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  • HITEC Special: Does EU GDPR Affect U.S. Hospitality Companies?

    By Alvaro Hidalgo. The EU General Data Protection Regulation has set a path towards protecting personal data which many other countries will follow. In a global industry such as hospitality, it should be a primary objective to take the steps towards compliance.

  • HFTP Report: Hospitality Data Security — Strategy for Data Protection and Regulation Compliance

    This guide from Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(R)) covers safeguards that can be implemented in hospitality businesses today, tips on how to continuously improve security and data regulation compliance.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Privacy Policies for Hotels

    This document offers points to consider in the development of a hotel’s privacy policy. In view of the multiple organisational and legal structures under which hotels operate, as well as the complexity of the third party landscape that may be part of the complete guest experience, this document serves as a guideline only.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Hospitality Guest Registration Cards

    This document offers recommendations for guest information collection on the guest registration card along with consent for use. It can be used as a guideline for loyalty cards, health data, export of data outside of the EU, privacy policies and direct marketing.

commercial

Benbria and GCommerce Announce Strategic Partnership.

Benbria Corporation ·17 September 2018
Ottawa, Ontario and Park City, Utah, September 17th, 2018 - Benbria, a leading provider of customer experience management technology, and GCommerce, a leading provider of digital marketing services to the hospitality industry, announced a strategic partnership today to bring a full-suite of marketing and customer engagement solutions to the hospitality industry. Hoteliers now have the opportunity to leverage the expertise of both companies to improve direct-bookings, access technology to support real-time guest engagement, and take back control of the guest experience from third-party booking agencies.The partnership will allow both companies to cross-refer services to their existing client base as well as present a unified set of solutions, to help hoteliers with more effective marketing and engagement to meet modern guest expectations. With the digital marketing expertise of GCommerce, existing and future clients of Benbria will be able to optimize their web experiences, build stronger brand awareness through social and digital channels, and improve the likelihood of direct bookings."GCommerce delivers innovative digital marketing and web programs focused on inspiring guests and improving direct bookings", commented Jordan Parsons, CEO of Benbria. "It made logical sense to establish this partnership given Benbria's expertise when it comes to pre-stay, in-stay, and post-stay guest engagement using messaging technology. GCommerce helps hotels reach these new direct-booking audiences while Benbria helps them engage them at the right moment".Benbria's Loop platform allows hotels to measure the guest experience and manage conversations across multiple channels including email, Web chat, SMS text, in-app messaging, or messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and WhatsApp. All messages and timely feedback are routed to a unified team inbox where they are tagged and routed to the right teams and departments for immediate action. With multiple applications for hoteliers, a custom solution can be built around a unique guest journey to deliver faster service, obtain in-moment insights into the guest experience, and engage in real-time on the guest's preferred communication channel."Engaging potential guests before they abandon their online booking is becoming critical for hoteliers" noted Chris Jackson, CEO of GCommerce. "With Benbria, our client's web sites and apps can connect potential guests with a live person at the moment of truth, to answer any questions or deliver an offer to increase direct bookings. The fact that the dialogue can continue pre-arrival, during their stay, and immediately after their visit gives hoteliers even more opportunity to engage guests and upsell throughout their journey".Clients of Benbria and GCommerce will be receiving information on each company's respective offerings in the coming weeks, including a guide for integrating a digital marketing program with real-time engagement of social and messaging channels.About BenbriaBenbria is a leader in omni-channel customer experience measurement and engagement solutions, helping the world's most customer-centric brands deliver a superior 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 - the company's Loop platform enables brands to capture real-time insights into the customer experience as well as message with them to engage or recover. The platform also directs this real-time customer feedback, requests, concerns, suggestions, and positive input to the right team members to deliver a timely and informed response.With over 1,800 client locations in 20 countries and a network of over 10 global sales partners, Benbria offers both global reach and local expertise within multiple markets and verticals. For more information, visit www.benbria.com.About GCommerceBuilt on the belief that one-size-fits-none, GCommerce strives to eliminate the cookie-cutter approach to digital marketing. Catering to a wide variety of clients in the hospitality and tourism industry, GCommerce provides a customized, strategic, and client-focused approach to digital marketing. Services provided include but are not limited to search engine optimization and marketing, website design and development, display advertising, email marketing, content marketing and social media advertising and consultation.Boasting a robust and diverse clientele including industry-leading hotel management groups, luxury and boutique hotel brands, resorts and casinos, franchises and independents, and more. For more information, visit www.gcommercesolutions.com or reach out to sales@gcommercesolutions.com.Media Contact: Nicole Jardim, Benbria Corporation, njardim@benbria.comMedia Contact: Lindley Ferris, GCommerce Solutions, lferris@gcommercesolutions.com Benbria, Loop, Get in the Loop, and Keep Us in the Loop, Loop Messenger, Loop Pulse, and Loop OnDemand are registered trademarks of Benbria Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
commercial

