Mobile Marketer has re-launched! Click here to learn more!

Hyatt Regency Bellevue ups guest communication with SMS strategy

Seattle?s Hyatt Regency Bellevue hotel is attempting to raise communication efforts between staff and guests by leveraging a two-way SMS cloud-based solution that is also set to save the hotel thousands of dollars each year.

The hotel claims to be the first using mobile-based two-way communication that also powers other technologies at the same time, such as digital signage, push notifications and guest requests. The Connect SMS platform, developed by Hyatt Regency Bellevue?s technology partner Monscierge, functions as a single hub with multiple functionalities that will eventually save thousands of dollars for the Washington state-based property.

?Hospitality is still fairly new to having a comprehensive mobile solution as an option for communicating with each other and with guests, and so far the response has been very enthusiastic,? said Marcus Robinson, CEO of Monscierge, Edmond, Okla. ?There is an obvious need for the technology experience between guest and hotel, especially now that mobile applications outside of the hospitality industry have advanced messaging features among other easy to use functionalities. 

?If you are forced to use tools that are not right for the job, it makes the job harder than it needs to be. We've found once implemented, the hotel staff members find mobile making their jobs easier.?

Answering guests? needs
The Hyatt Regency Bellevue believes that mobile strategies should be more than simply offering guests a branded mobile application. The hotel seeks to connect with guests using a native messaging feature on smartphones with a user-friendly dashboard.

If a client wants to the concierge to make a reservation at one of the hotel?s restaurants, he or she can text the request into Connect CMS, where a staff member will answer as soon as possible. For weary travelers or on-the-go consumers, this mobile solution provides an added layer of convenience.

The Connect CMS system is also able to control the staff and guest mobile apps and Windows 8-powered interactive tables stationed in the lobby. The Microsoft Windows PPI touch-tables are part of recent hotel renovations, and offer the Monscierge Connect Lobby software.

Guests lounging in the lobby can access the same content seen on digital signage, including real-time flight information and employees? local recommendations.

?Being in the industry of catering to clients that openly review your company on sources such as Trip Advisor or even socially on Twitter, it becomes imperative to remain updated with regard to guest services and technology; to meet and exceed expectations,? Mr. Robinson said.

Cutting expenses
The singular cloud-based content management software is proving to cut down as much as $20,000 in expenses yearly by phasing out fees from multiple vendors. The system is also improving workflow efficiency.

More hotel brands are leveraging contextual messaging to connect with customers and build a more loyal client base. Marriott International is another top brand sending guests push notifications when their hotel rooms are ready, and enabling members of its app to bypass the lobby and use mobile check-in instead (see story).

The Hyatt Regency Bellevue will be sending a welcome text message to guests? mobile devices upon arrival, along with requested status updates and push notifications.

Monscierge hopes that its cloud-based technology makes the guest journey as streamlined as possible from the planning and booking stage to checking out and sharing hotel-branded postcards on social media apps or sites.

The hotel will also be partnering with Monscierge for a mobile research project in 2015, sponsored by Intel.

?Forward thinking brands are already embracing mobile communication concepts, providing highly curated local recommendations and incorporating contextual messaging,? Mr. Robinson said. ?They are working towards enhances the overall travel experience, during the entire guest journey.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York