Defining a Guest Experience OS
Just as smartphones transformed our daily lives, the Guest Experience OS (GXOS) is revolutionizing the hospitality industry by elevating customer service and replacing outdated processes with cutting-edge technology.
A Guest Experience OS is an integrated software platform that combines various tools to streamline and elevate the end-to-end guest experience in hotels and resorts. In other words, it is an ecosystem that connects guests, staff, and hotels, with the purpose of creating a seamless, efficient, and memorable journey from the moment guests start their stay until they leave the hotel.
Acting as a digital command center, the GXOS enables the maximum performance from your facilities and services. It will make everything flow optimally, both for guests and staff and it will increase revenue as a result.
To put it simply, a GXOS is the system to maximizing hotel experiences. A true revolution in the hospitality industry.
Why a Guest Experience OS is essential for hotels today
To understand why a GXOS is crucial, it is necessary to keep in mind the following:
In a hotel, the human factor is essential.
The employees make a difference because they have human qualities, they are sympathetic, and they show enthusiasm when motivated to improve the guests' stay.
Technology is only useful if it brings people closer together, and this is the case of a Guest Experience OS.
Getting a guest's information into the system as fast as possible will help. But their human skills, empathy with guests, and desire to make a customer’s stay more pleasant will make them stand out.
Claudio Natella, Viva Wyndham’s General Manager, highlighted this idea:
“We had 1,069 employees before the implementation of our guest app through STAY. And after, we are still 1.069 employees. The key here is that our operations have been optimized and now, our staff can focus on the client's well-being”.
Having said that, a hotel's products and services will be more visible thanks to technology, which will reduce wait times, make processes more efficient, and allow hotel employees to focus on the things that really matter:
The guest's happiness.
The top 4 guest experience challenges hotels face in 2023
The hotel industry progresses every day. Competition is at its highest, and efforts to offer the best guest experience are enormous.
There are basically 4 pain points in the sector:
1. Lack of awareness regarding all the available services
If hotels fail to communicate their services and products effectively to guests, they may miss out on potential revenue and receive lower guest satisfaction scores. This can result in reduced repeat guests and negative word-of-mouth reviews.
2. Slow and uncomfortable operational processes for staff and guests
If hotels have slow, old and inefficient operational processes, this can result in guest frustration and staff burnout. In other words, it is unlikely that an unmotivated receptionist will put forth his best efforts to delight your guests, or that your customers will give you high ratings on external platforms if they can't get things done quickly.
3. Shortage of high qualified staff in the sector
If hotels are unable to attract and retain talented staff, this can lead to a decline in service quality and standards. This can impact guest satisfaction and result in negative reviews, which can ultimately lead to a decline in business.
4. Paper dependence in a world where sustainability is key
If hotels continue to rely on paper-based processes and fail to embrace sustainability practices, they may face negative public perception and lose business to competitors with better sustainability credentials. In fact, websites like Booking.com have implemented a “green filter”. You need to adapt in order to be excluded because of this crucial trend.
According to 2022’s Booking.com survey, 81% of travelers intend to stay in a sustainable accommodation, at least once in the upcoming year, compared to 73% in 2019 and 65% in 2017
This will also result in higher costs due to waste and a negative impact on the environment. For example, top notch resorts such as Dreams Nature are saving 1,5 tons of paper a year by implementing a guest app, resulting in a higher guest satisfaction.
These four challenges will be addressed when a Guest Experience OS is implemented in a hotel, as we will explain later.
The 3 main benefits of a Guest Experience OS
The benefits of implementing this system are multiple, from the beginning to the end of a guest's stay in a hotel or resort. But let's highlight 3:
1. It enhances guest satisfaction
By providing a seamless and personalized experience that meets your guests’ needs and expectations, leading to positive reviews, increased loyalty, and more repeat guests.
2. It improves operational efficiency
By optimizing processes and automating tasks, the GXOS frees up staff time to focus on what matters most: the guest. Additionally, this tool enables hotels to adopt sustainable policies by reducing their paper and plastic usage. With the GXOS, hotel owners and managers can make the most of their workforce's skills while promoting a greener approach to their operations.
