Pertlink, the global network linking Hospitality with IT, has launched HOTELINMYHAND a unique PALM handheld application designed specifically to improve service delivery in the hospitality industry.
Catering to both the needs of guests and management, HOTELINMYHAND is revolutionary in the way it delivers personalised information about the hotel to the guest long before they arrive, and to the management about the state of their business. The HOTELINMYHAND product is the brainchild of Pertlink`s founder, Terence Ronson, and has been developed in Hong Kong as a partnership between Pertlink and Speed, a local development company.
“The initial response to HOTELINMYHAND has been quite amazing,” says Ronson. I am convinced that it will be only a matter of time before HOTELINMYHAND becomes an indispensable tool to both guest and hotel managers. Guests can plan their stay - where to dine, when to go to the gym, for instance, and managers can anticipate their needs way before the guest sets foot in the hotel. It`s a great way to improve service! The concept is simple. One way is for a guest to receive an introductory file along with the reservation confirmation from the hotel via e-mail. He can also download the file off the hotel`s website, and then easily sync it into the handheld. The content of the file could range from information normally listed in the guest services directory, a personalized welcome letter from the hotel`s GM, and information on local places of interest. And all these being available in the palm of one`s hand.
Palm owners generally become so dependent on these devices; that they hardly ever leave home without them. So while guests take up temporary residence in your hotel, they will always be in touch with everything that goes on there, and in theory beam their needs - be it a reservation in one of the hotel`s outlets or a request for room service.
This paperless, and therefore environmentally friendly system, allows a hotel to digitally promote their services, in a manner that is more practical to the guest so as to whet their appetites on what is on offer when they check-in to the hotel. The guest can also plan and track all their travel activities based on the information contained in this handy pocket-sized device, and overcome language barriers with multi-lingual graphical taxi-cards.
Recognising the true value of guest comments, an e-comment card has been incorporated so that the guest can easily and directly feed back about their stay to the General Manager, who will receive it in an e-form for immediate action. As a value-enhancing service, incorporated into HOTELINMYHAND will be e-coupons from local merchants which will be a source of advertising revenue to help offset the minimal operating cost of subscribing to this service.
When asked why HOTELINMYHAND was developed, Ronson said; “At Pertlink we strive to maximise the guest experience through the effective use of technology. A busy business traveller rarely travels without a Palm or similar device, so why not make more use of it? It can help them enrich their experience in your city, and substantially enhances the caring service your hotel provides. And since it contains so much relevant information, it`s a proactive way for guests to answer their own questions. From data gathered in these devices, it`s conceivable for hotels to make targeted promotions that can earn them extra revenue and higher levels of guest satisfaction.”
The HOTELINMYHAND product will be available in several phases. Initially, it will include an e-guest services directory, listing facilities and services available in an individual participating hotel. The information will be updated on a monthly basis so future events and promotions can be incorporated. To help the hotel promote the service, one handheld will be included in the Starter pack.
In the second phase, a system will be developed to serve as a management information tool for use by hotel management that can be interfaced to the hotel`s computer system to extract vital information such as arrival lists, VIP lists, in-house guest list, undesirables list, function lists, statistics and forecasts. In its third phase, HOTELINMYHAND will be able to help operational staff use the device to track and monitor daily activities and policies and procedures.
Maintaining its state-of-the-art functionality, future updates should include a wireless or Bluetooth function, a Windows CE version, and colour graphics.
“My vision of the future will ensure that a line manager will no longer have to carry day-planners stuffed with computer printouts and sticky reminder notes. He will only need to carry a HOTELINMYHAND and yet still have all the information he needs at his fingertips and at all times, says Ronson. “The whole idea is to keep the manager-on-the-floor, readily available to the guest and visible, not deskbound or laden with masses of paper. The beaming function of these devices will also allow e-notes to be passed between members of the Exco-team, further enforcing the paperless environment we work towards.”
Ronson in a recent release said; forming these kinds of partnerships and developing these kind of products will revolutionise the way hospitality industry professionals think and conduct their business. He predicts the coming months will be interesting as he continues to forge more strategic alliances with those who share his vision. With Pertlink, he hopes to turn this industry around by changing the way technology is regarded.
Ronson says; “It`s a great challenge. The hospitality industry has traditionally been reluctant to accept and recognise the value of technology. Some say these technologies may erode their standard of personalised service - but I believe we know better.”