The hospitality industry has always embraced technology, and the modern guest expects no less. Guests want simpler ways to interact with services and want to be informed and communicated within better ways and in any language. 

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Hotel room service has always been a tough sell. It’s expensive both to order and to operate, looks extravagant on a business traveler’s expense report, and for most people, goes against the very point of travel: to get out and explore new sights and cuisines. Room service revenue industrywide is down more than 25 percent since before the recession, according to CBRE, a commercial real estate firm.

Although 80 percent of guests expect hotels to have an on-site restaurant, only 72 percent will use it, and only for breakfast. And even though many hotels offer a room service menu (many 24 hours a day), 81 percent of hotel guests say they would never use it. In the future, room service deliveries from external companies are predicted to rise by 83 percent.

Hotels, then, have a problem. They either need to fight back, banning food deliveries and making room service more appealing and affordable, or embrace the lifestyle shift and encourage and collaborate.

Several hotels already have a mobile application to streamline their services, to be able to check-in and check-out through the telephone, request room service, communicate with the hotel staff, as well as find local information and order food. 

An interesting fact is, on average, a hotel spends 2 dlls per day on printed paper per day: menu, hotel information etc.  Switch to a digital format has the facility to update information directly, reduces printing costs, time and improves its service.

The best way to fight back to the food delivery industry is with the right omnichannel strategy within the hotel. Each channel available at the hotel leads and facilitates the guest to improve their service and increase preference, revenue, and loyalty.

Kiosks and display screens showing the special of the day will surely encourage guests to reserve a table at the hotel’s restaurant or ask to something at room service. 

All available consumer channels from Mobile, digital signages and kiosks around the hotel have the facility to communicate and update at the moment, giving the guest the ease of ordering, booking and enjoying in the comfort of the hotel without having to resort to a food delivery app.

As well, well organization need to look at how digital food ordering can decrease costs, and increase point of sale purchase.   Providing guests with pictures and upsell opportunities as well as prescheduling ordering.    

Are you planning to grow your Omnichannel ordering capabilities? Send us an email and we’ll be more than happy to share with you what we have done and how we can help you accomplish your guest experience goals. [email protected].  For special revenue calculator simple send us an email we will help you show management the potential of digital ordering.

Over the last several years, many brands, especially those in the travel space, have realized the importance of UGC being integrated into their web platforms. Destinations, hotels, airlines, cruises and many more have sought to take advantage of the one intangible, yet highly powerful advantage that UGC provides – inspiration. The reason why 56% of travelers say UGC is the content that they want the most is because they want to feel inspired by what peers and people who share the same interest are doing and experiencing. 

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For airline and hotel brands, especially, UGC is effectively used to drive more direct bookings, engaging consumers with inspirational content early in the buying process to help keep them on the website and avoid the risk of sales going to third parties. UGC is also used heavily in advertising, replacing standard and noticeable stock imagery with new and unique visuals. This significantly drives up conversion rates in almost all cases. Destinations use UGC galleries on their websites to provide authenticity and to help call out the uniqueness and advantages over competing markets. 

However, the Omnichannel is changing this as mobile increases and people are engaged with interactive and digital signage options, marketers need to be aware that the connection points they use on web can drive a whole different level of purchasing and experience for travelers and guests.  Today’s consumers want to engage and experience when they want and, on the device, they have with them. 52% of travelers say that their primary device for researching while on vacation is their mobile phone. By exposing UGC galleries, you help engage, and educate on the many great things other travelers have done or want to do while traveling.   

For hotels and resorts, exposing UGC galleries to guests while on-property can lead directly to more amenity spend. If your hotel has an app, or PWA (progressive web app), there is almost certainly always a section that lets the guest navigate through the hotel amenity information which includes real imagery, usually, an image pulled from the hotel’s website. To provide more inspiration and drive more revenue, hotels need to implement UGC within these sections to provide unique, fresh, and up to date. 

Digital Signage, Kiosk and Mobile, well placed helps increase engagement reduce perceptions of wait times, show rich imagery of travelers enjoying restaurants, hot spots and attractions or relaxing and rejuvenating at your spa. These images provide inspiration to guests, and a lot of times result in new guests engaging in the same behaviors as the peers who influenced them. 

