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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.

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.

From Boutiques to Big Brands: How to Make Smart Choices When Investing in Hospitality Technology

3 Key Factors to Keep in Mind When Making Your Next Tech Investment

According to the latest report from Hospitality Technology, 54% of hoteliers are planning to increase their technology budgets this year. Whether you’re responsible for managing a single boutique hotel or a large chain of branded properties, it is impossible to ignore the increasing role technology is playing in the hospitality space. From seamless mobile check-in offerings to digital access to services, amenities and hotel staff, it’s easy to see why guests find increased value from tech-enabled interactions. Meeting expectations in this area is often rewarded with higher guest satisfaction and loyalty.

While the advantages of offering a digital-first hospitality experience are clear, it can be difficult to navigate the sea of options on the market. Here are just a few strategies you can apply when looking to make smart choices that optimize your return on investment.

Look for Ease of Use

If you’re deciding which investments to make next, consider the importance of selecting a known platform that will make implementation a breeze. In a recent survey, 1 in 4 small independent hotels cited complexity as the biggest challenge for adopting new technology, and 1 in 3 indicated ease of use as the priority when choosing what tech to purchase. Regardless of the hotel or chain size, investing in any upgrades only to have them fall flat during implementation can be frustrating.

Embrace Mobile Technology 

Cost is also a key factor in making coveted technology upgrades, but there’s good news for hotels of all sizes. According to Scotland-based hospitality firm Criton, guests’ mobile devices are “recognized as an essential tool for delivering and improving their travel experience.” More than 60% of respondents report using a hotel’s app, and 74% state they would use this option if their favorite hotel offered it.

“Increasingly, today’s travelers are downloading apps that help them get around and stay connected with their hotel,” Criton founder/CEO Julie Grieve said in a statement. “That level of tech awareness or even dependency also raises expectations for information, guest services such as check-in, digital key and offers and incentives to reward their loyalty.”

Hold Out for a Multi-Point Platform

While it may be tempting to select the most popular one-point solutions and try to fit them all together, you could be setting yourself up for a tech stack nightmare. To ensure technology investments are worth their space in the budget, start with a platform that offers comprehensive solutions and exceptional support. Complexity doesn’t have to be an issue, and ease of use should be the expectation. Both components will lead to greater adoption and ultimately, value.

To keep initial costs down, consider the possibility of using guest’s smartphones with a branded hotel app. Not only does research show the devices are readily available, but it also confirms guests are interested in the option. A branded app can provide a lower entry point financially while engaging guests and increasing loyalty. With the branded app solution, you’re also reaching guests long after they’re gone, increasing the opportunities for a repeat stay.

To learn more about the INTELITY platform and how a branded app can benefit your property, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter or schedule a demo with our team.

The Mobile Connection Your Guests Crave

How to Implement Mobile Technology to Improve Guest Experience, Optimize Business Operations, and Stay Ahead of Your Competitors

Technology continues to play a crucial role in meeting the expectations of mobile-first travelers. According to a recent study conducted by American Express and Ebiquity, the top three expectations from travelers are:

  1. Excellent service
  2. Timely delivery of that service
  3. Personalized connections and experiences

These areas of focus should be top priorities for hotel operators of all sizes and scope looking to stay ahead of the competition.

Mobile technology is often used to deliver upgraded service offerings, including mobile check-in, mobile key, and in-app messaging, but investing in those solutions can be costly and not all solutions are created equally. Improving the guest experience remains a balancing act with real-world budget constraints. Before implementing a mobile solution at your property, it’s essential to consider its capabilities to determine if the investment is worthwhile. This not only includes expected improvements to the guest experience but also to business operations.

Streamlined Processes

With over 92% of guests carrying a smartphone (and 40% with an existing hotel app installed), implementing solutions such as mobile check-in, mobile key, and messaging through a branded mobile app just makes sense. Mobile apps not only better connect your guests to your property, but they also streamline daily workflows for your staff. Completing mundane tasks like finding reservations and distributing room keys does not necessarily elevate or enhance the guest experience, but quality social interactions between hotel staff and guests do. The right tech allows hotel operators to automate repetitive tasks, which lets staff focus on providing guests with more personalized attention and assistance. This streamlined model continues past check-in for requests such as in-room dining, extra towels, or reservations at the spa.

