Create a Hospitality Technology Experience Center

Put Your Money Where Your Mockups Are

By Kacey Butcher Vice President, Operations, Moncierge | January 22, 2017

Can you imagine your bank choosing not to provide a way to check account status and transactions outside of your monthly paper statement? Can you further imagine a popular franchise restaurant only having paper take-out menus? You would be forced to contemplate what other aspects internally within the organization would make doing business with them complicated and archaic. There you find your own personal underlying immediate expectation of baseline service and operational procedures, where a decision is often made instantly to move onto the next provider.

A decision to choose another provider that seemingly knows how to service customers with the utmost up-to-date standards. Never is this truer than in the vertical of hospitality, where customers are paying a hotel - at a minimum - for comfort and satisfaction they have themselves at home. Whether it is hospitality, banking, healthcare or retail, there is a very solid expectation of the operational technology enhancements and features to be used by you and available for customers. This is even more decidedly so when a person chooses to willingly spend hundreds of dollars per night with your brand. Maintaining a competitive advantage for any vertical enterprise - in a day-by-day evolution of faster-smaller- lighter-personalized technology means that brands must routinely ask themselves: Do the customers consistently engage with personal technology that far surpasses our own? Are other industries already meeting these customer expectations by implementing technology enhancements made for the ancillary tasks of business exchange?

Hospitality - You Know This, but Humor me.

Mobile communication and the technology introduced to complement its features have evolved cataclysmically throughout the past 10 years with advancements in various areas of development. Functionality that enhances the breadth of mobile and cloud-based solutions - such as geo-fencing, recognition software, digital touch and entry, beacon technology and wearables - has altered expectations of what is deemed to be an exceptional customer offering.

An example of this scenario: a guest could be searching for their hotel's mobile app or web listing of the concierge local recommendations, attempting to bypass the inconvenience of physically finding the concierge for advice. Accessing local recommendations, ordering in-room dining, booking a meeting room or airport transfer, maybe even a turndown service or extra toiletries - these are all example cases where digital communication is the preferred go-to method of interaction between the guest and their hotel. The solution envisioned for this concept of connecting hotel guests directly to staff members is now deployed throughout the world. Monscierge has recently won a patent for its technology, which allows these requests to be routed directly to respective hotel departments and manages the entire workflow for staff.

Based on years of research we've conducted with our partners Cornell, Intel and most recently Apple, there's now a platform for hotel staff members, which allows communication among individual members and from guests to staff. This platform ensures guests receive communications in a manner that drastically enhances the interactions throughout their stay, as well as provides item tracking for hospitality teams, ensuring KPI's are being met.

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.