Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference
June 18-21, 2018
Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference
December 5–6, 2018
Benbria Corporation 17 May 2018
We live in a fast paced consumer centric world, where the introduction of advanced technologies and evolving customer preferences are changing the way businesses operate. Now more than ever it is important to listen to customer preferences so you can provide a unique and tailored customer experience. In this white paper we define the new voice of the customer, and how you can implement it into your customer experience program, to earn greater loyalty and maximize revenue.
Benbria Corporation 3 May 2018
Ottawa, Ontario -- Benbria, the leading provider of omni-channel messaging and customer experience measurement solutions, announced to clients and partners today its compliance with the European General Data Protection Regulation, or "GDPR" which will become enforceable on May 25, 2018.The GDPR requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states. As a cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, Benbria sees this as an opportunity to improve data security for all customers on the Loop platform including customers using Loop Messenger, Loop Pulse and Loop OnDemand. As a global leader of omni-channel messaging and measurement software solutions, Benbria will raise the bar with this initiative.A key element of GDPR compliance is consumer transparency. Benbria will continue to be transparent in how it manages and uses consumer personal data to provide service. Benbria commits to cooperating with customers to help facilitate their respective data protection rights regarding personal data. In addition, European consumers may now request to be forgotten and will have a right to obtain from Benbria an erasure of personal data without undue delay, if they wish to withdraw consent.Lastly, GDPR calls for prompt action in the event of a breach of security or unintended leak of personal data. While Benbria maintains top-level security policies and processes customer data in facilities with world-class security infrastructure, the company is prepared for every scenario. Benbria, in cooperation with their partners and policies, commits to being forthright and transparent about any compromise to customer data. In the event that Benbria becomes aware of any unauthorized access or disclosure of personal data, Benbria will promptly take action to provide awareness and reestablish trust amongst our customers, to the extent such notification is permitted by applicable law."Our focus on information and data security have always been a major benefit of using Loop, as we already built our platform to comply with well-established regulations in several global markets. This includes our home country of Canada, where many countries and regulators have turned to as a reference point for best practices," said James Geneau, VP of Marketing at Benbria. "These further enhancements to comply with GDPR means we are even better positioned to offer a solution that can meet the needs of our existing and growing list of clients based in Europe, and around the globe."Businesses using the Loop platform can respond to messages through a wide selection of channels including SMS, E-mail, proprietary web chat, in-App chat, physical kiosks and messaging channels like Facebook and Twitter; while having the ability to seamlessly route them to key internal team members. In addition, businesses can measure customer satisfaction in real-time using short and timely feedback surveys which capture customer sentiment and satisfaction at any point of the customer journey.These additional GDPR related compliance steps come into effect today, ahead of when the regulation becomes enforceable on May 25, 2018.Companies in Europe can request to connect with their dedicated Benbria team member by visiting www.benbria.com/contact-us.About Benbria Benbria is a leader in omni-channel customer engagement solutions, helping the world's greatest brands deliver a superior guest experience that goes above and beyond their competitors. Using a variety of mobile, online, and on-property technologies - including SMS, email, web, in-app and messaging channels, as well as kiosks - Loop enables brands to capture and direct real-time customer requests, concerns, suggestions, and positive input to management and team members for action and closure.With over 1,400 client locations in 20 countries, a network of 10 global sales partners, and the ability integrate with over 60 PMS and SOS solutions, Benbria offers both global reach and expertise with the hospitality industry's largest network of integration partners. For more information, visit www.benbria.com.Media Contact:Nicole Jardim Benbria Corporationnjardim@benbria.com
Benbria Corporation 11 December 2017
Ottawa, Canada and Paris, France -- Benbria, the leading provider of omni-channel messaging and customer experience measurement solutions, announced today that it has established a sales and customer support base outside Paris, France with its new WCS Europe partnership.This arrangement will allow Benbria to sell and support Loop, including the Loop Messenger, Loop Pulse, and Loop OnDemand solutions to enterprise customers within France, Spain, and Portugal. Offering sales and service support in the local languages within these markets, further demonstrates Benbria's commitment to be a truly global leader of omni-channel messaging and measurement software solutions."This is a market with immense opportunity for Benbria and we are excited to be working with the team at WCS Europe in establishing more than simply a partnership, but a truly integrated sales, marketing, and customer support hub in the region", commented James Geneau, Head of Marketing at Benbria. "Europe has always been a leader in delivering exceptional service using mobile technology and the response to date with the Loop platform in this region has validated that. This arrangement with WCS Europe will ensure we can meet and deliver the needs of this market better than our competition".Businesses using Loop can respond to messages received via a multitude of channels including SMS, E-mail, proprietary Web chat, in-App chat, and Facebook; and seamlessly route them to key internal team members. They can have a meaningful 1:1 dialogue with their customers to make the experience more personal, recover at-risk ones, and drive long-term loyalty. In addition, they can measure customer satisfaction in real-time using short and timely feedback surveys which can capture the customer's sentiment and satisfaction at any point in their journey. Both of these solutions are complemented by a rich reporting and analytics suite allowing companies to understand trending topics, operational issues, and other key drivers which may negatively impact the customer experience and revenue.With WCS Europe, Benbria is leveraging an experienced team of technical and business specialists who can help businesses in the region learn about and integrate Loop into their enterprise customer engagement programs. "Our company is focused on delivering a broad range of technical business solutions to meet the needs of innovative enterprise clients" noted Lionel Hovsepian, Executive Director of WCS Europe. "With Benbria, we are pleased to be representing and supporting their Loop platform in the region and helping companies here