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How To Destroy Your Guest's Expectations

hospitalityPulse, Inc. ·15 February 2017
The hotel industry thinks it has this issue figured out--the one of room assignments, that is. I am here to tell you that it does not. Far from it in fact, and guests notice in a big way. For those guests who don't get the right room, it is ruining their experience from the get-go.Let's first just be clear, reset the dial. We talk a lot about what travelers want. They want free Wi-Fi, the best guest service, mobile check-in, and so on. However, we're getting so wrapped up with these things that we've lost sight of what they truly came for. First and foremost, what travelers need from a hotel is a place to sleep that feels comfortable and safe. A pillow on the bed size they want in the room size they specified. They need the room that they need, the one that they requested because they requested it for a reason. I can't overstate the importance of this. Someone asking for a King bed isn't a luxury request; it is a very real and significant obligation for your hotel to deliver upon at the most basic level. And guests are at your mercy for that. The very least you can do is deliver on the fundamentals.Unfortunately, hotels are not delivering. In our "2016 Check-in Experience Survey," we found that only 5% of guests are given the room they request on a regular basis. A shocking 95% said they only "sometimes" are assigned the anticipated room. Our research shows that misalignment in the systems that handle room allocations occurs approximately 60% of the time.The process is broken, and the break begins in the booking process. With so many technologies at play in distribution, few of which are truly integrated, there are bound to be missteps, but this is a particular area where we need to solve for mistakes. The first line of defense is ensuring as much technological integration as possible, but this is a challenge for the industry at large, one that is going to require a near-political movement. The second step is to leverage technology with a seamless interface that displays room types and features availability in real time. This technology needs to eliminate the "special requests" text box, because honestly when was the last time you put a note in that text box and actually got the bottle of wine you requested, or checked the box for a foam pillow and received it? These are regularly overlooked issues. That said, only part of the problem is human error; most of the problem is technology.Leaving room allocation to be handled by the Front Desk as a pre-registration task creates unnecessary problems. Room allocations, along with special requests, can and should be happening during the booking process, in real time on the hotel website, and guests should feel confident that they are guaranteed their chosen room.If you think this is a small issue when it comes to guest satisfaction, think again. Look at these reviews.Allocating the wrong room has very real and costly ramifications. Note that two of these reviews focus entirely on having been dealt the wrong room. In these cases, it appears that the room allocation process wholly ruined a guest's stay. Which then became a bad review, which then affected your reputation, which has far-reaching effects on your ability to achieve optimal rates and earn new business.Poor reviews are just one among the costly issues associated with room allocation problems. Perhaps your hotel is savvier at managing guest disappointment in the event that their chosen room type is not available. Typically this looks like offering an upgrade (read: lost revenue potential) and potentially disappointing a loyalty member who would have been in line for that upgrade. I can only imagine this is the case when considering that the vast majority of respondents who identify as loyalty guests say they "sometimes" get a better room assignment than a non-member. Shouldn't this say "often" if not "always"?Reading the spate of trends pieces for this year, we have learned that, among other things, guests are looking for high design even in mid-scale hotels. They want it "to look good, and feel good," says Skift. That's all well and good, but if they don't get the room they want, the hotel's aesthetic is going to matter a whole lot less. We need to go back to the basics as an industry, so that we can first meet guests' needs, we need to be able to deliver mobile check-in that works and deliver products and services on-property to ensure guest satisfaction then maybe we can hire notables to design our spaces.

Guest value: the limiting factor to digitization in hospitality

hospitalityPulse, Inc. ·By Pierre Boettner
When it comes to digitizing key aspects of a hotel stay, are hotels thinking through the impact on the guest? Pierre Boettner, co-founder of hospitalityPulse, addresss a few hard questions, namely: Are we adding real value for our guests? Are we drawing the right conclusions from new technologies, and from technological advances other industries have introduced? In short: Are we even on the right track?

Survey Reveals Serious Flaws in Hotel Check In

hospitalityPulse, Inc. ·14 November 2016
Findings from the hospitalityPulse "2016 Check-In Experience Survey" are in, and the results are raising flags about pre-assigning rooms, assigning them quickly and on-the-fly at arrival, and even getting guests into the rooms type they booked when making their reservations. The current influx of mobile check-in solutions further fuels the need for an automated solution for assigning the most optimal room for every guest - every time - with consistent efficiency."The objective of the '2016 Check-In Experience Survey' is to bring to light the issues guest experience at check-in, and the importance of the room assigned not matching their expectations," said Mario Bellinzona, hospitalityPulse's Director of Commercial Relations. "This is due to several factors, including overbooking situations, housekeeping status or competing last minute guest requests. Nonetheless, guests are often unsatisfied with the rooms they are receiving - especially if they are a frequent customer or loyalty club member with a specific profile and known preferences. When guests don't get the rooms they thought they booked, or that they expected, guest satisfaction decreases, reducing repeat business and denting ancillary revenues. From a hotel's point of view, sub-optimal room assignment leads to significant financial impacts due to unnecessary upgrades and downgrades. At the moment of arrival, no other option seems available when trying to best match one guest's expectations with the available inventory."Data from the "2016 Check-In Experience Survey" reveals:Only 5% of respondents said they are actually assigned the room they thought they booked, with 95% of respondents only getting the room they thought they booked "sometimes."Nearly 20% of respondents said they never receive their status-based complimentary upgrade from brands to which they are loyal."Sometimes" was the majority response of loyalty guests when asked if they feel they get a better room assigned as a loyalty club member than a non-member.66% said they "always" or often have to wait for their room to be ready, even if they arrived past standard check in time.23% of those travelers using a mobile check in solution said they "never" found the room they checked into being actually free and ready at time of arrival. And 54% said the room they had checked into was "sometimes" ready."Hoteliers should find this data alerting - especially that mobile check-in options are not solving the problems they were designed to," Bellinzona said. "There is a clear expectation among travelers that room feature requests explicitly submitted before arrival should be fulfilled by the hotel. Ninety-six percent of respondents expect that hotel room preferences they specify as part of a brand's loyalty program, or that they specified during the booking process, are honored when their room is assigned for an upcoming stay. To us, these statements suggest that all that data collected and stored in CRM and Loyalty systems is not being used well when it matters most."According to the 2016 Customer Engagement Technology Study, 58% of travelers said "belonging to a hotel's loyalty program influenced their decision to select a hotel," and 56% said the "ability to make reservations from a mobile device" was a key factor in choosing where to stay. hospitalityPulse's "Check-In Experience Survey" reveals that hotels aren't doing enough to reassure guests that these positive engagement factors are not only valued, but also fully supported.Identifying the Problem, Implementing a Solution"Measuring the return on investment for today's technology solutions is a big challenge," Bellinzona said. "While it's clear that to be competitive, today's hotels need a mobile strategy that includes mobile check-in, there clearly is a piece still missing. We believe the problem to be solved is less about the ability to show guests a room number at the time of advanced mobile check in, but rather about the automation of the underlying assignments, based on guest and reservation value, optimal feature fulfillment, and expected time of arrival. The findings of the 'Check-in Experience Survey' illustrate that guests having checked in early, often still have to wait for a room once they arrive at the hotel. It is simply impossible to correctly anticipate and match up arrival times with cleaning schedules and departure predictions."In addition, when there aren't enough rooms available for pending check-ins, or when available rooms aren't matching with what is needed for arriving or expected guests, the competition for rooms among front desk agents can become heated," Bellinzona said. "Guests that arrived early, or checked in through mobile or web, may find themselves at a disadvantage with regards to feature fulfillment. All too often, rooms are then rushed, leading to additional inefficiencies, and tensions between housekeeping and the front desk."To avoid early check-in and mobile check-in issues, it is necessary to make the process for early or mobile check in as seamless and integral as possible to room assignment overall. Using mathematical modeling and a multi-dimensional inventory engine such as roomPulse from hospitalityPulse, hoteliers can now automate all room assignments, streamline their check in process, and dynamically optimize each assignment in real time . . . all the time. To learn more, watch the video.About the SurveyFrom August 15 to September 15 hospitalityPulse posted a nine-question survey on its website, promoted via the news and through targeted marketing. Four hundred sixty eight hoteliers and travelers visited the survey site, with 285 participants, or 61% completing the survey.For questions about the survey, email Mario Bellinzona at For more information on hospitalityPulse, the technology leader in automated room assignment solutions, visit