Increased Loyalty

Mobile technology offers guests access to great brand experiences in real-time, which helps increase guest loyalty. A recent Oracle study found that “when it comes to immediate benefits versus accumulating points as part of a loyalty program, 78 percent of guests preferred immediate benefits.” This means an immediate, personalized offer will engage guests and drive brand loyalty.

Guests today have high expectations for seamless and personalized service. With the right technology, hoteliers can deliver all of that and more, while also gaining workflow efficiencies and driving guest loyalty.

To learn more about the mobile solutions INTELITY offers, sign-up for our bi-weekly newsletter or schedule a demo with a member of our team.

6 Digital Pain Points Impacting the Hospitality Industry

How a Smart Digital Strategy Can Help Overcome Digital Pitfalls

Do any of these problems sound familiar?

  • Difficulty sharing information and data across disparate systems
  • Costly and time-consuming training for (often) high-turnover staff
  • Maintaining a competitive advantage in a highly saturated industry
  • Engaging mobile-first guests
  • Providing access to connectivity at scale
  • Creating authentic, personalized experiences that resonate with your customers

If so… we have good news! Technology can assist in resolving many of the common pain points you experience in your daily operations. Solve these problems, and you’re exponentially closer to delivering on a truly exceptional guest experience.

Overcoming data silos

The data silo problem occurs when various teams at the same property use different systems that do not allow the cross-channel sharing of information. Data silos can limit communication and collaboration, create inefficiencies, hog storage space, and slow down overall efficiency.

When guest data remains trapped within a silo, not only does the guest experience suffer, but so does the ability to use that data effectively for business, communications, and marketing. To gain deeper insight into your guests’ preferences and what they want, you must implement technology that allows data to be easily shared. This allows you to more easily personalize service, improve the guest experience, and make better business decisions.

Training staff 

Using multiple software systems at your property means ensuring your staff is properly trained on each one. Implementing a single end-to-end platform or integrated solutions makes training, utilizing, and optimizing that tech much more straightforward. Look to solutions and platforms that emphasize ease of use and a clean staff interface, as these solutions typically require little training and provide a better user experience.

Maintaining a competitive advantage

From a marketing perspective, there are many ways integrated technology can help you maintain a competitive advantage. Be smarter about reaching your guests by sending timely, targeted offers in real-time, and you’ll see guest engagement spike.

A competitive advantage can further be achieved through increased operational efficiency. Streamline your company’s internal processes by using a back-office dashboard that allows you to organize and manage information in one central location. Whether you choose a single platform or a combination of systems that complement each other, incorporating solutions that allow information and data to congregate in one place will help you streamline operations and enhance guest interactions. Your employees will be more efficient and internal processes more effective.

how hospitality technology solves digital pain points impacting the industry

Providing a quality mobile experience

Most consumers are accustomed to using smartphones for just about everything. Mobile and in-room technologies help enhance the guest experience by allowing mobile check-in/out and digital payments. Guests can access their guest rooms using their phone as a mobile key, which allows them to avoid the front desk altogether. Providing access to mobile technology does away with front desk friction, which can be a major pain point for most hoteliers. A customized mobile app can also be used to integrate with existing loyalty programs to encourage repeat business and brand loyalty.

Creating connectivity at scale

Consistent and reliable connectivity is a continuous challenge. Properties must provide ever-increasing bandwidth, as well as performance, reliability, and security that allows for constant digital communication, for both staff and guests. Your property must have enough bandwidth to capture guest data and support your cloud-based, back-office dashboard.

Personalization

86 percent of travelers value personalized offers, particularly those that make them feel like a unique and valued individual rather than just a number in a ledger. To create this kind of feeling requires effective use of your guests’ data and shared preferences to enhance their overall experience.

Navigating the digital world can be challenging for hoteliers that are already juggling multiple tasks and projects. By investing in technology that helps connect you and your staff to your guests, you can simultaneously address these common digital pain points and elevate your guests’ experience.

INTELITY is the broadest platform available to seamlessly connect service industry workforces directly to its customers. If you’d like to learn more about how our complete end-to-end platform can help you address the digital pain points you’re currently experiencing, contact us today to schedule a demonstration.

