliers should consider investing in technology tools that:

1. Limit unnecessary guest-staff interactions.
While relationships with guests are at the core of nearly all hotels, future guests may want to avoid unnecessary face-to-face interactions, especially in the time immediately following a return to normalcy. Investing in technology such as mobile check-in and digital communication tools allows hoteliers to adapt to this new normal.

2. Capture more revenue from every booking.
Technology that drives additional revenue from each guest can help hoteliers accelerate the bounce-back from the coronavirus outbreak. For example, offering in-room dining through a mobile app or tablet can increase the average dining check size by up to 30% per order, and tools like digital storefronts unlock ancillary revenue streams by allowing guests to purchase the linens, pillows, and even wall art used throughout a property.

3. Maximize cost-saving opportunities.
In addition to increasing revenue, hospitality technology can also help properties save costs, primarily by automating many traditionally manual processes. By providing self-service tools to guests and capturing critical guest behavioral data, hoteliers can use technology to spend less and spend smarter.

These are challenging times for the hospitality industry, but past resilience has shown that hotels will bounce back from the current public health crisis. Implementing immediate and long-term strategies will become necessary as travelers change their habits in the face of changing norms. To learn more about how INTELITY’s solutions are built to maximize hotel ROI, schedule a demo with the INTELITY team today.

Leveraging Technology to Automate Hotel Operations

The right tools can help you do more with less

With the coronavirus outbreak causing dramatic shifts across the hospitality industry, many hoteliers may be faced with the unfortunate and difficult task of maintaining operations with a limited staff. While hotels may be asked to do more with less during this period of uncertainty, understanding how to automate hotel operations in order to run leaner can further drive down costs without driving down service levels.

Hospitality technology can reduce the time and effort involved with carrying out service tasks, allowing guest needs to be fulfilled more quickly and with fewer resources. Technology solutions allow properties to automate guest requests and other activities through a centralized platform, capturing detailed data performance metrics and ensuring that service doesn’t drop off with a reduction in on-site staff.

Providing Self-Service Tools to Guests

The simplest way to reduce the burden on a lean staff is to provide guests with tools and technology that empower them to ‘self-serve’ their basic needs. By offering mobile check-in through a guest app, inbound guests can verify their check-in information before arriving and skip the front desk upon arrival, reducing the amount of front desk staff needed. Once the guest is on property, it is important to provide multiple self-service channels for common requests such as in-room dining, housekeeping services, and more. For example, by allowing guests to request more towels through an in-room tablet, requests can be automatically routed to the appropriate department (versus routed manually by a phone attendant).

Tying automated service requests into a corresponding back-end platform ensures more efficient tracking and fulfillment, which requires fewer on-site staff resources to effectively manage. By automating hotel operations, staff can save upwards of three minutes of employee time per guest request. While this may not seem like a lot on an individual request level, processing thousands of daily requests can quickly lead to hundreds of hours of staff time saved.

Making Data-Backed Decisions

Not only can technology tools have a direct time-saving benefit, they can also unlock opportunities for efficiency optimization by capturing detailed performance data and informing operational decisions. By leveraging the data on guest behavior and staff performance generated through on-site technology, properties can staff based on real-time activity rather than heuristics. This is particularly beneficial in use cases such as in-room dining – by analyzing the types of dishes ordered by guests as well as the times those dishes were ordered, properties with on-site dining options have the information needed to scale down kitchen operations during times when in-room dining volume is low, or the dishes being requested at certain times require less preparation.

Capturing guest behavior data at scale and analyzing it in the context of staffing is especially prudent in times of difficulty. The coronavirus outbreak will likely have long-term effects on property management strategies and priorities, and hospitality technology provides scalable solutions that can seamlessly adapt to shifting operational needs.

Your hotel may be asked to do more with less. We can help. To learn more about how you can automate hotel operations, schedule a demo with our team today.

3 Digital Guest Communication Strategies to Implement when Practicing Social Distancing

There’s no way around it – the hotel industry, and the travel sector in general, are facing unprecedented times. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has effectively halted both business and leisure travel, dramatically reducing occupancy rates around the world.

At INTELITY, we understand the vital role that hospitality technology plays in increasing guest satisfaction and loyalty. Additionally, this same technology can be used to open up multiple communication channels between guests and staff at a time when social distancing is becoming the new normal. Effective digital guest communication is especially important in light of current events — not only will it allow properties to best ensure the safety of guests and staff while providing timely updates regarding an ever-changing situation, but it also provides opportunities for hoteliers to mitigate the long-term effects of the outbreak on the bottom line.

Strategy 1: Pre-Arrival Communications

Hotels that are still operating during the outbreak should implement clear communication plans for inbound guests. By sending a pre-arrival email to guests, hotels can ensure guest safety by clearly communicating the actionable steps being taken in public spaces and guest rooms to minimize the potential of viral transmission, including detailed cleaning protocols, hand sanitizer locations, staff health guidelines, and dining service changes.

Additionally, the pre-arrival email can be used to communicate any updates to cancellation/rescheduling policies. Guests’ travel plans are no doubt being severely impacted, and proactively messaging these policies can help assuage guest concerns while also reducing inbound call volume.

Finally, properties that offer mobile check-in can use the pre-arrival email as an opportunity to link to their guest mobile app. Mobile check-in technology allows guests to skip the front desk upon arrival and go straight to their rooms using a mobile key, which takes on even greater importance in the context of social distancing.