10 Reasons Why Adding Room-Allocation Software will Improve Operations and Cut Costs in 2017

hospitalityPulse, Inc. · 7 November 2016
Spending for hotel IT has hit an all-time high in 2016, and experts are predicting that many of the systems that already have high adoption rates are also on schedule for an upgrade in the coming year. While much of the focus lies on new CRM and mobile solutions, it is easy to forget how a perfectly customized hotel stay can be easily spoiled. Be it due to category overbooking or last minute inventory changes, a hotel can quickly find itself unable to assign the best room for each guest.A new technology that needs to be on hoteliers' radar - and placed into their 2017 budgets - is one that takes the guesswork out of room assignment. An automated room-allocation solution optimizes the room assignment for every guest - every time - with consistent efficiency. Guests are assured of getting the most possible room features and preferences they requested during booking, while the hotel avoids inventory fragmentation, costly downgrades and unnecessary complimentary upgrades."Often, more than half of a hotel's guests are not checked in to their pre-assigned rooms," said Pierre Boettner, hospitalityPulse CEO. "This may be due to overbooking situations, room's housekeeping statuses, or competing last minute guest requests. Apart from the negative impact on repeat business and fidelity from guests who are unsatisfied with the rooms they receive, hotels with non-optimal room allocation face true costs of downgrades and of unnecessary and expensive complimentary upgrades. All of this should draw hoteliers' attentions to the need for room allocation software and improved optimization in 2017."Here are 10 reasons why hoteliers should add Room Assignment software to their 2017 budgets: A room-allocation solution saves operating costs. Instead of spending hours manually pre-assigning while trying to figure out how to best balance the house, which upgrades to grant, or what downgrades to swallow, the roomPulse engine provides an optimally balanced inventory in minutes.It enables hoteliers to achieve a significantly higher fulfillment rate of room-feature and bed-type requests. That leads to higher guest satisfaction, having a direct impact on review scores and ancillary revenues. The end result is higher ADR and more bookings compared to your competition.Room-assignment software enables staff to quickly recognize and consider the most valuable and loyal guests and then assign availability-based complimentary upgrades. That in turn fosters loyalty and creates incremental future repeat business.It automatically recognizes guests who book direct vs. third-party channels like OTAs, and it rewards direct bookers with the best rooms to be assigned first. This supports a hotel's direct sales strategy which ultimately leads to more direct bookings and less commission to be paid to third parties.With a system deciding on the most optimal, and balanced room assignments, hoteliers will see fewer large, and instead more and smaller upgrades. This results in less opportunity costs for complimentary upgrades that must be awarded due to overbooked base room categories and more happy guests receiving upgrades.An automated room-allocation system dramatically reduces downgrades, and with that reduces the reimbursements hotels typically pay to guests that get downgraded, leading to direct cost savings.Front desk agents supported by an automated room allocation system spend less time during check in searching for an optimal room. A more efficient check in reduces guest dissatisfaction, and with that creates better reviews and with that the opportunity to create higher ADR and more bookings.Agents spend less time at check in. That means less costs at front desk operations, more time for other tasks or a smile and a friendly, welcoming conversation with the guest, instead of staring at a screen to find a room.An optimally balanced house means less fragmented inventory which equates to more rooms to sell or upsell to, which means more revenue per day.Rooms optimally assigned means less friction and interruption of housekeeping processes and with that a further reduction in operations cost.To increase customer satisfaction and secure guest loyalty, hoteliers not only need to cater for a personalized and mobile booking experience, but they need to deliver on the newly created expectations."Pairing the positive revenue effects of optimal room assignment with the tremendous efficiencies in operations allows for a quick ROI," Boettner said. "This area of digitization needs to be moved up the priority list for hotel technology investments in 2017."For more information on room-allocation software and the roomPulse solution from hospitalityPulse, the technology leader in automated room assignment solutions, visit

Survey Asks: What Sacrifices Are Your Guests Making for a Mobile Check-In Experience?

hospitalityPulse, Inc. ·15 August 2016
As travelers themselves, hoteliers experience some of the same irritations their guests face when it comes to the room assignment process. With mobile check-in via smart devices growing in popularity, frustrations arise when travelers arrive early or check in via mobile app but they still have to wait for their exact room type to be made available upon arrival. hospitalityPulse Inc. is asking hoteliers to take a short "Check-In Experience Survey" that reflects upon their most recent experiences. The purpose of this exercise is to help hoteliers identify problems with their own room assignment processes and implement a solution for an improved guest experience."During the recent HITEC show, we asked hoteliers visiting our booth about their check-in experience," said Pierre Boettner, hospitalityPulse CEO. "We wanted to know: 1) Did they check in remotely using the hotel's mobile app or arrive earlier than planned? 2) If yes, were they assigned a room immediately and was the room ready upon arrival? and 3), Once in the room, did it meet their expectations and match the features they requested at the time of booking or did they have to sacrifice preferences for the sake of being given a room - any room?"The results were not surprising," he said. "More than 50% of those we spoke to said they had to compromise their room preferences just so they didn't have to wait for the rooms they wanted to be made ready - a wait that could potentially take several hours. In addition, 30% were members of a brand loyalty program, yet they did not get their expected room upgrade if they checked in remotely or if they arrived early. This is unacceptable on so many levels, and it proves that despite advances in booking, reservations and PMS technology, the industry is not meeting guest expectations when it comes to room assignment."To participate in the "Check-In Experience Survey," click here.The 10-question Check-In Experience Survey is LIVE today through September 15th, with results being revealed in October. Those wanting the industry overall to do a better job in pre-assigning guestrooms, refining availability and streamlining the mobile check-in process, should start the survey NOW.For more information on hospitalityPulse, the technology leader in automated room assignment solutions, visit

