Imagine if you could bypass the front desk and check in to your hotel room with your smartphone: one less plastic card to lose, a text to notify you what room and when that room is ready, and no more lines. It may sound like a far-off convenience but at the Aloft Hotel in Vaughan, Ontario – guests are already enjoying the ease of keyless entry:
“It’s very easy to lose your key but you never lose your phone,” said Matt Rattray, General Manager of the hotel. Plus, everyone loves a good shortcut.
Today, hotel guests and visitors use their mobile devices to facilitate every step of their journey from the bargain-hunt, the booking, the arrival and the stay, to the checkout and feedback process. There are hotels which have tested motion-censored lighting to guide your path to the bathroom in the middle of the night because they don’t want their guests to trip. There are even hotels which have apps that allow their guests to request extra toothpaste from housekeeping because they don’t want their guests to wait on anything.
But before you even get to the front desk, or the bathroom, you’ve got to drop your car off with a valet.
SMS Valet® is one emerging technology to gain a strong foothold among luxury hotels because, like the keyless entry app, it is incredibly simple for customers to use. Here’s how simple.
Imagine you’ve arrived at the valet stand to drop off your car. The valet welcomes you and asks for your phone number. That’s it. Your smartphone takes care of the rest.
Once the valet parks the car, he or she–whomever you’re picturing–will write the vehicle location on the plastic key tag and/or edit the ticket in the SMS Valet app by entering the location field. Meanwhile, the customer will receive a welcome text with instructions on how to request their vehicle and an embedded web link.
As soon as you’re ready for your car, navigate the user-friendly interface and click to request your car, or reply with the word CAR. Of course, you can also pay by phone if you parking was not billed to your room.
That’s how parking works at the JW Marriott in Minneapolis.
The JW Marriott Minneapolis is attached to the newest wing of the Mall of America and comprised of 342 beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites 19,000 square feet of space. As a luxury hotel dedicated to closely attending the every need of its guest, the JW Marriot does not hesitate to incorporate the latest technology into its services — including SMS Valet®.
If the only benefit you see of a ticketless or keyless system is that they prevent lost tickets and keys – you’ve missed the point. Today, technology is all about enhancing experience. Why else do guests choose to stay at a luxury hotel?
One way to improve a guest’s experience is to make the job of providing an exceptional customer experience easier on hotel staff.
From the valet’s point of view – parked cars are visible within the SMS Valet app as a grey tag number. As soon as the car has been requested, it changes color to blue. Vehicle retrieved, the tag will turn red or green to indicate whether the car has been paid for by the customer. And that’s truly it.
There’s no better means of ensuring the best customer experience in the business and equally simple experience for your hotel staff than with the simplifying technology of SMS Valet.