In-Room Tablets: A Greener Solution for Sustainable Hotels

iPad sustainability for green hotels

In today’s world, the importance of sustainability cannot be overstated. As travelers become more conscious of their ecological footprint, hotels are increasingly seeking ways to minimize their environmental impact. One innovative solution that has emerged is the use of in-room tablets. These devices not only enhance the guest experience but also contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly hotel environment. In this blog post, we will explore how in-room tablets serve as a green solution for sustainable hotels.

Reducing Paper Waste

One of the primary ways in which in-room tablets promote sustainability is by reducing paper waste. Traditionally, hotels rely on printed materials, such as room directories, menus, and travel guides, to provide information to guests. However, this approach generates significant amounts of paper waste, contributing to deforestation and environmental degradation.

By replacing physical printed materials with digital content accessible via in-room tablets, hotels can eliminate the need for printing and frequent updates. Guests can conveniently access all the necessary information, including hotel amenities, local attractions, and dining options, on the tablet’s interactive interface. This transition not only reduces paper consumption but also lowers the hotel’s operational costs associated with printing and distribution.

Enhancing Operational Efficiency

In-room tablets offer a range of features that streamline hotel operations, resulting in reduced waste and improved resource management. For example, housekeeping staff can use tablets to receive real-time notifications about room status, minimizing unnecessary visits to unoccupied rooms. This efficiency improvement translates into lower energy consumption, reduced water usage, and minimized use of cleaning supplies.

Moreover, in-room tablets can facilitate guests’ requests for room service, housekeeping, or maintenance, eliminating the need for printed forms or phone calls. This digital communication reduces paper waste and streamlines the hotel’s internal processes, leading to better resource allocation and ultimately a more sustainable operation.

Encouraging Guest Engagement Through Education

In-room tablets not only contribute to sustainability efforts behind the scenes but also empower guests to participate actively. These devices can provide information and tips on sustainable practices, such as water conservation, energy-saving techniques, and responsible tourism. By educating guests about the hotel’s sustainability initiatives and suggesting ways they can contribute, in-room tablets foster a sense of environmental responsibility among travelers.

Furthermore, the tablets can offer guests the option to customize their stay, indicating their preferences regarding housekeeping frequency or towel reuse. These interactive features empower guests to make conscious choices that align with sustainability goals, promoting a culture of environmental awareness within the hotel. It is increasingly common for hotels to adopt sustainability practices as young travelers often expect or prefer eco-friendly accommodations.

iPads Are A More Sustainable Tablet

The Volo software solution is built to run on Apple iPads. Apple has been promoting environmental sustainability across its product lines for some time now, including the iPad. There are several reasons that make Apple iPad a more sustainable tablet when compared to other tablet options.

Recycled Materials: Apple has increasingly been using recycled materials in its products. For example, the enclosures of some iPad models are made from 100% recycled aluminum.

Renewable Energy Usage: Apple has reported that its global corporate operations are carbon neutral, including all of its data centers. The company has also set out a goal to have its entire manufacturing supply chain and product life cycle be carbon neutral by 2030.

Durability and Longevity: iPads have a reputation for being durable and having a longer useful life compared to some other tablets. This reduces waste as users tend not to replace their devices as frequently.

Software Updates: Apple provides software updates to older devices for many years. This practice extends the usable life of the device, again reducing the need for frequent replacements.

Recycling Program: Apple offers a recycling program where customers can return old devices, which the company then either refurbishes for resale or recycles to recover materials.

Reduction in Packaging: Over the years, Apple has made efforts to reduce the size and increase the sustainability of its product packaging.

Efficient Power Use: iPads are known for their battery efficiency, meaning they consume less power over time compared to devices with poor battery management.

Detailed Environmental Reports: Apple provides detailed environmental reports for each of its products, showcasing the carbon footprint, material efficiency, and energy efficiency of its products.

Elimination of Harmful Materials: Apple has been reducing or eliminating the use of harmful materials in its products, such as PVC and brominated flame retardants.

Supplier Responsibility: Apple has been known to work on improving working conditions and environmental responsibility in its supply chain.

It’s worth noting, however, that while Apple has made significant strides in sustainability, like all electronics, iPads still have an environmental impact, especially when considering the raw material extraction, manufacturing, distribution, and end-of-life stages.

Will Tablets Be Part Of The Next Generation of Green Hotels?