connect with their customers in a meaningful way".Companies in France, Span, and Portugal can request to connect with their dedicated Benbria team member in Europe by visiting www.benbria.com/contact-us.About Benbria Benbria is a leader in omni-channel messaging and customer experience measurement software solutions, helping the world's greatest brands to deliver a superior customer experience that goes above and beyond their competitors. Using a variety of mobile, in-store, and on-property technologies - including SMS, email, Web, mobile app and kiosks - Loop enables brands to capture and direct real-time customer requests, concerns, suggestions, and positive input to management and employees for action and closure. Closing the loop through on-the-spot staff action helps brands to quickly enhance the customer experience during visits, save dissatisfied customers, increase revenues, and drive greater loyalty. For more information, visit www.benbria.com.About WCS Europe With a team offering combined experience in the telecommunications, convergence, customer relationship, mobile applications and new usages industries, WCS Europe provides integrated technology solutions tailored to the needs of clients. By understanding the various processes impacted by the digital transformation of the company and their transversal approach, they have developed a privileged relationship with many customers, within several verticals. For more information, visit WCS Europe.Media Contact: Nicole Jardim Benbria Corporation firstname.lastname@example.orgBenbria, Loop, Get in the Loop, and Keep Us in the Loop are registered trademarks of Benbria Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Benbria Corporation 29 November 2017
Ottawa, Canada -- Giving independent hotel operators the same digital capabilities as the big travel players, the first DIY app builder for the hospitality sector in the UK, Criton Apps, is integrating key guest engagement technologies onto one mobile app.The traveltech start-up has signed the first reseller agreement with mobile messaging and engagement solutions provider Benbria in the UK. The agreement allows for Benbria's Loop Messenger and Loop OnDemand applications to be embedded into the Criton Apps guest experience.The deal, which will give Criton clients the ability to build communication tools into their app, follows a similar arrangement with Bubbl, the location-based technology that promotes offers and promotions from local businesses.The two new tech partnerships mean that Criton's client base of hotels, serviced apartments and other holiday destinations can now create affordable branded information apps that will also allow them to communicate directly with their guests and build the customer experience further with localized product offers.These capabilities will be available as additional functionality beyond the travel, destination information and local recommendations that already exist within the Criton App builder. Developing such tools within an app for the customer's own mobile device is widely seen as vital to increase guest satisfaction.Julie Grieve is the CEO and founder of Criton Apps, which recently secured a PS5million investment to support the company's growth ambitions."Using digital technologies to enhance the customer experience is vital for all hotel and holiday accommodation businesses", commented Ms. Grieve. "Today's travelers and guests rely on their mobile phones or devices, carrying them everywhere; we simply provide operators of all sizes the ability to create an app for their hotel or apartments that not only acts as a digital concierge, but also allows them to answer guest's questions, resolve any issues in real time, and increase revenue.Working with both Benbria and Bubbl has been an absolute pleasure. The level of cooperation and shared vision has meant that we are totally committed to creating an app building service that will have a tremendous impact on the travel sector looking to keep pace with the digitally-savvy guest.", she added.Benbria, whose Loop platform supports real-time messaging, ordering, request fulfillment, and guest feedback applications, has a track record of success working with leading brands and independent hoteliers, globally. Their unified Loop Inbox, which allows hotels to communicate with guests and manage requests between hotel staff, delivers the accessibility and speed of service today's modern travelers demand."Our mission is to help our clients engage their guests and build meaningful relationships using real-time messaging", commented James Geneau, Benbria's Head of Marketing. "Ease of use is vital, and what Criton Apps has achieved with its DIY app builder is exactly the kind of like-minded company we want to work with as part of our global omni-channel communications platform."Those interested in learning more about how Benbria's Loop solutions can be embedded into the Criton App can contact their dedicated account manager or visit www.critonapps.com.About Criton AppsCriton, the UK's first DIY app builder is the first product developed and launched by Information Apps for the travel and hospitality sector.Information Apps was set up by Julie Grieve and employs ten.Julie secured a Scottish Enterprise innovation grant to support the initial development of Criton.Criton is accessed on a subscription basis from PS8.99 per month.There are over 4 million locations across the world offering hotels, serviced apartment, holiday lets, guest houses and B&Bs and this is a growing marketAbout BenbriaBenbria is a leader in omni-channel messaging and customer engagement, helping the world's greatest retail, hospitality, and restaurant brands to deliver a superior customer experience that goes above and beyond their competitors. Using a variety of mobile, in-store, and on-property technologies - including SMS, email, Web, mobile app and kiosks - Loop enables brands to capture and direct real-time customer requests, concerns, suggestions, and positive input to management and employees for action and closure. Closing the loop through on-the-spot staff action helps brands to quickly enhance the customer experience during visits, save dissatisfied customers, increase revenues, and drive greater loyalty.Media Enquiries:Elizabeth LambleyCriton Appslizzylambley@indigopr.com_ _ _Nicole JardimBenbria Corporationnjardim@benbria.com
Benbria Corporation 23 November 2017
