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10 Best Service Optimization

Guest & Staff Messaging for Hotels
94
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

HelloShift is modern messaging for hotels. Enable guests to text your hotel, empower staff to work smarter with staff collaboration, and answer... read more

  • Based in
    San Francisco (United States)
  • Founded in
  • 3 employees on Linkedin
Enable your staff to work together and get full visibility into your hotel operations
92
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

With ALICE Staff, Improve efficiency by dispatching requests on the go, seamlessly, to the right department Consistently improve service... read more

  • Based in
    New York (United States)
  • Founded in
  • 100 employees on Linkedin
Smarter Team, Happier Guests
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
91
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Quore develops innovative software solutions that hotels use to run their day-to-day operations more efficiently. Our product improves... read more

  • Based in
    Franklin (United States)
  • Founded in
  • 72 employees on Linkedin
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Nuvola, a company built by hoteliers for hoteliers, is the most comprehensive hotel optimization...
87
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Nuvola, a company built by hoteliers for hoteliers, is the most comprehensive hotel optimization and guest engagement software company in the... read more

  • Based in
    Miami, Florida
  • Founded in
  • 30 employees on Linkedin
HotSOS is a service optimization enterprise solution. As part of the Amadeus Service Optimizatio...
76
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

HotSOS is a cloud-based solution which optimizes daily operations. HotSOS modules seamlessly integrate with your current systems, providing your... read more

  • Based in
    Madrid (Spain)
  • Founded in
  • 14190 employees on Linkedin
Guest Experience & CRM software for hotels including guest response, guest recognition, loyalty a...
74
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Guestware’s core functionality streamlines hotel operations and communication for all departments to improve service and efficiency. Note... read more

  • Based in
    Seattle
  • Founded in
  • 22 employees on Linkedin
One app to unify and steamline your team's communication and operational workflow.
Regional
This vendor has active customers in fewer than 3 countries, check the map on their profile to make sure they service your region.
69
HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn more

COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Beekeeper is an award-winning mobile communication platform for non-desk employees. We believe that every employee deserves to be happy at work... read more

  • Based in
    Zurich, Schweiz
  • Founded in
  • 160 employees on Linkedin

Recent Service Delivery & Optimization Articles

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INTELITY to Debut Enhanced Staff Features and Functionalities at HITEC Minneapolis

by
Autumn Barker

The company unifies legacy back-end systems to offer expanded service optimization and management tools to customers INTELITY™, the provider of the broadest hospitality technology platform, announced today that it is unifying its back-office systems to reveal a more comprehensive solution. The expansion of INTELITY Staff will also feature a new and improved user interface designed to meet cross-departmental needs and seamlessly connect operations teams to guests and devices across properties and brands. The company will demonstrate its enhanced INTELITY Staff at HITEC Minneapolis. New additions to INTELITY Staff include an enhanced ticketing system, a more robust content management solution (CMS), in-depth guest and operations analytics, and Guest360™, which provides a 360-degree view of guest preferences, designed to help hotel staff across all departments make the right decisions at the right time while further personalizing the guest experience. The unified dashboard, which will be available on mobile and desktop, will provide staff with access to comprehensive business intelligence and the ability to streamline daily workflows, seamlessly track, manage, and organize preventative maintenance and service recovery, and make real-time content updates. “One of the biggest challenges today’s hoteliers face is being able to connect with their guests in a personalized manner through digital platforms,” said David Adelson INTELITY President & COO. “In hospitality, guests naturally expect these types of highly personal experiences and interactions. INTELITY offers hoteliers the ability to further bridge the gap between themselves and their guests by providing them with insights on guests’ preferences and expectations.” In addition to the newly expanded offerings, INTELITY Staff also offers operations teams the ability to manage all on-property devices, communicate with guests through various channels like chat and push messaging, and much more. INTELITY’s platform also features the most robust suite of guest-facing solutions available on the market and is integrated with over 120 operational systems including PMS, POS, room controls and loyalty programs through INTELITY Connect.   “We’ve taken the best from the ICE and GEMS© legacy systems and unified them to make a solution that is truly exceptional,” said Adelson. “INTELITY is known for providing the ‘best in class’ guest experience solutions, and our staff-facing solutions are just as comprehensive. We look forward to introducing the industry to our expanded offerings and further establishing ourselves as the provider of the most robust hospitality technology platform on the market.” INTELITY will be attending HITEC Minneapolis. To schedule a time to experience the INTELITY platform first hand, please email demos@intelity.com or visit the INTELITY website. About INTELITY INTELITY is the global provider of the most advanced hospitality technology platform for the hotel, casino, cruise, and luxury residential markets. INTELITY offers its customers comprehensive end-to-end solutions to manage guest experience and staff operations, in a single platform. In 2018, INTELITY merged with KEYPR yielding a combined 15 years of hospitality experience, rapid growth, and the most complete hospitality technology platform on the market. For more information, please visit www.intelity.com  

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4 hotel jobs that benefit most from the Quore software platform