3. It increases revenue from extra services
By improving the communication and facilitating the sale of additional services and products to guests, such as restaurant reservations, spa treatments, or tours, resulting in higher revenue per guest and overall profitability.
How a Guest Experience OS benefits the guests, the staff and the hotel
As mentioned, a Guest Experience OS revolutionizes the hospitality industry by seamlessly connecting guests, staff, and hotels. Let's explore the key advantages this innovative system offers to guests, staff, and the hotel as a whole.
1. For guests: Enhancing the overall experience
A Guest Experience OS offers a variety of benefits that enhance the overall guest experience during their stay. Here are the main benefits for hotel guests:
- Improved convenience for accessing hotel services.
- Streamlined processes to eliminate queueing times.
- Real-time messaging for guests to contact staff via smartphones, improving efficiency.
2. For staff: Empowering their daily tasks
A Guest Experience OS not only benefits guests but also provides advantages for hotel staff, improving operational efficiency and staff motivation.
- Streamlined operations that help staff improve response time and enhance the guest experience.
- Real-time updates for staff to prioritize tasks and allocate resources effectively.
- Increased productivity and a guest-focused approach as technology takes care of mechanical duties.
3. For the hotel: Optimizing the business management
A Guest Experience OS provides numerous benefits for your hotel business:
- Valuable data analytics to understand guest preferences and behaviors.
- Positive brand image through a commitment to guest satisfaction and innovation.
- Improved scores on external platforms by addressing bad experiences in real time.
- Increased revenue through additional sales of extra services.
- Reduced costs and promotion of sustainability by minimizing paper and plastic usage.
Use cases for the Guest Experience OS: inform, interact, and analyze
This operating system for hotels serves multiple purposes. The functionalities are grouped into four categories:
The information functionality
It includes features such as a directory, calendars, menus, calendar of activities, and maps, providing guests with easy access to essential information in a wide variety of languages.This information can be updated in real-time, is interactive and always accessible for the guest.
The serving functionality
Gone are the days of one-way hotel information. Now, guests have the power to engage with a hotel’s services and staff in a two-way manner. With just a few taps, guests can communicate directly with the staff, ensuring their needs are met promptly and seamlessly.
What sets a Guest Experience OS apart is that this experience transcends the physical boundaries of the hotel. Guests can enjoy this two-way interaction from anywhere in real time, revolutionizing the way they experience hospitality.
The selling functionality
This is a game-changing functionality. The Sell functionality is your gateway to a whole new level of convenience, because guests gain more than just access to one-way hotel information.
They can now engage with a wide range of hotel services in a two-way manner. From effortlessly booking restaurants and ordering drinks to requesting amenities, guests can easily navigate and interact with all the hotel’s or resort’s offerings.
But here's the best part – this interaction is not limited to the physical space of the hotel. Guests can enjoy these services from anywhere, transcending traditional boundaries. It is arguably a shift in the way guests experience hospitality, as the Sell functionality sets the stage for unparalleled convenience, and guest satisfaction.
The analysis functionality
It comprises guest feedback, benchmarking, and analytics tools, enabling hotels to gain valuable insights into guest preferences and behaviors, enhancing guest satisfaction, increasing online reviews and allowing hotels to tailor services and promotions to meet their guests' needs.
An overview of how a Guest Experience OS works
As we explained earlier, a Guest Experience OS (GXOS) is an ecosystem that connects guests, staff, and hotel businesses, enhancing the guest experience while improving operational efficiency.
The platform comprises two primary components: a guest app enabling guests to access hotel services and amenities via their smartphones, and a staff system that interconnects channels such as the core CMS, staff app, and email. This integrated system empowers hotel staff to manage guest requests, track reservations, and monitor performance metrics all from a unified platform.
The GXOS also integrates with third-party systems, such as payment processors and property management systems, to provide a seamless experience for both guests and staff.
The GXOS acts as a centralized platform that enables hotels to streamline their operations, enhance guest satisfaction, and increase revenue.
Choosing the right guest app: web, native or embedded
Hotels can offer their guest app in the form of a range of apps based on different technologies, which can significantly impact their overall user experience.