hospitalityPulse to Debut Integrated Product Suite for Mobile Check In and Room Assignment at HITEC

hospitalityPulse, Inc. ·20 June 2016
hospitalityPulse Inc., the technology leader in automated room assignment solutions, will be presenting its fully integrated suite of products at HITEC designed to significantly enhance a hotel's traditional and mobile check in processes. In addition to the company's popular roomPulse and PulseLink room assignment solutions, hospitalityPulse will unveil new tools in Booth 1713 that will transform traditional transactions into guest interactions by enabling front-desk agents to focus more closely on their guests.NEW at HITEC!roomPulse, the solution that dynamically optimizes each room assignment in real time, is the anchor of the hospitalityPulse product suite. Tomorrow, hospitalityPulse will unveil a pre-check queue solution at HITEC that seamlessly integrates with roomPulse to automate the handling for when guests arrive too early and rooms are not yet available, or when guests check in prior to arrival via a mobile device or a web interface. Called PulseQueue, the system continuously monitors all rooms as they become available and matches them with reservations that have been placed in queue. Guests are then automatically assigned the most optimal room based on overall room needs at the hotel; rooms are assigned based on propriety of guest and reservation value, as well as time spent in the queue. When a room has been found and assigned, the front desk and the guest are automatically notified by the system."PulseQueue evolved from learnings, based on our customers' use of roomPulse," said Pierre Boettner, hospitalityPulse CEO. "It has long been clear that roomPulse solves some of the persistent issues that have surfaced as a result of a hotel offering early and mobile check in. While both enhance the guest experience, mobile check-in solutions exponentially increased manual handling at front desk, causing more, instead of less, friction. When mobile check-ins are offered to guests, an already difficult process is made even harder for staff. We also learned that it wasn't so much the ability to show guests a room number at the time of check in, but rather the automation of the underlying queue assignments that was really the missing piece. It is impossible to consistently anticipate and match up arrival times with cleaning predictions. A guest having checked in early may still have to wait for a room once he or she has arrived at the hotel."PulseQueue also is preventing conflicts arising from agents directly competing with queued arrivals, for available rooms. When there aren't enough rooms available for pending check-ins, or when available rooms aren't matching with what is needed for arriving or expected guests, the competition for rooms can become heated. Guests that arrived early or checked in prior to their arrival may find themselves at a disadvantage with regards to feature fulfillment. All too often, rooms are then rushed, leading to additional inefficiencies and even quarrels with housekeeping."We wanted to make room assignments for early or mobile check in as seamless as possible, so that agents don't have to deal with yet another separate system," Boettner said. "This is why optimized room assignments in roomPulse and pre-check transactions in PulseQueue are made available via PulseLink; the agent popup directly accessible from within the PMS reservations screen. At the time of check in, PulseLink provides the agent with the most optimal room at that very moment. It also enables agents to place a reservation in, or retrieve it from, PulseQueue to make the entire room assignment process as efficient and quick as possible. If needed, alternative rooms can be found in a very easy to use interface. Rather than spending time on finding rooms in the system, what are transactions are transformed into interactions with the guests."FREE of ChargeTo complete the suite of products with a guest facing component we created PulseMobile, a mobile check in solution that allows guest to check in online prior to arrival, offered to our hotel customers completely free of charge. Hotels that intend to offer a simple, yet powerful mobile check-in solution can easily integrate PulseMobile into their processes. It takes advantage of PulseQueue, assuring speed, consistency, and optimal room assignment."We are really excited about the fully-automated product suite what we are showcasing at HITEC," Boettner said. "Of course, as with all our applications, roomPulse, PulseLink, PulseQueue and PulseMobile can be fully integrated with a hotel's existing mobile applications. All hospitalityPulse solutions support a high level of guest service and satisfaction, ultimately results in greater loyalty and spend."To experience the NEW and fully automated suite of room assignment products from hospitalityPulse, visit Booth 1713 at HITEC, or visit
Article by Mario Bellinzona

Early Check In: What Does It Really Deliver?

hospitalityPulse, Inc. ·13 June 2016
Lately I've been wondering if mobile check-in is all that it's cracked up to be. Sure, it's supposed to zip me from the front door to my room, but depending on the hotel I choose, the time of day, whether I arrive earlier or later than planned, and many other factors, the direct-to-your-room experience doesn't always deliver on its promises.As a frequent traveler myself, I often wonder if other travelers feel as I do about mobile check in. Not only am I unsure if I like it, but I question whether or not it provides any advantages. One thing is certain, whether travelers like mobile check in or not, studies show travelers "say" they want it.Business travelers especially seem hip to the idea of skipping another queue - me included. Not every "check-in before arrival" process avoids the front desk, but many do offer an express line to grab your key and go to your room. If this isn't offered, a mobile key program may work even better; here my cell phone becomes my room key and it enables me to bypass the front desk altogether. Regardless of how I skip the traditional check-in process, mobile check-in programs are geared to help eliminate, or significantly reduce, the time spent waiting in long lines to get my reservation processed.When given the option to skip registration and avoid the front desk, I take it. For one, it makes me feel good and gives me a shot at accelerating check in; and two, I have a certain level of professional curiosity to see how the hotel or brand is managing this process. Now, in the rare instance that my phone is turned into a magic room key that unlocks my room door and I can bypass the front desk altogether, I am elated! But . . . when I get into my room, my feeling of delight quickly begins to change.I didn't realize the hotel had a club, and I forgot to specifically ask about a quiet room - that my bad. However, I also didn't get the room type that I requested when I made the reservation. I specifically requested a room on a higher floor, away from noise such as from elevators and vending machines, the pool or other distractions. Also, the room had a bath tub and not the shower I asked for. Instead of the King bed I booked, I was given a Double Double.Several questions now come to mind: Is the price that I pay for mobile check in convenience a compromise in choice or fulfillment of my preferences?Would I have received a better room, had I checked in later or at the front desk, where I can be presented with options and maybe even sweet-talk my way to a better room-type category?Did my advance check in before my arrival just cause me to be given one of the first rooms that became clean on my day of arrival - rather than a room I really wanted?As a loyalty member for that brand, did I receive the upgrade I am entitled to? As it is based on availability, what is the point in time that validation is made? Suddenly I realize that my time in this room is precious - and the many hours I have until the next morning seems a lot compared to the minutes I saved during check in. Does this make me want to wait in a queue again?Time Saved vs. Overall ExperienceAs a professional in the lodging industry, I know of course that much of the time savings aren't really savings at all, but rather shifts in time - a spreading of the workload. The night shift may be able to now do even more to prepare the arrivals. But once you get to the hotel, is your pre-assigned room really ready, or will it need to be changed a few times over to allow even earlier arrivals to get to their rooms so they aren't just waiting in the lobby? Is there a better way to make the entire process more fluid and more precise, regardless of your method of checking in?Working in the hotel technology space, I am interested in the hotel's perspective. How does the front office team cope with the new mobile check in functionality? Is the time I saved as a guest time they save in operations as well? Does hotel management see a rise in guest satisfaction and loyalty? How often do guests still need to see a front desk associate because of issues with the key, the process, or the room itself? In the end, is this all about mobile check in or about not wanting to wait in line needlessly?Having talked to many room operations staff over the last year, it is clear that the fundamental requirement of a good mobile check-in solution is not the ability to show the right room (or any room number for that matter) at the time of check in, but rather to automate the underlying reservations in queue. It is not possible to predict actual check-in time, nor is it possible to predict which of the rooms that were occupied when the mobile check-in occurred (generally up to 24 or 48 hours in advance) would be ready, vacant and clean to check into at that unpredictable time of arrival. Add to that the important question of priority. Is the most fitting room the one that should be given to a guest checking in early, or from a mobile device? The most valuable guests often arrive the latest, but should they really be the ones to have the leftover rooms?For those reasons, I think it is important that we recognize not only the promise of mobile check-in, but also the challenges it helps uncover. Rather than dismissing these as side effects stemming from still low adoption or missing smartphone locks, we need to embrace these failures and think about using the resulting insights as a guide to addressing the real underlying challenges.A recent Skift article titled: "This Is 2016. Why Can't We Still Book Specific Rooms in a Hotel?" poses a very insightful question. The article quotes a mobile check-in vendor who clearly recognizes that the underlying issues lie with room selection, room assignment, and the impacted fragmentation that room selection/assignment can have on overall occupancy and RevPAR. As an industry, it's time we deal with these critical questions.