by
Hotel Tech Report

At its worst, hotel operations technology exacerbates divisions between departments, which continue functioning as isolated fiefdoms. At its best, an operations platform pulls everyone together by promoting collaboration and clear communication in hotel operations. One such solution is Quore, a workhorse that harmonizes hotel operations for 3,600 hotels in 22 languages and 29 countries. Its cloud-based platform enables more efficient communications and operations management across housekeeping, engineering, and guest relations. For some hotels, the integrated approach to handling guest requests on the platform led to a 50% improvement in problem-handling score. Effective, reliable communications also improves the staff experience -- something that matters more in a tightly competitive labor market. Staff want the right tools that help them do their jobs well -- and many will leave in frustration without them. The Bureau of Labor Statistics pegs the 2018 hospitality turnover rate at 74.9%, so hotels that use technology to make work better will out-perform their peers in both retention and referrals from current staff. With an eye towards empowering employees, here are four team members that will be thankful for the Quore hotel operations platform.   Your maintenance tech will prioritize projects better Guests hate discovering a maintenance issue upon arrival. It's an unwelcome challenge, presented immediately. It also makes even the most forgiving guest wonder why the hotel missed such an obvious thing, such as a burnt-out light bulb, a clogged toilet, or a broken doorknob. Quore’s functionality makes it easier for maintenance to overcome these challenges and work more efficiently in three key areas: Real-time problem management. When something goes wrong in the guestroom, it’s nearly always urgent. Guests don’t want to sit around and wait for an engineer, and, some things (such as a flooding drain or a sweltering room) are emergencies. Quore provides real-time problem handling that can quickly be assigned to the right team member -- and visible on that team member’s mobile device. Zdravko Bengez, a maintenance technician at the Hilton Garden Inn and downtown Nashville puts it like this: “With Quore, I know in seconds what needs to be done.” All relevant details appear on his mobile device, without having to chase down more information. Resource and project prioritization. Prioritizing resources is a daily tug-of-war, especially for larger properties. To effectively prioritize resources (including urgent problems like the ones mentioned above), Quore gives maintenance a quick overview, showing the up-to-date task list, as well as whether it was made by supervisor, the front desk, or a guest. This allows technicians to make on-the-fly decisions about where to go next, As well as stay in-the-loop with colleagues across the hotel. Preventative maintenance. PMs shouldn't be guess work. Quore supports hotel maintenance techs and engineers with preventative maintenance checklists that are automatically surfaced at the right time. As these lists evolve, changes are applied universally to keep everything consistent. Quore has robust enginnering features to support your maintenance staff: Prevenative maintenance, Pool chemical readings, Work orders, Boiler readings, Asset tracking, Meter readings, Custom inspections   Your housekeeping manager will manage shifts more efficiently Housekeeping has many responsibilities that require regular communication and precise time management. Before a guest checks in, housekeeping must ensure that a room is available -- and up to brand standards. During a guest’s stay, housekeeping must service the room and fulfill guest requests for specific items. After check out, housekeeping must flip the room efficiently (and to brand standards) so that it's available for the front desk to assign. “The way in which a room is cleaned, tidied and presented to its guests is in direct relation to the level of service the hotel prides themselves on. Housekeeping provides guests with a clear indication of how they are valued.” -Paul Duverge, General Manager, Menlyn Boutique Hotel Quore’s platform makes this daily cycle easier on the housekeeping manager by supporting: Preparation. Each housekeeping shift is a puzzle. In advance of a shift, it's all about preparation and planning. Quore helps housekeeping managers to set each days priorities, as each stayover and checkout is clearly defined in the system. It simplifies the process of assigning rooms to housekeepers before they clock in. Prioritization. Things change throughout today. Real-time updates on things like stayovers becoming checkouts helps the housekeeping manager match staff resources with guest demand. Accountability. There's also very important advantage of a paper trail. As Liz, the assistant housekeeper manager at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Nashville learned after starting at a hotel with Quore, there's less accountability without a written record: “[With walkie-talkies] it's easy to not write something down. With Quore, it's like having a paper trail, so there's more documentation. Also, I can start and complete an activity all through Quore which is helpful for tracking.” Quore has robust houskeeping features to support your staff: Housekeeping assignments, Guestroom inspections, Deep cleanings, Lost & found, Room notices, Custom inspections, Digital breakouts, Room status tracking, Work orders, Brand standards compliance   Your front desk manager will deliver better service It takes a certain amount of finesse to work the front desk. The ideal team member here is pleasant under pressure, with a knack for creative problem solving. Yet, even the most creative employee will be hobbled by poor information. The front desk is, in many ways, the central command post for a hotel’s operations. As the front line of guest communications, one of the toughest challenges encountered by most front desk agents is the unevenness of information. Quore’s smooths out these imbalances by adequately equipping the front desk to solve guest problems quickly with its: Dashboard. The Quore platform provides a single unified dashboard to collaborate quickly and across departments. This synchronization allows the front desk to focus on the rapid resolution of guest issues and avoid poor service situations, such as assigning an unclean or out-of-service room. Instead of less reliable means of communication, such as walkie-talkies or face-to-face, the front desk can communicate guest requests efficiently, says Finesse James, a front desk agent at Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Nashville: “It's a great method because it can keep us from having to call them when things are busy up here, and we are multitasking. It's easier to click and type in that we need them to do something. We can put all the specifics in the comments so they don't need to call and clarify.” Ease-of-use. The front desk is usually an untipped entry-level role, which means higher turnover. Quore’s consumer-friendly interface is familiar to anyone who’s used popular messaging and social media apps. It's intuitive, which reduces training time. The ease-of-use also keeps staff engaged and less frustrated, as they feel that the technology is working for, rather than against, them. For millennial's used to well-crafted interfaces, this is actually an important part of their expectations for the workplace. Digital logbook. No more deciphering chicken scratch or calling a colleague from a previous shift about “complaint from 402.” Standard log sheets keep staff informed from shift-to-shift. The digital log book also connects with related items, such as guest complaints or requests, so staff can easily find updates on notices mentioned in the digital log book. Quore has robust front desk features to support your front office team: Local attraction directory, Guestroom notices, Guest request management, Guest complaint management, Satisfaction callbacks, Key sign-in, sign-out and audit, Log book, Cash count log, Guest SMS, Security walks, Wake-up calls, Guest shipments   Your general manager will achieve budget more often The best general managers know the power of consistent, clear communications. And many have learned this first-hand, rising up the ranks from entry-level desk clerk. According to a 2016 AH&LA study, 45% of respondents said that at least half of the general managers began in actionable positions. Quore allows these veterans to focus on providing fluid and flexible workforce communications that empowers rather than discourages. The Quore platform becomes a GM’s stalwart ally in running a consistent hotel operation by supplying: Centralized, digital log book. A GM can’t be everywhere at once. Quore’s position at the center of a hotel’s operation relives some of that pressure.  As Gerald Loughran, the GM of Hilton Franklin/Cool Springs emphasizes, Quore’s digital log book is his hotel’s bible: “We’re religious about putting everything into Quore. If it’s not in Quore, it didn’t happen.” By pulling staff together into one shared operational brain, it’s much easier to maintain brand standards and close communication gaps.   Go-anywhere access. A GM also has to go home at some point! Quore enables managers to keep track of staff to-do’s, tasks and track overall productivity across their hotel from any device. The go-anywhere access means that GMs aren’t out of the loop when off shift, at a conference, or on vacation. Actionable reports based on historical data.  Historic data is easily accessible so that GMs can achieve growth and measurable improvement. This gives GMs the confidence that work is being done as it should be -- or quickly services areas that need work. When a GM spends less time on inspection or micro-management, it frees up time to focus on other metrics that matter -- such as guest satisfaction, revenue, and profitability. Quore has robust features to support your general managers:, Analytics & reporting, Asset tracking, CapEx management, Attendance tracking, Custom inspections, Budgeting tool, Checkbook visualization, Daily property walks

