Mobile Technology
Tom O'Rourke
  • Mobile Technology
  • Upselling Through Mobile Apps
  • In the hotel industry, we are so busy talking about selling more rooms, more food and more beverages that we often overlook how effective the channels we use to market these offerings actually are. Many hotels still use outdated and ineffective marketing channels. Mobile applications provide hoteliers with a totally new channel through which they can interact with their guests on a more personal level, which increases guest satisfaction and loyalty as well as hotel revenues. Mobile apps offer countless opportunities to connect with guests that were not possible before the 2008 debut of the App Store on iTunes and subsequent adoption of mobile applications by smartphone users. In the past seven years, mobile app technology has exploded and hotels are set to benefit from it. Read on...

Felix Boos
  • Mobile Technology
  • Looking Beyond TripAdvisor and Online Surveys
  • Are you approaching customer feedback reactively, trying to patch up holes in order to prevent damage to your reputation? Or, are you using it as a source of information to help you become more profitable? If the latter, then you need to know and understand the different channels for feedback, and select and combine them according to your needs. The tools to measure customer experience and satisfaction are key success drivers for your business, but in many cases, these tools are not used to their full potential. Service-driven businesses must optimize their way of listening to their customers in order to receive timely and objective feedback. This helps toward improving customer experience and, in turn, your business’ profitability. Read on...

Alastair Cush
  • Mobile Technology
  • How Mobile Access Implementation Changed the Hotel Industry
  • A growing number of properties are implementing mobile access guest room locking systems and the apps that support them. Many chain standards mandate mobile access and independents are joining the trend. What few operators understand is that mobile access implementation has changed not only every aspect of hotel door locks but also many other areas of hospitality operations. More people are actively involved in the decision making process for hotel locks than before. Mobile access has integrated the lock process with numerous property and chain departments from sales to guest loyalty and brand marketing. The original purpose of improving guest door locks was exclusively loss prevention and security. Read on...

Jim Vandevender
  • Mobile Technology
  • Emerging Meeting Data Technology That Will Help Hotels be More Strategic
  • Meeting data and technology have evolved considerably since the days of the bulky ,expensive mail ordered meeting planner guides and hotel catalogues. The ways in which hotels find and book groups is far different than the antiquated methods of not so long ago. As better technology surrounding meetings and events becomes available , hotels appetites for group business seems to also increase at a parallel pace making the need to keep the related technology evolving even more paramount. The companies that provide hotels with this meeting intelligence are continually developing new and more advanced methods of gathering this sought after data to keep up pace with the demand. Read on...

Dave Weinstein
  • Mobile Technology
  • Keep the Gateway to the Mobile Guest Experience Open
  • As with so many industries, the smartphone has transformed how organizations interact with their customers. Look at the automotive industry, the airline industry, and of course, the hospitality industry. You start your car’s engine and set the climate control to the desired temperature, buy airline tickets and check-in on your flight and do the same with your hotel room, all from your phone. There is a slew of services that traditionally are offered by hotels via the “book” on the desk. The book is still there, but some hotels allow you to order via the television while others offer integrated tablets. Read on...

Kacey Butcher
  • Mobile Technology
  • Create a Hospitality Technology Experience Center
  • 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. Read on...

Benjamin Jost
  • Mobile Technology
  • Texting as a Customer Engagement Channel
  • Guests constantly hop across different communication channels. To keep pace with them, hotels must migrate through these various platforms to remain engaged. Most modern hotel executives recognize the importance of communicating with guests on the medium in which they are most comfortable. However, identifying and implementing approaches that makes these meetings possible can be more difficult than these executives consider. After all, anyone can send a text message. But meeting and tracking an SLA across an SMS creates an entirely new set of hurdles. Read on...

Michael P. O'Day
  • Mobile Technology
  • Fiber to the Room: New Architecture to Meet the Needs of the Digital Guest
  • For many hotel guests, the most appealing hotels are the properties that offer instant connectivity with the bandwidth capable of supporting multiple devices. As our need for faster speeds and higher quality content continues to grow, hotel guests now expect uninterrupted service putting more pressure on hotel IT building designs. As more and more guests shift to the “always connected” mindset, hotels must be able to deploy technology solutions with minimum downtimes that can grow with the increasing dependence on mobility. Hoteliers must now meet today's guest technology expectations while preparing for tomorrow by installing an infrastructure in which the bandwidth and technology can be expanded as the need arises. Read on...

Terence Ronson
  • Mobile Technology
  • Mobile Technology: The Relentless Pace of Change Continues
  • There’s only one way to view this – we live in a mobile world. Almost any consumer product or service developed today, is most likely created with a mind-set that one day it will somehow be used in a mobile manner. Consigned to oblivion are the days when we need to return to a desk to do email, go to a fixed line to make a phone call, plug into a network port for internet connectivity, have a hard-wired antenna to watch TV, or wear a wired headset to listen to music. Read on...

Scott Schaedle
  • Mobile Technology
  • Checking in Before Checking Out
  • It’s no secret that mobile technology has reshaped the consumer travel experience. Today’s traveler can check in and out of a hotel without ever speaking to a human being. That lack of human interaction and direct communication is both a good and bad thing for the hospitality technology industry. From booking a reservation to leaving a review, mobile use continues to rise in the hospitality technology sector, and is not slowing down any time soon. Today, nearly 60 percent of travelers book hotels using a mobile device while 81 percent of travelers find user reviews important when considering which hotel to book. Read on...

