Mobile Technology: Digitalizing Customer Service
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills sophisticates the hotel experience through cutting-edge mobile technology.
By Nur Hassan Director of Information Technology, Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills | January 20, 2013
Technology is intertwined into every fiber of life. In the last decade alone, we have seen incredible advances within the digital world. From reinventing consumer engagement to changing the way we communicate, these advancements have gifted the world with an increase in efficiency, convenience and thrill. More recently, technology has left its mark on the hotel industry, creating a race to the top for hotels all over the globe. Four Seasons Los Angeles' ongoing dedication to excellence has led to the creation and implementation of several innovative and groundbreaking technologies, allowing this hotel to maintain its position as a leader in hotel technology.
Four Seasons decided to adopt these technologies as the necessary route to a continued commitment to innovation and excellence. After spending most of our time in guestrooms and suites, attending to technological issues during the recent $38 million dollar renovation, we felt an immediate inspiration to transform the guest experience through improved technology. Dissatisfied by the separateness of each piece of technology in the room, we sought a way to harmonize every piece of technology so that each was an extension of the other. This harmony would provide a more-user friendly way for guests to make full use of the amenities and other services that the hotel has to offer. Additionally, we find providing complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel is an imperative in guest satisfaction. It has been over a year since the iPad2 has been introduced to the hotel with ICE technology from Intelity, and it has sparked revenue, boosted marketing, and most importantly – brought guests the satisfaction and engagement needed to make this a top-ranking hotel.
In today's competitive market, the success of a hotel is captured by the innovative and unimaginable ways to meet the growing need of its guests. The hotel experience is defined by its level of commitment to providing guests with an ongoing element of surprise in order to offer the highest level of convenience, comfort, and care. Guests are now looking for fun and innovative ways to connect with the hotel, which demands attention to cutting-edge technology and a dedication to finding ways to sophisticate current practices. Especially in the luxury market, hotels are now transforming the notion of quality service by extending itself to guests before they step through the doors.
We believe that guests' experience begins before they arrive on the property. Our smartphone application allows guests the ability to organize their stay before arrival from the convenience and ease of their smartphone. Guests can book a spa treatment, schedule a dinner at the award-winning restaurant Culina, Modern Italian, make specific housekeeping requests, and can even request certain items to be placed in the room prior to arrival. This creates the ultimate first impression by giving guests control over their room so that when they arrive, everything is up to their expectations if not beyond them.
The smartphone application also allows hotel service to be accessible at any time and at any place. Whether one is stuck in traffic or held up at a late night conference, one no longer is subjected to the agony of making phone calls for room-service requests that require the standard fifteen-minute wait. Guests can pre-order hotel amenities, granting them the ability to make arrangements at any given moment without having to wait till they arrive back on property. Guests have the ability to request a meal exactly to their liking that will be waiting for them in their room upon arrival. One can also put in a request to house-keeping for room cleaning or to have their sheets turned over. One can also order items such as baby wipes, a dehumidifier, and a hypoallergenic pillow all at once and at no cost, without having to go through the hassle of making numerous phone calls to a variety of departments. The mobile apple now allows the ability to check out of the hotel on one's mobile device and have a guest folio emailed to them immediately. This new mobile application redefines convenience, making every part of one's stay an effortless experience.
The mobile application is an extension of the first technological success of Four Seasons, the inclusion of the iPad2 in each guestroom and suite. The iPad2 serves as an electronic concierge, allowing guests a tool of convenience and ease that is both aesthetically pleasing and incredibly engaging. From making reservations to one of Los Angeles' trendiest restaurants to flipping through the digital pages out of any of the thirty-five local and international newspapers, there are few limitations to this application. In fact, guests can even schedule a wake-up call, check-in for a flight, or request laundry services with the tap of their fingers.
The Hotel Business Review articles are free to read on a weekly basis, but you must purchase a subscription to access
our library archives. We have more than 5000 best practice articles on hotel management and operations, so our
knowledge bank is an excellent investment! Subscribe today and access the articles in our archives.