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This is why hotel brands shouldn't build tech in house

by
Hotel Tech Report

When enterprise companies spend loads of money on technology they usually think about building tech in house so they can have more control over development and ultimately save money.  Sometimes this equation favors building tech in house and other times it does not. Several high profile failures in the hotel industry include a collaboration amongst all major hotel groups to create an online booking platform called Room Key which was eventually shuttered.  We’ll discuss this initiatives and more in detail below. Most sophisticated enterprise companies (think Nike and McDonalds) understand that they are not tech companies so they effectively outsource their tech R&D spend to 3rd parties that are focused on innovation.  Could McDonalds build software to help franchisees manage their listings? Yes, but they partner with Yext.  Nike could definitely build prototyping software in house for its digital products, but it chooses to partner with InVision.  Firms like Nike and McDonalds have become innovators by being experts at identifying trends and partnering with top tech companies to meet their core business goals. So the question is, if McDonalds and Nike outsource their respective technology needs - should hospitality companies really be building tech in house? We believe that when hotel brands try to build tech in house it ultimately brings them into precarious waters, here's why: 1. They lack the resources to compete with pure play technology companies 2. Hotel brands usually underestimate the ongoing effort required to maintain and scale a technology business (let alone multiple business lines and products)   Hospitality companies don't have the resources to compete with tech companies. Charles Schwab is a massive financial institution worth more than $60B.  The firm could easily build custom marketing automation solutions for the business but they choose to work with with Marketo because they know that Marketo will be able to innovate over the long run.  Even Citrix and Microsoft, technology companies themselves, use Marketo’s marketing technology so that they can focus on their core businesses. IDeaS, a popular revenue management software company and it’s parent company SAS just announced a 3-year plan to invest $1B in artificial intelligence.  SAS is a company that deeply understands the power of focus and investing in its core competencies. "If I want to host a SaaS application, I choose a cloud host. If I want to manufacture a consumer product, I partner with a company like Foxconn. If I need delivery for my restaurant I work with a delivery company. Yet, brands without a technology focus still believe it will be cheaper and more effective to build their own software internally when history has shown us, time after time, that these projects will be over budget, unsustainable, and competitively weaker than the professional tech products in the market." ~Adam Harris, CEO, Cloudbeds The median publicly traded software company spends 23% of revenue on R&D with many high growth firms spending 50% of revenue.  It’s hard to imagine that even Marriott could afford the spend levels to develop one competitive product let alone multiple product lines that compete with a myriad of different specialist software businesses.   Technology is not a static good. Sophisticated enterprise companies buy into the future of a tech product as much as the present. Technology requires immense amounts of capital to scale and increasing investments to remain competitive.  Technology requires even more upkeep than hotels. Where hotels build up their capital reserves and renovate roughly every 5-7 years, tech companies are constantly “renovating” their products daily through product sprints.  When enterprise companies “buy” tech they are partnering with tech companies for the future as much as selecting products for the present. The reason that the SaaS business model (recurring subscriptions) aligns value so well between buyers and sellers is because the product is constantly being reinvented so it forces tech companies to maintain their end of the bargain.  When you sign up for SaaS (software as a service) you are not only signing up for the product today but you’re buying into its roadmap for the future. Hotel companies that try to build tech in house are rarely prepared for the constant investment required to maintain let alone scale products and keep up with the ongoing massive investment, iteration and innovation of tech firms. So what does history tell us about hotel companies who have miscalibrated this decision? Starwood was bought by Marriott for $13B and itself has taken huge losses on technology investments when they were no longer able to invest enough to remain competitive. According to Starwood’s (now Marriott) 2015 10K filing, the firm took a $6M charge for “technology related costs and expenses that were no longer deemed recoverable.”  Go back further to Starwood’s 2013 annual filing for stockholders and you’ll find a $19M charge related to “technology related expenses” that the firm “decided to absorb” because they couldn’t collect from managed and franchise properties.     When we draw the analogy between maintaining software and maintaining a hotel, Starwood was effectively unable to properly renovate its technology and investors paid for it.  Every hotelier knows what happens when you let a property go too long without renovation and the same happens when software isn’t maintained properly. Similar to Starwood building tech in house and having trouble maintaining the infrastructure, Choice created Skytouch PMS internally with the vision of transforming the tech market and has similarly struggled. “In 2014, it [Skytouch] generated a net loss to the company of up to $20 million. Investors have pressured Choice to either make SkyTouch profitable, sell it, or close it down.” Choice stopped reporting the results of its Skytouch division and now includes those results within its “Corporate & Other” expense line (pg. 102 of Choice 2018 10K filing). So while Choice no longer gives updates on how Skytouch is doing - it is highly inprobable that a company like Choice would decide to include the a business unit as an expense line if that unit was doing well.  In addition to the Skytouch debacle, we've also heard that Choice is winding down its Choice Labs innovation division.  Accor, too, recently reported a $288M write-off on tech investments such as AirBnB competitor Onefinestay and concierge service John Paul. Accor even tried to sell it’s distribution to independents and shuttered the project after 2 years, here’s what happened in the words of Accor’s own spokesperson. “This initiative is no longer relevant in regards to the Group’s strategy and its new profile as per today.  Results are below expectations” Accor wanted to plug independents into its massive distribution which in theory could add a ton of value if executed well and even that didn’t work. Even when all the big hotel groups banded together to build the online booking platform Room Key they failed (Choice, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott, Wyndham) - isn’t it time that hotel companies learned this lesson? Even Booking.com had to shut down it’s hotel software operations after some high profile acquisitions - a testament to how tough the business really is.   Conclusion: Hotel brands shouldn’t build tech - they should get better at buying it The lesson here is clear - hotel brands need to focus on what they do best.  They should leverage their scale and clout to secure great service and attention from tech partners. It’s up to franchisees and investors to ensure that operators stay focused. Hotel brands have insanely complex businesses managing many stakeholders who often have conflicting interests.  The business of running a hotel is a huge feat both operationally and from a revenue/distribution perspective. "Because the skepticism exists and because tech can take long, hoteliers reach the wrong conclusion. They decide to build instead of buy. I have witnessed a transformation in travel tech. Increasingly, hotels are embracing the rules of comparative advantage and are embracing tech where they can move fast, learn fast and benefit quickly." ~Alexandra Zubko (former IHG Lead Strategist) Because of these factors, hotel companies who want to succeed in the digital age should be experts at technology procurement and management.  Historically hotel brands have been very weak when it comes to technology procurement and management so many have tried to compensate for that weakness by building tech products in house. Unfortunately this strategy often leads to write-offs, burning piles of cash and consequently the executives who lead these disastrous projects being pushed out. "Great technology products enable a valuable job to be done to be easily performed with maximum success and consistent results. With the blistering pace at which the world is changing, our expectations change. That means jobs to be done change. And that means software needs to rapidly iterate and evolve. That is why the world is headed to simple, modular solutions that can nail jobs to be done as they evolve. The smartest brands know that to create compelling and lasting technology advantage, it’s now about identifying and bringing best-in-class interoperable solutions together into powerful system that gives lasting advantage.  From a cost, resource, time to market and life time value perspective, you’ll waste literally millions of dollars even before calculating the opportunity cost. Brands need to get amazing at hand-picking and investing in their strategic technology partners who are proven to design, build and iterate the purpose-built software hotels require, so they can then focus on delighting guests, growing locations and enhancing the value of their networks for franchisees." ~Marc Heyneker, CEO @ Revinate   Large enterprise brands have some clear motivations: (1) They want to expand to more and more hotels worldwide, and be able to do so quickly and efficiently. That means needing a consistent stack of solid technology that can be deployed, enabled and operationalized to run and add those hotels to the overall system. (2) They want to proudly position their Technology Stacks and enabled programs as unique value-adds that differentiate their Brand and their Brand value. So they can both convince Owners why they’re better, and monetize and justify their Brand fees in an age where consumer preference for brands is in decline. This sometimes gives large enterprises the false sense of belief that they need to build their own. In fact, building your own puts both goals in jeopardy, almost immediately. These multi-million dollar, multi-year, multi-faceted technology projects become sinkholes for capital investment, anchors to business progress and optimization, and turn into tough write-downs as we saw in the examples above. Hotel brands should instead be focused on rethinking their technology organizations to be better buyers and managers.  Corporate hotel purchasing units have historically focused on price negotiations and software customization (i.e. product roadmap hijacking) but in order for brands to thrive in today’s hyper competitive markets they are in need of a massive strategy shift. Red Lion Hotels Corporation is one such company that has taken a deep look at how it buys technology and optimizes its tech stack. Red Lion Hotels Corporation CIO John Edwards shared his firm's approach to technology vendor selection with Hotel Tech Report. "At RLHC, we have been able to establish ourselves as leaders in hospitality innovation by focusing on what we do best: finding the right technology partners to create solutions that meet our hotel’s needs. We believe that is the fastest way to change the technical landscape in our industry.  RLabs and Canvas Integrated Systems were created to house our already existing technology and innovation solutions, which provide customized best-in-class solutions for our hotels. Our tech stack includes well known industry solutions such as IDeaS, Opera, & WindSurfer as well as new industry solutions such as Monscierge and HAPI." Digitally savvy hotel owners want technological choice and they want the procurement benefits that brands command with scale.  The brand development teams that win in the digital age will be the ones who are able to deliver choice to owners around which technology vendors to use, the scale that comes with warehousing and leveraging data from that warehouse and the cost benefits that come from bundled negotiations with vendors.   Recommendations to hotel brands who want tech to be a core differentiator 1. Map out clear technology systems required to deliver on core business goals and all potential providers 2. Lay foundational infrastructure for open systems and clean data Design scalable processes to constantly beta test competitive products in the market and identify new products that can drive core business goals. 3. Set aside designated resources for technology management. Hotel groups should maintain a vendor CRM and dedicated staff for managing vendor relationships. This staff should also be tasked with collecting market insights and sharing new technological developments as well as vendor status updates on a regular basis with leadership. 4. Set clear and tangible KPIs with each vendor that must be met in order to retain the contract (e.g. customer support response time) Create clear roadmaps for switching systems in the event that suppliers do not deliver on KPIs 5. Invest in tech startups that fit your strategic criteria above! Highgate (invested in Stay Wanderful, Travel Tripper, LodgIQ, OTA Insight) and CitizenM (invested in Snapshot, exited to Shiji) have been incredibly successful executing on this strategy. They put strategic money to work then derisk their investments by giving those startups proof of concept in their properties. 6. For hotel companies that don't have the resources to start a fund internally like them there are great strategic venture capital firms that are focused on real estate and can do the heavy lifting for you - check out Metaprop VC and Fifth Wall Ventures. Investing enables you to gain access to innovation and lend your expertise without snuffing out the creativity. Leadership is about investing in great people and trusting them to do the work, not about micromanaging every aspect of the process yourself.