As hotels strive to align with the global push for sustainability, in-room tablets offer a compelling solution. By reducing paper waste, optimizing energy consumption, enhancing operational efficiency, and promoting guest engagement, these devices contribute to a more eco-friendly hotel environment. Embracing in-room tablets not only enhances the guest experience but also supports the broader mission of sustainable hospitality. As more hotels adopt this green solution, we can collectively create a more sustainable future for the travel industry.

Get ALICE By actable Through Volo Solutions

ALICE by actable

In today’s fast-paced and guest-centric hospitality world, the seamless integration of technological platforms is paramount. If you are in search of a superior request management platform to pair with your Volo in-room tablets, then look no further. We proudly present our partnership with ALICE by actabl – a name synonymous with luxury, precision, and operational perfection in the hospitality sector.

Understanding ALICE: The Pinnacle of Operational Efficiency

ALICE by actabl isn’t just another on-property software; it’s a transformative housekeeping and service delivery solution tailored for luxury hospitality. Crafted with meticulous attention, the software caters explicitly to the demands of upscale, multi-faceted hotels, and other exclusive properties. ALICE can be useful to any property. What sets it apart is its unparalleled guest satisfaction feature. With ALICE, no request is too small, and no concern too trivial. Every issue is addressed promptly and precisely, ensuring that your operations run flawlessly, every single time.

Achieve Symbiotic Excellence with Volo & ALICE Integration

We’re thrilled to announce that Volo’s cutting-edge in-room tablets now mesh perfectly with ALICE. This integration means that every guest request captured on Volo will instantly sync with your ALICE platform. The result? A harmonious operational flow that allows your staff to respond efficiently and your guests to notice your impeccable service. It’s a win-win situation, promising unparalleled guest experiences and streamlined operations for your business. For this reason, this software integration is truly cutting-edge.

Let’s Get Connected!

Getting Volo in-room tablets with an ALICE integration is easy. If you’re already reaping the benefits of ALICE at your property and are keen to explore this new integration, or if this is all new to you, we’re here to help. Contact us here to get in-room tablets, or reach out to us at info@getvolo.com to learn more about us and all of our software integrations. Let’s get started!

7 Things Millennials and Gen Z Are Looking For In a Hotel

millennials and gen z in a hotel

As the hospitality industry continues to evolve, it’s important to understand the needs and wants of the Millennial and Gen Z generations. Millennials and Gen Z are the largest generations in the world, and they’re the ones who will be doing the majority of the traveling in the coming years. So, what do Millennials and Gen Z want in a hotel?

1.  High-Tech Amenities

Millennials and Gen Z are looking for hotels that offer high-tech amenities such as free Wi-Fi, digital check-in, mobile apps, and mobile key access, and in-room tablets like Volo. Millennials and Gen Z are tech-savvy and they expect hotels to keep up with the times. They want to be able to book their rooms online, use in-room tech, and have access to tons of media. They also want to be able to use their own devices to access the hotel’s Wi-Fi and other services.

2.  Affordable Prices

Millennials and Gen Z are seeking hotels that provide reasonable prices and offer good value for their money. Due to the tough economy, as well as the prevalence of side hustles and the gig economy, many individuals from these generations are working multiple jobs. As a result, they want to make smart spending decisions and ensure that their hard-earned money is being used wisely.

3.  Unique Experiences

Millennials and Gen Z are looking for more than just a place to sleep. They want to experience something unique and memorable when they stay at a hotel. This could mean having access to interesting amenities like a rooftop pool or a craft cocktail bar, or having access to activities like yoga classes or guided tours. Also, Millennials and Gen Z are looking for hotels that offer unique experiences such as art installations, activities, and in-room entertainment. Millennials and Gen Z are the Instagram and TikTok generations, and they want to post about the interesting places they travel to.

Lookout Point Lakeside Inn in Hot Springs, Arkansas strives to attract millennials, as stated by Nancy Sullivan, the inn’s owner. Lookout Point offers curated itineraries tailored to attract millennials. Guests can take advantage of complimentary kayaks, canoes, and luxurious pool floats to enjoy the water. They also offer a variety of local craft beers for guests to taste and choose from. Their food options cater to all dietary preferences, including vegan, vegetarian, keto, flexitarian, paleo, and more, and their chefs are happy to accommodate any requests. Lookout Point also offers lawn games such as cornhole, croquet, and badminton, and hosts yoga sessions in the garden three times a week.

