Improving the Guest Journey
Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) recently announced a new suite of apps and technologies that will provide a more personal experience for guests. While many of these new features are available at other hotels, what really stood out for us was how the positioned the announcement:
“We continuously gather insights from consumers, which enables us to research, develop, pilot and launch new ways of engaging with guests across their Guest Journey,” said Michael Menis, senior vice president of digital and voice channels for IHG.
... engaging with guests across their Guest Journey.
There are so many facets that comprise an overall experience, whether it is travel, attending an event, or a combination of both and we love to see hospitality partners that recognize all of the components and work across the full spectrum to provide a stronger experience.
We also love the term "guest journey" and it may have just become a permanent part of our vocabulary.
Planners, how do you work to consistently improve the journey of your event guests?
The new suite of technologies was detailed by SmartMeetings:
Guests booking rooms at IHG hotels in more than 50 cities, including San Francisco, Chicago, New York, London, Shanghai and Paris, can create personalized travel guides using tips from local experts on stay.com. The guides can be downloaded to stay.com’s mobile app on Apple and Android devices for use on or offline.
Mobile Check-In and Check-Out
Mobile Check In and Check Out service gives guests the flexibility to manage their stay via their mobile device, including confirmation of arrival time and notification of when their room is ready. At least during the initial rollout, this service will be available only for IHG Rewards Club elite members. A mobile folio service will also allow guests to see their bill in real time before using the app for mobile check-out.
Mobile Room Keys
Skip the front desk altogether and go straight to your room—and unlock it with your phone. This technology is currently being tested in the U.S.
Request housekeeping, call for room repairs and more through IHG Guest Request (part of the IHG hotels app). Responses are promised to be quick since the app tracks who among the staff is taking care of each request, and alerts staff to any requests that haven’t yet been addressed.
IHG hotels will place iBeacon technology in hotel lobbies and restaurants to push notifications to guests, including offers relevant to their stays. This service is being tested in select properties in China.