Ottawa, Canada -- Benbria Corporation, a leader in the area of mobile and text-based customer engagement, today announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with TaraSpan, a leading India-based unified communication solutions provider, to offer Benbria's Loop guest engagement solution throughout the region.TaraSpan will be representing the entire suite of products offered by Benbria - all designed to help deliver a superior customer experience and drive greater overall loyalty. Their Loop Messenger suite is a personalized, one-on-one instant messaging solution that helps build powerful connections between a brand and their customers. Loop OnDemand allows guests to ask for frequently-requested items at the touch of a button, which are then routed to the relevant team members who can take immediate action to fulfill them. Finally, Loop Pulse is their mobile engagement solution that measures customer sentiment and allows you to communicate with and recover those at risk."Messaging with customers in real-time and using this as a gateway for improving their experience is key," said Jordan Parsons, CEO at Benbria. "We developed our Loop guest engagement platform and related software suite, to allow customers to communicate directly with a brand globally, and are very excited to be entering the South Asia market through our new partnership".One of the biggest challenges for businesses today is the continuously evolving expectations of the customer when it comes to access to staff and their preferred method of communication. They expect a business to offer them personalized services and value for their money along with being accessible and quick to deliver upon requests. This is the area where they need to perform extremely well in order to stay ahead of their competition. Savvy customers expect to be able to communicate with a business using their personal mobile device and expect to have their questions and concerns routed to the right person, and answered quickly. This is the challenge Benbria's Loop solution is helping businesses worldwide overcome."We believe in empowering brands by providing them the right technology so customers can have hassle free services, an improved overall experience, and drive loyalty. Benbria has a revolutionary product that is changing the way companies engage with their customers." says Nihar Ranjan Sahoo - MD, TaraSpan.Indian businesses can learn more about the Benbria suite of guest engagement solutions by speaking with their TaraSpan representative, visiting their Website at www.taraspan.com, or by visiting Benbria's global site at www.benbria.com.About BenbriaBenbria is a leader in the area of mobile and text customer engagement, helping the world's greatest retail, hospitality, and restaurant brands to deliver a superior customer experience that goes above and beyond their competitors. Using a variety of mobile, in-store, and on-property technologies - including SMS, email, Web, mobile app and kiosk - Loop enables brands to capture and direct real-time customer requests, concerns, suggestions, and positive input to management and employees for action and closure. Closing the loop through on-the-spot staff action helps brands to quickly enhance the customer experience during visits, save dissatisfied customers, improve in-store sales conversion rates, avoid online criticism, and foster positive reviews.About TaraSpanTaraSpan is a multinational company with headquarters in India and Canada. Our customers include some of the World's foremost technology companies and India's prominent corporates. With more than 10 years since our inception, today we have offices in India in Gurgaon, Mumbai , Bangalore & Pune and we represent and sell some of the world's best technology products in the area of Unified Collaboration to Indian corporates. Our comprehensive portfolio includes IP telephony, Contact Center Solutions, Video conferencing & Mobility Enterprise solutions.Media Enquiries:Nicole JardimBenbria Corporationnjardim@benbria.comDiwakar LoombaTaraSpanDiwakar.email@example.com
Benbria Corporation 7 July 2017
Today, travelers are increasingly using their mobile devices to research their trip, book their accommodations, manage their travel plans, and more. This is why it's so important for hotels to adopt omni-channel strategies and connect with their guests digitally as well as through traditional means. This white paper will outline what an omni-channel strategy entails and why text and mobile engagement are an essential part of it.
Benbria Corporation 26 June 2017
Toronto, Canada -- Benbria(r) Corporation, the makers of the industry-leading Loop(r) mobile guest engagement solution for hotels, unveiled enhancements to its product suite at HITEC 2017 as part of its Loop(r) 2.0 release.These new enhancements serve several purposes: to make it easier for guests to communicate with hotels on their preferred messaging channels using their mobile devices; to help hotels improve their social ranking by increasing the number of positive reviews received; and to enable hotels to develop an omni-channel approach to messaging across multiple customer touchpoints.Integration with Facebook MessengerWith Loop Messengertm, hotel guests have always been able to send hotel staff messages via SMS text and web-based messaging, but as a result of this update, they are now able to connect via Facebook Messenger as well. All the guest needs to do is click the "Message" button on the hotel's Facebook page to begin a conversation. At that point, the Loop(r) bot asks the guests a few simple questions in order to acquire the information needed to log their message. The Loop Inbox provides a unified messaging experience, allowing hoteliers to receive and respond to all guest messages from a single solution, regardless of message source or format.Loop(r) SDKThe new Loop(r) SDK allows hotels to integrate Loop(r) into any guest-facing interface connected to the internet. It enables hotels to use messaging and ordering regardless of technology that is being used now or will be used in the future.Whether a hotel's guest engagement strategy involves a native app, a need for basic web-based messaging, texting, or integration with physical devices such as kiosks or in-room tablets, the Loop SDK allows guests to communicate in real time using the industry's first omni-channel solution."Omni-channel is a term the retail industry has used for years to describe the delivery of a consistent brand experience across multiple customer touchpoints," said James Geneau, Head of Marketing at Benbria. "With our new Loop(r) SDK, we are bringing that same ideology to messaging within the hospitality industry. Whether you want to incorporate real-time messaging and ordering into a native app, or want basic texting and Facebook Messenger management from a single inbox, Loop(r) 2.0 is flexible and scalable, and can be incorporated into any guest-facing channel."Benbria will showcase these and other new features in Loop(r) 2.0 at the booths of a variety of strategic and technology partners -- including Digital Alchemy(r), Mitel(r), and Verizon(r) -- during HITEC 2017 in Toronto.
Benbria Corporation 25 May 2017
For the harried hotelier, automation offers the possibility of boosting efficiency, reducing the number of staff needed to run the hotel, and adding enhancements to the guest experience. However, this type of technology is not something hoteliers should jump into headfirst without first assessing the pros and cons of automating aspects of their property. This white paper will explore the many ways automation can be harnessed and the things hoteliers should consider before making the leap.
Benbria Corporation 12 December 2016
Now more than ever, the hospitality industry is facing a crisis, particularly around employee engagement and turnover. Studies have found that employee engagement is at an all-time low. Overall, only 31.5 percent of employees are actually engaged at their jobs, and almost half of Millennials say they would leave their place of employment within two years if given the chance.Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem: Gamification. Eighty-nine percent of employees say a point system in the workplace would boost their engagement.In this white paper, you will learn the applications for gamification in a business setting; why gamification is useful for engaging Millennials; and valuable strategies for engaging employees using gamification.