4.  Sustainable Practices

Many Millennials and Gen Z are looking for hotels that practice sustainability and are conscious of their environmental impact. They’re concerned about the environment and they want to stay in hotels that are doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint. They want to be able to see that the hotel is making an effort to be more sustainable, whether it’s through using energy-efficient appliances, offering eco-friendly amenities, or paperless practices by using more sustainable in-room tablets technology hosted on Apple iPads.

5.  Social Media Presence

Millennials and Gen Z are looking for hotels that have an active social media presence and engage with their customers. Millennials and Gen Z also look to social media before other websites to gauge their interest in a particular spot – be it a hotel, restaurant, or other attraction. So, share your customers’ posts about you, post pictures of your delicious menu and unique interiors, and boast about your great reputation.

6.  Flexibility

Millennials and Gen Z value flexibility when it comes to booking and staying at a hotel. They want to be able to book a hotel room on their own terms and have the freedom to change their plans if necessary. They’re also looking for hotels that offer flexible check-in and check-out times and allow them to cancel or modify their reservations without penalty.

7.  Authenticity

Millennials and Gen Z value authenticity and they want to feel like they’re staying somewhere that’s true to its local culture. They want to be able to experience the local area and its people, and they want to feel like they’re staying in a place that’s genuine and not just another generic hotel.

As the hospitality industry adapts to the changing needs and wants of travelers, it’s crucial to understand what Millennials and Gen Z desire in a hotel experience. These generations prioritize high-tech amenities, affordability, unique experiences, sustainability, social media presence, flexibility, and authenticity. By offering these features, hotels can attract and retain younger travelers who make up the largest generations in the world and who will be doing the majority of the traveling in the coming years. The key is to continually evolve and innovate to meet the needs of these tech-savvy, socially conscious, and adventurous generations.

7 Tips for Providing Exceptional Customer Service in the Hospitality Industry

hotel customer service

The hospitality industry is a service-based business, and customer service is an essential part of it. It is also one of the most competitive industries in the world. Good customer service is essential for hotels to be successful, stay ahead of the competition, and build a loyal customer base. This means not only meeting customer expectations but also surpassing them.

Here are some tips to ensure that your property offers top-notch customer service, featuring some insight from our friends at Hotel Covington.

1.  Use Technology

Technology can be used to improve customer service. Technology can also be used to streamline processes and make it easier for customers to interact with your hotel. This includes using online chat services, automated customer service systems, and even in-room tablets.

In-room tablets can be used to provide guests with a better customer service experience. Guests can use tablets to access hotel information, order room service, and even make reservations for activities or events. As a result, hotels can offer a more personalized and efficient customer service experience. Additionally, hotels can use the tablets to offer guests special promotions and discounts, as well as access to digital content. In-room tablets can also be used to provide guests with access to digital newspapers, magazines, and even virtual concierge services. In this way, in-room tablets can help to improve customer service by providing guests with more options for their stay.

According to Justin Ham, General Manager at Hotel Covington, the use of technology has been one of the biggest factors that set Hotel Covington apart. In an interview with Volo, Justin claimed, “Technology such as Volo provides our guests with a unique, curated experience that connects with other applications such as in-room fitness and also provides the hotel as an easy platform to promote our amenities, dining options and facilities.” Adopting tech such as Volo can help accelerate your business and delight your guests.

2.  Develop a Customer Service Culture

Creating a customer-focused culture is the foundation of providing excellent customer service in any industry, including the hospitality industry. It means that every member of your team, from the front desk staff to the housekeeping staff, must understand the importance of providing top-notch customer service and be committed to doing so.

Having a customer-focused culture starts with having a clear understanding of your hotel’s brand and the customer experience you want to provide. This means having a clear mission statement, customer service policies and procedures, and setting customer service goals that everyone on the team can work towards.

It’s important to make sure that everyone on the team understands what is expected of them in terms of customer service. This could involve providing customer service training, having regular team meetings to discuss customer service and feedback, and ensuring that everyone has access to the resources and tools they need to provide the best possible service.

3.  Train Employees

Hiring and keeping staff can be hard, but training can be even harder. Training is an essential part of any customer service strategy. It is important to ensure that all employees have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide excellent customer service. Employees should be trained on the industry, customer service best practices, and the hotel’s policies and procedures. By ensuring your staff is well-informed about the hotel and its offerings, you can provide guests with the necessary knowledge to make informed choices during their stay.

4.  Provide a Warm and Friendly Welcome

A warm welcome is the first impression a customer has of your hotel. Make sure that your front desk staff is friendly and helpful, and that they provide a personalized experience for each and every guest. Treat all customers with respect and kindness.