hospitalityPulse Setting New Standards for Hospitality Technology Platforms

hospitalityPulse, Inc. · 7 June 2016
This month hoteliers attending HITEC will be introduced to server and network technology that is rarely utilized in the hotel environment. When architecting the infrastructure platform for hospitalityPulse, the technology leader in automated room assignment technology, the company's Infrastructure Architect and Co-Founder William Cannon was able to design the system creating and utilizing automation tools typically prohibitive for small technology companies. The result is a system platform that takes automation and reliability of systems to an entirely new level."With automated room assignment via roomPulse, we address an area that has never before been tackled in hotel technology," Cannon said. "We also wanted to build systems with an underlying infrastructure that would allow automatic scaling without human assistance. With initial customers spread around the globe, we also provisioned for issues that we felt would arise with certainty. In addition to requirements on scalability, fault tolerance and high reliability, we anticipated needing an infrastructure that we could easily replicate in the same, or other data centers. This is important for chain customers requiring their own private servers, and also in cases of legal requirements regarding the geographic location of guest data."Cannon not only created a self-healing system, but it also self-scales up and down with resource utilization. This is especially important when responding to high traffic or when processing power needs to be added or reduced. The technology creates cost efficiencies not only on the human side, but also in terms of optimal server utilization. These savings are then reflected in the pricing of roomPulse."With startups, customers need assurances about availability, fault tolerance and business continuity," said Denis Bajet, founder and CTO of hospitalityPulse. "They need guarantees that using our services will not introduce vulnerabilities in their operations. Therefore, we leverage Amazon's cloud, AWS. Along with specialized automation to achieve highly available systems that scale automatically and seamlessly recover from component failures, we can deliver on an unparalleled level of service. Our entire infrastructure is designed to fix itself, and we built our application stack on top of this infrastructure to pass on the benefits to our customers."Solutions from hospitalityPulse are not only open to hotel customers, but also to other hotel technology vendors seeking to enrich their own offering by adding room assignment and check-in queue automation. By setting the infrastructure foundation properly, hospitalityPulse is meeting even the greatest of expectations.To learn more about this advanced self-healing, self-scaling system architecture, visit hospitalityPulse in Booth #1713 at HITEC June 21 to 23 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. To pre-schedule an appointment, call Mario Bellinzona at +1 831 824 4952, or email For more information on hospitalityPulse, visit

hospitalityPulse Offering Insight to Hoteliers Shopping HITEC for Mobile Check-In Solutions

hospitalityPulse, Inc. ·31 May 2016
especially understanding the true room availability on the day of arrival and in real time.2. Can you ensure that the room features requested by the guest during booking are the room features the guest receives at check in?Overlooking the "small print" in contracts is easy to do, and the same applies to imprints displayed during a hotel booking process. How often have we all seen verbiage such as "Special requests are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed at time of booking?" Despite such disclaimer, a glimpse at online reviews quickly demonstrates that guests consider such requests as part of "what they booked." Even without mobile check in, it is already challenging to ensure that all guests' room feature requests were fulfilled. How would a mobile check in provider deal with the swaps and cascades that make up the house balancing task at time of arrival?3. How are connecting room requests managed during mobile check in?There are many reasons why guests may have asked for connecting rooms: a family traveling together, with the parents wanting privacy, but with easy access to the children in an adjacent room; colleagues traveling together needing to collaborate on a project late into the night and preferring the convenience of adjoining rooms; or friends who like the convenience of being close, and their proximity enhances their overall stay experience. Any such request for connecting rooms is difficult enough to be consistently considered even without advance check in. Guests wanting to check in to connecting rooms a day prior to arrival can easily turn into an operational nightmare if not handled properly by the mobile check in solution.4. Are guest preferences from your CRM taken into consideration during mobile check in?Guests don't mind answering questions about their likes and dislikes when subscribing to a loyalty program. In return, they expect a higher level of service to be provided by the hotel, even when they omit indicating their preferences on their next booking; after all, we are living in the age of hyper customization, so meeting basic requirements shouldn't be an issue, right? Wrong. Another glimpse at review sites confirms that meeting hotel guests' requests for specific room features isn't as easy as allowing a traveler to pick a seat on an airplane. And, no, it's not a "hotelier-made problem," and hotels need to do more than "just hire the right - or more - staff." Once you really dive into the challenges of room assignment, you quickly discover that there is a virtually unsolvable problem. The least you can expect from a mobile check-in provider is to be cognizant of the room assignment problem and hope that their solution doesn't accentuate what is already an impossible task to complete consistently and well.5. Do you consider loyalty, VIP, or other guest statuses during the mobile check-in process? And, are other complimentary- or availability-based upgrades considered?Complimentary upgrades are necessary to achieve good occupancy rates. Used intelligently, they are also an incredibly powerful tool to boost guest satisfaction. But when guests who are entitled and accustomed to certain complimentary upgrades are not able to have those accommodations fulfilled, it can cause significant consequences for hoteliers. Just like room feature requests, guests anticipate that their upgrade requests will be honored; when they are not, they become frustrated and annoyed. The last thing hoteliers want to do is convey the message that mobile check-in will negatively impact a guest's ability to obtain their expected and promised upgrades.GO! Put your best mobile foot forwardChecking in a guest reflects a hotel's ultimate truth in terms of room availability and the ability to provide the accommodation as expected. When considering a new initiative, like mobile check in, hoteliers need to look past the hype and over-simplifying statements. The operational impact on room assignment and the handling of the check-in queue must not be overlooked when it comes to adding check in to a hotel's mobile, or overall digital strategy.If finding a mobile check-in solution is high on your HITEC shopping list, please visit with hospitalityPulse first in Booth # 1713. We have the automated room assignment solution that hoteliers need to ensure their mobile-check in program will be a success right out of the gate. To pre-schedule an appointment at HITEC, call Mario Bellinzona at (831) 824-4952, or For more information on hospitalityPulse, visit