The Importance of International Adaptability

Connecting Hoteliers to Guests at a Global Scale

This article was originally published on Hospitality Technology on November 25, 2019.

The Pew Research Center recently reported that over 5 billion people worldwide now have mobile devices, and many people travel with up to three devices. In addition, the availability of 4G or better cell networks has increased at a global scale with 4G availability at approximately 80 percent across most countries.

The increase in cellular usage and availability has led to the need for the hospitality sector to meet the rising tide of digital-first travelers via the channels they’re most comfortable with—their mobile devices. We have already seen the airline industry adopt this type of mobile technology to great success and the ride-share industry was built using mobile, self-service technology as its foundation. Yet, the hospitality industry has been slow to embrace this technology, which has allowed entry for tech-leading competitors like Airbnb and VRBO.

The modern traveler wants to be able to book their flights to anywhere around the globe, check-in, access their boarding pass, track their luggage, catch a ride from the airport to their hotel, check-in to their room and order room service—all from their phone. The flow of information across international borders, currencies, languages, and even customs should feel seamless and completely natural.

While both airlines and ride-sharing companies have seen considerable success in utilizing mobile technology to the tune of billions of dollars in consumer and shareholder upside, why has the hospitality industry been slow to adopt mobile-first technologies at scale? Cost and ease of use are often key deterrents, along with high turnover rates that require training new staff and implementing new tech into an existing, often complex, tech stack. This list of barriers to entry gets longer when you add international brands and properties into the mix, as they also have to adhere to different regulations (such as GDPR) and various local currencies and taxes. Hospitality tech platforms need to be flexible and able to adapt to the industry’s wide range of needs.

Today’s mobile solutions and cloud-based platforms models make hospitality tech more accessible and affordable, reducing the barriers that hotels have historically faced. Mobile apps provide hotels with an instant connection to guests via the channel they’re already engaged on and create an opportunity to house many functionalities in a single location. Cloud-based platforms tend to be more flexible, customizable, and extremely easy to maintain compared to on-premise systems, which allows properties of all sizes to offer connected services and a guest experience modern travelers expect.

INTELITY offers customizable mobile app solutions designed to accommodate the needs of both smaller boutique properties and large enterprise brands across the globe. Mobile apps cross international borders by giving hoteliers a branded channel where they can connect with their guests before, during, and after their stay. Through INTELITY’s mobile solutions, hoteliers can offer mobile check-in and mobile key functionalities, as well as mobile dining, messaging, and access to existing loyalty programs, booking engines and more.

In addition to customizable enterprise mobile apps, the INTELITY platform offers cloud-based solutions that provide a seamless digital connection between hotel guests and staff. The solutions are multilingual, supporting all Western and character-based languages, including simplified Chinese, Spanish, French, Hebrew, and more. Guests anywhere can use INTELITY’s solutions to easily order everything from in-room dining to housekeeping requests in their own language. Language support not only makes it easier and more convenient for guests to interact with staff, but it also increases revenue opportunities for the property by leveraging promotional and marketing opportunities in guests’ native languages.

Multiple languages are also offered within the staff-facing solutions of the platform, allowing hotel staff to process guest requests, daily tasks, work orders, and more in the language of their choice. The INTELITY platform also supports local currencies and taxes and offers flexibility within its workflow management tools, giving hoteliers the ability to adapt the platform to their specific operations no matter where they are located.

The INTELITY platform is currently in use on six continents and in over 40 countries. We have gone to great lengths to ensure our platform is flexible and easy to implement into a brand or property’s existing tech stack. INTELITY’s platform currently integrates with more than 120 software and hardware providers, including PMS, POS, ticketing, and spa management systems that are popular in various across the globe.

To learn more about the international adaptability of the INTELITY platform, please visit our website or email demos@intelity.com.

3 Ways Your Hotel Can Benefit from a Mobile App

Given the worldwide increase in smartphone usage, it should come as no surprise that nearly two-thirds of travelers rely on mobile apps during trips. OTAs, rideshare companies, and airlines have embraced this trend and created seamless mobile experiences for travelers. For hotels, offering a mobile app can not only meet travelers’ technology-focused expectations but can also greatly benefit the property and its staff.

