Hospitality technology solution provider Routier has entered into an integration partnership with Zonetail that can enable 25,000+ Zonetail partnered hotels across North America to facilitate contactless mobile communication between guests, staff, and local businesses. Routier is a leading provider of AI-enabled hotel guest-engagement and omni-channel messaging solutions that connect guests and staff via SMS/text messaging, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook, Line, etc., and provides a unified dashboard to hotel teams to communicate with guests on their preferred messaging channel of choice. Zonetail is a mobile platform that connects guests to hotel amenities and services, as well as local businesses, such as restaurants, shops, attractions and other specialty services. These businesses pay Zonetail a fee to communicate with the highly valued, yet difficult to reach hotel guests. The advertising and transactional revenue generated, allows Zonetail to offer it’s platform at no cost to its hotel partners.
Together, the joint Routier + Zonetail solution is providing a compelling business model and digital safety net for recovering properties in the wake of COVID-19. Guests can now engage with both hotel staff and the local neighborhood via the Zonetail Hotel Platform or through Routier’s unified communications platform, MessageHub, while hoteliers use Routier’s unified dashboard to respond to guest queries coming from the app channel or other messaging platform. As a multilingual guest concierge, request and guest satisfaction management tool, and maintenance-tracking platform, MessageHub enables recovering properties to maintain high quality guest-centric experiences that fully comply with social distancing concerns, regardless of reduced labor resources. Routier’s AI Bot answers guests’ requests or directs them to the relevant department to have a staff member resolve an issue in person. Property teams can utilize Routier’s workflow to manage and track all guest and staff processes and communicate in 65 languages automatically.
“We are thrilled that Zonetail is Routier’s newest integration partner,” said Routier CEO Gal Bareket. “Not only can we expand the reach of MessageHub to properties within Zonetail’s impressive hotel portfolio, but we are giving returning travelers more choices in how they experience and communicate with the hotel and local community. They either use the Zonetail app, or if they prefer not to download anything, they can receive on-demand hotel services and amenities information and send requests using their preferred messaging channel facilitated by MessageHub. Routier’s engagement rates are highest in the industry, averaging 75 percent. Together, Routier + Zonetail can dramatically impact those numbers and drive engagement to unprecedented heights.”
At the time of booking or at check in, Routier’s integration to the hotel’s property-management system enables the system to ask guests how they prefer to communicate with the hotel. Even before a guest arrives at the property, travelers can begin engaging with staff and the local community via the Zonetail app, SMS/text, Facebook Messenger or other means. Once in their rooms, a strategically placed QR code also informs guests of their multi-platform digital messaging options.
“We are especially excited that through Zonetail, Routier’s AI Bot can inform guests regarding local offerings from Zonetail’s advertising partners, no matter where they are along their travel journeys,” Bareket said. “Guests receive special coupons and incentives to enjoy local attractions they otherwise would not have known about. This enhances their stays while enabling operators to delight in the new sources of revenue. It’s truly a win-win.”
Even before COVID-19, mobile app engagement was growing industrywide. In 2016, Zonetail signed an agreement with the Asian American Hotel Owners Assn. (AAHOA) – representing more than 50 percent of the U.S. hotel market – to equip all member properties with its amenities and services app at no cost. AAHOA members can directly benefit from Routier’s unified messaging platform via Zonetail.
“The hotel industry will bounce back from COVID-19, and when that happens, operators with the joint Routier + Zonetail solution will be in a strong position to engage with travelers in more personal and direct ways,” said Zonetail CEO Mark Holmes. “Routier’s MessageHub personalizes the guest experience and ensures a higher level of engagement while eliminating language barriers and driving positive interactions with staff. Add to that, Zonetail’s ability to connect guests to unique deals from local restaurants, transportation services, and special attractions that these visitors could not get elsewhere, and hoteliers will quickly see satisfaction scores and revenues soar. Together we can do far more than streamlining requests; we can actually impact bottom lines.”
The potential of the Routier + Zonetail partnership can have a significant impact on hotel revenue in 2021 and beyond. Enabling guests to interact with locals via their preferred messaging channel while hoteliers leverage Routier’s AI Bot to fulfill requests, answer questions, and assist with issues from one central hub will take operational efficiencies to new heights while driving loyalty and revenues. Routier plans to integrate and white label their solution for Zonetail, allowing Zonetail’s advertising clients to reach a significant percentage of North American travelers. This partnership has the potential to drive revenue and value for Zonetail, Routier, and all their respective stakeholders.
“The timing of this partnership couldn’t be better, as Zonetail is in early stage development to introduce a new hotel mobile platform with enhanced features, and a new UI/UX, in 2021,” Holmes said. “With our planned integration partnership with Routier and its unified messaging platform, we can enable all hotels, regardless of size, segment or affiliation, to stand strong and regain traveler trust that their needs can be met safely through new advancements in contactless technology. Through the Routier + Zonetail partnership, all participating hotels will be in an enviable position to engage with their guests when travel resumes.”
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