Benbria to Present an Omni-channel Guest Experience at HITEC 2018.

Benbria Corporation ·13 June 2018
Ottawa, Canada, June 13th, 2018 - Benbria, the leading provider of omni-channel guest experience measurement and engagement solutions, announced today that its booth at this year's HITEC in Houston will consist of a virtual hotel where attendees can engage as a hotel guest, across multiple interactive displays. These displays will present the guest experience of the future - where they can engage in real-time across multiple touchpoints and devices, provide feedback on their experience in-the-moment, and be recovered in real-time should the experience not meet the guest's expectations.Visitors to booth #1845 at the 2018 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference will be able to engage with the Loopa platform's unified guest messaging, order request, and experience measurement platform across multiple channels - including on-site kiosks, branded hotel apps, messaging platforms like Facebook and Twitter, SMS text, Web sites, and emerging in-room voice technologies like Amazon's Alexa."This year, we wanted to create a unique booth that truly demonstrates the guest experience we can deliver", commented James Geneau, VP of Marketing at Benbria. "As such, we took a very different approach to how we are showcasing the Loopa platform, by literally creating a fully connected omni-channel hotel experience on the trade show floor attendees can discover from both the guest and hotel staff perspective. Attendees will be able to interact across multiple channels and literally experience the guest-facing and hotel staff-facing experience in real-time, as they would at one of our existing clients".Further, Benbria will be highlighting the openness of their platform and its ability to embed and integrate with multiple guest-facing and back-end solutions - both commercial and proprietary. In particular, the company will be showcasing Criton, a self-service app solution from the UK which can seamlessly embed messaging and ordering from Loop into an affordable and easy to maintain guest-facing hotel branded app. They will also be showing their ability to include in-room voice devices like Amazon's Alexa to deliver a unique guest experience connected to a single platform."We've created one of the most open solutions for hoteliers to build a truly omni-channel guest experience" noted Jordan Parsons, CEO of Benbria. "The combination of our SDK and various APIs, along with a growing network of integration partners delivering CRM, PMS and SOS services, means greater flexibility and scalability for hotel technology leaders. Our platform can be the backbone of both a guest experience measurement and messaging-focused engagement solution that can be easily customized to any hotel's unique use case".During the next two weeks, Benbria will also re-brand itself on social media as "The Grand Hotel Houston", the virtual hotel on display at HITEC 2018. Offering a web site with messaging, texting, a dedicated hotel app, an in-room Amazon Alexa device connected to Loop, along with multiple messaging apps tied to the experience, the virtual hotel on display will showcase the creativity and flexibility the platform offers hospitality technology leaders.For HITEC attendees interested in learning more about the booth and scheduling a private VIP Tour, they can do so by visiting www.benbria.com/hitec2018-vip, send a text message to +1-(613)-900-5856, or send a direct message via Facebook or Twitter.About BenbriaBenbria is a leader in omni-channel customer experience measurement and engagement solutions, helping the world's most customer-centric brands deliver a superior 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 - the company's Loop platform enables brands to capture real-time insights into the customer experience as well as message with them to engage or recover. The platform also directs this real-time customer feedback, requests, concerns, suggestions, and positive input to the right team members to deliver a timely and informed response.With over 1,400 client locations in 20 countries and a network of over 10 global sales partners, Benbria offers both global reach and local expertise within multiple markets and verticals. For more information, visit www.benbria.com.Media Contact: Nicole Jardim Benbria Corporation njardim@benbria.comBenbria, Loop, Get in the Loop, and Keep Us in the Loop, Loop Messenger, Loop Pulse, Loop OnDemand are registered trademarks of Benbria Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
commercial

Benbria and Knowcross Announce Technology Partnership.