Additionally, a warm welcome includes a clean space. Make sure to always maintain a clean and well-kept hotel to create a comfortable and welcoming environment for guests.

5.  Listen to Customer Feedback

In order to understand customer needs and expectations, it is important to listen to customer feedback. “It’s all about building relationships with people. Get to know the needs and wants of your guests,” says Ham of Hotel Covington.

Listening to customer feedback can be done by conducting surveys or by simply having conversations with customers. Make sure that your staff is attentive and responsive to customer needs and feedback. Take the time to listen to what your customers have to say and use their feedback to make improvements to your services. This will help your business gain valuable insights into customer needs and desires.

By utilizing customer feedback, hotels can quickly address customer requests and complaints. In-room tablets like Volo provide an easy and efficient way for guests to submit feedback or complaints directly to hotel staff, allowing the hotel to proactively resolve any issues before they escalate and lead to negative public reviews.

6.  Offer Personalized Services

According to Ham, offering personalized services is essential for any hotel. Ham says that Hotel Covington strives to provide a tailored experience for each guest, beginning the moment they make their reservation and throughout their entire stay. One of Hotel Covington’s main goals is to understand why each guest is traveling to the Cincinnati area so that they can create a unique and memorable experience. Your staff should be trained to provide personalized services to each customer. This could include anything from providing a special welcome gift to offering recommendations for local attractions and restaurants.

You can also send push notifications to guests using Volo in-room tablets. By personalizing your push notifications even just a little bit, you can help create a customized experience for each guest. Sending push notifications allows you to provide guests with real-time information and updates about their stay. This can include information about room service, hotel amenities, local attractions, and more. By personalizing these notifications, you can make each guest feel valued and appreciated, which can enhance their overall experience and encourage them to return to your property in the future.

7.  Show Customer Appreciation

Customer appreciation is an important aspect of any business as it helps build strong relationships with your customers and increase customer loyalty. Offering special discounts or promotions is a great way to show your customers that you value their business and appreciate their loyalty. This can help increase customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business, leading to long-term success for your company.

Special discounts or promotions can take many forms, such as percentage-off coupons, limited-time discounts, or exclusive deals for your best customers. Whatever form you choose, it’s important to make sure the promotion is relevant to your customers and provides them with a meaningful benefit.

In addition to improving customer satisfaction, special discounts and promotions can also help increase brand awareness and attract new customers. For example, you could offer a discount to customers who refer a friend, which incentivizes existing customers to promote your business to their network.

Customer Service Is Essential In The Hospitality Industry

Ensuring exceptional customer service in the hotel industry is crucial for creating a comfortable and enjoyable stay for guests. By implementing these tips, you can guarantee that your hotel provides excellent service and develops a dedicated customer base. Good customer service is vital for any thriving business, and the hotel industry is no different. It’s important to remember that providing excellent customer service is an ongoing process and by actively listening to guests, personalizing services, and more, you can assure that your hotel remains a top choice for travelers.

Tips For How Your Hotel Can Stay Competitive in the Digital Age

hotel in room tablets

Today, guests are demanding a quicker, safer, and more virtual hospitality experience when traveling. This means that transitioning some or all of your services to a digital experience is key to your business plan. Here are some tips for how your hotel can stay competitive in the digital age.

Get In-Room Tablets

In-room tablets allow your guests to navigate through all your hotel or property has to offer. In-room tablets also help your hotel save and make money through up-selling, cross-selling, service recovery, and more.

Volo’s in-room tablet solution proves to be a profit center, not a cost, by driving revenue through up-sells and cross-sells of food, beverage, and amenities, and even push notifications for promotions or direct bookings. Volo also helps save money by ensuring real-time service recovery and improved reputation management, and cost savings from staff efficiency and reduced printing. Ultimately, more engagement and improved guest experience translate to real and measurable value to any hotel.

Dive Into In-Room Fitness

The ability to exercise is something that many guests demand during their stay. However, it can be difficult in today’s understaffed world to keep up with fitness facilities or workout areas. One solution is to bring the workout to guests via virtual exercise classes on your hotel’s in-room tablets.

We recommend using FitOn for virtual exercise classes and workouts. FitOn is the ultimate social health experience to help your guests get moving and stay motivated. Your guests can lose weight and get fit anytime, anywhere with FitOn’s exercise videos and personalized workout plans. Guests can enjoy fresh, tailored content across fitness, mindfulness, nutrition, sleep, yoga and more, along with inspiring programs and advice from celebrity trainers.