Strategy 2: Leveraging In-Room Tablets

In-room tablets provide another digital communication touchpoint between guests and staff. Guests can use tablets to submit service requests, order in-room dining, access property information, consume entertainment content, and much more. By allowing guests to communicate their needs through a tablet rather than a face-to-face interaction, potential transmission touchpoints can be reduced without a loss in service quality or timeliness.

In-room tablets can also be used to push personalized offers and promotions to guests. Given that guests may feel uncomfortable or unable to dine in on-property restaurants, offering a “virtual” happy hour or similar offer may still allow the property to capture lost revenue in a safe, guest-centered way.

Of course, tablets can also be a channel for sharing critical information around safety precautions, local updates, and more. The ability to manage tablet displays through a centralized content management system ensures that guests can receive relevant updates in real time.

Strategy 3: SMS Messaging

Increasingly, hoteliers are implementing SMS messaging into their guest messaging strategies. Similarly to tablets, SMS messaging can be used as a frictionless way for guests to request services, dining, and more, using a platform they are already familiar with. SMS messaging platforms are often scalable and can be either deployed to an entire database or be individualized to the guest, adding an extra layer of personalization to the interaction without putting guests or staff at risk. It also provides for timely two-way communication, which is critical in a fast-developing health situation.

By opening up a widely-used two-way communication channel, SMS messaging further empowers guests to do their part in ensuring public health safety. Guests who aren’t feeling well or who may otherwise require health assistance can communicate as such without needing to leave their rooms or potentially infecting guest room phones, minimizing transmission opportunities.

The hospitality industry has already been shifting to a more digitally-connected experience, and the coronavirus outbreak will likely accelerate the adoption pace for hoteliers looking to implement more robust multi-channel communication strategies. To learn more how to implement digital guest communication tools and best practices, schedule a demo with the INTELITY team today.

Using the Right Technology to Connect Casino Hotel Guests to the Gaming Floor

By Benjamin Keller, INTELITY Senior Vice President of Sales, West

As travelers become more reliant on mobile technology, it is increasingly important to make sure the right tools are in place for staff to effectively connect with guests before, during, and after their stay. Enhancing your operations with the right technology options not only improves the way that guests experience the property overall, but it also introduces opportunities to make the check-in process more efficient, allow staff to better respond to guest requests, and entice guests to the casino floor with special offers and promotions.

Today’s core customers are 45 to 75 years old, and are increasingly using their mobile devices to play online casino games, check their point balances, “card in,” and even connect to their favorite gaming machines on the floor. Because these customers are already familiar with mobile technology in the casino context, introducing hospitality functionality into the mobile experience can be a welcome addition for a more seamless connection. Casinos are unique in that many customers return to “stay and play.”

“Stay and play” guests represent the perfect use case for implementing advanced technology into hotel operations. As repeat guests become familiar with having access to the freedom mobile technology offers, they will show preference to properties offering mobile solutions. It goes without saying that guests who stay at a casino resort are often very interested in spending time gaming, so by streamlining the check-in process with mobile check-in, management teams not only reduce long check-in lines and front desk friction but can also increase the amount of time their guests spend on the casino floor.

As a result, casino-resorts often have a high rate of mobile check-in. For example, INTELITY customer Angel of the Winds Casino Resort has seen a high percentage of its guests checking in on their smartphones using the hotel’s guest app.

Angel of the Winds Assistant General Manager Jeff Wheatley said that incorporating the INTELITY platform throughout their property has helped them create a seamless, highly-connected guest experience. “It’s important that casino-hotels provide guests with a friction-free experience that allows them to move effortlessly between their hotel room and the casino floor. Incorporating INTELITY’s hospitality platform has helped us create this connection. We’ve seen our guests, especially the repeat visitors, quickly adapt to using our mobile guest app and mobile key solutions to expedite the check-in and check-out process and access their rooms.”

INTELITY’s mobile and in-room platform components can easily be integrated with existing loyalty programs and used to streamline a casino resort’s entire guest experience. In addition to providing guests with a digital connection to staff, mobile apps and in-room technology can also be used by management teams to serve guests customized, targeted offers and promotions that encourage them to visit the casino floor or engage further with the property.

The INTELITY platform includes in-room tablets and customizable mobile apps containing robust guest-facing functionality, as well as a back-office dashboard that enables casinos to capture detailed performance data and streamline staff operations. In addition, the INTELITY solution integrates with over 150 software and hardware systems, including PMS, POS, in-room controls, spa management, and loyalty programs. INTELITY is in use by major casino properties, including Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Angel of the Winds Casino Resort, and more.

Benjamin Keller and his team will be present at NIGA 2020. To schedule a time to meet with him at NIGA, click here to schedule a meeting or visit us at booth #806 during the tradeshow.

Using Technology to Increase Guest Satisfaction and Loyalty

Hospitality technology solutions are playing an increasing role in improving guest satisfaction, and subsequently, guest loyalty. Investing in experience and management technologies is an effective way of providing an exceptional experience before, during, and after a guest arrives at their destination. By improving guest satisfaction and loyalty, technology also plays a critical role in driving optimized profitability by reducing acquisition costs and increasing repeat bookings.

Pre-Arrival: Stand Out from the Competition

Before booking a reservation with your property, many prospective guests are evaluating where to stay based on the available technology. According to Software Advice and their research on guest preferences, “A combined 60 percent of respondents are ‘more likely’ to choose a hotel that allows guests to check in and open doors with a smartphone than a hotel that doesn’t.” That number is a clear indicator that offering technology solutions can set you apart from the competition before guests even arrive.