Benbria Corporation · 4 June 2018
Ottawa, Canada and Washington D.C., USA - June 4th, 2018 - Benbria, the leading provider of omni-channel guest experience measurement and engagement solutions, announced today a strategic integration partnership with Knowcross, the global leader in providing software solutions for hospitality operations.This integration will allow a hotel's guests to send messages and requests, which hotel staff can receive and respond to via the Loop platform, from a wide range of preferred guest channels including SMS, Facebook Messenger, Twitter Direct Messages, and more. Hoteliers will also have the flexibility to embed guest communications and guest requests into their own app, through existing in-room tablets, or via a mobile browser; and directly interact with the hotel through KNOW Service."Guests are demanding the convenience of messaging on their preferred channel while hotels are demanding back-end technology which drives efficiency and cost-savings", commented Jordan Parsons, CEO at Benbria. "We pride ourselves on the growing number of guest-facing messaging channels that connect to our platform, which can be conveniently managed via our Loop Inbox by teams of any size. This integration with Knowcross means hoteliers can have the flexibility of using an omni-channel messaging solution while leveraging the efficiencies of world-class software which automates the handling of guest requests, complaints and maintenance jobs".Hoteliers using the combined Benbria and Knowcross platform will have access to a solution that simply outperforms others on the market today. By leveraging the omni-channel capabilities of the Loop platform, hoteliers can now make a one-time investment in a solution that is scalable to the ever-growing number of messaging channels that guests are demanding from the hotels to engage. With the ability to send requests directly into KNOW Service, they can drive efficiency and deliver faster service, which enhances the guest experience and has significant impact on the bottom line."KNOW Service is a very well-known solution and has consistently empowered hotels to reduce guest service time, increase staff productivity, minimize delays and wrong deliveries, identify trends, and analyze performances automatically" noted Nikhil Nath, CEO and Founder of Knowcross. "With the Benbria integration, we are pleased to provide hotels with an integrated guest-facing solution that is flexible and scalable, further enhancing the guest experience deliverance by hotels".Hoteliers interested in adding Loop's guest-facing messaging solution to their current KNOW Service system can speak directly with their Knowcross account executive, email sales@knowcross.com or call +1 866 601 5669.For Benbria clients interested in learning more about Knowcross and integration options for their existing Loop configuration may speak with their dedicated customer success manager, send a text message to +1-(613)-900-5856, or send a message via Facebook or Twitter.About BenbriaBenbria is a leader in omni-channel customer experience measurement and engagement solutions, helping the world's most customer-centric brands deliver a superior 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 - the company's Loop platform enables brands to capture real-time insights into the customer experience as well as message with them to engage or recover. The platform also directs this real-time customer feedback, requests, concerns, suggestions, and positive input to the right team members to deliver a timely and informed response.With over 1,400 client locations in 20 countries and a network of 10 global sales partners, Benbria offers both global reach and local expertise within multiple markets and verticals. For more information, visit www.benbria.com.Media Contact:Nicole JardimBenbria Corporationnjardim@benbria.comBenbria, Loop, Get in the Loop, and Keep Us in the Loop, Loop Messenger, Loop Pulse, and Loop OnDemand are registered trademarks of Benbria Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.About Knowcross Founded in 2002, Knowcross is a global leader in providing software products for hotel operations which help increase efficiency and enhance guest service, with a direct impact on the bottom-line.The Knowcross platform includes KNOW Service, KNOW Housekeeping, KNOW Glitch, KNOW Mobile, KNOW Inspection and KNOW Maintenance. The platform is cloud based (SaaS), supports multiple languages and allows extensive customization to suit the specific needs of each hotel. The platform is interfaced to a number of leading PMS systems, in-room control systems, messaging gateways and fire alarm systems.With a global customer base across 30 countries, the Knowcross client portfolio consists of some of the world's most well-known brands including Rosewood, Hyatt, IHG, Hilton, Kempinski, Carlson Rezidor, Shangri-La, Oberoi, Taj, Hoxton, and Aqua-Aston; as well as marquee independents such as Gansevoort Meatpacking, Sixty Soho, The Nomad New York, The Mark New York, Faena Miami, The Ned London, The Curtain London, The Halkin London, Le Bristol Paris, and Dolder Grand Zurich.For more information, call +1 866 601 5669, email sales@knowcross.com or visit www.knowcross.comMedia Contact:Mohit ChandKnowcrossmchand@knowcross.com
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The New Voice of The Customer

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.
commercial

Benbria Announces Compliance with European Data Protection Regulations.