hospitalityPulse to Unveil Room Assignment Tools for Waitlists and Mobile Check-in at ITB Berlin

hospitalityPulse, Inc. · 8 March 2016
hospitalityPulse, the technology leader in automated room-assignment solutions, will be unveiling two products this week at ITB Berlin that significantly enhance traditional and mobile check-in processes for hotel guests. pulseQueue is a check-in solution for the front desk that automates the wait-list process; when guests are ready to be assigned a room but rooms aren't ready for guests, pulseQueue goes to work. Functioning in tandem with pulseQueue is pulseMobile, a mobile tool that leverages the room assignment and queue-handling process to assign rooms checking in online based on the features guests' requested at the time of booking. Both solutions will be on display at the Messe Berlin Exhibition Grounds March 9 to 12 in Hall 10.1 / 112a."It's quite common for guests to arrive at the hotel expecting to check in to their rooms, but the rooms are either not vacant, not clean or not yet inspected for a number of reasons; perhaps guests arrived early or they checked in online prior to arrival, at which time not many rooms were available," said Pierre Boettner, HospitalityPulse CEO. "pulseQueue and pulseMobile monitor all rooms that become available and then match those rooms with reservations that are held within the pre-check queue. Guests waiting in queue are automatically assigned the most optimal room, based on guest value and time spent in queue. Then, front desk staff and guests are notified automatically by the system."Although many mobile check-in solutions provide nice functionality to the guest, few resolve or improve the workload for front-desk staff after mobile check in has been requested."Mobile check in is intended to eliminate the need for guests to wait in long lines at the front desk just to obtain a room key," Boettner said. "While this process may alleviate stress and time for travelers upon arrival, it actually increases the workload at the desk because rooms still need to be assigned. Sure, hoteliers can text room numbers to guests when they check-in remotely, but they still have to deal with the issue of queue assignments and optimally finding available room types matching their booking requests. Until now, this has been the missing piece of the mobile room-assignment puzzle."pulseQueue solves conflicts that arise from front desk agents directly competing with queued arrivals for available rooms, he said."When there aren't enough rooms available for pending check-ins, or when rooms that are available do not match guests' requests, it's a significant problem," Boettner said. "Guests will not be happy that the rooms they are walking into are not the room types they requested and expected. Although guests may perceive an early arrival or a mobile check in as an advantage, it may quickly prove to be a disadvantage when their requests can't be fulfilled. Only after guests complain do front desk staff rush last minute to accommodate their original requests. pulseQueue and pulseMobile remove these issues altogether."Hoteliers looking to heighten guest service, boost satisfaction scores, increase loyalty and raise revenues should experience pulseQueue and pulseMobile at ITB Berlin. Both solutions complement the company's legacy solutions, roomPulse and pulseLink.roomPulse is the first real hospitality solution that dynamically optimizes each room assignment in real time, all the time. pulseLink, an extension of roomPulse that is designed to reduce the amount of time front desk staff spend searching for rooms during check in. It solves all possible movements based on reservation requirements, reservation and guest value and room availabilities, resulting in more optimal upgrades being granted to the right guests. It defragments the inventory, provides clarity of available rooms, and facilitates better upselling. More importantly, roomPulse reduces costs, increases guest satisfaction and revenues, and it makes employee tasks a lot easier too.pulseLink is designed to automatically select the most optimal room available at the moment of check in directly within the PMS reservation screen. It enables agents to easily find and hold other rooms or increase the hold to have more time more time to offer an upsell.To pre-schedule an appointment at ITB Berlin, call Mario Bellinzona at +, or For more information on hospitalityPulse, visit
Article by Pierre Boettner

When it Comes to Room Assignments, Details Matter

hospitalityPulse, Inc. · 3 March 2016
you MUST deliver on their expectations. If you can't, you MUST be ready to respond to bad reviews.Loyalty Status was not RecognizedMany loyalty programs incorporate complimentary upgrades based on availability at check in. When a loyalty guest checks in, he or she generally accepts whatever room they're given on the assumption that they are receiving the best possible room available. Once inside the room, if the guest feels the accommodations are not commensurate with the expected upgrade, they will often check the hotel's website for availability of better rooms. If the guest finds better availability, look out! Once a loyalty member realizes that he or she was not granted the upgrade they were entitled to, the person, now seriously annoyed, will return to the front desk and demand a better room. If the guest doesn't have time for that, it's off to TripAdvisor to post a negative review.Take all of this together and a very different picture emerges - one that implies that the systems that agents use cannot solve what has been incorrectly sold or promised at the time of booking. The people taking the heat for these inacuracies are the agents, the room controllers, and the General Manager.The Room Assignment DilemnaRoom assignment is one of the most complex tasks in the entire lodging process, and there are no mathematical algorithms that can solve it. Front desk agents can make assumptions that enable them to hone in on subsets of requested room categories to find a match, but typically overbooking of some categories arises and fragmentation still occurs. There is no way for an agent to be fully aware of all pending reservation requests or guest requirements when making these decisions. Worse yet, any room assignment decision they make will directly impact that day's arrivals - or even tomorrow's arrivals. In the end, specific features, amenities or room types requested by the guest won't be fulfilled.Mobile check-in initiatives also add to - or even amplify - room assignment challenges; when speaking to front-office staff, mobile check in does nothing to make their jobs easier. Someone still needs to find and assign the "right" room to each mobile guest who prefers using a cell phone as a room key and bypassing the check in process altogether; rooms may or may not be ready at the time of check in or they may still be stuck in queue. Efficient mobile check in can only happen if there is smart room assignment. We're not there yet - but it's coming very soon.What can be done?One of the first things that hoteliers can do to address the room assignment dilemna is to eliminate irrelevant and duplicate room feature codes. Out of the 30 to 50 categories or codes present, statistics show that fewer than 10 are being requested by guests. Determine which categories count; generally the most requested are "Views," "Bed types," "Floor" and "Balconies." Always add ADA requirements and (non) proximity to noise from elevators or ice machines. Anything else is just in the way of room search. For example, you cannot search simultaneously for rooms that have King beds (KB) and box spring king beds (BK). Every room has one or the other, but never both. Whether the bed is box spring or framed is really not important to the guest. If you need the information for other purposes, then keep it elsewhere.Once you have re-organized the feature codes, make sure that every room has an indication of "View," "Bed type" and "Balcony" if appropriate. If a code exists and the room corresponds to it, the feature must be configured. Relying on the room category code for that type of information saves time when configuring the system, but will ultimately cost you time every day - time that is precious to the guest and scarce for the agent. It may also decrease some training time for new employees.Finally, set a clear hierarchy of features. What is most important to guests? Here again, simple request statistics will help. At a resort, it may be "Views" and "Balconies" over "Bed Types," whereas in city hotels "Floor," "Noise" and "Bed Types" may trump the views. Make sure the features are shown in that sequence of importance, as it will make it easier for the agent to proceed by elimination, without removing some of the most important features first.