On Property: Personalize the Guest Experience

Once guests arrive, technology remains important for creating a positive experience and developing that coveted loyalty. According to Comcast Business, “Technology is a critical component in delivering exceptional guest experiences in hotels, conference centers, and other hospitality locations.” With an understanding of your guests’ preferences, such as desired room temperature and extra towel requests, offering personalized touches not only streamlines hotel operations, but also creates a unique and valuable stay for guests.

Providing a personalized experience with technology extends to hotel offerings. With custom messaging through in-room tablets and mobile apps, guests can receive targeted messages to encourage further participation in individualized options, both on and off property. These might include a night out at a restaurant for guests who indicated they are celebrating a special occasion or a discount on spa services for guests who reserved their rooms as part of a wedding block. Guests aren’t receiving an impersonal email after they’ve checked out; they’re receiving real-time invitations that are relevant to their stated preferences. This personalization leads to a better guest experience as well as an increase in topline revenue.

According to data from Gallup research, the most significant prediction of organic growth is customer engagement, defined as an emotional connection with your brand. Staying somewhere for a night and only interacting upon check-in is a vastly different experience than a number of positive interactions throughout a stay. According to a Gallup Poll, “Guests who are fully engaged spend 46 percent more per year than actively disengaged guests and represent an average 23 percent premium in terms of share of wallet and revenue compared to an average customer.”

Post-Stay: Keep Connected to Your Guests

A guest’s impression of their stay is not solely determined by on-property interactions. How and when you choose to communicate with a guest after they’ve left your property can also have an impact on their likelihood of returning. With loyalty-related bookings making up more than 50 percent of all bookings for the first time in 2019, staying engaged with guests is critical for acquiring bookings at the lowest cost.

If your property has a guest-facing mobile app, you have a direct line of communication to guests even when they’re not on your property. By sending timely promotions and offers, you can ensure that your property is top-of-mind for guests over your competition while creating relevant value for your audience.

Technology is a deciding factor for where guests stay as well as an effective driver for engagement and revenue, which means hoteliers cannot afford to limit the solutions they offer. Investments made in technology will continue to pay dividends in guest experience, loyalty, and the bottom line.

To learn more about the INTELITY platform and our client results, contact INTELITY to schedule a demo with our team.

HX 2019 Recap: The Technology That Leads to an Excellent Guest Experience and Yields Return of Time

While at The Hotel Experience Expo in New York City, INTELITY CEO Robert Stevenson participated in a panel on “Measuring Funding and ROI of Your Technology Investment” alongside ALICE President & Co-Founder Alex Shashou, and Expedia Senior Director of Market Management Deb Surden. Moderated by AAHOA Secretary Neal Patel, the panel focused on how technology has transformed the hospitality industry and the all-important question of how to measure the ROI of tech investments.

The Impact of Tech in Hospitality 

The general consensus amongst the panelists is that without a doubt, over the past few years, technology has transformed the hospitality industry and the travel industry as a whole. All the panelists agreed that hospitality technology has helped even the playing field between branded and unbranded properties and that the focus of tech, from both the guest and staff perspective, is to deliver a great guest experience. Shashou noted that the value prop of a hotel is to provide great service to its guests and that is best achieved through the proper implementation and optimized use of technology.

Put Your Guests in Control of Their Stay

Shashou and Surden both pointed out that technology has empowered people to own their travel experiences and has placed the modern traveler in complete control of managing their trip. Stevenson added that guests expect this same experience when staying at a hotel. This expectation has increased the demand for self-service solutions, like mobile check-in and mobile key, that allow guests to bypass the front desk and better manage their experience with a hotel property or brand.

Personalized Experiences are Key

The panelists also discussed the increase in the adoption of guest experience tech, like mobile apps and in-room tablets. Surden pointed out that modern guests want a personalized guest room experience, which guest-facing technology helps provide. Shashou added that in-room tablets and other forms of guest experience tech should be the standard at four and five-star properties, a reversal on past statements where he indicated guest-facing tech was not worth the investment. Stevenson also noted that guest experience technology is increasingly adaptable and can help support staff and back-office software by automating and expediting tasks and guest requests.

Tech Should Augment Staff, Not Replace Them

The biggest takeaway from the panel is that hospitality tech is not meant to replace hotel staff, but rather optimize their performance by taking over mundane and monotonous tasks. Using technology to automate various tasks and maximize response time frees up staff time, so they can focus more on creating social interactions with guests rather than transactional ones. In turn, these social interactions are more valuable to the guest and help elevate their experience at a property.

The Gift of Time

The return of time is the most valuable return on investment that technology provides. By optimizing operational flows and streamlining guest and staff interactions, technology gives time back to both staff and guests. This means team members can oversee and manage processes rather than complete each individual task themselves, therefore becoming exponentially more efficient. It also means hotel staff is empowered to focus on creating more quality interactions with guests, investing in further training, or supporting fellow team members. Freeing up time for guests leads to a better overall experience and a higher rate of guest satisfaction.

Do you want to learn more about how you can enhance your guest experience with hospitality technology? Subscribe to INTELITY’s bi-weekly newsletter for industry updates or schedule a demo with a member of our team.