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How Adam Isrow and his team built GoConcierge into a global empire without venture funding or a marketing budget

by
Hotel Tech Report

What do you think of when asked to picture the founder of a dot com era startup founded in the year 2000?  I picture an arrogant and sharp elbowed hype man with an inflated ego who’s selling the dream of world domination and hockey stick growth.   Adam Isrow founded GoConcierge in the year 2000 during the heyday of epic dot com busts like Pets.com and Webvan but his story couldn’t be more different from his infamous peers.  If you got to trade your boss in for a new one - Adam is the kind of guy that everyone wants to work for. He’s humble and soft spoken yet firm and disciplined. While tech founders were out chasing exponential user growth in the early 2000s Adam was focused on the fundamentals.   Webvan stock chart from 1999-2001 shows the quintessential dot com bust   The GoConcierge story sits in stark contrast of companies like Webvan that were founded around the same time.  While his peers were busy seducing investors and big media with glitz - Adam focused on moderate, consistent and steady growth.  His character attracted a strong and loyal team solely focused on the elevated customer service that helped him build the GoConcierge business almost exclusively through word of mouth.   “Everyone wants some magic pill—some life hack—that eliminates the need to do the work. But that does not exist.” – Jocko Willink   Adam is not the kind of leader who looks for a magic pill.  His favorite book, Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink is a navy seal commander’s tale of humility, loyalty and discipline - three qualities that deeply characterize Adam’s leadership style. So how did Adam grow GoConcierge to more than 1,000 hotels globally without traditional venture funding? His background in the hotel industry is a huge piece of the puzzle.  While working in hotels Adam learned humility through dedicating himself to service.  The hospitality industry also taught him a deep sense of empathy that enabled him to develop technology that would become loved by even the least digitally savvy concierges. The teamwork he learned in the front office enabled him to attract and retain a team of loyal high performance contributors.  Adam’s story embodies the true spirit of hospitality in every way. While he personally considers work and service to be rewards in themselves, Adam’s years of dedication were recently validated when ALICE bought his firm GoConcierge for millions in 2017. What was your background prior to starting GoConcierge? Coming out of undergrad, I wanted both sales and management experience as a foundation to begin my career. Prior to starting GoConcierge, I had worked in hotel operations for a hotel in Los Angeles.  The goal was to turn around each department in the hotel and prepare the hotel for being sold. While overseeing guest services and ultimately the rooms division, I saw how much work the team was doing manually with logbooks and binders.  I thought if we could create a tool with a database of vendors and directions (this was pre Mapquest and Google Maps) and the ability to track activities, that it would enable our team to spend more time and attention on the guests. Just prior to launching GoConcierge, I worked for another technology startup focused on disseminating digital assets in the entertainment industry.   Once that company was sold, I was still intrigued by the Concierge tracking idea and while going back to earn my MBA during the dot com era, decided to launch GoConcierge.  Hard to believe that was back in 2000 and here we are today. What made you decide to jump in and start GoConcierge? After spending several years in hotel operations, I saw first-hand the importance of adding efficiencies where possible.  So much of the day-to-day operation in a hotel is manually driven and at the time, there were very few systems outside of the property management system.  We had created our own tools using Microsoft Access for yield management and also tracking any challenges throughout the operation. One night while talking with my partner, we discussed creating a database for vendors so that we could have a knowledge base of everything our guests were asking.  This way, no matter who was working, we could help the guest right away. I spent the evenings typing directions into each location since there was no Mapquest or Google Maps at the time. I felt it had to be extremely user-friendly and I remember having an amazing gentleman in guest services named, Frank, and he was in his 70’s and was not comfortable using a computer.  I remember thinking that if we could get Frank comfortable using this, we were onto something. Fortunately, Frank was able to use it and the team noticed that they were able to do their job better by having more information at their fingertips vs. having to look in logbooks and binders. Plus, I have terrible handwriting and if I wrote something in the logbook, there was a good chance others would not be able to read it.   Adam Isrow sold his business GoConcierge to ALICE in 2017 Who was GoConcierge’s first customer? Our first Customer was a Hyatt Hotel in Los Angeles.  I called several times and spoke to the Rooms Executive at the time and she was intrigued enough to allow me to present to her.  Fortunately for me, she understood the vision and she and her team believed that GoConcierge could enhance their day-to-day operation and ultimately the guest experience.  In addition to providing the application, I also guaranteed that I would provide exceptional support and would exceed expectations. I worked hard to earn trust and have her provide me with an opportunity. I felt if I could just get into a hotel like that, it would add credibility and help me gain additional hotels.     GoConcierge was acquired by ALICE in 2017 - how do the businesses work together today? We have created the first operations platform with a goal of going to our customers with a suite of services.  So often in hotels each department purchases their own applications. Therefore they operate as silos and most of the time and don’t communicate with each other.  We believe that there is significant value in providing one solution that can add value to multiple departments. The ALICE Platform has various modules including Concierge, Service Delivery, Messaging, Preventative Maintenance and Housekeeping.  Customers can pick and choose what is best for their property and because we have an open API, we can also facilitate integration between various systems.  Having one platform can provide cost savings to the hotel instead of paying setup fees and multiple subscriptions fees for multiple systems.  ALICE Concierge has a customizable database powered by Google Places and tracks all activities arranged for guests, creates personalized confirmation letters, itineraries, communicates with guest and team members via SMS and other platforms.  Using ALICE for service delivery, the property can dispatch requests such as towel delivery, challenges in the room and even manage preventative maintenance. ALICE provides a complete operational solution that will allow your team to provide a very personalized and exceptional guest experience. ALICE’s modern dashboard connects departments seamlessly   What's the biggest misconception that hoteliers have about technology? Perhaps the most common belief I used to hear was that the Concierge didn’t need an application because they could use Excel or their logbooks.  We obviously felt differently especially after spending time behind the desk and seeing the amount of work done manually and the importance of providing a tool to enable the team to be more efficient.  We believe the role of the Concierge should be in the center of the hotel operation since their work touches so many departments and has such a significant impact on the overall guest experience. A good Concierge team does the job so well that they make it look easy.  