Use Contactless Food & Beverage Payment and Ordering

There are countless benefits of contactless payment and ordering. With contactless food and beverage ordering, your guests can order from their in-room tablet or wherever they might be headed next – poolside, rooftop, patio, and even on the golf course!

GoTab is a contactless food and beverage ordering platform that acts as a layer between your in-room tablets and your current POS system, meaning orders placed on your Volo in-room tablets will go straight to your POS system and print tickets just as they normally would. This eliminates the need for manually inputting orders into your POS system. Interested in changing POS systems completely? GoTab has you covered.

To top it off, you’ll get access to reports that show your sales in each location from one week to the next, which we also integrate into our Volo monthly reports.

Entertain Your Guests with Subscriptions

Guests want entertainment, even if that’s during their down time at your hotel. Offering in-room tablets with access to subscriptions can help your guests feel entertained and connected during their stay. Access to newspaper subscriptions and apps like Magazine Jukebox can provide your guests with enormous amounts of content and keep them entertained right in their rooms.

Utilize Digital Tipping

Tipping has always been an essential part of the hospitality industry. Tips don’t just help hotel staff make ends meet; they contribute to a culture of financial wellness. However, fewer guests carry cash on them than in earlier years, diminishing the amount of tips your staff earns. With eTip, your guests can tip your housekeeping or concierge staff with the touch a button on their phones or in-room tablets without needing cash. Cashless tipping has become more popular since the start of COVID-19. However, new touch-less practices are not exclusive to a pandemic year. Hotel staff are more likely to stay at a hotel and long to work at a hotel where they know there is digital tipping.

Provide Online Spa or Salon Booking

Guests no longer want to call down to the front desk or book through a third party. Let your guests relax even before their spa treatment with in-room booking right from your in-room tablets.

Klickbook is a cloud-based all-in-one Spa/Salon software management system that helps to streamline operations and generate revenue. The software provides online booking for any services, a Retail POS, Inventory management, Group Booking, Staff/Resource scheduling, Marketing, CRM, Medical Charting, Reports, Locker Management, Form Designer, Loyalty Points, and more. Klickbook also provides Head-Office functionality which allows you to manage multiple properties from a central location.

Klickbook’s Online booking platform integrates with the Volo in-room tablet solution so guests are able to easily book any service they need right from their room. Klickbook integrates with multiple Property Management Systems including Infor & Opera and is open to integrating with any new PMS to make the guest experience as seamless as possible.

Volo’s Exclusive Partnership With GoTab

Volo has partnered with GoTab to give your guests easy ways to pay for their food and drinks. With Volo’s GoTab integration, your guests can order from their in-room tablet or wherever they might be headed next – poolside, rooftop, patio, and even on the golf course! With GoTab’s POS integrations, the Volo staff portal becomes optional for purchases – GoTab can act as a layer between Volo and your current POS system, meaning orders placed on Volo will go straight to your POS system and print tickets just as they normally would. This eliminates the need for manually inputting orders from the Volo Staff Portal into your POS system.

To top it off, you’ll get access to reports that show your sales in each location from one week to the next, which we will also integrate into our Volo monthly reports. Interested in changing POS systems completely? GoTab has you covered.

Here are some of the advantages of using GoTab with Volo:

Flexibility:

  • Run the entire system on your existing hardware.
  • When ordering, guests can also scan QR codes from any location on their mobile device.
  • Allow your guests to pre-order amenities before their stay, open a tab and take it with them across your hotel, or leverage in-room dining.
  • With Volo’s GoTab integration, menus can be active or disabled during your specified days and/or times. When your POS menu in GoTab is updated, the changes reflect everywhere – Volo, your POS, QR codes, everywhere.

Increased Revenue:

  • Streamline customer ordering with embedded payments. Guests spend 25%+ more when leveraging GoTab powered by Volo in-room tablets.
  • Run GoTab across your resort and add contactless payment at various revenue centers.
  • Get insight to valuable data showing your most profitable locations.
  • GoTab operators process more transactions – typically 3-5 times more at peak versus a traditional POS.