Here are three ways in which your hotel, casino, or resort can benefit from offering a mobile app experience to guests:

Streamline the check-in experience

A mobile app can dramatically streamline the check-in process and reduce the amount of time spent at the front desk. Implementing mobile check-in and mobile key solutions into your app not only increases guest satisfaction, but it also reduces front desk friction and frees up time for staff to focus on providing more personalized guest service.

By putting the power of check-in (and check-out) into guests’ hands, hoteliers can manage room inventory more effectively. By allowing guests to initiate the check-in process via their mobile app before stepping foot onto your property, room assignments and availability can be better forecasted to ensure that each guest receives their selected room preference. Inventory can also be updated in real-time as customers check out using your mobile app, allowing for more timely updates compared to physically checking rooms for occupancy.

Perhaps the most immediate benefit of implementing mobile check-in is the cost savings from plastic room key reduction. Given that the life of an average key card is just 2.5 days, digitizing your keys can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Assuming that, on average, a single room uses 292 cards per year (two cards issued per day divided by the 2.5-day lifespan of a card), a single 100-room property could save upwards of $14,600 annually in key card costs alone (assuming a $0.50 cost per card).

Create new guest communication channels

Once your mobile app is downloaded, you have a direct line of communication with your target audience before, during, and after their stay. While the guest is staying at your property, they will be able to submit service requests, receive timely notifications and messages, and submit feedback in real-time. Over 60% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a staff member — a mobile app helps to meet this expectation.

When a guest is able to submit a service request (dining, housekeeping, concierge, etc.) through their mobile app rather than over the phone or in person, a more efficient operational process is enabled. Service requests can be routed directly to the relevant department through your integrated PMS, ensuring that requests are always accurate and timely. In addition, the hotel staff can initiate communication with guests by sending relevant information through the app’s push notification feature. This keeps guests informed and happy, and can create new opportunities for ancillary revenue in the form of property-specific promotions and upselling opportunities.

Enable guest feedback and service recovery

benefits of mobile apps for hotels

One issue plaguing the hospitality industry is a lack of real-time insight into the guest experience. A mobile app allows you to capture this critical feedback by implementing surveys upon the completion of service requests. Capturing feedback from guests before they leave your property provides opportunities for real-time customer satisfaction monitoring as well as instant service recovery by proactively resolving any potential issues.

Through your app, you can also encourage guests to leave reviews on third-party sites and OTAs by sending timely push notifications and easy-to-fill forms. Capturing your audience’s attention upon a positive service experience can both prevent bad reviews and induce positive reviews. 76% of travelers say they would be willing to pay more for a hotel with higher TripAdvisor review scores; improving your third-party reviews allows you to increase your average daily rate (ADR) without sacrificing occupancy.

To learn more about how your property can benefit from introducing a guest-facing mobile app, sign up for INTELITY’s bi-weekly newsletter or contact demos@intelity.com.

Apps for Hotel Management: How to Put the Guest First

This article was originally published on Hotel Tech Report on November 20, 2019.

Guests are increasingly interested in communicating with a hotel before, during, and after their stay via mobile apps for hotel management. They’re seeking an easy avenue to check-in remotely, explore amenities, and learn more about the property and surrounding neighborhood. Hotel apps are one way hotels have successfully met this growing guest expectation.

Intelligently integrating a hotel app within the guest experience allows your property to open a clear line of communication with guests. It’s a platform through which guests can access hotel information such as room services and amenities, check-in remotely, place service requests, book a spa service, and more. Mobile hotel apps increase guest engagement and provide a new channel for upselling ancillary services, ultimately improving the guest experience when deployed correctly.

Mobile app providers like INTELITY are leading the way in providing a thoughtful, tech-enabled guest experience. Here’s what you need to know about guest mobile apps to offer a great experience at your property.

Why use mobile apps for hotel management?

Today’s guest is mobile-first, meaning hotels must find a way to provide five-star service optimized for any device. The ability to book and edit reservations, order room service, learn about amenities and check-in remotely are all features that guests expect to manage through a hotel app. Some hotels have taken it a step further to add features that engage and surprise their guests further.

The core benefits that any hotel app must provide are the ability to increase revenue with ancillary offers; real-time marketing through targeted promotions sent through the app; and the capture of data to build guest loyalty through a tailored experience. Apps like INTELITY can do much more than provide these foundational benefits.