For destinations, now that they’ve already succeeded in getting the visitor to their destination, their focus needs to shift to driving more business to their constituents and stakeholders. Chances are that most visitors will already have their accommodations booked, but numerous studies show that most visitors don’t start to make their plans and build their itineraries until arriving at the destination. This creates a perfect opportunity for destinations to leverage UGC in order to drive visitors to local restaurants and attractions. Digital signage within visitor centers and high traffic areas, whether it be a single display or a number of them.  Touchscreens and free-standing kiosks are always great devices to expose UGC on for a couple of reasons. The first and most obvious we’ve already covered, to influence and inspire other visitors to engage in the same behaviors that they are visually seeing on a screen. But second, this gives the destination a better chance of collecting data from visitors that they can use for marketing purposes. Visitors standing within a visitor center may be drawn over to a kiosk because of UGC being used as a “screen saver”. By influencing that visitor to interact, destinations have now significantly increased their chances of having them fill out a digital guest book with email/city/state/zip code information, answering a few survey questions, or building an itinerary for their 3-day trip. All of this data can be funneled directly back into the destination’s CRM, giving the marketing team valuable information that they can use for both retargeting and personalization to drive future visitors into the market. 

To summarize, UGC is a powerful tool for web, but sometimes overlooked is the potential to integrate UGC on direct in destination and on property engagements.   The power of inspiration and connection can shape perception, get them more involved in amenity and destination experiences that drive better reviews, increase travel spend and keeps them coming back year after year.  If you have or are looking for a way to build and share User Generated Content, reach out we integrate with many of the top tools and have UGC options built directly into the OmniPlatform. [email protected] or call 833-300-6664

After all, the world of marketing has changed dramatically in the past two decades. The evolution of customer experience has changed the whole paradigm. The impetus has shifted towards customer-centric approach and keeping the customer in focus. The advent of social media, self-service technologies, and various other digital advancements has changed the shopper’s behavior. Digital and analytics have emerged as key enablers for marketing professionals and organizations are trying to harness the benefits of these advancements. The role of the customer has evolved quite significantly as an enabler in the overall success of a product/brand. The managers now require new tools to measure and understand the performance of organization in totality.

Taco Bell – Transformation of Customer Experience

An inside look at Taco Bell’s digital transformation to deliver an enhanced customer experience
“Tech and digital is in everything we do,”
What Taco Bell does best is tacos, but it’s also been deploying interactive customer experiences as well especially during the past few years. “It didn’t happen overnight but it also didn’t happen that long ago. All those industries [airlines, taxis, hotels, retail] have been disrupted and have had to innovate to survive and meet the changing customer expectation,”
“You need to think digital, not think of it as an afterthought. It should be at forefront of everything you’re doing as a company.”

Destination Alberta Model –   The evolution of the Visitor Experience

The vision for this model in Alberta is to inform, inspire and influence visitors to maximize their travel experiences and to help grow the tourism economy in all regions of Alberta. The new visitor services model supports the principles of convenient, relevant and innovative multi-channel access for visitors; maximization of economic benefits; use of the right tools and resources; and collaboration amongst stakeholders. 

In particular, the model recognizes that technology and changes in consumer behavior have altered how people access information and make travel decisions. The model builds on the need for visitor service providers to be proactive in reaching out to engage with their visitors. 

KPMG Global Customer Experience Excellence report 

This study demonstrates that the leading companies are the ones that have already found the economic value of where expectations and experience align. They are the ones that are now working to connect their enterprise in a way that removes silos and eliminates friction in the customer journey. And they are enjoying success as a result. 

The very best brands for customer experience excellence are now starting to think of their customers as assets that should be protected, nurtured and invested in. They view their customers’ loyalty as a form of equity in the company. And they are thinking about how they might start to move their customers onto their balance sheets vs a simple transactional relationship that appears periodically on the income statement as a revenue item. 

Amazon Go–  Frictionless Engagement & Experience

Amazon Go disrupts, re-invents, elevates the customer experience; this article explains how amazon is re-inventing the retail market and taking customer experience to another level. 