hospitalityPulse to Showcase Solutions for Resolving Room Assignment Challenges at ITB Berlin

hospitalityPulse, Inc. ·15 February 2016
Hoteliers looking to take the guess work out of room assignment while simultaneously increasing guest satisfaction, revenues and loyalty should plan to visit hospitalityPulse March 9 to 12 at ITB Berlin in Hall 10.1 / 112a. Using a patent-pending optimization process and intuitive user interface, hospitalityPulse will show attendees how they can assign the most optimal room for every guest - every time - with consistent efficiency using the company's roomPulse and pulseLINK solutions."One of the biggest problems hoteliers are facing is assigning rooms to guests upon check in that match the features and characteristics they requested during the booking process," said Pierre Boettner, hospitalityPulse CEO. "More than 50 percent of guests are not checked in to their pre-assigned rooms upon arrival due to overbooking situations, housekeeping status or competing last minute guest requests. As such, it's not uncommon for guests to be unsatisfied with the rooms they receive - especially if they are a frequent customer or loyalty club member with a specific profile and specific room preference. Not getting the room you request translates into lower guest satisfaction and less repeat business. For the hotel, we see the negative financial impact of being forced to upgrade guests complimentary in much higher-valued room categories, as no other option seems available when balancing the house. "At hospitalityPulse, we understand that room assignment is a complex, multidimensional task that is easy to mess up," Boettner said. "It requires training of front desk personnel and integration into the broader operation of a hotel. Looking at the many variables to consider when assigning the optimal room, it is a task impossible to solve without the support of technology Rather than allowing owners to leave money on the table by not optimally assigning guests the right room at check in, we developed roomPulse, a radically different multi-dimensional inventory engine that automates room assignments to streamline check in."roomPulse is the first real hospitality solution that dynamically optimizes each room assignment in real time, all the time. It solves all possible movements based on reservation requirements, reservation and guest value and room availabilities, resulting in more optimal upgrades being granted to the right guests. It defragments the inventory, provides clarity of available rooms, and facilitates better upselling. More importantly, roomPulse reduces costs, increases guest satisfaction and revenues, and it makes employee tasks a lot easier too.With roomPulse, hoteliers can:Automate the room assignment process by taking into account all aspects of imminent and future arrivals - at the same timeReduce guest complaints due to unfulfilled expectationsBecome acutely aware of true room availability and room conditionsPrevent inventory fragmentation and increase upsell opportunitiesSupport automatic enforcement of loyalty-related upgrades for top tier guestsAllow for better visibility into front desk activitiesStreamline and accelerate the check-in processEliminate inefficiencies and conflicts caused by manual pre-assignment"Room assignment is complex and tedious due to the vast number of reservations and inventory variables," Boettner said. "Until now, to meet even basic expectations while considering detailed available inventory, all hotels could resort to was add more manpower. For example, when considering just arrival dates and stay lengths, it is already difficult and time consuming to find a solution that avoids conflicts, guest satisfaction issues and unnecessary upgrades or downgrades. Now, add more guest expectations in the form of room feature requests and loyalty-based upgrades, and the complexity increases exponentially. roomPulse takes all these variables into account and assigns rooms to guests optimally and efficiently using computational reasoning. We've taken what once was complex, and made it easy." The 'pulseLINK' AdvantageAlso at ITB Berlin, hospitalityPulse will showcase pulseLink, an extension of roomPulse that is designed to reduce the amount of time front desk staff spend searching for rooms during check in. pulseLink is designed to automatically select the most optimal room available at the moment of check in directly within the PMS reservation screen. It enables agents to easily find and hold other rooms or increase the hold to have more time more time to offer an upsell.With pulseLINK, front desk staff can:Leverage roomPulse for instant optimization of available roomsReceive clear assignment recommendations via the intuitive room cardStay up-to-date on housekeeping status in real timeConduct flexible advance room searchesAvoid assignment conflicts using automatic room holdsEnhance customer satisfaction by having more accurate fulfillment"Today's hotel operations are being pressured to meet guest demands and generate higher revenues all while trying to deal with technological limitations," Boettner said. "It's a daunting task. At hospitalityPulse, we have developed a way to embrace this complexity, not turn away from it. It's room assignment made easy, and it's on display at ITB Berlin in Hall 10.1 / 112a."To pre-schedule an appointment at ITB Berlin, call Mario Bellinzona at +, or For more information on hospitalityPulse, visit ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin ConventionITB Berlin 2016 will take place from Wednesday to Sunday, 9 to 13 March. From Wednesday to Friday ITB Berlin is open to trade visitors only. Parallel with the trade show the ITB Berlin Convention, the world's largest tourism convention, will be held from Wednesday, 9 to Saturday, 12 March 2016. The WTCF (World Tourism Cities Federation) is Co-Host of the ITB Berlin Convention and Studiosus and Toshiba are Basic Sponsors. More details are available at ITB Berlin is the global travel industry's leading trade show. In 2015 a total of 10,096 companies and organisations from 186 countries exhibited their products and services to 175,000 visitors, who included 115,000 trade visitors.
Article by Pierre Boettner