Contactless Technology:

  • Give guests full control of their experience, and embed online ordering and payments without hassle.
  • Real-time guest feedback at your fingertips
  • Two-way SMS communication. Hotel staff can text a customer to let them know of out-of-stock items, delays, or when an item is ready.
  • Customers can create a running tab, eliminating the number of payment transactions and operator expenses. Customers can then “one-tap” re-order, building a running tab. Customers do not even need to close their tab – GoTab closes the tab at the end of each day.

Personalized Guest Experience:

  • Zones are built to tailor a unique experience to where the customer is sitting, enabling operators to differentiate their service model and offerings based on where guests are located.
  • With GoTab segments, you can understand who your guests are and can create offers and promotions to elevate the guest experience.
  • Provide custom or “secret” menus to VIPs, high spenders, or regulars, providing a personalized touch.
  • Tabs can be shared with others in the area, or even texted to friends.

It’s easy to integrate GoTab into your existing Volo system. To set up a GoTab integration for your Volo tablets, click here.

HITEC Orlando 2022: Volo Solutions Is Attending!

HITEC Orlando 2022

HITEC Orlando 2022 is almost here! The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) is the world’s largest and oldest hospitality technology conference, with a unique combination of top-notch education together with the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. Produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), a global nonprofit hospitality association, the unparalleled event offers attendees essential education, access to top hospitality technology industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines.

HITEC is going to be a great opportunity to bring together industry leaders again to reconnect with familiar faces, meet new people, and discuss how advanced hotel and resort technology is supporting our industry’s modern needs.

Volo is excited to once again attend this incredible conference, and if you are planning on attending as well, we would love to meet up to discuss your business and how Volo can increase your guest engagement, increase your staff productivity, and generate revenue. Please us to meet up at HITEC 2022 or any future HITEC event.  We’re looking forward to seeing you in Orlando!

– Benjamin Londa and the Volo Team

How to Mobilize Self-Service in Your Hotel

Years ago, self-service emerged as a tactic to assist businesses in streamlining operations and providing guests with the opportunity to set their own expectations. Eliminating common manual errors while enabling contactless communication, self-serve options have quickly become a preference across the hotel industry. Yet while it continues to hold tremendous power, it’s critical that hotels understand how to empower guests to use self-serve tools at their disposal.

In this blog, we’re doing just that by taking a deeper look at self-service, the benefits it brings and how you can start mobilizing self-service in your hotel.

The Impact of Mobilizing Self-Service in Your Hotel

Mobilizing self-service can be defined in many ways, depending on your industry. In the context of hotels, it means using staff and technology to empower guests to make their own decisions.

Of course, when you think about encouraging guests to make their own decisions, a lot of benefits come to mind. Firstly, self-service gives the guest greater control of their experience. Whether it be checking in when they feel comfortable, booking excursions while they’re out for dinner, or changing room features before they arrive, self-service plays a key role in convenience and satisfaction.

Secondly, self-service allows for greater operational efficiency. Your staff will have less to do on the front-end and administrative tasks can be streamlined through intuitive technology. For example, you can eliminate a lengthy in-person check-in process through a self-serve tablet or mobile device. Your employees can then focus on other aspects of the hotel like inventory checks and lobby cleanliness, while the guest can fill out forms in their spare time.

In addition, self-service leaves less room for error and more room for satisfaction. If a customer is filling out a dinner order on an in-room kiosk, it’s less likely they’ll type it in wrong. The meal is delivered exactly as they ordered it and the guest is happy. This goes for check-in too, where manually, phone numbers or email addresses can easily be entered incorrectly.

Lastly, self-service allows hotels to collect valuable data directly from the customer. Imagine a customer ordering food over the phone. With manual order entry, you could miss the opportunity to document preferred food items or dietary restrictions. However, swap the phone with a self-serve tablet and you have a digital receipt of what they ordered. This can be used to identify favorite menu items, popular check-in times over time, and favored excursions. From an operational perspective, this streamlines requests but also enhances the experience for future guests.

How to Mobilize Self-Service in Your Hotel

It’s apparent that there are a lot of upsides to providing self-serve options. So, let’s explore how you can mobilize self-serve in your hotel.

Check-In

Check-in is one of the easiest ways to incorporate self-service from the get-go. This could be in the form of an automated message you send via email or it could be a simple tablet kiosk on-site that guests can navigate themselves.

When providing a self-service option in the form of a message, make sure you’re communicating with the guest on their channel of choice. Further, you should be personalizing each message and be timely in response, should they reach out. The goal is to make the self-service option as easy as possible.