“By launching their reimagined grocery store, Amazon is using their test-and-learn philosophy to gauge how open customers are to this concept and refine the service based on shopper feedback and preferences,” 

Amazon has invested a great amount of time and research to perfect the experience based on consumer behavior but exposing it to the general clientele over a consistent period of time is the only way to fully understand how customers will behave. Amazon will have to iterate accordingly as small behavioral nuances shake out in store and on the app,”

YotelAir –   Next Generation of Hotel Engagement

This Hotel Review shows how Yotel elevates their guest experience; inspired by first-class airline travel, Yotel opened its first properties in London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports in 2007. An instant success with transiting passengers, the concept centers around cabin-like guestrooms, taking the essential elements of luxury hotels and compressing them into smaller, smarter spaces. Four years later, the brand opened its first city-center property in New York: a 669-key hotel with guestrooms readapted to suit the city guest. “When we launched New York, the concept underwent a revolution,” says Hubert R. Viriot, CEO, Yotel. “We had a different target audience and had to adjust the product. The property still has the same DNA – technology-driven with smart layouts and retractable beds – but with increased space and consideration. We then used what we have learned since the launch in New York for our recent openings.” 

In conclusion:

The marketing focus has shifted towards the customer-centric approach, analytics has become a crucial part of every marketer’s arsenal and has offered a  more nuanced understanding of the activities/processes. The evolution of omnichannel has deeply jolted the status quo and made marketers to rethink their strategies.  We would love to have deeper discussions on your visions and direction of your organization, how we can help you drive revenue, experience, and engagement. Call us today to learn about how you can increase your customer and guest experience and engagement. [email protected]

As Omnichannel and media have taken off, so have the companies that first embraced this idea of creating content and becoming kings of their social and marketing channels. As a company, we connect directly with the concept of how these brands push content across new channels while In-Destination and On-Property. However, we also become very aware of the tools that Marriott and others have had to build or invest in order to get them to this level. Most brands don’t have the ability to scale and connect like Marriott so how do you compete? How can you connect these systems and channels? How do you build a brand that will last and transition to the next generation of traveler?

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Marriott such a successful brand also in the media industry is the three Cs. “Scaling content, then building a community around that content, and driving commerce,” Beebe said. He believes that this combination is the key to reaching millennials who are increasingly seeking more intimate connections and experiences when they travel. “We have a very intimate relationship with our customers. They sleep with us, after all. It’s sort of a joke, but it’s true,” he said.

Here are a few ideas and options you may want to consider and remember: We are not the companies that create great content, it has been our experience that many hotels and brands actually do very well getting content put together. We agree on a good yearly strategy across each social and media channel, as this is core as with any brand strategy. What we know is that there are ways to take your existing investments to drive engagement and revenue that can connect amenities and marketing channels to help establish the brand.

What we are saying is use what you have and then expand on it, not that rebranding or new letter head sometimes isn’t a good idea but many times the next generation of traveler just wants to know you get them, coupled with consistency on your channels you can drive your brand to the top of the list.  After all its about experience now, and the company that can drive this consistent way of experience will win. If you would like to see some of our studies on maturity models and technology adoption to help paint the picture for management, please reach out.

So let’s start with what guests want and ensure you have the technology to support it, while your working on your media marketing channels it has to be a dual effort.

  1. Use what you have, and set a strategy with real content.Utilizing Social Media UGC products is a great start. Once a week pushing new images and connecting to the destination to drive experience
  2. Mobile, Touch and Digital Signage.  You may have some of these channels but its time to give them an upgrade and start connecting brand and solutions through device your guest use and on-property
  3. Connect your systems and turn on the data, by implementing solutions like Check In/Checkout, Mobile Key, Mobile Food Ordering, Reservations and Ticketing you will open your guest channels
  4. Connect to your destination.  Don’t worry about losing revenue when guests go off property if you follow the items above and ensure a consistent product and easy touchpoints they will align the great experiences, hiking, shopping etc. directly with your hotel
  5. Integrate the staff, teach and engage the staff to use new tools for communication and directing younger travelers to technology options they feel most comfortable allowing them to use the device and option of their choice

In short, these like all of the changes in hospitality are the next horizon of guest experience but don’t take our word for it look at every major brand in the world, especially Hilton, Marriott, and IHG. They are already years ahead but account for their size and you have maybe another 2 years before the adoption of the technology is connected to the brand and you start to lose bookings. It’s a simple history lesson starting with Wi-Fi and many lessons learned in technology across any industry the shift is happening, are you prepared for it?