What is often not recognized or seen is the volume of work being done behind the scenes to deliver such a great guest experience. Investing in a tool allows the team to be more efficient and spend more time and attention on the guests. I believe the reason guests come back now is mostly because of the way the Concierge and other team members make the guests feel when they leave, more so than just having a beautiful hotel.  Without a tool such as ALICE, it is very difficult to be efficient and create that great guest experience. What's the most surprising thing you've learned about scaling technology into hotels since founding the business? In hospitality, we are a 24/7 operation and since we have customers around the world, there really is no downtime.  As we have scaled the company, in addition to our application, we remain keenly focused on our environment and optimizing the performance of the application for our users.  This is a major effort and something that requires focus for achieving results today and in the future, domestically and internationally. If you could partner with any vendor in hotel tech, who would it be and why? With respect to vendors to partner with, we believe the PMS provides a mutually beneficial opportunity.  The more integration we provide, the better we serve our customers. We are interested in speaking with any PMS that believes there is value in integrating ALICE to enhance its offering Where do you see ALICE in 5-years? We envision ALICE being the operations hub for the hotel. We are striving for that now and in the next 5 years, we want to realize our ambition of allowing all hotel staff to work effectively together and while enabling innovation around us. Ultimately, we want to provide a platform that is so widespread and so open that all innovation in the guest space can connect into it and hotel companies can deliver hospitality through it. We believe there should be full transparency where the guests can realize the same type of control and experience they love from other industries. How will the concierge software space change in the next 5-years? We believe that that Concierge will need to be connected to all departments throughout the hotel- like the hub of the operation.  Our customers will need as many efficiencies as possible to provide a high-level of service to the guest. We envision the Concierge department will have to be equipped to easily initiate requests for any department on behalf of guests. Do you have any new products or feature launches of late (or coming soon) that you'd like us to promote to our users? We are very excited to be developing our Room Assignment feature as part of our Housekeeping module.  We have gained first-hand knowledge from our customers and our team of hospitality experts about what the ideal solution would be and we are actively working on this right now.  Adding this functionality to our platform will allow us to achieve our vision of providing our customers with a complete solution for their operation and specifically, their largest department, Housekeeping. Is there anything that the community can do to be helpful for you? We are focused on interacting with other thought leaders to gain insight, share notes and collaborate together. We welcome the opportunity to connect with leaders that have grown and/or are building emerging technology.  We have a speaker series where we bring in leaders with various backgrounds from various industries to speak about successes and failures and learnings along the way. It would be great to have more thought leaders from the community share their experiences with our team. ALICE won Hotel Tech Report’s ‘2019 Best Places to Work’ in Hotel Tech competition   What's one piece of advice that you have for any entrepreneurs looking to get into hotel software? In any space it’s critical to surround yourself with the best possible team.  Specifically within this niche of hospitality technology be sure you fully understand how you can add value and be willing to adjust along the way.  The vision you start with may not be what you finish with. Be agile enough to shift when needed. What is the best book you've read lately and why? I really enjoyed reading Extreme Ownership: How Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.  This is a story about taking ownership and leading by example.  The story is told by two Navy SEALS and their life altering experiences in battle and how those lessons can be applied to both business world and your personal life. What is your favorite podcast? I like listening to The Tim Ferris Show and hearing his interviews with both business leaders and athletes. What is one thing that most people don't know about you? I did sports broadcasting in college and also am passionate about speaking to groups about my experience of working with the world’s finest hotels and Concierges and the impact of consistently delivering exceptional service.

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Mobile Communication Tools Connect Teams at InterContinental Miami

by
Austin Sandmeyer

With over 600 employees over 33 departments, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Miami, FL sits in the heart of Miami’s downtown business district with a breathtaking view of Biscayne Bay. As a luxury bay-front property, the hotel is a popular destination for vacationers and business travelers alike; the property hosts events ranging from weddings to large conventions. To better facilitate the hotel’s mission of providing guests with the ultimate guest experience, InterContinental Miami needed to find a mobile-first communication platform that could reach every single employee, no matter the department or whether they used email. Top priorities considered when assessing workforce communication solutions for the hotel included ways to: Improve hotel operations Promote and reinforce corporate communications and company values Better connect and engage the property’s workforce An Employee Communications App for Hospitality Management InterContinental Miami now has a streamlined, engaging, and mobile solution for hotel operations and team communication. In dedicated Beekeeper communication streams, colleagues post company updates, birthdays, work anniversaries, benefits information, new hire announcements, and more. Another communication stream posts available positions and referral rewards, as well as educational growth and training opportunities. Facilitating two-way communication via their employee app, rather than solely top-down, gives everyone a voice within the hotel. Communication Tools for Hotel Workforce Shift Scheduling Hotel employees work in shifts, making scheduling a notorious challenge. Many departments at the Miami property, such as housekeeping and the minibar, use Iconic to send PDF schedules weekly through campaigns. From a managerial perspective, this has been incredibly useful because they don’t have to check up on employees to make sure they know when they’re working. From an employee perspective, they love the freedom to access their schedule from anywhere and without waiting for a reply from their manager. "The Beekeeper team is wonderful! My Customer Success Manager always has an answer and if he doesn’t, he figures it out and responds very quickly. He never says no and solves all my issues. Just this week I came to him with a big idea that hadn’t been done before and he’s already working on figuring it out. The team makes anything feel possible." – Jozenia Cruz Human Resources and Talent Engagement Mobile Solution for Hotel Crisis Communications Amidst the chaos of Hurricane Irma, management used Beekeeper’s employee communication app to keep hotel employees informed about the storm. Despite inconsistent cell reception, Wi-Fi was faster and more reliable, ensuring communication throughout the natural event stayed consistent. Before the hurricane, the team provided storm updates, closures, safety precautions, lists of necessities, and made sure emergency contacts were up to date. During the hurricane, a chat campaign was sent to every colleague with the number for the Emergency Employee Hotline, along with other helpful information. After the hurricane, Beekeeper’s communication tools continued to prove invaluable as InterContinental Miami updated team members on impacted hotel operations and when they could safely return to work.