Mobile Tech: The Next Big Thing in Casino-Hotels

Why your property should implement a customized mobile app

Hospitality technology dates back to 1894 when the Netherland Hotel in New York City introduced the first in-room telephones for its guests. We’ve come a long way since things like telephones and even electricity represented impressive advances in hospitality tech. Smartphones and other mobile devices, like in-room tablets, have changed the way the hospitality industry communicates with and serves its customers. How can these technologies benefit casinos and casino-hotels?

mobile tech for casino hotels

Streamline Check-In

No one wants to see a long check-in line at their casino, no matter which side of the desk they’re on. Mobile check-in options are ideal for “stay-and-play” guests, allowing them to get checked in to their hotel room without standing in line. It’s also a boon for casino-hotels because it keeps your lines down and improves the overall customer experience. Plus, it quickly connects your hotel guests to the casino floor, which is why many of them are there in the first place.

If you already have a mobile app for your guests, regardless of its current functionality, you’ve laid the foundation for adopting technologies like mobile check-in and mobile key. Cut down on the front-desk friction and enable customers to go straight to their rooms so they can get out on the casino floor and play!

Highly Targeted Marketing Opportunities

Every modern smartphone possesses geolocation services. Most people use these for navigation or checking in on social media, but you can adapt them for your property to send out targeted promotions and special offers or to help your guests keep track of on-property events, sweepstakes and activities they might be interested in. Some states are employing this sort of technology for their lottery mobile app, giving users the tools to check winning numbers, purchase digital play slips before picking up their tickets at a retail location and even scanning tickets to see if they’re winners.

This tech is also useful for time-sensitive promotions, events, and activities. There’s nothing worse than seeing a customer who might have won a jackpot if they’d turned in their lottery ticket before the promotion ended. Again, you can incorporate this directly into your existing mobile app — or you can develop one to meet your new needs.

In-Room Customizations

Guests, especially those in the millennial generation, hate spending time talking on the phone. They prefer having access to messaging and mobile apps that allow them to engage with your property without ever having to pick up the phone. According to a 2018 survey, 75% say talking on the phone is too time-consuming, and 64% avoid this activity because they don’t want to interact with a person.

Because of that trend, if there’s something wrong with their room or they need something, millennials will avoid calling the front desk if at all possible. No matter how annoyed some people get, they often won’t do anything about it during their stay. Giving your guests a mobile app that allows them to request things from the front desk, control the environment in their room — from lighting to temperature and everything in between — or order room service without having to make a phone call will improve their experience at your property and encourage them to become repeat customers.

Cardless Interactions

No one wants to carry their debit or credit card in a casino if they can avoid it. Hotels are one of the biggest hotspots for credit card theft, from people skimming point-of-sale information to tech-savvy hackers who steal credit card information when guests log into unsecured Wi-Fi. Instead of insisting that customers carry their cards on hand, consider adopting a cardless system that works with your mobile app and the guest’s cell phone. Stations Casino’s Cardless Connect system is a perfect example. Guests sign up for a “boarding pass” through the app, and as long as they’ve got internet access, they can play at their favorite gaming tables and machines without having to worry about chips, cards or losing more money than they intended.

Next Steps

You might notice a trend with these suggestions: They all revolve around having a secure mobile app available for your guests to use. The hospitality industry may have been on the cutting edge of tech, but it’s time, and past time, for the casino-hotel market to start adopting these technologies to improve customer experience and retention across the board. INTELITY’s mobile solutions can easily be integrated with your existing loyalty program or brand app. In addition to streamlining guests’ experience and connecting them to staff, mobile apps can also be used by management teams to send targeted offers and promotions that encourage guests to engage further with the property.

To learn more about creating a customizable mobile app for your casino-hotel or to schedule a demo, contact the INTELITY team.

G2E Panel Recap: Using Technology to Extend the Casino Floor and Increase Revenue

A recent highlight of INTELITY’s attendance at the 2019 Global Gaming Expo was the panel discussion on “Using Technology to Extend the Casino Floor and Increase Revenue,” moderated by INTELITY SVP of Sales Benjamin Keller. Richard Rader, CTO of Seven Feathers Casino Resort, and Jeff Wheatley, Assistant General Manager of Angel of the Winds Casino Resort spoke with Keller about how they have successfully implemented technology throughout their properties.

Using In-Room Guest Marketing to Increase Revenue

A primary topic covered in the hour-long session was regarding guest marketing and how technology enables casino properties to better target guests while on property. Both panelists discussed the success they’ve seen in implementing in-room technology to drive guests to revenue-generating activities like the casino floor and dining through timely, personalized promotions.

Wheatley noted that “in-room tablets are huge for us because they allow us to advertise to a captive audience,” while Rader added that “selling guest-facing ads helps us subsidize our WiFi and infrastructure costs.” Not only do in-room tablets provide direct revenue and cost-saving opportunities for casino hotels, but they also enhance the overall guest experience. “We get a lot of positive guest feedback [regarding our in-room tablets] even when we don’t solicit it,” said Wheatley.

Enhancing the Guest Experience with Mobile Technology

Another technology investment that both panelists discussed extensively was guest-facing mobile apps. Rader pointed out that the decision to invest in a mobile app should be made only after understanding your existing guest behavior and use cases. Given that his property’s guest population has a relatively high average age, his investment in mobile technology is evaluated around how guests respond to the tech: “We look at our business and use cases and build our technology around that… well implemented technology doesn’t need hundreds of pages of documentation. It needs to be intuitive.”

Both panelists noted the clear return on investment with their mobile check-in and mobile key solutions. Regarding mobile check-in, Wheatley said “[our guests] have become accustomed to ‘we want it and we want it now.’ Once we’ve set that guest expectation, we have to fulfill it.” Today’s guests increasingly rely on mobile technology and expect immediate access while traveling, and checking into their hotel room is no exception. Integrating mobile check-in into a casino hotel’s guest flow means guests can spend less time in line and more time on the casino floor.