Don’t Forget To Up-Sell

With self-service, upselling becomes simplified. Whether on your tablet or through your guest message, you should be offering a simple way to upgrade your room or provide a coupon for dinner. Check-in is the perfect time to share your suite of offerings and make a great first impression.

Room Service & Ordering

When it comes to ordering room service, requesting more towels, or booking spa appointments,  self-serve tools can be helpful to relieve a lot of stress. Since the customer is filling out the request themselves, there is less room for error and greater transparency on the backend.

When offering self-service ordering, consider an in-room tablet. It promotes self-service by eliminating key barriers like downloading an app or speaking with someone over the phone. Further, by using a solution like Volo, hotels can customize the look and feel of their interface to be more on-brand. They can additionally update menus and offerings across the enterprise while optimizing revenue through subtle upsells and push notifications.

Hotel and Excursion Information

For hoteliers, it’s common to feel overwhelmed with redundant requests. Similar to self-serve ordering, using an in-room tablet or kiosks strategically across your hotel, you can provide detailed information about your hotel and offerings.

For example, excursion information. A guest looking to book an activity can get frustrated fast if they have to wait in line at the concierge. Using a tablet with activity information displayed, a guest can easily and efficiently review what they want to do and what is included in the price. By providing self-serve options, the guest can feel empowered to get the information they need when they want.

Measuring the Experience For Continued Self-Service Improvement

Once you start implementing practices to promote self-service across your hotel, it’s time to track progress to uncover gaps and opportunities.

A great way to initiate the success of your self-service initiatives is to send a feedback survey. For instance, maybe your menu ordering has too many pop-ups or your check-in is hard to navigate. With a survey, you can get insight right from the guest to improve satisfaction and drive loyalty.

When crafting your survey keep data extraction top of mind. It’s important to incorporate a range of questions types; Probe ease of use with a customer effort score (CES) question type or measure the overall satisfaction with a customer satisfaction (CSAT) question. Pairing these with more open text field questions can provide your team with the insight needed to make a positive impression.

If you’re looking for a solution to help aid your feedback efforts, Loop Experience Platform is a comprehensive tool that seamlessly integrates into your in-room Volo tablet. Not only does this maximize the feedback survey’s visibility, but the data you gather will be more accurate in real-time.

Things You Can Do With Volo Tablets: Enjoy In-Room Fitness

Do you have a gym or fitness center on-site that needs routine staffing or cleaning? Or, are you lacking a fitness center and exercise opportunities for your guests? Both scenarios aren’t ideal in today’s understaffed and demanding hospitality industry.

Allow your guests to enjoy workouts at their fingertips. Now, on-demand workouts and instructor-led exercise classes are available to properties using Volo in-room tablets. Your guests will benefit from complimentary on-demand and live classes straight from the tablet in the privacy of their rooms without the need to access a gym or exercise equipment. Finally –  club-quality exercise experience wherever your guests may be, and whenever they want to train.

Volo Fitness gives your guests access to top-tier workout classes taught by instructors around the world. Class types include cardio, conditioning, mind & body, kids & family, and more. From yoga and pilates to intense strength training, there are classes for everyone at every level. Here are some of our favorite benefits of Volo Fitness:

  • Workout anywhere – in the gym, at home, or abroad
  • Access to 700+ high quality curated virtual classes
  • Multiple world-class virtual content providers
  • Celebrity instructors in global locations
  • Functional classes – Beginner to Pro
  • New classes & content providers added regularly
  • Workouts in multiple languages
  • Upload your own content via the Connect feature
  • Easily search and save your favorite classes
  • Fitness inspiration! Discover new classes with our innovative content collections

 “Fitness and wellness have become a top priority for travelers, with studies showing that 48% of guests rank a property’s wellness options as ‘very important,’” says Volo’s CEO, Benjamin Londa. “With hotels adapting to the new normal, the option of an in-room fitness amenity could very well become a necessity.”

Your guests can opt-in for a 24 hour free trial, and then pay for a simple, low-cost subscription plan should they wish to continue using Volo Fitness after their stay. If you’re not already using Volo Fitness or Volo in-room tablets in general, reach out to us and we can get you started.

How Real-Time Engagement Impacts Hotel Guest Experiences

Real-time matters in the hospitality industry

This article was contributed by our partner, Benbria Corporation.

For the modern traveler, technology has become an essential part of almost every stage of their journey. Whether to research a hotel, purchase an excursion or communicate with staff, the reliance on technology can’t be ignored.