Room Assignment and Operations - Unlocking the Mystery

hospitalityPulse, Inc. · 2 November 2015
In what follows, we aim to spark some thought and reflection on your own operation - and help you gain some perspective on this important subject.Understanding the Impact of Room Assignment - Beginning at the BeginningIn a previous article [add link], we established the booked room as the core product of a hotel, and suggested how important it is to reduce the number of room categories offered in the booking process.But do you realize how exponentially difficult it is, under currently room assignment constraints, to fulfill each guest's request to the maximum extent possible, producing that elusive "happy customer?"Take a quick look at the below room categories, picked at random from a brand's website. In both cases, and in almost all cases of base room categories, the bed type choice is unclear.Continue in the booking process (on this particular site), and you can specify your preferenceNotice that on this particular site, the brand gave itself the ability to more closely track a guest's preferences. On most booking sites, only a generic comment can be added, making tracking of room related requests even more difficult. With a booking completed, the available inventory for 'Coral Rooms' is decremented by 1 for the date booked. There is however no guarantee that the hotel will be able to fulfill my request for a King bed. Had I picked a category with a distinct bed type, my chances of fulfillment would be significantly higher, but since no one can actually say how many KING beds are available in CORAL rooms and for the date(s), it is basically a gamble. It is even a bigger gamble of you add in the functions, combination CORAL + KING + HIGH, and ELEVATOR.Adding to the complexity, the agent performing room assignment needs to also consider the impact of different overlapping stay lengths, number of adults, children, loyalty based upgrade requirements, impact of this and previous room assignment decisions on other reservations current and future, and not least, the 'style' of the individuals responsible for the process on that day.At the moment of check-in, the front desk agent also needs to make sure the room is clean and inspected, may have to swap rooms with other reservations, sell the guest on not having the high floor or having to wait an undetermined amount of time... and ideally, to produce revenue, they should try to upsell the guest to the better, but less popular suites, ensure that all documents are in order, the reservation accurate, the deposit paid or a credit card swiped, guests understand the various fees charged, and on and on and on. All that becomes the responsibility of your front desk staff. Because they are the only ones that are certain to meet the guest, they are naturally asked all kinds of additional things, sell a table reservation, spa, and explain the resort... - not only from management, but also from the guests.So when we unpack it, it's a very complicated picture, with lots of moving parts, at least the parts that are left to the desk agent.Is it any wonder errors happen, revenue is left on the table, and check in is often a stressful time for guests and agents?There are additional factors. Member services pushes check in personnel to ensure that loyalty members all get the upgrades they should be entitled to; marketing seeks to improve guest reviews; overall, Revenue management to increase ADR via upselling, reservations to reduce the fragmentation of the inventory, and the GM to reduce the unsightly wait lines to check in or out - sometimes, the GM criticizes supervisors because they failed to go through the full scripted welcome procedure and rooms control, or because they made assignment decisions "on the fly," which produced additional work for the next days.As a result of all this complexity, a typical front desk operation today has often as much staff in the back of the house, as there are agents facing customers. It is only natural that the task of room assignment is gradually being moved to specialized staff in the back office. And it is increasingly clear, that the front desk has not kept up with the times. Some of it is due to antiquated systems, some due to the industry's characteristic attachment to legacy systems - particularly in all things having a direct impact on guests. Most commonly, the rooms division will ask for more staff to improve guest satisfaction, while management will ask to reduce cost. How Do We Solve The Problem?It is not easy.A 100 room hotel with stay lengths typically between 1 and 4 nights and an occupancy slightly above 80% will produce a number of theoretical placement possibilities that a single processor core at 4 GHz would need longer to compute than the Cosmos is estimated to last.Even if one presumes a strong correlation between booked and assigned room category, there are still tens of millions theoretical placement combinations. Nowadays, the task is often assigned to specialized employees with very detailed knowledge of the hotel and a high degree of intuition - exactly the staff that you would rather have available at the desk to deal with difficult situations.Adding more staff will yield limited results, as each pair of eyes can really only consider a partial problem at a time. The more you distribute the work, the more incoherent the overall result.So here are some moves to consider:1. Start by measuring certain key indicators. Have your teams define what is the most important data to keep track of, and then identify the reports and data sources that will allow keeping track of these. Which are the most important feature requests to pursue? How many availability-based upgrade promises are kept? How many key feature requests could be fulfilled and how many early check in or late check out requests couldn't and why?Add the number of total up and downgrades due to balancing and the movements by room type. This will provide you with an objective base line against which to improve.2. Today's operations are much more complex than they were 20 or even just 10 years ago, and you need to effectively manage that complexity. You need to become more analytical and ruthless in identifying areas of concern and developing necessary changes to the operation. You need to become change agents and establish a culture where transformation is welcome, rather than viewed with suspicion. The operation of the future needs to be nimble, and systems must be able to adapt more easily and quickly.Systems are more connected, but also more disjointed than ever - and functional improvements to hotel's core systems have been limited. Suggesting that Front Desk staff '...just have to do a better job...' is disingenuous and only reveals that the complexity of this task is not well understood.The degree to which revenue is directly impacted by better fulfillment of the core contract depends on the individual operation, but I would like to invite you to track the following values:Average incremental spend per day/adult and per day of week for:- Guests assigned to a room not fulfilling requested key features (i.e. VIEW & BED) and up to the value of the booked category- Guests assigned to a room fulfilling requested key features of at least the value of the booked category Bringing it All TogetherToday's hotel operations are being squeezed - on the one hand, between an increasingly demanding guest, and on the other, by technological limitations that hold back the potential for understanding the complexity of the new operating environment in order to fully satisfy that guest, and generate higher revenues.We must embrace the complexity, not turn away from it. And continue to search for innovative solutions.
Article by Pierre Boettner