Successful Tech Implementation Requires Staff Training

To wrap the session, the panelists talked about the challenges of training staff members on how to successfully use technology. Wheatley touched on the importance of making sure that his staff members know how to use and manage any new technology investment, and how that is a critical component for a successful implementation. By focusing on staff training, he mentioned that he is able to effectively control costs across his organization: “Our biggest expense by far is labor costs; we’re always looking at how to become more efficient.” Mobile technology that is implemented well also creates a more efficient workflow for staff. By automating manual processes and simple tasks, casino hotels can improve their staff efficiency without sacrificing the guest experience.

Overall, the engaging panel discussion provided clear opportunities for casino hotels to successfully implement technology solutions throughout their properties. To learn more about how INTELITY drives revenue and reduces costs for casino hotels around the world, contact the INTELITY team to request a demo today.

How Do I Connect With Connected Guests?

What to do when your guests are more engaged with their phones than your staff

Today’s guests are more connected than ever; they use their mobile devices to research, book, and even get to their destination. The modern guest also relies heavily on the internet, social review networks, and apps throughout their travels. In recent years, the travel industry has shifted to focus on better serving the connection needs of digital-first travelers.

Airlines were quick to adopt technology and ride-share businesses like Uber and Lyft implemented technology that is designed to streamline and simplify. While these airlines and car services once required staff interaction to function, consumers are now using online and app solutions to search, book, pay for, and review a trip. From the almost fully-automated check-in process at the airport to the seamless rideshare exchange, staff involvement acts as a complement to streamline customer experience-until guests reach their hotel.

Consumers who are empowered in other sectors of the travel industry often find themselves waiting in line at a hotel to check-in and receive room keys. At many properties, most service requests still require a visit or call to the front desk, including spa or dining reservations and room service, which often results in the guest being placed on hold or having to wait for confirmation. Yet studies show that 66% of guests have a better experience when they can use self-service technology to receive information and complete tasks, and an impressive 70% prefer to use technology to get what they want faster.

In today’s competitive market, creating a frictionless experience is one of the keys to client satisfaction and loyalty. Here are four ways you can use automation to better serve your connected guests.

Mobile Apps

Having your own branded app empowers your guests to control their experience before, during, and after their stay. Mobile check-in and mobile key features can be incorporated into your app, giving guests the ability to bypass the front desk and head straight to their room. Apps can also create revenue-generating and up-selling opportunities like room upgrades, the addition of dessert to an in-room dining check, and much more.

In-Room Tablets

Interactive in-room tablets can replace printed compendiums, alarm clocks, and other “clutter,” which offers more cost savings. What once took a phone call or a visit to the front desk is now at your guests’ fingertips, including ordering room service, requesting additional items from housekeeping, booking reservations at onsite restaurants, spas and more.

In-Room Casting

This TV-package alternative reduces the need to scroll through endless commercials found on real-time TV and local news stations (which often are irrelevant to your guests) and places the guests in charge of their entertainment by providing access to their favorite streaming service. With Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and more, endless entertainment is in the hands of your guests. At the same time, pay-per-view and satellite subscription expenses can be eliminated.

Guest Messaging

Real-time messaging is an effective way for guests to provide feedback and communicate seamlessly with your staff both on and off-property. Even escalated concerns are quickly addressed, reducing guest frustration and potentially negative reviews after a stay.

As the prevalence of technology increases in the industry, hoteliers are right to consider ways to stay ahead of the competition. Creating a seamless experience, from check-in to check-out, is the best way to exceed the expectation, elevate the guest experience, and provide the service the connected traveler craves.

To learn more about how to better serve the connected traveler and stay up-to-date on the latest industry news, sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter or schedule a demo with our team.

How to Use In-Room Tablets to Increase Retail Revenue

If you haven’t made a digital retail store readily available to your guests, you’re leaving money on the table. Don’t underestimate the possibilities of retail to generate incremental revenue for your property. 96 percent of all Americans have purchased goods online – 80 percent within the last month. E-commerce accounted for about $2.3 trillion in sales in 2017, and it’s projected to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021.

We had this in mind when we designed INTELITY’s retail app, which is included on our in-room tablets and our mobile guest app. Hotels, casinos, and other properties use it to create a customized, digital storefront that offers items from the gift shop or spa as well as other personalized merchandise. It can even be used to sell art pieces on display at your property, high-end cosmetics used in your spa, or in-room furnishings such as pillows and bedding used in your guestrooms.

Guests who are already using the in-room tablet or mobile app to order room service, request services, and control the TV can now see your property’s specially selected items nicely presented for purchase, as well. It is easy for them to add items to their cart, complete the purchase, and view and select tracking and shipping information.

On the property’s side, it is straightforward for staff to add and manage inventory, set availability, hide or reveal items as appropriate, and use promotions and push messages to create awareness. Orders go through INTELITY Staff, which makes it easy to ship an item to the guest’s home or deliver it to the room. Charges automatically go onto the guest’s folio.

Our retail app is just one more good reason to equip your guest rooms with in-room tablets. In-room tablets can be used to promote upgrades and upsell opportunities, including special offers, discounts, a room upgrade or spa treatments. These are offers that guests might be more inclined to accept from the calm and privacy of their room that they otherwise may forgo or not know about.