Benbria Corporation 18 October 2016
Benbria Corporation, the maker of the Loop mobile guest engagement solution for the hospitality industry, has released a summary paper on a major study conducted over the past few months with Cornell University's Institute for Healthy Futures and the International Luxury Hotel Association (ILHA). Focused on the impact of mobile messaging and technology on service quality within the luxury segment, the highlights of this study were shared exclusively last month at the ILHA Pinnacle Summit in Washington, DC.The summary report shares insights from workshops, roundtables, and a formal industry survey that has been underway since the beginning of 2016. As part of the research, insights were gathered from Cornell University students and leading hotel executives across the United States to identify the opportunities and challenges a mobile-centric guest experience has on the traditional delivery of quality service in the luxury hotel segment.A key insight from the study is the role mobile technology and messaging plays in the guest experience at luxury hotels. Speed was perceived as a major benefit, with 95 percent of study participants in agreement that technology "should connect the guest to the things they need and help fulfill their requests more quickly." The majority of participants also noted that the technology needs to be reliable and that if it doesn't enhance the experience, especially regarding how the guest interacts with the hotel, it isn't worth the investment."These insights send a clear message to the industry regarding the role of mobile technology in delivering a high-quality guest experience," said James Geneau, Head of Marketing at Benbria Corporation. "Overwhelmingly, the response from the industry is that mobile devices and messaging are here to stay and that the industry needs to embrace it. However, study participants noted that it needs to be a reliable channel for the guest to quickly access hotel staff and not a replacement for the unique experience only a hospitality professional can deliver."Millennials, often viewed as the main drivers of mobile technology and messaging adoption, were a major theme in the study. However, not everyone in the industry feels they should be the sole benefactors of a hotel's mobile strategy. Of those surveyed, 75 percent said technology should always be used as a vehicle to make the guest experience more positive for all guests, not just a subset, while only 16 percent said technology does not have to make the guest experience better in every single case."Many hotels have changed their technology strategy to accommodate the Millennial guest in recent years," said Dr. Rohit Verma, Dean for External Relations, Cornell College of Business, and Executive Director, Institute for Healthy Futures. "However, the findings from this study are interesting because of the fact that, while Millennials are the ones driving mobile technology and messaging, hoteliers feel a solution should cater to all guests, not simply a percentage of them."More details from the research can be found in the preliminary report from Benbria, available for download at www.benbria.com/cornell-studyAbout Benbria Loop(r) by Benbria Corporation is a mobile messaging and engagement solution that helps brands to enhance the customer experience. Leveraging the customer's preferred choice of communications - texting, messaging, email, and kiosk - Loop(r) allows customers to communicate directly with a brand to make requests, resolve issues, and share their experience before, during, and after their visit. Closing the loop through on-the-spot staff action helps brands to improve customer satisfaction, save at-risk customers, increase revenue, and drive repeat business. For more information, visit www.benbria.com.Media Contact: Amy Allen Benbria Corporationaallen@benbria.com Benbria, Loop, Get in the Loop, and Keep Us in the Loop are registered trademarks of Benbria Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Benbria Corporation 18 October 2016
Throughout 2016, Benbria, the International Luxury Hotel Association, and Cornell University's Institute for Healthy Futures partnered to explore a trend that is becoming increasingly relevant in our always-connected world: the relationship between mobile technology, particularly with regards to messaging, and service quality at hotels.Through workshops, round tables, and a formal industry survey, hospitality students and hotel executives identified the opportunities and challenges a mobile-centric guest experience has on the traditional delivery of quality service in the luxury hotel segment. This white paper provides a summary of the key findings as well as recommendations and best practices for hoteliers to succeed.
Benbria Corporation 16 September 2016
With a need to engage guests across 2,000 acres, Celtic Manor Resort integrated Benbria's Loop Messenger and Loop OnDemand in June 2016. The resort is one of the first to deploy a combined Loop Messenger and Loop OnDemand solution, which has been seamlessly integrated with their property management solution (PMS).Loop allows the guests to message the resort and make requests around the clock, whether they are on one of the property's two golf courses, relaxing at the spa, or hiking the surrounding walking trails.The resort uses the Loop Messenger invitation feature to encourage guests to submit comments, concerns, and requests. Invitations are sent to both email addresses and mobile numbers, opening a convenient channel of communication between the resort and guests. With Loop, guests can use their preferred method to message the resort.The Loop OnDemand menu interface enables Celtic Manor Resort's guests to order various products and amenities, including bedding, wake-up calls, electronics and appliances, luggage assistance, and bathroom items such as shampoo and soap. Requests are automatically routed to the appropriate staff, who can fulfill them in a timely manner."Since its implementation at Celtic Manor Resort, Loop has had significant traction with our guests," said Russell Phillips, Vice President of Facilities and Development at Celtic Manor Resort. "Loop has a very polished interface that is easy for both guests and staff to use. Loop OnDemand is great for the standard quick requests, and guests really like the ease of messaging with staff using Loop Messenger."To date, the resort has had significant success with the solution. Guests have been using it to engage more fully with the resort and maintain an open line of communication, even after they have left the property. With its integration into Opera, one of over 60 different property management solutions with which Loop can interface, the process for engaging guests is easy. When a guest checks in, Loop automatically sends a scheduled invitation via text or e-mail to welcome them to the resort and provide them with a link they can use to engage using their personal mobile device."We are delighted that Celtic Manor Resort has chosen our combined Loop OnDemand and Loop Messenger solution," said Andrea Baptiste, CEO at Benbria. "With the combined power of both tools within the Loop mobile guest engagement suite, the resort's guests can make requests, leave comments, and express concerns at any time, day or night. This presents the resort with the opportunity to develop more meaningful and lasting relationships with its guests."About Celtic ManorVoted the UK's Best Hotel at the Meetings and Incentive Travel Awards from 2011 to 2014, the five-star Celtic Manor Resort