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Recent Service Delivery & Optimization News & Community Updates

INTELITY to Debut Enhanced Staff Features and Functionalities at HITEC Minneapolis

Intelity

The company unifies legacy back-end systems to offer expanded service optimization and management tools to customers INTELITY™, the provider of the broadest hospitality technology platform, announced today that it is unifying its back-office systems to reveal a more comprehensive solution. The expansion of INTELITY Staff will also feature a new and improved user interface designed to meet cross-departmental needs and seamlessly connect operations teams to guests and devices across properties and brands. The company will demonstrate its enhanced INTELITY Staff at HITEC Minneapolis. New additions to INTELITY Staff include an enhanced ticketing system, a more robust content management solution (CMS), in-depth guest and operations analytics, and Guest360™, which provides a 360-degree view of guest preferences, designed to help hotel staff across all departments make the right decisions at the right time while further personalizing the guest experience. The unified dashboard, which will be available on mobile and desktop, will provide staff with access to comprehensive business intelligence and the ability to streamline daily workflows, seamlessly track, manage, and organize preventative maintenance and service recovery, and make real-time content updates. “One of the biggest challenges today’s hoteliers face is being able to connect with their guests in a personalized manner through digital platforms,” said David Adelson INTELITY President & COO. “In hospitality, guests naturally expect these types of highly personal experiences and interactions. INTELITY offers hoteliers the ability to further bridge the gap between themselves and their guests by providing them with insights on guests’ preferences and expectations.” In addition to the newly expanded offerings, INTELITY Staff also offers operations teams the ability to manage all on-property devices, communicate with guests through various channels like chat and push messaging, and much more. INTELITY’s platform also features the most robust suite of guest-facing solutions available on the market and is integrated with over 120 operational systems including PMS, POS, room controls and loyalty programs through INTELITY Connect.   “We’ve taken the best from the ICE and GEMS© legacy systems and unified them to make a solution that is truly exceptional,” said Adelson. “INTELITY is known for providing the ‘best in class’ guest experience solutions, and our staff-facing solutions are just as comprehensive. We look forward to introducing the industry to our expanded offerings and further establishing ourselves as the provider of the most robust hospitality technology platform on the market.” INTELITY will be attending HITEC Minneapolis. To schedule a time to experience the INTELITY platform first hand, please email demos@intelity.com or visit the INTELITY website. About INTELITY INTELITY is the global provider of the most advanced hospitality technology platform for the hotel, casino, cruise, and luxury residential markets. INTELITY offers its customers comprehensive end-to-end solutions to manage guest experience and staff operations, in a single platform. In 2018, INTELITY merged with KEYPR yielding a combined 15 years of hospitality experience, rapid growth, and the most complete hospitality technology platform on the market. For more information, please visit www.intelity.com  

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge Raises the Bar on Workforce Communications with Beekeeper

Beekeeper

Employees say being aligned with ‘the hive’ is contagious; Digital app used for onboarding, scheduling, task management, employee surveys, crisis communications and more. When the eco-chic 1 Hotels brand launched in 2015, it not only set a new standard for sustainability in design, but it significantly raised the bar in how management reaches and celebrates their entire staff. With the digital workforce platform Beekeeper at the hub of its internal communications operation, 1 Hotels is reaching every single employee with relevant messaging, engaging them and connecting them with one another. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn Heights, located directly on Brooklyn Bridge Park overlooking the East River, is the most recent property to go live with “the hive.” “Whether you’re 18 or 85, it doesn’t matter; people love to share,” said Jason Brown, Director of People Operations for 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. “We believe that sharing starts at the top. If the General Manager is passionate about communicating with his or her team, and the department heads are of the same mind-set, then Beekeeper is the platform to use. We encourage our team members to use their cell phones for positive work-related communication, although not in front of guests or in guest areas. They use this tool to share their successes, and we use it to reward and recognize their efforts. It’s a celebration of life. In a word, Beekeeper is contagious.” Beekeeper digitizes the non-desk workforce by connecting operational systems and communication channels within one secure, intuitive platform. Beekeeper connects colleagues across locations and departments in real time via mobile or desktop devices, and includes an intelligent analytics dashboard to help companies improve internal communication and streamline business processes. Secure, automated, and relevant information is readily distributed, searchable, and measurable in one central hub for an efficient digitized workflow. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge uses its custom mobile Beekeeper app to communicate daily arrivals, events, and other important information in real time to improve operations. The team also uses the app for onboarding, scheduling, task management, employee surveys, and crisis communications to ensure the entire organization is aligned. Employees say being aligned with ‘the hive’ is contagious; Digital app used for onboarding, scheduling, task management, employee surveys, crisis communications and more   To Bee or Not to Bee? Here’s how managers and staff at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge say they are using Beekeeper: “I can’t image not having Beekeeper,” said General Manager Cornelia Samara. “I use it from the moment I wake up to see what’s happening throughout the day at my hotel and to read what’s happening in the company. Beekeeper really helps me stay connected. “The survey feature is very helpful,” she said. “If we have an activity or hold a meeting, we can go back and ask the team whether they enjoyed it, if they found the information helpful, or should we could do something differently? When opening the hotel, we used the survey to help in naming our employee dining room. We narrowed the name down to five selections, posted the options on Beekeeper, and put it out for a vote.” Brown said most of the workforce at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge doesn’t have access to traditional forms of communication like email and text messaging, so instead, Beekeeper is used to instantly connect everyone. He said with Beekeeper, everybody has a voice, and everyone can participate. Beekeeper has shaped the brand’s culture given everyone an identity. “We’ve used Beekeeper for crisis communication,” Brown said. “The team at 1 Hotel South Beach was impacted by Hurricane Irma recently. Beekeeper was used to communicate with team members while the property was closed. We used it to check on our staff and communicate with them about returning to work. We also use Beekeeper to onboard new team members and engage with them even before they start on their first day. New team members are introduced to the team via Beekeeper, and they can quickly get acquainted with co-workers. “My favorite feature of Beekeeper is its accessibility across a variety of different devices,” he added. “It can be accessed on a tablet, a smartphone, or a computer. We even have a communication monitor in our employee dining room where we can display feeds for team members to look at to see what’s going on while they’re having their break. Everyone can access it, and everybody can participate. Employee engagement is truly enhanced. I think turnover would be much higher if it weren’t for Beekeeper.” Ruggero Massetti, Director of Rooms, said at the beginning he was skeptical of Beekeeper, assuming it was another social media app that would distract his team members. As time progressed, however, he said he found Beekeeper to be an important operations tool. “Beekeeper keeps all team members aligned and unified,” Massetti said. “It helps us share all the information that is necessary for the hotel and for staff to do their jobs.” Mark Hall, an engineer at the property, said: “We constantly have projects going on throughout the hotel, and we use Beekeeper to keep our employees updated about the status of those projects.” Buzzing with Pride “1 Hotels is widely becoming known for its eco-conscious design, sustainable architecture, cause-oriented partnerships, and unrivaled service,” said Corey McCarthy, Beekeeper head of global marketing. “Soon, we believe this brand will also gain acclaim for being one of the best hotels to work for, thanks in part to Beekeeper. Yes, our mobile app is ideal for enterprise communications . . . but it does so much more. Beekeeper enables employees’ personalities to come alive. It gives them a sense of pride in their jobs, a voice among the organization, and a sense of belonging to an extended family. “We are honored that 1 Hotels opened its doors with Beekeeper in Miami, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, and we look forward to growing right alongside them as they plan openings in 2018 in West Hollywood and Sanya, China, and in 2019 in Silicon Valley and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.”   Learn more at www.Beekeeper.io