And although this tells us that having technology in place is crucial for hotelier survival, it also points to signs of a desire for immediate interaction. In fact, today 71% of customers expect real-time communication and 60% of customers want quick support to their inquiry.

As the landscape continues to evolve for hotels, real-time communication becomes paramount for effective communication, empowering customers to reach out and plan their trips on their own schedule.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at the current state of real-time communication, and how it can impact your hotel guest experience in the years to come.

The State of Hotel Communication

Historically, real-time engagement could be defined by a phone call or text message to concierge. However, today, many channels allow for immediate conversation. Apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter are growing in popularity, with customers reaching out on more than one channel and expecting conversations on two or more channels. 

Immediacy has quite evidently become an essential part of the experience. It allows customers to continue on their whim of planning with little interruption or delay. Those who aren’t meeting customer expectations can experience a ripple in reputation and lose out on valuable loyalty. Let’s explore this further with how real-time directly impacts hoteliers.

How Real-Time Impacts Hoteliers

Seamless Requests & Alerts

For the hotelier, real-time communication allows for a seamless flow of conversation. Whether you choose to notify a guest when their room is ready, send updates on room service, or alert guests of COVID-19 precautions, it’s a great way to keep guests alert. 

And it works both ways. 

Guests can also leverage real-time communication to request items and updates on services, streamlining operations and ensuring greater satisfaction. 

Room Service, Simplified 

Today, room service takes on a completely new meaning as hotels around the globe opt for responsive and real-time devices. Instead of having a physical menu and phone, in-room tablets have become a tool to offer an array of hotel services. 

For instance, in addition to restaurant menus, an in-room tablet can offer meal recommendations, spa packages, in-room fitness apps and a whole range of experience-enhancing services. This allows for up-selling your hotel’s offerings without the massive uplift.

Immediate Recovery

It’s been reported that  82% of consumers look for an immediate response from brands. In addition, “78% of customers expect your brand to solve their problem (regardless of how complex it might be) with a single contact”.

Real-time capabilities, such as asking for feedback or having a channel open for communication, can help deter negative sentiment online and encourage a healthy flow of communication. If a customer writes in, staff are immediately notified, so you can recover the experience and reduce churn. 

For the modern guest, having someone available to talk to in the moment can make all the difference in whether they leave with a good or bad experience. 

Holistic Engagement

Real-time opens up a new world of communication pre and post-stay that isn’t available with simple on-site communication. Rather than being restricted to in-stay, you can build a strategy (that includes upselling and collecting feedback) to continuously engage customers. 

With greater opportunity to start a conversation and build a loyal brand relationship, having real-time capabilities can help you stay top of mind and competitive.

Streamline Operations

Your guests aren’t the only ones impacted by real-time capabilities. In fact, your employees benefit from it greatly. 

With real-time capabilities, you can gamify the experience for hotel staff, encourage them to maintain a level of customer satisfaction, answer customer queries in record time, encourage friendly competition and so on. 

Further, with real-time insights, your team can hold regular meetings at the beginning or end of their shift to ensure employees are performing to your brand standards.

Strategically Enhance Future Stays

Insights gathered from real-time conversations can help you understand trends to forecast for the future. Understand busy times of day, average customer sentiment and trending topics that can shape future experiences. 

As an example, knowing what days customers are writing in can help you schedule employee shifts. In addition, knowing trending topics like “very clean” or “great service” can help you allocate spend and resources accordingly.

Taking the First Step Towards Real-Time Engagement

Implementing real-time capabilities comes with its benefits. From deterring negative sentiment to streamlining back-end operations and keeping your team on top of hotel trends, it’s a great way to grow your business. 

However, taking the first step can be complex if you’re new to real-time engagement. With so many channels available and no previous data to build a strategy, it can get overwhelming. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. 

With a customer experience solution, you get a team of dedicated experienced specialists to assist you every step of the way. In addition, managing channels is simplified as you can consolidate all guest conversations into a single inbox; Facebook, Twitter, email, it all gets sent to a unified inbox for immediate response. Saving employees time toggling between tabs.

Further, an experience solution can provide you with detailed insights on customer sentiment and operational performance. Whether you’re looking to gain insight on time to respond or the average sentiment of a customer, an experience solution can consolidate data on a customizable dashboard that suits your needs. 

For hoteliers, engaging guests in real-time is a great way to build a solid reputation and reduce churn. As expectations continue to sore and businesses become more competitive, offering real-time communication and feedback can keep you ahead of the curve.