Great hotel apps centralize a guest’s digital experience through streamlined communication and messaging. An app should integrate with your guest messaging service and PMS to provide mobile check-in and facilitate other guest requests. The ability to skip the front desk reduces wait times and lobby traffic by 20%, which makes guests happier and frees up staff. Through INTELITY, guests enjoy easy and convenient access to staff via mobile messaging, and staff are more readily available to assist via the back-end dashboard.

Guest mobile apps reduce barriers between guests and the right on-site teams to resolve any issues as they arise and ensure requests get answered quickly. INTELITY’s guest messaging connects guests directly with operations teams through SMS, as well as in-app messaging services, like Facebook Messenger. All messages get routed through the INTELITY platform to make sure there are no missed connections. Whether it’s a request for late checkout, room service, or for extra towels, an app should be able to route these communications to the right team within your property.

And, most compellingly, the right hotel app can unlock new ways to increase guest spend. Send relevant offers through the app to capitalize on guest preferences. A great example is the James Hotels app, James Pocket Assistant. The app helps guests discover and access amenities and special offers on-site. Menus and other content are updated quickly depending on what’s happening at the hotel and guest preferences.

The changing market of hotel apps

This year, the hotel app market saw three big changes: the growth of internet of things hospitality, more personalization, and the introduction of artificial intelligence in the app experience.
IoT has taken the tech world by storm, and hotel apps are not exempt, Mobile apps now allow guests to customize their in-room experience. Lucy, the smartphone app of Virgin Hotels, has multiple features that allow guests to interact with the room. Lucy gives guests the power to adjust the room temperature, stream personal content to their room’s TV, and turn their smartphone into a remote.

Personalization options continue with the ability to map data across multiple guest touchpoints. Hotel apps can utilize smart learning mechanisms to personalize guests’ needs throughout their stay.

It’s important that any hotel app platform you decide to implement has an easy to use content management system so that you can make regular updates without contacting your vendor.  INTELITY’s content management solution, for example, enables your team to update availability across food and beverage operations on-the-fly. Management can sync changes immediately across all channels: web app, in-room tablet, and mobile app, as well as send through discounts and promos in real-time.

And, lastly, artificial intelligence will be able to dissect and analyze guest interactions, behaviors, context and language to intelligently respond and provide a more personalized method of communication. Voice activation has become more common in consumer’s homes, and hotel rooms are likely to follow suit. Voice technology offers access to instant information about your hotel and the surrounding area, as well as answers to common questions that create a backlog at the front desk.

Next year, we predict more apps to enter the market, making it vital that hotel owners consider how their app will add unique value to the guest experience. The market will consolidate, as we’ve already seen with major players like Aimbridge and Interstate merging. And, the use of mobile keys will continue to drive app adoption – Hilton guests downloaded 7.6 million mobile keys through the app in 2018.

What should hoteliers look for in an app vendor?

An app needs to provide a holistic experience at the guest’s fingertips. Here are some of the key features your app must include:

  • Mobile check-in: offer a frictionless way to skip the front desk while driving more revenue.
  • Mobile key: keyless entry leads to an average increase of 7% in guest satisfaction scores.
  • Guest messaging: SMS, Facebook Messenger, or and in-app messages to connect guests directly with your staff
  • Room service ordering: automate service request delivery, track order status, track request fulfillment time, and generate data
  • Loyalty program integrations: encourage increased engagement within your app between stays
  • Local services and content: recommend local services and POIs to market your location and help guests maximize their stay
  • Requests and ticket management: guests can make bookings with the concierge, arrange transportation or request more towels right from your hotel app
  • Room automation: control the lights, TV, AC and drapes right from your phone

Broadly, your app must integrate with your PMS, IoT provider, and service optimization software. Your property management system should be equipped relay guest info to and from the app easily and allow for guests to check-in from their phone. Integrate the app capabilities with in-room technology to control features (lights, thermostat, etc.). And make sure you control traffic with a service optimization provider that can communicate guest requests efficiently and seamlessly to your staff.