7 Must-Have Hotel Marketing Technologies

ALICE

Optimize your hotel marketing for every phase of the guest journeyMarketing to your guests isn't just about winning them over at planning and at booking. There's actually seven steps to the customer journey, and technology can help you optimize your marketing, every step of the way.When marketing your hotel to your guests, it's tempting to think there are only two phases of the guest journey that matter: planning and booking. As a result, many hotels optimize their technology for just these two stages.The reality, of course, is that the guest experience doesn't end at booking. It's actually cyclical - cycling from planning through booking through the guest's stay to planning again. While the exact number of phases in the guest journey is up for debate (Google says five, we say seven), what's important is there are multiple stages of the guest journey that together create the guest experience. In each of these stages, the hotel has the opportunity to use technology to optimize the guest experience for more bookings, more loyalty, and more revenue.1. Dream Technologies: Search engines (Google), social media networks (Facebook, Instagram), online media (Conde Nast Traveler), discovery apps (Hitlist).Every hotel stay begins with someone dreaming of going to a particular place or having a particular kind of experience.In this phase, the guest hasn't yet honed in on your hotel. They have an idea or a dream: a Hawaiian escape, New York City with friends, or a conference for work (maybe not a dream, but a requirement!). They have a certain experience in mind, but are still exploring the opportunities and finer details. The hotel's role in this phase is to be as relevant and discoverable as possible. Hotels will want to optimize their search engine presence, be visible in the media and on social media, and make sure they're on the radar of travel discovery apps, like Hitlist or Hotel Tonight.2. Select Technologies: Your website, OTAs (Expedia), your affiliations (Leading Hotels of the World, Skylark), review sites (TripAdvisor).The average traveler visits over 20 different travel websites before making a booking decision! Your hotel's challenge in this stage is to cut through the noise and stand out from the competition.In this phase, the guest needs a reason to book with you instead of with your competition. Selecting your hotel over others will come down to a variety of factors. Given TripAdvisor's influence online, a decisive factor will be your hotel's reputation (TripAdvisor appears on the first page of organic search for 99% of unbranded search terms, and 93% of travelers say they're influenced by online reviews). (In this regard, your hotel's reputation is in many ways is a reflection of the level of service at your hotel (something we'll get to later...)).Also important in influencing the selection of your hotel is your website (how optimized for search is it? How compelling is its imagery? Is it optimized for mobile?), your presence on the OTAs (are you discoverable?), your membership with affiliate brands (like Skylark) and whether or not offline affiliations (like membership with Leading Hotels of the World) aid in online discovery.3. Book Technologies: Your website and its booking engine (TravelClick, Avvio), direct booking technologies (Triptease, SiteMinder)At this phase, the guest needs a reason to book on your website instead of anywhere else. A booking engine optimized for your website (like Avvio) and an effective loyalty program help here. So too do innovative technologies like Triptease's Direct Booking Platform and SiteMinder, which work with hotels to improve their direct booking conversions. Of course, an optimized website (facilitated by companies like TravelClick) is a must as well.4. Prepare Technologies: Pre-arrival guest messaging (ALICE, Checkmate), upsell platforms (Nor1), trip-planning/concierge services (Porter & Sail).The time of booking is when your guest is perhaps most excited about your hotel and their upcoming trip. Hotels will want to capitalize on this phase by engaging with their prospective guests. Use this phase to learn the reason for the guests' trips and help them plan their stays.If hotels have an in-house concierge, they can use messaging tools like ALICE to help their guests plan activities prior to arrival. Hotels can also outsource their concierge to services like Porter & Sail, which will work with your guests to plan activities as soon as they've booked their stay. Hotels can also use this time to upsell guests on rooms, amenities, and activities, with tools like Nor1.Developing a relationship with guests in this phase will help you provide them a better in-stay experience and increase the chance they'll share their experience and return.5.  Stay Technologies: Guest messaging (ALICE), service optimization technologies (ALICE).Many hotels don't think of the stay phase of the guest journey as a "marketing" phase, but they should. In fact, as we often say here at ALICE, the customer experience is your best marketing, strongly influencing the same guest's propensity to share their experiences and return (and inspire others in the dream and selection phases of their journeys as well).Much of the guest experience comes down to the quality of service your hotel provides and, increasingly, the degree of convenience you offer your guests. ALICE improves your guest service by helping your staff get on the same (digital) page. ALICE's request management platform connects your staff departments for seamless communication and streamlined task management. And ALICE's dedicated concierge technology gives concierges the tools they need to excel at their jobs and exceed guest expectations.Meanwhile, ALICE's guest platform, which includes mobile apps, an open API to plug into your existing mobile app, and messaging (SMS), puts all your hotel's services and amenities at your guests' fingertips, for the ultimate in convenience and guest satisfaction.6. Share Technologies: Review collection technologies (Medallia), social sharing and advocacy platforms (Flip.to), online review sites (TripAdvisor).It's a natural impulse to want to share good experiences with others. Three quarters of U.S. travelers share their trip experiences on social networks, while 97% of Millennials say they share pictures while traveling (on channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat).Hotels should encourage guests to share their experiences. For one thing, the collective reach of your guests is enormous and incredibly targeted. Your guests can introduce you to travelers just like them”the perfect demographic for your hotel”before competitors have even had the chance to win the relationship.Plus, according to Cognizant, word of mouth is the single most important factor in selecting a hotel. And 84% of people say they trust reviews from friends and family over any other type of advertising.Encourage promotion of your hotel through your guests with tools like Flip.to, the marketing platform that lets guests become advocates and introduce your brand worldwide.The platform earns and tracks new bookings while growing brand awareness, web traffic, warm leads and a library of authentic content highlighting the travel experiences your guests are sharing with your hotel at the center.You can use this user-generated content on your website, and share guest content via your own social channels, which will help influence other guests early on in their own customer journeys.TripAdvisor is also an important channel for the share phase of the guest journey because of its outsize influence on the early phases of other guests (80% of travelers read 6 to 12 reviews on average before booking a hotel). While encouraging guests to share their experiences to TripAdvisor is important, but so too is responding to these reviews. Indeed, 85% of users say a thoughtful management response to a bad review improves their overall impression of a property.Lastly, inspiring guest sharing isn't just about generating contributions to public forums like review sites and social media. Encouraging guest feedback via internal channels is also an important part of hotel marketing during the share phase of the guest journey. This is because it can allow you to preempt issues before they make their way to public forums, and also because soliciting customer feedback can lead you to make improvements to the guest experience that will increase the likelihood of his or her return. Services like Medallia help hotels collect this guest feedback across a variety of channels.8. Return Technologies: Email marketing, remarketing campaigns, social media (TravelClick CRM, Cendyn)It's no secret a returning guest is "cheaper" than a new guest. But a returning guest means so much more than money saved in marketing - it's the surest sign you've provided an exceptional guest experience. And it's also a virtuous circle. Every time a guest returns to your property you have the opportunity to "know" the guest a bit more, allowing you to increase your personalization and improve the guest experience with every stay.While the experience on property is the best marketing to influence a guest's return, tools like email marketing, remarketing and social media (your hotel's and other guests'), as well as a compelling loyalty program can also help remind the guest of the fantastic time he or she had on property and ensure their return. Investing in a CRM, like Cendyn's, is the surest way to have the data and functionality to run these email, remarketing, and social campaigns.As you can see, marketing to the guest is much more than guiding them from planning to booking. In fact, marketing has a role in all seven phases of the guest journey: from dream, through stay, and all the way until return (and return again).Most importantly, marketing to your guest doesn't just concern his or her online interaction with your hotel. It also concerns the guest's actual in-person experience on property. By reconceiving marketing's role to extend to all seven phases, hotels have a tremendous opportunity to craft a lasting and impactful relationship with the guest - a relationship that can be nurtured and strengthened by the right technology.

