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Smart welcome

Accor puts digital technology at the heart of the customer experience

1,000 Accor hotels worldwide will be equipped with an innovative new digital welcome by end 2014.

The hotel chain has announced the worldwide implementation of a digital solution that revolutionises guest welcome in its hotels. The objective is simple: use digital technology to offer customers an unprecedented personalised welcome. Guest welcome is less devoted to administrative formalities, making the hotelier entirely available to greet guests, cater for their individual needs or simply help them save time.

“Our ability to constantly integrate new technologies and improve the way we serve our guests and hotels is at the heart of our innovation strategy, to make Accor the most audacious and innovative hotel operator. Accor definitely places digital technology at the service of its guests at every stage of their hotel experience – before, during and after their stay – adapting its hotel services to the new modes of consumption which are more mobile and connected…,” explains Vivek Badrinath, deputy chief executive officer, marketing, digital solutions, distribution and information systems.

This innovative service, which was designed in close collaboration with the hotel operating teams, will be offered to all loyalty card or subscription card holders and to customers booking directly through Accor via: accorhotels.com, the brand websites, mobile applications, or by phone directly with the hotel, etc.

Four steps for a simpler, more personalised hotel welcome

  • Two days before their hotel stay, guests are invited to prepare their check-in online if they have booked directly with Accor or if they are loyalty card or subscription card holders.
  • On the arrival day, guests receive a welcome message by SMS, confirming that their room and key are ready and offering very useful practical information to simplify their trip (transport services to the hotel, car park access codes, etc).
  • When guests arrive in the hotel, their key has been prepared and is handed over immediately without the usual administrative formalities. The hotelier is even more available to greet guests and cater for their requests.
  • On the departure day, guests can leave rapidly. To check out, they simply have to hand in their key to indicate that their room has been vacated. The invoice is sent to them by email.

Consistent with consumer habits

Original and personalised, this innovative welcoming is deployed across all Accor brands and will be adapted by each brand to fit its service offering, depending on their segment, market positioning and establishments’ specificities.

With the massive deployment of this digital solution, Accor is clearly providing an online service that is consistent with new consumer habits. Over two billion people currently have a smartphone and 47 per cent of travel searches are made from mobile phones, making them the preferred device for finding, preparing and organising a trip.

This new system has been tested in approximately twenty establishments in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. It is now deployed in 60 hotels in 13 countries. The ambition is to roll out this solution in 1,000 hotels, or close to 30 per cent of the network, by the end of 2014.

Brazil, where Accor is the market leader, will boast the largest number of equipped hotels, since the service will be offered in nearly all the establishments in most of the cities hosting the World Cup football matches as of June 2014.

“This innovation focusses on giving our guests a warm, personalised welcome and on saving time thanks to new technologies. The first feedback from hotels already equipped with the system is very encouraging since more than 90 per cent of guests who used this service say they are willing to do so again. Queues are diminishing and hoteliers are more available for their guests. They can devote themselves completely to their passion, the job of host,” explains Christine Pouletty, the project’s manager.

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