In addition to guests learning more about your facilities and offerings, and ordering room service around the clock – hotels with customized apps report a 41 percent increase in room service revenue – they can also control the room environment and the TV, make reservations on-site and off property, engage with entertainment and news apps, submit other service requests, and make purchases.

For more information on how you can increase your revenue through e-commerce, contact INTELITY to schedule a demo with a member of our team.

Extending the Reach of Your Casino Floor to Your Guest Rooms

How to Use In-Room Tablets to Engage Guests in Their Rooms

In-room tablets can be game-changers, so to speak, for casino resorts. In addition to guests being able to use in-room tablets for all the more familiar uses—such as requesting services, making reservations, and communicating directly with staff, as they would at any hotel—casino hotels have the added advantage of a fresh, new way to promote gaming, and special events directly to guests while they are most captive.

Operators can easily use in-room tablets to send special offers, targeted promotions, and casino floor updates in real-time when their guests are most engaged. Depending on where the property is located, some guests can even use in-room technology to gamble right from their room as some casino hotels now offer sports and other types of betting through in-room tablets or a mobile app.

One way they do this is by adding popular gaming apps to the in-room tablets and information and tips on how to play some of the more popular casino floor games. At some casino hotels, guests can also use tablets to get real-time keno and bingo results in their room, as well as to see who won daily drawings and receive real-time jackpot notifications. Using in-room technology in this manner means guests don’t have to worry about missing out on the excitement of the casino floor while in their rooms.

extending the reach of your casino floor with in-room tablets

Today’s core casino customers are generally between 55 and 75 years old and increasingly comfortable using digital devices, including in-room tablets and mobile apps, which makes adding gaming to digital devices a logical, and smart, next step. Also, once they arrive in their room and find the mobile app and in-room tablet integrated with the property’s loyalty program, they are apt to take advantage of customized and targeted promotions and other offers that encourage them to visit the casino floor.

Ultimately, casino guests are eager to spend their time gaming — not standing in lines — so a streamlined mobile check-in process means more time they can spend on the casino floor, or using the custom-branded in-room tablet for gaming while they are in their room.

INTELITY® is the provider of the most robust guest engagement and staff management platform in hospitality. The platform features multiple customizable solutions designed to help operations optimize staff efficiencies, increase revenue opportunities, and further delight their guests.

A variety of casino properties, from the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas to smaller tribal casino properties, like Angel of the Winds and Black Oak Casino, now use the INTELITY platform, and 7 Cedars also plans to implement the INTELITY platform at its new hotel scheduled to open in the summer of 2020. To learn more about how you can extend the reach of your casino floor with hospitality technology, schedule a demo with INTELITY today.

How Hotels Are Using Technology to Gain a Competitive Advantage

Contributed by Kacey Bradley

The world of business is inherently competitive. Every industry has companies trying to rise to the top, which means impressing consumers by learning what they want and finding ways to make those things happen seamlessly. Businesses that invest in delivering on consumer expectations typically see an increase in brand loyalty, which leads to an increase in revenue.

This characteristic is especially true of the hospitality industry. When guests stay at a hotel, they’re looking for a place where they feel comfortable, safe, and have access to the conveniences they’re accustomed to in their daily lives, and hotels are in a race to perfect this.

Technology has become a key component in giving one hotel an edge over another, especially with the increasing popularity of a digital-first approach among travelers. By implementing the right tech, hotels can impress guests, streamline operations, and generate more revenue. It’s critical for hoteliers to stay current with technological advancements, so they can keep pace with expectations.

Mobile devices are the easiest and best way to reach guests- the average hotel guest checks in with at least three mobile devices. Today’s travelers depend on them to provide information and easy access to essential features in their lives. Using mobile technology allows hoteliers to meet their guests where they’re already engaged.

Here are five types of technology that can give a property a competitive advantage:

1. A Branded App

Mobile apps are the perfect solution for engaging guests before, during, and after their stay, especially when integrated with a property’s existing loyalty program. Mobile app technology can also be beneficial in gaining insight into guest satisfaction and guest preferences, which can be used to improve the quality or types of services offered.

An app can track the most common types of guest requests, dining metrics and which menu items are the most popular, and how often they’re using the app to communicate with hotel staff. Management teams can use this information as a framework for making better business decisions and taking guest service to the next level.

2. Mobile Check-In

Mobile check-in is highly sought after by today’s self-service driven travelers. Giving your guests the ability to bypass the front desk not only enhances the guest experience, but it also frees up staff, allowing them to spend more time providing personalized guest service. Offering mobile check-in also incentivizes guests to download your property’s mobile app, which creates a further opportunity for upselling, pre-arrival communication, and to generally craft exceptional experiences.

3. Mobile Key

Major brands, like Hilton and Marriott, have already implemented a form of keyless entry into their hotels and its quickly becoming the leading hotel technology trend. Implementing mobile key technology provides guests the convenience of reducing time at the front desk and prevents guests from ever losing or forgetting their room key. Mobile key technology also saves hotels money on printing costs and increases efficiencies because staff don’t have to spend time printing keycards or replacing lost room keys.

4. In-Room Tablets

In-room tablets provide guests with easy access to hotel information and the ability to place service requests, order room service, control the in-room environment, and communicate with hotel staff. These digital compendiums can also be used to create upselling opportunities and promote upgrades and other special offers targeted to a guest’s preferences.