Service Optimization Category Overview

What is staff task management and operations software?
Hotel staff are scattered around time and location -- different shifts, floors, departments, and properties -- and are highly reliant on traditional forms of communication like log books, memos and two-way radios. Staff Collaboration platforms bring everyone on the same page within a digital environment, increasing staff productivity and providing cost savings through operational efficiency. The real-time visibility into hotel operations means no more dropped tasks, miscommunication, or expensive mistakes.

For info on hotel operations software trends, questions that you should ask vendors and more download the 2019 Hoteliers Guide to Staff Task Management Software

How can hotel management software improve hotel operations and profitability?
Hotels are operations heavy and communication is key. In the past, hoteliers had to be on-site to read through logbooks, flip through binders, navigate countless post-its, and track down line staff to understand what was happening in their hotels. Slow, inefficient, error-prone communication often led to miscommunication and dropped tasks. Such ad hoc communication was inefficient and expensive and depressed guest satisfaction. With staff collaboration and task management software, hotel teams work together in real-time and hoteliers can monitor hotel operations 24/7 from any location. Because they are always in the loop with an accountable platform, hotel teams can catch costly mistakes before they happen. And reporting features allow managers to monitor performance and improve hotel operations.

What are the most important features of hotel operations software and specifically task management solutions?

  • Simple Communication - Social media style features like notes, tags, mentions, and comments facilitate quick communication and collaboration among hotel teams. 
  • Task Management - Add accountability and track-ability to ensure timely completion by staff. 
  • Alerts / Notifications - Prevent costly mistakes and missed deadlines. In-App Translation Promote collaboration among multilingual staff. 
  • Checklists - Automatically alert shifts and departments of routine duties to ensure nothing is overlooked. 
  • Reporting - Spot trends and identify opportunities to improve.

What KPIs can staff task management software improve at my hotel?

  • Operational Efficiency - Saves time by integrating staff communications on one platform. Guest Satisfaction -  Guest needs, requests, and complaints are visible and acted upon in a timely fashion. 
  • RevPaR - Chat with website visitors and leads entered by Front Desk and collaborated on with Sales team leads to more revenue. Direct communications with guests via chat widget and text messaging leads to more direct bookings.

What is the typical pricing for hotel operations software?
Most staff collaboration platforms offer Software as a Service (SaaS) subscriptions with monthly and yearly options. Pricing can be a flat rate or tiered by the number of rooms or users.  

Cloud-based, self-service solutions start around $1 per room per month. This price point appeals most to select and limited service branded and independent hotels. At this price point there are no intensive customization or integration requirements. Premium vendors often offer features that the hotels must pay for but staff do not use.

Enterprise solutions can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year, with added fees for implementation and training. Casinos and large resorts with very specific requirements may benefit from an on-premise enterprise solution that offers customized features and extensive training.

How long does it usually take for a hotel to implement new hotel operations software?
Depending on the nature of the platform and culture of the hotel, installation and configuration can take from one hour to a month. Some platforms require extensive training with intensive setup of hard-coded functionality before launch. Other platforms use a faster learning-by-doing approach with customizable functionality that can be implemented on an ongoing basis. Platform adoption speed is accelerated when a stakeholder within the hotel champions the change, versus when teams adopt the platform at their own pace.

Staff collaboration software is typically very user-friendly and easy to learn. Some solutions feature social media tools that people use every day, so staff can get up and running instantly. Other platforms have a variety of modules each with different functionality and an inherent slower learning curve. Often training can be self-guided. There is no downtime, and no integrations are required.

How do I know when it’s time for my hotel to move onto new hotel operations software?
Digital messaging is the future, and the future is now. As more consumers turn to text and chat as the communication channels of choice, hotels need to adapt or risk being left behind. At the same time, hoteliers need to ease off their dependency on paper-based memos, forms, logbooks, checklists, and phone calls for internal communications—they are inefficient, hard to track, and easily misplaced. Today, everything should be digitized so that it’s accessible and trackable from any device or location. This includes policies and procedures, schedules, task lists, and contact lists. A staff collaboration platform solves all of these problems and more, and staff can be up and running in a matter of hours.

For info on hotel operations software trends, questions that you should ask vendors and more download the 2019 Hoteliers Guide to Staff Task Management Software

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