pts20161129009 Travel/Tourism, Products/Innovations
Austrian start-up Gustaffo brings digital hotel services to smartphones
Vienna (pts009/29.11.2016/08:00) - The Gustaffo app provides support in the form of a 'mobile concierge' and gets guests excited; it's a simple way for hotel guests to access digital information and services, making guests happier and hotels more efficient.
The stated goal of 'mobile concierge' Gustaffo (from the Vienna start-up of the same name) is to create a win-win situation for hotel personnel, hotel managers and guests alike. It offers numerous services for hotel stays, takes orders and provides specific information around the clock. Austria's largest hotel management company, Vienna House, became the first customer in early 2016. With over 30 hotels in eight countries already successfully using Gustaffo, Vienna House has provided its experience and knowledge as to what guests really want, thus putting the finishing touches on the mobile concierge.
The mobile concierge's services are comprehensive, from online check-in or check-out to wake-up calls, room service, digital portfolios for guests, taxi services, sightseeing tips, digital newspapers and magazines, and even table reservations at hotel restaurants or spa treatment bookings. A hotel employee working at reception thus has a direct, fast, uncomplicated communication channel for requests, questions and concerns from hotel guests in the form of a digital 'co-worker'. This creates more time for in-person support at reception - or for a live chat with the guest, another skill in Gustaffo's repertoire.
One major plus is its user friendliness. To make use of the mobile concierge, all you need to do is log in to the hotel's WiFi with your smartphone. The guest is then automatically transferred to the mobile concierge's online app and can get started right away. Whether it's English, French or Finnish - Gustaffo speaks the guest's native language.
'To a great extent, interested hotels have been convinced by more than just the fact that the mobile concierge can be connected with all kinds of hotel software', states Gustaffo CEO Thorsten Guggenberger in a summary of the app's advantages. 'Digitalisation has not yet truly arrived in the hospitality industry. However, the mobile concierge is a simple, cost-effective way to reach "digital natives" - meaning the next generation of hotel guests, people who have grown up with apps and mobile services and carry their smartphones with them practically everywhere they go - and a way to offer them a certain "wow" effect in hotels.'
Above all, it's the rapid and easy communication between hotels and guests which has earned glowing praise. 'There is terrific added value in both the simple usability for guests and hotel personnel and the possibilities for each hotel to individualise the app; we can use this to set ourselves apart from our competitors' says Stefan Urdl, head of IT at Vienna House.
The basic package includes a live chat with the reception, multiple language options, reporting and a content management system. Further packages (such as guest portfolios, room service, weather or hotel services) can be added on as needed. New customers can experience the impressive portfolio of services in a three-month free trial period.
The reporting function should interest hotel managers, as it documents all information that arises during digital interactions with the guests. 'This makes it possible for the hotel's management to monitor and evaluate hotel services in real time, as well as to identify trends and hidden areas of potential in order to respond to guests' future requests in an even more targeted and service-oriented way - or even take care of these beforehand', Thorsten Guggenberger adds.
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