Questions to ask hotel app providers

There are more app vendors entering the market each day. Learn more about what each provider offers and make sure they can answer these three questions:

  1. Do you build that can integrate with my hotel brand app? Hotel brands need access to a complete SDK to make app functionality live within their branded app.
  2. Does your app include mobile key? Mobile key is one of the most in-demand features of a hotel app. Make sure the app integrates with many industry-wide lock vendors and hardware partners to provide a seamless experience.
  3. Does your app integrate with my existing loyalty program? Integrate your loyalty program to drive higher ROI by encouraging loyalty members to download the application. Serve more targeted offerings to increase revenue uptake and remove friction between guests and their desired on-property services.

Find out what other hoteliers are saying about mobile apps and learn more about pricing in Hotel Tech Report’s 2020 Hotel App Buyers Guide.

The Future of Hospitality: Giving Guests Control Over Their Stay

How the tech-forward brand, YOTEL, is crafting a first-class guest experience

Lodging Leaders recently published a podcast showcasing the innovative YOTEL brand, its ambitious plans to grow and scale, and its tech-forward approach to guest service. The podcast features YOTEL CEO Hubert Viriot and INTELITY Chief Technology Officer Christoper Grey, who weighed in on INTELITY’s partnership with the brand and how YOTEL is leading the future of tech in the hospitality sector. Here’s a quick recap…

In April, INTELITY and YOTEL announced that they’d partnered to develop and launch a custom brand app for YOTEL’s expansive portfolio of properties. This next-generation app, scheduled to launch early 2020, is designed to give guests complete control over their experience with the brand- before, during, and after their stay. “We want customers to download the app, retrieve their reservation, decide when they want to check-in and check-out, download their [mobile] keys, control in-room amenities…control their entire stay through their own smartphone,” said YOTEL CEO Hubert Viriot.

“YOTEL is one of my favorite customers as a technologist because they’re extremely tech-forward,” said Christopher Grey INTELITY CTO. “That [tech-forward thinking] gives us a lot of latitudes as we work together as partners for ways that we can use technology to better the guest experience.”

Technology is at the center of YOTEL. The hotel brand was one of the first to introduce free broadband internet across its properties and an early adopter of kiosk check-in. Viriot said he has always “considered tech a key element of [the brand’s] DNA and a brand differentiator compared to traditional hotels.”

“That’s one of the reasons YOTEL selected INTELITY and brought us into this engagement,” said Grey. “They know how tech-forward they are and they know they have to meet the needs of their guests… we’re helping them get to their next milestone.” YOTEL continues to look to tech to facilitate and elevate the guest experience as it prepares to launch its new brand app.

The new mobile app will feature mobile check-in and mobile key functionalities, provide guests with a direct digital connection to hotel staff, allow guests to place dining orders and control room environment, and give guests access to information about the hotel and surrounding area.

By automating aspects of the check-in process and providing immediately accessible information about the hotel, local area, and, in some cases, the airport, the mobile app streamlines operations so that staff can spend less time focused on tedious tasks and more time elevating guest service. As Lodging Leaders’ founder and host, Jonathan Albano pointed out, “The ultimate goal [of the app] is to give guests control of their stay and give YOTEL employees the opportunity to focus on guest service. The interaction between YOTEL crew members and the customers should be less transactional and more social.”

As the brand prepares to launch the app, they’re focused on training their staff to use and leverage the new tech to enhance the guest experience and improve satisfaction. Grey emphasizes the importance of staff understanding and adopting the tech, “It’s not good enough just to have the technology if the staff doesn’t know how to use it or if they use it poorly…If you don’t have staff adoption and your guests are trying to use it, then that creates a nightmare for everybody.”

How YOTEL is Driving the Future of Hospitality with Mobile App

An example that Grey called out is the free form chat function, which will exist in YOTEL’s new brand app. “Modern guests don’t want to fill out a specific request. They just want to open a chat window and say ‘I need more towels’…and that message has to go somewhere…somebody has to see the message, they have to be able to respond to it, track it, and be alerted if it hasn’t been addressed in a certain amount of time. Those are all the staff concerns from the other side of the equation that the INTELITY platform does a great job in handling.”

By properly training staff to optimize their tech, streamlining processes through automation, and placing the guests in complete control of their stay, YOTEL is pushing hospitality into the future.

To stay up to date with the latest industry news and for more information on INTELITY, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter. To listen to the full podcast, please visit the Lodging Leaders website.

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.

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 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.

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