Big Data and the Hotel Stay: The Critical Connection

hospitalityPulse, Inc. · 6 August 2015
and is not.It begins from the nature of a hotel's data sets, and how they are accessed - but how many of us really understand how to access those data sets, and do it well?In many cases, the data sets available are just too miniscule, the differences between one and another record are too minute to be used in a meaningful way. As a result, lots of time, money and energy have gone into a host of Big Data driven add-on tools that all solve some hotel problems, but none provide a truly holistic, comprehensive, and monetizable view of guest expectations. The real uses, and impact, of Big Data so far at hotels - has been remarkably small.The Point of Sale has always received special attention. It is after all the very first interaction for the vast majority of guests. But what is most interesting is how the Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have turned the Point of Sale not just into a moment of purchase decision - but a process that reverberates to impact the entire guest experience throughout his stay.Let's take a look inside the process, to see what they have done.OTAs are removed from the hotel room - the actual product. They hold no traditional points of view and no convictions of certain undeniable truths about 'our' guests. This has allowed them to use Data to analyze and then use a consumer's behavioral patterns in a ruthless and disciplined manner. Because the delivery of the promise made during the sale is entirely up to the hotel, OTAs can also apply Data to the promise at their leisure, while completely ignoring such 'mundane' constraints as actual availability.Stay with me and review the website visuals below, to learn why Booking and cohorts are so much more successful at converting lookers to bookers, than hotels are:!!! Note that while I am using one particular hotel here, you can replicate the results with pretty much any property!!!On an OTA site:In the response above, a particular room category has been pre-selected. This is done based on very limited information (weekend stay, 2 adults). Other information stored in a host of available coookies on my laptop may have further influenced this choice. I recently booked 2 Double rooms at another hotel and Booking may very well have tapped into that history.The price is immediately visible and the booking decision takes just one more click.As consumers we WANT this to be the case; we want our interactions on the web to be easy to navigate and simple to conclude.It is only AFTER that booking decision has been made, that the traveller is shown available room categories, most at different rates.Note that the room that led to the decision is not available to book. Its place has now been taken by a King room, offered at the originally shown price.This may amount to false advertising, but the fact is, is now much more likely to keep the traveler to finalize the reservation. This holds true even when the customer now needs to select a higher priced room to accommodate her needs.In a nutshell: The decision on which room to book has been separated from the decision to book the hotel. Each choice in isolation is easy to make.By contrast, on a Brand's website:To see the full result, I had to zoom out to 33% of my browser's scale. The room needs to be selected before a buying decision has taken place. With 7 distinct options, many aspects of each need to be compared and room descriptions read. Though we don't feel it, our brain is now asked to do some pretty remarkable acrobatics to make the choice.This is where what neuroscientists call 'false choice paradox' comes into play. It works as follows: 'Consumers think they want to have lots of choices. But present consumers with difficult choices, and the process gets complicated. For example: 'Would I rather have a view of the 'Arc de Triomphe' or of the 'Tour Eiffel', or maybe rather a balcony, or maybe both...?' The reality is that we prefer, even expect choices to be simple, even self-evident. We want to make informed choices. We don't really want THAT many options, we really just want the ones that make sense for us, with the others serving to 'frame' or 'anchor' the deal. We prefer easy decisions over hard ones. It makes us feel empowered and feel good about our decisions.Present no choices and consumers feel forced into a decision; present more than just a few, and your prospective guests may abandon the booking process.Hotels will need to catch up on applied science and let go of cherished beliefs of what guests should be presented with, or what customers mean when they indicate they want 'choices'.=The point is that there has not been nearly enough attention paid, to the SCIENCE behind matching the right guest with the right room.On TripAdvisor, the reportings of room mismatches were so dominant in negative reviews, that TA introduced 'room tips'. This is where travelers can share information about good or bad rooms with others.Indeed, fulfillment of rooms has become a major focus for every major brand. Not just in operations, but in Marketing departments and Quality assurance as well. From the GM to the front desk agent, everyone is focused on achieving the best possible guest satisfaction.So where do we fail?Even in the hotel example shown above, distribution teams have already reduced the number of categories offered. They will want to continue consolidating to improve distribution performance, though even the current categories are probably no longer representative of detailed room differences. Rooms operations on the other hand would like availability tailored as closely as possible to each room request.If every unique combination of Size, bed type, view, floor, connecting, accessible, balcony, elevator and so on and so forth were to be configured in the hotel system, the number of categories would balloon to many dozens. The likelihood of lookers turning away from such a site is all but certain.What started out as an attempt to satisfy a guest with a reasonable number of well-tailored choices, has turned into a nightmare of complexity for the operation. Once the guest actually arrives at the hotel, the generic selling category and the requested features will need to be 'translated' into a real room. If you only then find out how many 'High Floor King Balcony Shower' rooms were requested for a given date, it is too late to take any corrective action.Sadly, that is the reality hotels are dealing with daily.To summarize, there is an inherent and increasing inefficiency in the ways rooms are currently assigned - and it turns on the misuse of, or inability to use properly, the right data to match customers' needs with the right inventory.A few years ago, room fulfillment didn't seem to be that much of a problem, if any at all. One person spending less than an hour or so was really all it took to "balance the house," decide who would get upgraded while making a very rough approximation of the possible impact on future arrivals.Today, with power having shifted entirely to the consumer and standards for a quality stay having risen dramatically higher, more hotels have dedicated more and more time to the problem. But solutions seem as elusive as ever.Here is a prediction: As brands and hotels continue to search for new ways to capture more direct business, keep the guest satisfied, even more power shifts in the direction of the customer, the problem will intensify - and draw even more attention.The room is a hotel's core product.In my next article, I will take a closer look at the impact of this trend on the operation and financial results.

Fail fast and learn a lot! Getting hotel tech on the Silicon Valley to-do list

hospitalityPulse, Inc. ·By Pierre Boettner
Pierre Boettner of hospitalityPulse believes now is the time for our industry to rethink technology paradigms. His Silicon Valley-centered look at hospitality tech asserts that while technology has steadily advanced over the last 30 years, hotels are still not fully benefitting. Silicon Valley thinking would attack the problems differently, he says.

hospitalityPulse Unveils Next-Generation Room Inventory Optimization at HITEC 2014

hospitalityPulse, Inc. ·24 June 2014
hospitalityPulse debuts their proactive, room management system, roomPulse at the HITEC 2014 conference in Los Angeles on June 23-26. The system, unique in the market, is hospitalityPulse's first product being officially launched. It allows guest-centric hoteliers to take all aspects of reservations and room availability into account, finding the best-possible room assignment while applying rule-based upgrades in a smarter, more efficient manner.Online reviews and social media sites are increasingly placing pressure on hotels, with guests frequently declaring that they did not receive the room they desired or, that their needs were not efficiently met. Pierre Boettner, founder of hospitalityPulse noted, "It's all about the one thing that both hotels and guests want most: high guest satisfaction. The single most important delivery point on that guest perception is the room, which can either make or make break guests' positive opinions on the stay. With roomPulse hotels are able to commit and deliver on their guests' experience. Additionally, inventory is de-fragmented, allowing better use of net availability and enabling more sales."For consumers, the roomPulse story is one of experience. The system works with a hotel property management system (PMS) and uses a patent-pending approach that takes all reservation variables into account including room types and categories, length of stay, affiliation, loyalty level, room features and more, and identifies optimal room assignment for maximum guest satisfaction. The guest is rewarded with faster check-in, automatic upgrades based on eligibility and availability, and best possible room attributes and features. This happens seamlessly, taking variables into account for even a first-time guest."This technology is truly changing the guest satisfaction game for hotels and consumers," continued Boettner. "Taking the guesswork and manual component out of room assignment is empowering hotel operations. It reduces guest complaints, increases retention and spend, and delivers the right room for every guest, every time."See roomPulse from hospitalityPulse at HITEC in booth 1058, or visit for more information or to arrange a demonstration.About hospitalityPulsehospitalityPulse merges hotel industry knowledge and technology expertise to ensure optimal room assignment at all times to all guests, and specifically those most valuable to the chain, the brand and hotel management, considerably increasing guest loyalty and spend. roomPulse, the Santa Cruz, California company's flagship product, solves all possible movements based on reservation requirements and room availabilities, resulting in more optimal upgrades being granted to the right guests.


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