At Pursuitist, we’re always interested in the intersect of luxury and technology – specifically in how technology makes luxury more appealing and accessible to the consumer. Patrick Martucci, CEO of hotel technology company Incentient, which has a specialized platform called SmartTouch™ that helps guests better interact with properties like Wynn Las Vegas, Relais & Chateaux’s Ocean House, the Hamptons’ posh Inn at Windmill Lane and Auberge resorts through pre-loaded tablets where they can request everything from room service to valet services.
Here’s what Patrick had to say in this exclusive Pursuitist Q&A:
How has technology changed the way guests interact with the hotel?
The introduction of hotel technology, when properly applied, better aligns with how guests normally live their lives outside the hotel. Booking a room through an app, automated check-in, and iPad-based room controls/service ordering are not new changes for consumers, but the deployment of this technology is a new change for the hotelier.
What do you see guest rooms looking like in 5 years as a result of technology?
Hotels have, on average, a two-year lag time in technology adoption when compared to a consumer’s personal adoption rate. While it is difficult to predict what tomorrow’s technology will look like, what the consumer adopts to in terms of technology in three years, will equal what the hotel room looks like in five years.
What’s your personal favorite use of hotel technology?
iPad-based in-room services. I like to tap a screen and order room service, rather than find a menu and call the room service call center.
Apps allow us to do almost everything right from our phone – including bypass human interaction if we so desire. Do you think most guests will use these technologies to bypass calling the concierge or front desk, or use this in addition to interacting?
Incentient’s software is a perfect intersection of technology and personal service. In this way, our software enhances the service capability of the hotel staff, but does not replace them. When technology succeeds in enhancing the personal service expectation, it is doing the proper job for the hotel as well as the guest.
Luxury hotels are in a unique spot with this type of service- they already pride themselves on anticipating guest needs. How are you tailoring this service for luxury hotels specifically?
Incentient technology provides meaningful information to the staff of a hotel allowing them to better anticipate needs. For example, when guests tap our screen to order additional towels, housekeeping is notified to bring the additional towels. However, the magic is in understanding the historical data of which rooms are ordering additional towels and when. Incentient management software can spot historical trends and provide this information to the hotel management. Once management understands the service trend, they can get ahead of the need and ensure that extra towels are provided where the data revealed the request.
Do you think some guests feel like there is a privacy risk to using your service?
Incentient systems are contained in a closed, on-premise, internal wifi network, and not accessible to the internet or other outside connections. For this reason, there are no risks of data loss from hackers or security breaches. Statistics on guest use behavior is only tracked to the room number, not the guest name, further safeguarding any privacy concerns.
What are the most popular features of the software? What services are most requested by guests?
Room service remains one of most popular features of our system. Its a pleasure to tap a few screens and have breakfast at your door. Additionally, our system informs the guest of the actual expected time of delivery based on the current delivery times, which provides the proper expectations leading to a satisfied guest.