Court Williams
  • Mobile Technology
  • Technology Opportunities That Can Set Your Hotel Apart
  • In some ways, running a successful hotel comes down to a proposition both simple and sometimes complex: delivering service that exceeds the expectations of your guests. You need to provide comfort and hospitality, but also something extra to set yourself apart from other properties. Without differentiating yourself in the market, you risk becoming just one of many hotel options, rather than the preferred choice for your market. One valuable way to set yourself apart from your competition is through embracing technological opportunities available to hotels. If you leverage mobile technology, a wealth of options are emerging that can deliver new conveniences and services that enhance the guest experience. Read on...

Adam Gillespie
  • Mobile Technology
  • Smart Technologies: Affordable Capital Expenditures That Drive Revenue
  • Hotel technology is constantly trying to catch up and accommodate guests’ interests compared to what they use at home. Each year, hotel properties are faced with evaluating and upgrading to the latest and greatest technologies to accommodate their guests, but at what cost? In an increasingly complex world, businesses need to adapt with shifting trends and technologies. The hotel industry’s landscape has responded with corporate solutions that allow for minimal capital expenditures. Previous models required capital budgeting techniques to adjust to a larger margin when it comes to acquiring critical technologies. Read on...

Larr Gorman
  • Mobile Technology
  • Running a Hotel Remotely With a Cloud-Based PMS
  • It used to be that a General Manager was tied to the front desk in order to solve issues or keep track or manage a hotel. With a cloud-based PMS, a GM can technically run the hotel from anywhere on a phone or tablet. A 100% we-based system allows two way communication at the hotel, and management can stay informed on operations from anywhere. The difference between cloud-based systems and server-based networks is as dramatic as the difference between an iPhone and a land-line. Traditional phones are like anchors—they’re tied to a specific place, your home or office. Read on...

Suman Pal
  • Mobile Technology
  • Big Data Trends: Raising the Bar for Guest Expectations
  • Imagine for a moment, passing guests in queue at the hotel front desk waiting to check-in while you’re heading straight to your room instead, or securing your favorite table and skipping the wait list, all without having to talk with a single staff member. No, you’re not dreaming. The day of frictionless guest service is here. Guests are demanding it. How well is your hotel embracing it? The rapid evolution in mobile, social and cloud technologies combined with a monumental shift in guest expectations has launched us into what is one of the most pivotal transformations in hospitality. Read on...

Marc Stephen Shuster
  • Mobile Technology
  • How Mobile Apps and Cyber Security Affect Your Operation
  • Cyber threats have seized the spotlight in 2016. From enterprise data breaches costing millions, to the emergence of fraud and hacking as an on-demand service, to the politically-inspired interception and disclosure of the US Presidential campaign’s emails and, some have alleged, the hack of the election itself, cybercrime emerged from the realm of cyberpunk fiction and established its place as a mainstream social, economic, and political force in 2016. The rise of hacking has been driven by three factors: the pervasive use of network driven technology, the use of aggregated electronic data by companies, and the fluid resale market for stolen personal, financial, and healthcare information. Read on...

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MAY: Eco-Friendly Practices: The Value of Sustainability

Eric Ricaurte

In 2011, we visited the 10 hotels contracted in the room block for the Greenbuild conference in Toronto. As part of their award-winning sustainable event program, the conference organizers embedded green practices into the contract language for these hotels, who either had to comply with the requirements, explain their reason why they couldn’t implement them, or pay a $1,000 fine. Part of our consulting work was to gather the data and confirm some of the practices on-site. Read on...

Susan Tinnish

Hotels brands have actively engaged in large-scale efforts to become more environmentally friendly. Individual hotels have made great strides on property. Many significant large-scale eco-initiatives s are most easily built initially into the infrastructure and design of the building and surrounding areas. Given that the adaptation of these large-scale changes into the existing asset base is expensive and disruptive, hotels seek different ways to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. One way to do so is to shift the focus from large-scale change to “small wins.” Small wins can help a hotel create a culture of sustainability. Read on...

Shannon Sentman

Utility costs are the second largest operating expense for most hotels. Successfully reducing these expenses can be a huge value-add strategy for executives. Doing this effectively requires more than just a one-time investment in efficiency upgrades. It requires ongoing visibility into a building’s performance and effectively leveraging this visibility to take action. Too often, efficiency strategies center on a one-time effort to identify opportunities with little consideration for establishing ongoing practices to better manage a building’s performance ongoing. Read on...

Joshua Zinder, AIA

Discussions of sustainability in the hospitality industry have focused mainly on strategies at the level of energy-efficient and eco-friendly adjustments to operations and maintenance. These "tweaks" can include programs to reduce water usage, updating lighting to LEDs, campaigns to increase guest participation in recycling, and similar innovative industry initiatives. Often overlooked—not only by industry experts but even by hotel operators and designers—are possibilities for hotel design and construction that can make a property truly sustainable from the get-go. Read on...

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.