is set on 2,000 acres of lush parkland near Newport, Wales. The 334-room luxury resort and 67-room Manor House are equipped with two spas, two health clubs, a shooting school, fishing, adventure golf, tennis courts, walking trails, and more, offering the complete experience to business, leisure, and golf travelers.About Benbria Loop by Benbria Corporation is a mobile messaging and engagement solution that helps brands to enhance the customer experience. Leveraging the customer's preferred choice of communications - texting, web chat, email, and kiosk - Loop allows customers to communicate directly with a brand to make requests, resolve issues, and share their experience before, during, and after their visit. Closing the loop through on-the-spot staff action helps brands to improve customer satisfaction, save at-risk customers, increase revenue, and drive repeat business. For more information, visit www.benbria.com.Media Contact: James Geneau Benbria Corporationjgeneau@benbria.com Benbria, Loop, Get in the Loop, and Keep Us in the Loop are registered trademarks of Benbria Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Benbria Corporation 12 September 2016
from accessible bedside iPhone chargers and plugs, to the guest check-in process -- are meticulously planned and executed. If you are a hotelier and would like to visit a property to see how things should be done, it is worth a trip to the Statler Hotel for the latest and greatest in hotel technology and guest service.On campus, my day was hectic. I was greeted by Rohit shortly upon arrival, had a lovely lunch in the hotel's teaching restaurant at the Statler Hotel, and was escorted to my first ever opportunity to teach a class. Though I had never taught or facilitated a formal class before, let alone at an Ivy-league university, the class and teaching staff were welcoming and made me feel at home.About the ClassI was invited to facilitate the Quality Systems and Processes class. The students were a mix of young men and women, mostly Millennials. This Gen Xer had his work cut out for him! I kicked it off with some mini SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) brainstorming. I divided the class into four groups, and, holding my mobile phone in my hand, asked them to discuss in their groups the following two questions:What opportunities exist for mobile devices to improve overall service quality?What are the potential drawbacks of such devices when it comes to the delivery of quality service?As I walked around the room, the discussion was energizing. The room was occupied by a generation that lived on their mobile devices, but their education in service quality clearly had an impact on how they viewed the subject at hand. When adequate time had passed, each team elected a member to come up and present their findings. Here are the results:How Mobile Devices Can Improve Overall Service QualityData Collection Using mobile technology to collect information from guests was a major opportunity in the eyes of the students. The class felt that mobile messaging offered the ability to analyze guest requests and conversations over a period of time -- a great tool for identifying trends to improve overall service.Personalizing the Experience The ability to identify the individual needs of a guest and anticipate them in the future was seen as a great opportunity. As an example, one student cited her ability to communicate with a hotel she stays at frequently about their yoga classes. That the hotel now knows this information about her, she said, means there is an opportunity to personalize future experiences around yoga to build a more meaningful connection. This was seen as something that helped tailor the relationship between the brand and guest, driving loyalty.Profiling and Guest Preferences Mobile messaging enables hotels to develop a profile of each guest in order to anticipate their needs. Referring back to the yoga scenario, the class felt that knowing this information allows the hotel to proactively provide a service for the guest upon their return -- such as placing a yoga mat in the room for the guest's use during their stay.Business Travel Convenience The class felt that mobile technology can make life more convenient for business travelers in particular. In their view, mobile technology can make a multitude of items easier for this sub-set of travelers -- including the receipt of hotel invoices, easy routing of guest folios to expense applications, and more. The class saw the convenience of messaging and other mobile applications as a significant opportunity for the industry to encourage repeat visits among business travelers.Ease of Access and Instant Gratification Leads to More Revenue Mobile is a great way for hotels to target Millennials, according to the class. They agreed that the ability to quickly request an item from a mobile device and have it added to their bill is a major opportunity hoteliers should embrace. Not only does it equate to a higher degree of guest satisfaction, it is also a way for hotels to generate more revenue. The class felt that the option to easily purchase an item or service using their mobile device would lead to more on-site requests and purchases.Drawbacks of Mobile Regarding Service QualityPotential to Create a Less Personalized Guest Experience The class felt that mobile devices could result in fewer face-to-face experiences with hotel staff -- a real problem for the traditional service model. They felt that having every guest ask for things anonymously could be too sterile, especially in a high-touch environment such as a luxury property.To overcome this, the class agreed that technology should not replace the traditional service model, but instead serve as the launch pad for a conversation between the guest and the service professional. One student noted that, while it may be easy to order a bottle of wine with a phone, the real difference is the ability for the hotel's sommelier to share some notes and attributes of the various wines with the guest. In this way, mobile technology can be used to not just fulfill the request, but also open the door to further conversation.Keeping Up with Guest Demands via Mobile Devices The class noted that the amount of inbound enquiries from guests using their mobile devices could be taxing, especially in bigger hotels with a larger volume of guests making many requests during their stay.To overcome this, they felt that mobile technology must automate certain requests and that strong processes need to be in place in the back end to ensure swift response times to guests requests. Technology, however, shouldn't replace the human element of the guest experience when it involves fulfilling special or unique requests.Over-Automating the Guest Experience New technology designed to auto-respond to a guest's requests was a major concern for the class. They felt that the ability for technology to automatically respond to a guest's requests without human intervention using mobile messaging or related technology carries many risks. They also noted that unreliable, mistake-prone technology has the potential to cause immense damage to the hotel brand.To overcome this, they felt that auto-responses and other technology designed to replace hotel staff needs to be further perfected. Furthermore, any mobile technology that doesn't enable escalations to ensure that a guest's request is fulfilled in a timely manner could be problematic. After all, technology is only useful if it makes the experience better for the guest.Multi-Channel Communication