5. Voice-Controlled Rooms

Another popular technology hotels are embracing is voice. Guests can use this technology to turn on lights, control the TV, adjust the thermostat, and more. Voice technology can also be used to submit guest requests, make reservations, and provide guests with information about the local area. While voice technology may not be as necessary as some of the mobile technologies available, it plays a large role in enhancing the guest experience.

Staying ahead of the competition and remaining relevant is important in an industry as competitive as the hospitality industry. Successfully implementing the right technologies is an easy way to distinguish yourself from your competitors and cater to today’s tech-savvy travelers. Hospitality technology can change how guests experience a hotel and lead to repeat guests, positive reviews, and word-of-mouth referrals.

To learn more about how you can use hospitality technology to gain a competitive advantage, contact the experts at INTELITY to schedule a demo.

Crafting a Smart Guest Experience with Hospitality Technology

It’s no secret that expectations surrounding the digital guest experience have changed. With more than 96 percent of modern hotel guests carrying smart devices, the obvious next step is ensuring that you provide your guests with a smart experience.

What Does a Smart Guest Experience Look Like?

A smart guest experience is one that anticipates and meets your guests’ needs by providing what they want when they want it. While this is partly achieved through excellent customer service, it also requires making the right technologies available—those that improve your guests’ experience and streamline your service delivery.

A “smart hotel” provides robust Wi-Fi, offers a mobile guest app that allows remote check-in and -out, mobile key, direct messaging, and the ability to control a guestroom’s environment and entertainment. Smart hotels also incorporate in-room tablets to increase guest engagement and back office solutions to track guest activity, send personalized offers, and connect staff more directly to guests.

How do You Create a Smart Guest Experience?

A smart guest experience should be crafted around a robust mobile strategy that extends beyond a mobile guest app. Your mobile strategy should include everything from a mobile version of your website to a strong social media presence, direct digital messaging, and in-app chat. These channels should all be available on a single, easy-to-use platform where travelers can choose how they want to communicate and are able to move seamlessly between secure digital solutions, so they feel comfortable sharing and accessing personal data.

Having a comprehensive mobile strategy is only a starting point. In order to create a truly smart guest experience, you will need to take your digital strategy up a notch. This means leveraging network-connected technologies such as data analytics and business intelligence, customer relationship management programs, AI, targeted guest marketing, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Because these advanced technologies don’t work without a robust technology infrastructure, it’s critical to have that in order first. When creating a smart guest experience, you need to make sure all the software and technologies utilized at your property integrate seamlessly. Only then can you create the ultimate smart guest experience that improves your guests’ stays without feeling intrusive.

Implementing a Smart Guest Experience

It’s not enough to only have smart technologies in place. Your employees must be well-trained on how to best use those technologies to create a superior guest experience and streamline their daily tasks. Once your employees have been trained on how to effectively use the technology and software implemented at your property, you’ll be able to personalize, maximize, and monetize your guest experience.

Interested in learning more about how you can use technology to provide a smart guest experience at your property? Contact us today to learn more about the INTELITY platform and how it can help you increase guest engagement and streamline your daily operations.

How to Use Technology in Hospitality to Engage Millennials and Generation Z

Technology has completely changed the way we travel. We now expect flexibility, freedom, and control over every aspect of our journey. When it comes to managing travel, a study by the GBTA Foundation shows that 78 percent of Americans prefer to use self-service technology. That number will inevitably grow as Millennials and Generation Z continue to enter the market.

So, how do hoteliers meet the expectations of these two highly connected generations? How can they ensure that their guests have a seamless experience at their hotel? The answer is simple – by embracing technology and incorporating it into their workflow. Effective use of hospitality technology can increase guest engagement, improve performance across operations teams, and give guests more control over their experience.

Here are four key features that can help you better cater to these travelers and generally modernize your hotel’s guest experience:

Mobile Check-In

We know that guests want flexibility, convenience, and control when it comes to travel. Incorporating mobile check-in at your property not only reduces friction at the front desk, but it also saves your guests time and effort. With an app customized to your hotel, you can enable mobile check-in and guests can make requests before arrival.

Mobile Key

Giving your guests the ability to access their rooms with their mobile phone gives you the ability to allow them to bypass the front desk completely. Following a remote mobile check-in, guests can activate their mobile key and head straight to their room. Mobile key solutions also give guests access to the gym and spa facilities, meeting rooms, and other gated areas of your property. This is exactly the type of seamless experience your guests are experiencing through other aspects of their travel journey, like with airlines and ride-sharing services.

Voice

Today’s tech-savvy travelers want immediate answers to their questions. They want to find and access information easily, just as they do at home. It’s imperative that you provide your guests with engagement tools that don’t require making a call to the front desk. Using voice technology, you can provide guests with information about your hotel and the surrounding area. You can also notify them of upcoming special events and let them manage the lights and temperature in their room, and allow them to make reservations and bookings. Giving your guests many touch-points for engagement puts the control right where they want it, in their hands.

In-Room Tablets

Once your guest is in their room, in-room tablets offer a plethora of information previously housed in the printed compendium. Not only does have a tablet in the guestroom add to your tech-ambiance, but it gives your guests digital access to dining menus and links to restaurant reservations and spa bookings. Your staff can update these menus and links in real-time while your guests never need to pick up the phone. Guests can also use their in-room tablets to manage their environment (HVAC, lights, curtains) and TV. In-room tablets can give you a direct connection to your captive audience and can be used to promote social events and experiences happening on-property as well as offers tailored to your guests’ preferences, which in turn can increase revenue and drive your bottom line.