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
commercial

Benbria Announces New Sales & Support Team Within Europe.

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 njardim@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.
commercial

Criton Apps announces new tech partnership with Benbria's Loop platform.

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
commercial

Benbria Announces Distribution Agreement with TaraSpan

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.loomba@taraspan.co.in
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Whitepaper: Omni-Channel Strategies for Hotels

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.
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Omni-Channel Guest Messaging and Engagement Solution Released at HITEC 2017

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.
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The Do's and Don'ts of Hotel Automation

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.
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12 Best Practices for Full-Cycle Guest Marketing

Benbria Corporation ·24 March 2017
In the digital era, retaining guests is a more complicated and resource-intensive endeavor than ever. Today's guest is less likely to be loyal to any one brand, thanks to the popularity of OTA websites and other travel-planning apps. Written in partnership with Digital Alchemy, a leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and email marketing solutions, this white paper outlines how hoteliers can regain guest loyalty and boost revenue using full-cycle guest marketing.
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Gamifying Your Hospitality Business for Employee Engagement

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.
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Benbria Study Finds Reliability and Speed Are Key to Guest Messaging Within Luxury Hotel Segment

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.
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Mobile Technology and Impact on Service Quality in the Hospitality Industry.

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.
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Celtic Manor Resort Chooses Benbria's Loop Mobile Guest Engagement Solution

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.
Article by James Geneau

The Impact of Mobile Technology on Service Quality

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.
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Bridging the Generation Gap in Hospitality Tech.

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.
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2016 Summer Guide to Reputation Management

Benbria Corporation ·29 July 2016
Summer is the season for beach vacations, resort getaways, and European tours, and people all over the world are taking the opportunity to travel. This brings with it an elevated need for vigilance around reputation management at your hotel. In this white paper, you will find statistics and tips to help you manage negative online reviews.Download this white paper to learn:* How your online reviews influence your guests' decision to book.* Whether TripAdvisor or Facebook has a greater impact on your success.* How to encourage your guests to communicate directly with you.This white paper was produced by the thought leadership and research group at Benbria Corporation.
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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.
Article by Amy Allen

Chatbots in Hospitality: The What, the Why, the How

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!
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Benbria Reveals New Guest Messaging Solution for Hospitality.

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.
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Benbria Corporation and Digital Alchemy Announce Strategic Partnership

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.
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Benbria's Loop Guest Engagement Solution Now Integrates with Over 60 Hotel Property Management Systems.

Benbria Corporation ·14 May 2016
Ottawa, Ontario - May 13, 2016 - Benbria is pleased to announce that its multi-award winning Loop Mobile Guest Engagement solution can now be integrated with over 60 different property management systems (PMS). The announcement means that more hotels than ever across the globe can engage with their guests on the Loop messaging product using personalized and timely invitations.The solution's ability to seamlessly integrate with a hotel's PMS solution allows Loop to automatically send messages to the guest's personal mobile device at key moments during their stay. When a guest is checked into the hotel, hoteliers can send a timed message via SMS or e-mail to welcome them to the hotel, ask for feedback on the check-in process, or open a conversation with dedicated staff to share a compliment, express a concern, or make a request. After a standard event, the hotelier uses the Loop client portal to indicate when they wish to send a message, as well as what the message should say When such an event is recorded within the PMS, the Loop integration takes over and automatically begins engaging the guest accordingly.In addition to timed events, the integration means that guests can receive a highly personalized experience using Loop. Key information such as the name of the guest, room number, details of their stay, loyalty status, and related information can be used to personalize the initial outreach without the need for manual entry from staff or cumbersome file exporting and uploading."This is a major benefit for Loop customers", said Andrea Baptiste, CEO at Benbria. "The PMS technology market within hospitality is a highly fragmented one. This makes automation a challenge, as there are so many different systems to integrate with. As a company continuously striving to make our product more globally accessible for clients, this achievement means every hotelier can benefit from a higher level of engagement with their guests regardless of the PMS solution they have in place."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, native app, 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 long-term loyalty. For more information, visit www.benbria.com.Media Contact: James Geneau Benbria Corporation jgeneau@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.

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