Ibis has announced the completion of the roll-out of its new guest welcome programme across all ibis, ibis styles and ibis budget hotels in the UK, aided my mobile technology.
The new approach sees ibis employees using mobile devices to access the information they need for everything from check-in to housekeeping and breakfast within one app.
By using the company’s new FOLS mobile software, employees can manage their schedules and access information while being freed up to interact with guests, approaching to help them rather than waiting to be approached.
This mobility has allowed ibis to take the unique step of completely removing the traditional check-in desk, with employees now trained to greet guests on arrival with room keys in hand.
Combined with the online fast check-in and check-out capability already developed, this delivers a seamless experience for guests.
The concept makes check-in and check-out a faster, easier and more personal experience for guests which ultimately benefits hotel owners as well.
The removal of the traditional reception desk also allows for the creation of more social spaces around hotels, which are more appealing for guests and passers-by while revenue-generating for owners.
Karelle Lamouche, senior vice president, sales, AccorHotels UK & Ireland, commented: “We have embraced the latest digital advances whilst remaining 100 per cent guest-centric in our service, removing the traditional check-in desk environment to give hotel employees more opportunity to offer great customer service to the guest.
“At the same time as creating happy customers, it also creates opportunities for hotel owners and franchisees to increase revenues by introducing more social spaces and food and beverage offerings.
“Guests’ expectations are changing as they seek more social, interactive hospitality experiences with higher levels of customer service. This programme is a good example of how our brands are innovating and using technology in the right way to adapt these changing expectations.”
The software supporting the new ibis initiative is part of AccorHotels’ €225 million digital transformation plan launched in 2014 which includes investment in the www.accorhotels.com distribution platform; the group’s mobile app for guests; and the development of data analytics capabilities.
AccorHotels has been investing heavily in its mobile platforms, with two-thirds of the group’s bookings now made via mobile devices.
ibis, first opened in 1974 and is Europe’s largest hotel chain and leading economy hotel brand. Since then, the ibis, ibis Styles and ibis budget brands have expanded rapidly in the UK.