and Coordination This concern focused on how a hotel would manage guest requests coming from multiple sources -- for example, when a guest asks for something by speaking to a staff member at the front desk, then sends a text message in the elevator requesting something else. The students felt it is important to have a complete and continuous view of the guest during their stay and, moreover, that all team members can be connected and see these requests. A solution without such a feature runs the risk of losing guest requests.The class agreed that having a centralized place where all requests can be seen by multiple staff members is essential to any mobile-based service tool.Rants and Responses The biggest challenge, according to the class, is managing upset guests who bypass direct engagement with the hotel and turn instead to social media. The students noted that two very different conversations exist when a guest is genuinely upset versus when they have a minor issue. The first tends to be anger-driven, and more often than not, the guest just wants to be heard; the second, meanwhile, is about receiving something or being compensated for an inconvenience. Both scenarios, however, have been amplified in recent years with the popularity of social media.The students believed that the main difference between managing a guest on site versus online is the audience the guest chooses to address. When a guest has an issue and wants to be heard, they are more abusive toward the brand on social than they are when communicating directly with the hotel. They believed the main reason for this is that on social, there is an expectation that anger will attract the hotel's attention. But when guests call or speak to a manager on site, their behavior is much more subdued -- even pleasant -- as they want something and feel courtesy will benefit them.Overall, the class felt that mobile technology has an equally positive and negative impact on service quality. Now that virtually everyone has access to an audience on social media with their phones, voicing a concern publicly is much easier today than it was 10 years ago. However, mobile devices also offer the ability for a hotel to communicate directly with guests in real time, potentially resolving guest issues before they are aired on social media. The students believed that because hotels have embraced social, they also need to embrace mobile guest engagement and the ability for a guest to voice their concerns directly to the hotel with the same degree of ease. When hotels fail to do this, they miss out on the opportunity to listen to their guests and have a dialogue with them to resolve issues -- an important element in delivering a quality experience.
Benbria Corporation 9 September 2016
the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials.They must also look ahead to a fourth generation,Generation Z, the members of which will soon be embarking on adventures of their own.Though there are similarities in the way these generations travel, there are also some marked differences. While Baby Boomers view their smartphones as a convenience when they travel, they do not consider it an essential part of the trip the same way Millennials do.According to Nielsen research, more than 85 percent of Millennials own a smartphone, and 80 percent of them can't even go to bed unless their phone is within arm's reach.There are differences in the experiences they seek, as well. Now entering retirement, Baby Boomers are keen to discover their ancestry and to reconnect with their ancestral homelands. Generation X, meanwhile, are raising families of their own and are as likely to travel with their children as they are to travel for business.And for Millennials, nothing beats a good adventure trip -- a white water rafting excursion, perhaps, or an African safari.This infographic includes some statistics and facts that are key to understanding the travel habits and preferences of each generation.
Benbria's Loop Mobile Guest Engagement Solution Sets Sail on Royal Caribbean's Exclusive Royal Suite Class
Benbria Corporation 12 July 2016
Ottawa, Ontario - Benbria has set sail with Royal Caribbean, offering its Loop mobile guest engagement solution as a means for guests in the Star Class to connect with their dedicated Royal Genie while on land or at sea. This exclusive service made its maiden journey on Ovation of the Seas on April 15, 2016, and is now available in Star Class staterooms on five of the cruise line's signature vessels.When a Royal Suite Class guest reservation is confirmed, they are introduced to the Royal Genie service prior to boarding. The Royal Genie is a highly experienced specialist dedicated to ensuring guests ultimate cruise experience. With Loop, guests can communicate directly with their dedicated Royal Genie using their personal mobile device. Before departure, they can request special arrangements, reservations and amenities to enhance their cruise vacation. They can even inform their Royal Genie when they are arriving to the port so they can be greeted and whisked through an expedited registration process to start their holiday.The unique guest experience continues once the ship sets sail. Star Class guests can use Loop to send instant messages and communicate directly with their Royal Genie throughout their voyage to ask questions, make dinner reservations, or inquire about things to see and do while in port. Whether on the ship or on land, guests can use their personal mobile device to ask their Royal Genie to make wishes come true, and Royal Caribbean is eager to make them a reality."The Royal Genie service is designed to make the guest's voyage the most memorable experience possible," commented Claudia King-McWilliams, Director of Guest Services, Housekeeping and Private Destinations at Royal Caribbean International. "With Loop, we are taking the experience to a whole new level. No matter where they are on the journey, Star Class Guests are never further away than a few simple clicks away from their Royal Genie.While the technology behind Loop helps make the connection between the guest and the Royal Genie easier, it is the service model of the program that is making waves across the industry. The Royal Genie doesn't just tend to the guest's suite; they make the entire ship the guest's suite, crafting personalized VIP experiences tailored to their exact tastes. From planning the perfect date night to having their favorite wine waiting after a day of adventures ashore, Royal Caribbean's Royal Genie makes sure that guests have everything they want while on holiday."This is a great example of how Loop helps leverage technology to create that ever important emotional connection between the guest and the brand," commented Andrea Baptiste, CEO at Benbria. "It is growing increasingly challenging to establish personal connections with guests who want to have access to things quickly and anonymously using their mobile device. Royal Caribbean's innovative Royal Genie program is an exciting way to engage and delight passengers, and Benbria is excited to be a part of it. Our Loop solution is helping them use technology not just as a tool for information, but also a gateway to surprise and grant wishes for their guests."Loop made its maiden voyage on Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas in April of this year. Since then, the technology has been expanded to include Star Class Suites on Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, and the newly launched Harmony of the Seas -- the world's largest cruise ship.