Douglas Ralston Profile 

Douglas Ralston

Technology Company and Hotel Owner


Most hotels and resorts rely heavily on delivering excellent customer service to build their reputation and AI technology can assist with this in a wide variety of different ways. For example, artificial intelligence can be used to improve personalization, tailor recommendations and guarantee fast response times, even in the absence of staff.

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Here are three useful tools in the hospitality and traveling market:

  1. Chatbots and Online Customer Service

For hotels and other businesses in the tourism industry, one of the most exciting uses for artificial intelligence is for providing assistance to customers online. In particular, there has already been widespread adoption for the purposes of powering chatbots on social media platforms, as well as instant messaging apps.

Chatbots are not only used by more than 67% of consumers worldwide, but people actually prefer them for many different reasons. 

The best part? 
Chatbots for customer service are estimated to save businesses nearly $11bn in support costs by 2025.
Chatbots provide fast and convenient customer support around the clock
Chatbots offer real-time, one-to-one conversations that engage customers
In of world of uncertainty, relationships are everything.
Ready to be shocked? Customers expect the same from brands as they do from friends, a study finds. Part of that is warm one-to-one conversations that make them feel valued and heard.

  • Get 88% open rates and higher
  • Increase response rates by being available 24/7
  • Offer a warm and welcoming customer experience versus grumpy humans

Chatbots help track customer satisfaction, so you can make more strategic decisions, 41% of companies struggle to compile and use customer satisfaction data.
One benefit of chatbots is that they can instantly handle large volumes of queries without needing to hire a customer support agent. 

  1. Robot Concierge: Face-to-Face Customer Service 

While the use of artificial intelligence for powering online customer service is now relatively commonplace, one of the emerging trends is for the technology to be used for face-to-face customer service interactions too. Crucially, this has the ability to cut queues at information or reception desks, and improve overall efficiency.

Almost a third (29%) of global travelers say they are comfortable letting a computer plan an upcoming trip based on data from their previous travel history, and a half (50%) don’t have a preference for a real person or computer, as long as their questions are answered. AI chat platforms or chatbots are becoming increasingly advanced – and the more they learn, the more they can do. These systems are capable of gathering information on what business travelers like and dislike, making tailored recommendations. 

Travel customers usually require lots of information before they book a hotel room. This may, for instance, require them to read descriptions, view images, look at videos, read customer reviews or seek opinions on social media. Through intelligent use of virtual reality, however, this process can be shortened significantly.

3.- In-Stay Experience

Once you reach your destination, AI can also help make it more enjoyable. Several hotels, both independent and chains, have started experimenting with in-house AI assistants to tend to their guests’ needs. Remember, a good experience will definitely helps to build a good reputation.
Voice- or text-enabled assistants can set preferred temperatures in rooms before arrival, turn the TV on and off, order room service, adjust the lights, and more. 

  • Maximize time. Travel itineraries ensure that travelers and guests can manage their time. A travel itinerary must include travel time to certain numerous attractions with leeway for unforeseen circumstances like weather conditions and traffic. 
  • Manage expenditures. With a travel itinerary, your guest can estimate the cost of the travel beforehand. 
  • Easier and faster travel from one point to another. Although the internet makes it look easy to go from one place to another, the reality is different. An itinerary planner can help to build a great experience without setbacks.
  • Trip essentials are not forgotten. A travel itinerary includes the necessary essentials they will need when traveling. itinerary must includes what to bring, clothes to wear, medicines that must be on hand, and emergency numbers such as hospitals, embassy, and police stations.

Technology is evolving the hospitality and travel industry, creating complete experiences with tools that facilitate communication, transportation, planning and most importantly for travelers; Allowing them to control and connect in whatever way they desire.   Call us today to learn about how you can easily implement AI solutions to help increase customer experience and engagement. [email protected]