Hotel Online Special Report

  Technology Going Back to the Basics; 
A Hotel Room Interactive Doorbell
Minimizes Guests’ Privacy & Service Complaints

Old Lyme, Conn. — May 18, 2001— INNCOM International, Inc., a global leader in guestroom control systems, now is offering its INNtouch advanced interactive doorbell — which doubles as a guest privacy/service indicator — as a stand-alone system in addition to the unit’s traditional bundling with INNCOM’s Centrally Controlled Guestroom Energy Management Systems.
According to two of the many lodging properties using INNtouch, the new INNCOM solution helps hotels minimize the top-two guest complaints: privacy and housekeeping service.

“For centuries, hotels have struggled to juggle guests’ housekeeping and privacy needs — many times stepping on their guests’ toes and losing loyal customers due to unnecessary staff intrusions,” said Francis Parkinson, General Manager of the 392-room Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel.  “Now, with INNCOM’s INNtouch interactive doorbell, there are no more excuses for the all-too-frequent guest privacy and service complaints. INNtouch’s customer-saving technology is literally at our fingertips now, helping hoteliers create positive guest experiences and deliver true hospitality precisely when and how it is requested.”   

Duane Buckingham, INNCOM President and CEO, said INNCOM’s INNtouch system is the solution lodging has been waiting for: An elegant, easy-to-install interactive doorbell that:

  • Allows staff, with the addition of an in-room motion sensor, to easily determine occupancy, eliminating housekeepers’ early-morning knocking, yelling through doors;
  • Enables guests, at the touch of a button on INNtouch’s decorative in-room wall plate, to display an electronic “do-not-disturb” or “make-up-room” request;
  • Permits line-level employees and property managers to access real-time occupancy data and guest privacy/service requests by simply touching a button on INNtouch’s corridor wall plate (available in white, almond, stainless steel and brass);
  • Empowers managers at the front desk and in housekeeping, engineering, guest services and security to access real-time information on occupancy and guests’ privacy and service requests through centrally-controlled terminals for improved scheduling; and
  • Provides a pleasing doorbell chime to announce staff and other guests.
“It costs three to five times more to attract new guests than it does to just do what is right to keep current customers,” Parkinson said.  “If installing INNtouch saves a property just one customer per room for just one year, it already pays for itself — and this will happen over and over again, through the years. 

“INNtouch can help hotels minimize their top-two guest complaints, so why not invest a little in boosting critical guest loyalty while also capturing additional ROI through significant productivity gains in housekeeping and many other areas?” he said. “A pleased guest usually tells family, friends and co-workers of positive experiences at a chain or property. An unhappy guest, however, typically tells the whole world — requiring image rebuilding that costs significant monies and can takes years to effectively replace perceptions and lost business.” 

Buckingham said INNtouch helps properties differentiate themselves from the competition and create memorable, positive guest experiences with an investment of less than $100 per room.

The INNtouch system is comprised of: a decorative exterior hallway door plate (installed at latch height over a standard single-gang box); an elegant interior guestroom wall plate (designed for installation over a single-gang box next to the lighting switch or over a double gang box that also houses the light switch); and a power transformer connecting unit that fits in several convenient locations (including behind the exterior door plate, in the ceiling or with the light switch). 
Buckingham, who founded INNCOM 15 years ago to fulfill global hoteliers’ unmet needs for true smart room/energy management solutions, said the INNtouch system requires only low-voltage wiring and typically can be installed by hotel maintenance staff in just 15 minutes.

“INNTouch eliminates the need for old-fashioned, unsightly door hangers that can be lost or overlooked by staff,” Buckingham said. “Like all of our solutions, INNtouch sells itself through immediate paybacks in hard and soft costs and sells the property through much-improved key guest services.” 
INNtouch adds a key element of guest and staff security. Just as important, Buckingham said INNtouch can further bolster employee productivity and guest satisfaction through expandable features that include:

  • Energy Management — When INNtouch is upgraded with INNCOM’s e4 Digital Thermostat, energy costs, management time and housekeeping and maintenance labor is significantly reduced;
  • Occupancy Status — Eliminates unwanted guest intrusions, while increasing guest security and reducing energy consumption in unoccupied rooms;
  • Minibar Access Monitoring — Minimizes labor costs, lost revenues and miscommunications between guests and related in-house services;
  • Smoke Detector Monitoring — Interfaces with a property’s central computer system and Local Area Network for immediate staff alerts;
  • Lighting Control — Creates an inviting guestroom that welcomes arriving guests, while decreasing energy consumption in unoccupied rooms; and
  • Handheld Remote Control — The ultimate in guestroom enhancements: With a click, guests can access and control every aspect of the room — from the TV and phone to lighting, drapes and room temperature. 
Wayne Weaver, Director of Engineering at the 382-room Mark Hopkins Inter•Continental Hotel In San Francisco, said INNtouch’s real-time information on room occupancy and guests’ privacy and service needs is particularly valuable since all related data is easily accessible both outside each guestroom door and on centralized, linked terminals. Related information in centralized locations helps managers develop well-planned housekeeping and maintenance work schedules, while INNtouch’s corridor wall-plate indicators empower line-level employees.

“Without a system like INNtouch, we would never be able to gather and fully leverage this valuable guest information in real-time,”  Weaver said. “We rely on INNtouch and INNCOM’s other smart room controls to do our jobs better every day — hour by hour, minute by minute.”

Buckingham said Old Lyme-based INNCOM, as always, listened closely to its lodging clients and their valued guests both when developing and marketing the INNtouch system. 

“We received more than a dozen requests from properties requesting a stand-alone INNtouch system and determined that the technology was too valuable to properties and their guests to limit its use to our increasingly popular bundled guestroom control solutions,” Buckingham said. 
“We’re putting properties all over the world INNtouch with their guests’ privacy and service needs,” Buckingham said. “We expect INNtouch to become an industry standard in major market segments, which bodes well for us, our clients, their guests, and hospitality as a whole.” 

Based in Old Lyme, Conn., INNCOM International, Inc., is a global leader in guestroom control systems. 




Rick Quirino, VP Sales & Marketing
Tel: (860) 434-7777; (925) 634-4469

Also See INNCOM and eRoomSystems Technologies, Inc. Team Up to Provide Enhanced Range of Solutions for Guestroom and Hotel Energy Management / April 2001 
Stanfield Hospitality Develops Strategic Technologist Review; A First of a Kind Service Aimed at the Travel Industry and ItsTechnology Suppliers' Profitability / May 2001 

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