Benbria Corporation 27 June 2016
a utopia of leisure for every man, woman, and child -- all made possible by the toils of our robotic inventions.For hoteliers, automation has been held up as a panacea to productivity issues, a solution to labor costs, a way to ensure consistent, streamlined production processes across the board -- and chatbots in particular have gotten a lot of attention from the hospitality industry in recent months.What Are Chatbots?You've probably heard of Apple's Siri and Microsoft's Cortana, the world's most famous voice-based chatbots. And how about Microsoft's Tay? You may remember the uproar she caused after Microsoft released her to Twitter last March; within hours, she had begun using inflammatory language that other Twitter users had deliberately taught her. In a nutshell, chatbots are computer programs that utilize natural language processing or keyword matching capabilities to convincingly mimic a human being for the purposes of conversation. They can be used in a variety of situations, particularly customer service; Facebook recently introduced chatbots to its Messenger app, and many retailers are already using them with great success to assist customers with online shopping and orders. Of late, the hospitality industry has been looking at them very closely as a way to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Why Are They Useful?Barring any Tay-style breakdowns, chatbots can help hotels in a number of areas, including guest services, time management, and cost reduction. They can assist guests with simple questions and requests, freeing up hotel staff to devote more of their attention to time-sensitive, critical, and complicated tasks;They are often faster and more cost-effective than their human counterparts;They are available to guests around the clock, reducing the need for night staff; andThey can be programmed to speak to guests in a number of languages, making it easier for guests who don't speak the local language to communicate. What Are the Drawbacks?One need only look at Tay to see that introducing bots to a hospitality setting has the potential for disaster, and hospitality professionals must be careful to balance this technology with the need for impeccable customer service. The technology is still a work in progress and, as it has shown time and time again, far from perfect. Chatbots sometimes go on the fritz, and hoteliers run the risk of having their bots send inappropriate, incomprehensible, or annoying messages to guests;They can lack the warmth of genuine human interactions;They can't always handle more complicated dialogue or requests; andSome guests would simply rather talk to a real person. How to Use Them?Assess your guests' needs and determine if it's right for your property. Guests staying at economy and mid-range hotels will have different expectations than those staying at a luxury property. Those who choose an economy-class hotel tend to do so for the price rather than the perks, so they likely won't mind if most of their needs are met by a bot, even if that bot isn't functioning at 100 percent capacity. Meanwhile, guests at luxury hotels expect high-level service -- the kind only a human being can provide. Keep in mind how your guests will react before you make the leap. Next, figure out how much automation you want to implement. From auto check-in to mobile guest communications to fully automated rooms, there are many different ways to enhance the guest experience. But you don't have to do them all at once; budget constraints and service considerations may dictate how much automation you can reasonably bring to your hotel. For example, you may wish to install smart technology in your rooms for the convenience of your guests, but keep the reception desk staffed with human beings for a personal touch. Or you could do it vice-versa and install self-service check-in kiosks in your lobby. Make sure it works well, and don't forget backup. In the eyes of the guest, inefficient or malfunctioning technology can often be more frustrating than no technology at all, so there is sometimes need for human intervention. And while it's fine to automate the check-in process, for example, some people will prefer to talk to a human if they have additional questions, and others still will need a human's help if the robot isn't working. It never hurts to find a middle ground between technology and old-fashioned customer service! Never use chatbots to deal with an unhappy guest. When guests are dissatisfied, they want to feel like they're being heard and understood, and chatbots will give them the impression that they aren't. This approach could come off as flippant or uncaring, which will only serve to make the guest more upset -- and you should avoid alienating your guests at all costs!