Many guests are looking for accommodations that provide them with the seamless convenience they experience in their own homes. Incorporating technology that can deliver on those expectations and keep guests engaged has become a necessity in the hospitality industry.

INTELITY provides a complete suite of guest experience and staff management tools that can help you increase guest engagement and streamline your daily operations. The enterprise platform, the broadest in the industry, integrates with over 120 operational systems including PMS, POS, room controls and loyalty programs through INTELITY Connect.

To learn more about how the INTELITY platform can help you engage Millennials and Gen. Z travelers and provide them with the seamless connectivity they expect, schedule a demo with a member of our team.

How to Use Personalization to Increase Guest Loyalty

Today’s travelers want hotels to provide them with personalized experiences tailored to their preferences. This fact is extensively covered within the industry, but why should hoteliers care? Studies show that hotels that take the time to create unique experiences customized to their guests’ preferences generate increased revenue per guest and strengthen brand loyalty.

So, how do you give your guests the service and experience they expect? Use technology to engage with them before, during, and after their stay and use the data generated by these interactions to build stronger relationships with your guests.

Create a Seamless Connection

How do you ensure your guests want to come back again and again and encourage their friends to do the same? Start by giving them a way to connect seamlessly with your staff. Research shows that hotel guests who are engaged during their stay are 40 percent more likely to return and will spend up to 46 percent more per year than disengaged guests.

In-room technology like mobile guest apps and in-room tablets allow you to create this connection without being invasive and give guests control over when they interact with your staff. Give your guests the opportunity to submit service requests, order room service, or request additional housekeeping items through these digital solutions. Mobile apps and in-room tablets can also be used to promote specials at your spa, bar, or restaurant to the right audience at the right time.

At the end of a guest’s stay, invite them back, ask them for feedback on their experience, and request they review or rate your property online. Shortly after their stay, follow-up with a personalized offer or promotion that keeps your property top of mind and encourages guests to return.

Understand One Size Does Not Fit All

Just like no two hotels are the same, no two guests are the same. It is important to remember this and create experiences that are truly personal and tailored. This can be as simple as displaying a welcome message on an in-room tablet or ensuring that a guest is offered their favorite corner room.

Guests have a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing accommodations, so making personalized experiences a rule rather than an exception will set you apart from your competitors. In an industry where consumers have more choices than ever before, it is important for you to understand your guests, what they want, and how to deliver on those wants.

At INTELITY, we’ve created a complete guest engagement and staff management platform that allows you to build better relationships with your guests, gain deeper insight into what your guests want, and develop increased brand loyalty. To learn more about our platform, schedule a demo today.

How Mobile Ordering Can Increase In-Room Dining Orders

Over the past few years, hotels across the world have experienced a decrease in in-room dining orders. In response to the steady decrease in in-room dining orders, several hotels have started to discontinue offering room service, but a recent study shows that 43 percent of guests still view room service as “very important” and 28 percent of guests say not offering room service is a deal breaker.

These results show that in-room dining is still a crucial part of the in-room experience for many guests. So how do hotels make sure they’re satisfying their guest demands without operating at a loss? Enter in-room technology and mobile ordering. By implementing technology like in-room tablets and mobile guest apps, hotels can provide guests with more services and access to mobile ordering.

Use Mobile Ordering to Increase In-Room Dining Orders

Digital menus and mobile ordering provide an effective solution to the decrease in in-room dining because it allows the customer to peruse the menu at their leisure without feeling rushed to place their order to a busy staff member over the phone, creates a more responsive atmosphere, and reduces the chance of error in in-room dining orders.

Offering a mobile ordering solution creates a smoother, more successful relationship with the customer because it streamlines the process and places the control in the hands of the consumer. Mobile ordering allows the hotel to keep its guests updated on the status of their orders and give them an estimated food arrival time. Not only does mobile ordering provide a more efficient, streamlined in-room dining process for the guest, it also improves the guests’ overall experience at the property. A 2016 study by Zebra Technologies found that 70 percent of guests want to use technology to decrease their wait times and improve their overall experience.

Aside from improving the overall guest experience, offering a mobile ordering option for in-room dining can also help hotels increase their bottom line by providing upselling opportunities throughout the ordering process. Studies have also shown that consumers are more likely to place larger orders when making a mobile order, especially when the menu features images of the food offered. Not only does including imagery of menu items lead to larger orders, but it can also dictate what the guest orders. In a study conducted by Iowa State, researchers tested displaying an image of a salad to kids at a YMCA camp. Campers who saw the salad photo were 70 percent more likely to order a salad for lunch than those who didn’t see the salad photo.

Conrad Indianapolis Experiences Success with Mobile Ordering

Conrad Indianapolis recently experienced the effectiveness of using mobile ordering for in-room dining. Just three months after launching INTELITY’s in-room tablets, the hotel saw digital dining orders increase by 444 percent and an average in-room dining check increase of almost 15 percent.

Mobile ordering is clearly an effective solution for the decline in in-room dining orders, especially when associated with an integrated back-end solution that automatically tracks the entire transaction. INTELITY has created a fully integrated, enterprise platform that allows hotels to improve their operational efficiencies and enhance their guest experience. Our cutting edge platform offers hotels the ability to seamlessly connect service industry workforces to their guests and enable hotels to improve their operational efficiencies and revenue.

Are you ready to incorporate advanced technology into your daily operations and work towards increasing your in-room dining orders? Contact us today to schedule a demo.

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For additional information about our Mobile Check-In solution, download the PDF one-sheet after filling out this short form.