They can provide guests with a web app that can be accessed without downloading it through a QR code.
Additionally, hotels can go a step further by offering native Android or iOS apps that complement the web app and provide additional features and functionalities.
Moreover, hotels with a existing app can embed a new one to unify the guest experience, simplifying access to information and services through one app.
Offering guests a seamless and easy-to-use app can enhance their satisfaction and loyalty to the hotel.
Key features of a high-performing Guest Experience OS
A Guest Experience OS is Software as a Service (SaaS) solution that offers continuous updates to ensure that hotels stay up to date with the latest technology. This type of technology provides some essential attributes:
1. White-labeled look & feel
Allows hotels to display their brand image, seamlessly integrating with the brand identity. This is essential for maintaining brand consistency and building a strong reputation.
2. User-friendly UX/UI
The intuitive and visually appealing design ensures an outstanding user experience, making it simple for guests to navigate and use without any difficulties.
The multilingual attribute helps overcome communication barriers with international guests, a common challenge in the hospitality industry. Communicating effectively with guests in their native language enhances their experience and increases the chances of positive reviews and repeat business.
Maximizing hotel services with a Guest Experience OS
A Guest Experience OS allows you to inform, interact, and analyze your results. Some of the key functionalities it enables are:
Inform guests in real time
The system provides guests with easy access to information about hotel amenities, services, and activities. This can include anything from spa services to restaurant menus to local area guides.
Communicate with guests: The software facilitates real-time communication between guests and hotel staff through messaging, chatbots, or other communication channels. This allows guests to quickly and easily ask questions or make requests.
Take guest requests: This technology also allows guests to make requests for amenities, housekeeping services, or other issues. This can include anything from extra towels to room service orders.
Reservations of services: The system also allows to book reservations for services such as spa treatments, restaurant reservations, or activities.
F&B Ordering and payment: This software enables guests to order food and drinks from hotel restaurants or bars, and make payments directly through the platform.
Get feedback: This pioneer technology also provides a platform for guests to leave feedback during their stay about their experiences, whether it's through surveys, ratings, or reviews. This way, the staff can solve any issue before they leave. This feedback can help hotels improve their online reviews, services and offerings.
Get insights: Finally, A guest experience OS provides valuable data on a hotel's performance, including information on the most popular services and products, generated revenue, and staff performance metrics such as response time and issue resolution rate. In addition, chains can analyze the performance of all their hotels at a corporate level, with rankings that evaluate the best-performing hotels. This data allows hoteliers to make informed decisions and focus on improving areas that need attention, ultimately leading to better guest experiences and increased revenue.
Embracing the Guest Experience OS: testimonials from top hoteliers
In today's ever-changing hospitality industry, guest experience is at the forefront of every hotel's mind. Hotels must strive to provide seamless, efficient, and personalized experiences to guests to remain competitive. Here, we can take a closer look at what experts have to say about a GXOS such as STAY.
Claudio Natella, General Manager of VIVA Wyndham: “With STAY, lobby lines have disappeared, and frustration has decreased”, and they now manage 70,000 monthly reservations through the platform”.
Deyanira Martinez, Resident Manager at Dreams Nature: “STAY helps guests know what the resort offers beforehand, simplifies the purchasing process through the app, and leads to a higher level of customer satisfaction”.
Yudy Mora, Product Owner Manager at Hyatt, attests to the significant increase in revenue that implementing STAY has resulted in, with “80-90% of guests regularly using it. The app pays for itself, our revenue has increased significantly."
Álvaro Montalvo, from Barceló Hotel Group, explains that “STAY offers a 360-degree tool that enables hotel guests to communicate with staff during their stay, make bookings for spa treatments, tables, room service, and bathrobes, among others. By using mobile keys, guests can open doors with their phones, reducing plastic waste and streamlining processes”.
Zafiro Hotels highlight that “guests can order food and drinks from their smartphones or request a pillow without having to visit the reception desk. STAY's solution also allowed guests to communicate with employees through a concierge chat. The results were improved staff efficiency, shorter waiting times, better staff control, less paper usage, and more comfort for guests”, says Andreu Cladera, Zafiro's App Manager and Graphic Designer.