Benbria Corporation 20 June 2016
Benbria(r) officially launched its new Loop Messengertm and Loop OnDemandtm product suite for mobile guest engagement today. This streamlined, two-way messaging solution facilitates communication between guests and hotels, while its new menu-driven ordering feature makes requesting products and services simple for the guest.Loop MessengertmLoop Messengertm is a next generation real-time guest engagement solution for the hotel designed to look and feel like commonly-used messaging and text applications. The new guest-facing interface can be accessed via SMS text, e-mail, or web browser."Our new design for Loop Messengertm is about simplicity and familiarity," said Ronald Richardson, VP of Product and Co-founder at Benbria. "With Loop Messengertm, guests can share a compliment or concern and have a two-way dialogue with their hotel in the same familiar manner they would with a friend or family member through their personal device. For the hotel, our user-friendly inbox and reporting tools remain essential features that allow the hotelier to efficiently communicate with guests and identify opportunities to improve operations."Loop OnDemandtmLoop OnDemandtm offers the guest a menu-based selection of frequently-requested items from within the Loop Messengertm experience. The guest can quickly order from a list of various amenities or services and indicate the desired quantity or delivery time. All requests are instantly tagged and routed via Loop Messenger to the appropriate hotel staff member for fulfillment."Our research into the hospitality market has shown us some realities around messaging and hotel operations," commented James Geneau, Head of Marketing at Benbria. "Today's hotel guest wants easy access and quick fulfillment of requests using their personal mobile device. Unfortunately, hoteliers have struggled with balancing staff availability and consistency of experience using traditional guest messaging solutions. Loop OnDemandtm solves this problem by simplifying and standardizing the most common requests, and auto-routing them to the appropriate resource without the intervention of a human operator."Loop OnDemandtm is designed to deliver frequently-requested items faster and more profitably. It can be used on its own or fully integrated into a property's service order or ticketing system. Commonly-requested items, such as room amenities and basic services, can be accessed with a few simple clicks on the guest's personal mobile device. Requests are instantly routed to the appropriate staff member and take less time to fulfill. Furthermore, auto-routing and integration with service order systems means more staff time can be spent servicing the need, as opposed to taking orders. The menu is fully customizable and tailored to the services and amenities of the hotel."We believe this is the perfect balance for delivering a superior guest experience using mobile technology," said Andrea Baptiste, CEO at Benbria. "Technology should enhance the experience, not complicate it. With Loop OnDemandtm, we are meeting the needs of today's guest, who demands faster access to the things they want, when they want them. By automating the most commonly-requested items, we are making it possible for hotel staff to fulfill them consistently and efficiently. As a result, hotel staff have more time to manage a guest's special requests, compliments, and concerns. This is where Loop Messengertm comes into play -- it allows a guest to use their mobile device to have a meaningful, one-on-one connection with hotel staff for things that can't be automated."Hoteliers can see a live demonstration at this week's HITEC Conference inside the Mitel Pavilion (Booth #1425) from June 20 to 23, and at the Benbria showcase booth at HSMAI's Revenue Optimization Conference on June 22 in New Orleans.About Benbria Loop(r) by Benbria Corporation is a mobile messaging and engagement solution that helps brands to enhance the customer experience. Leveraging the customer's preferred choice of communications - texting, web chat, native app, email and kiosk - Loop(r) allows customers to communicate directly with a brand to make requests, resolve issues, and share their experience before, during, and after their visit. Closing the loop through on-the-spot staff action helps brands to improve customer satisfaction, save at-risk customers, increase revenue, and drive repeat business. For more information, visit www.benbria.com.Media Contact:Amy AllenBenbria Corporationaallen@benbria.comBenbria, Loop, Loop Messenger, Loop OnDemand, Get in the Loop, and Keep Us in the Loop are registered trademarks of Benbria Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Benbria Corporation 14 June 2016
Benbria(r) and Digital Alchemy announced a powerful partnership to satisfy today's sophisticated traveler, who demands mobile information and action. This partnership will create a leading-edge solution provider for the hospitality industry within the digital marketing and mobile guest engagement space.Benbria's award-winning Loop mobile guest engagement platform Loop seamlessly integrates with Digital Alchemy's customer relationship tools to provide the guest connectivity unlike anything the industry has seen before.The ability to properly engage guests before, during, and post-stay is a challenge for many hoteliers. With the introduction of Loop and its integration with Digital Alchemy's systems and processes, clients can now engage with guests using the mobile device of their choice. It is an integrated solution designed to make digital guest relationships more effective and profitable."Digital Alchemy has helped clients drive greater guest ROI using digital marketing and superior CRM for over 15 years," commented Shannon Bedard, Senior Vice-President and Founding Partner at Digital Alchemy. "With Loop, we are harnessing the industry's leading mobile guest engagement platform to bring greater value and service to our existing and future clients for years to come. We are thrilled with this partnership. The fit between our cultures, audiences, and vision for technology could not be a better one."The partnership allows hoteliers to utilize the full suite of digital marketing and CRM tools available from Digital Alchemy along with Loop's award-winning mobile guest engagement platform. Through full integration, hoteliers can send welcome messages to a guest's personal mobile device and engage with their guests using Loop during their stay. The real-time communication opportunity offered by Loop means hoteliers can manage guests' requests more efficiently, resolve concerns, and recover at-risk guests while they are on site. This leads to more satisfied guests, positive reviews on social media, and more loyal long-term guests booking directly."Digital Alchemy is the leader within the hospitality space when it comes to guest marketing and CRM," said James Geneau, Head of Marketing at Benbria. "It is for this very reason that we are forming this strategic partnership. With a superior solution for pre- and post-stay marketing combined with Loop's amazing ability to delight guests and enhance their overall experience during their stay, hoteliers have a winning solution we are thrilled to be able to offer with Digital Alchemy."About Digital AlchemyDigital Alchemy, based in Fort Worth, Texas, is the leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and email marketing solutions that increase revenue. Clients include boutique hotels, Four- and Five-Star properties, branded hotels, and spas. Digital Alchemy guarantees its data-centric marketing solutions and campaigns will deliver at least 400% ROI.Founded in 1999, Digital Alchemy pioneered virtually every email-based concept used in the hospitality industry. Its email templates are mobile optimized and the company offers the industry's first Facebook-email integration to attract guests. Digital Alchemy provides dynamic two-way mobile messaging on one integrated platform and creates clients' email designs in-house to free staff for other activities. To verify results for clients, the company delivers accurate real-time campaign revenue reporting. Digital Alchemy continuously innovates new solutions that include integrated spa CRM functionality. For more information, visit www.digital-alchemy.com.About Benbria Loop(r) by Benbria Corporation, is a mobile messaging and engagement solution that helps brands to enhance the customer experience. Leveraging the customer's preferred choice of communications - texting, web chat, email and kiosk - Loop(r) allows customers to communicate directly with a brand to make requests, resolve issues, and share their experience before, during, and after their visit. Closing the loop through on-the-spot staff action helps brands to improve customer satisfaction, save at-risk customers, increase revenue, and drive repeat business. For more information, visit www.benbria.com.Media Contact:Amy AllenBenbria Corporationaallen@benbria.comBenbria, Loop, Get in the Loop, and Keep Us in the Loop are registered trademarks of Benbria Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.