GuestJoy is a guest communication platform that enables hotels to create their own guest journey to increase upsell revenue, check guests in online or collect more online reviews. The software is extremely easy to use and suitable for both independent and regional hotel chains worldwide. With headquarters in Tallinn, Estonia, they have staff working across Europe to support their customers.
At the end of April of 2019, we spoke with GuestJoy cofounder Annika Ülem and Partner & CTO Kaarel Saal as they were connecting to their first hotels using Impala. One year on, they’re now connecting to new hotels week on week, and look forward to connecting to all of their new hotel customers, and as many of their existing hotels as possible, using Impala.
“Impala is the best and most trusted of our partners,” says Flora, Sales Support Specialist at GuestJoy. “We see them as an integral partner for our growth. We can focus on improving our product because no issues arise.”
GuestJoy has expanded their product offering over the past year to include segmentation of travellers, a new email platform and integration with Mailchimp, and an analytics dashboard for hoteliers. “If you’re a hotelier and see your guests are romantic travellers or business travellers, you can target them,” says Flora. As segmentation becomes standard, GuestJoy’s reliance on clean, normalised data sets, increases.
Relying on the hotel to manually upload .CSV and excel files, functionality GuestJoy supports for all customers, is not a good user experience for the hotelier, nor a scalable solution. And experiences with unreliable data sets from direct PMS connections have left hotels questioning the quality of GuestJoy’s service, when GuestJoy’s team has little control over this.
But after working with Impala, they are happy to say there have been few data errors across their 29 connected hotels. “The import of guest data using Impala is nearly always perfect, and the connection is always stable,” Flora says. “It’s an amazing foundation to build on.”
If there is an issue, the Impala technical team proactively notifies GuestJoy. “They’re always very helpful, customer support is smooth and our technical team is always satisfied with the service from Impala,” Flora adds.
Kultaranta Resort is a four-star hotel located approximately three hours from Helsinki, Finland. The property features a golf course, wellness services, and high quality accommodation for both business and personal travellers. The property decided to work with GuestJoy because they saw it as a packaged deal — receiving a number of products ranging from upselling, to guest communication, through to gathering guest feedback.
As a new hotel customer, GuestJoy’s connection to Kultaranta Resort’s data was immediately powered by Impala. The entire setup, from GuestJoy requesting the hotel through Impala’s interface to receiving data, took two and a half hours. The time commitment from the hotelier to complete the Impala onboarding was minutes. “It was an amazing experience that we could set up a profile and go from zero to max in such a short time,” says Flora.
When the onboarding process is fast, easy and reliable for hotels, GuestJoy knows that hoteliers will be more open to using new technologies in the future. “Often at GuestJoy we get feedback from hotel customers and potential hotel customers that setting up a new technical service is scary,” Flora explains.
“Hoteliers don’t want to waste their time setting it up. When working with Impala, we know the setup can be done fast. It’s not a heavy program that needs to be installed on separate devices and there’s no big UX and UI issues — it’s invisible in the back end.”
This is good news for the entire industry.
GuestJoy’s connection to Kultaranta Resort’s hotel data has been powered by Impala since June, 2019. “Because Impala is so smooth, there hasn’t been a single issue with Kultaranta Resort,” Flora says. “If the flow of data is perfect, we can reach as many guests as possible.” Flora and the team know that their hotel customers are getting the most possible value out of GuestJoy’s product, because they work with Impala.
In addition, GuestJoy hasn’t heard anything from Kultaranta Resort’s staff regarding Impala — and that’s a good thing. “We haven’t received any feedback, and that’s how it should be,” Flora adds. “Everything is running transparently, so we haven’t received any high praise or negative comments.”
As the hospitality and travel market becomes even more fragmented, hotels must adapt, finding a way to bring together data from OTAs, channel managers, technology partners, and the PMS. “We see the technology they’re using is holding them back,” says Flora.
It becomes more complex, as General Managers of hotels may use the technology, but do not always make the buying decisions. “These decisions take a long time, and don’t happen every year. But, if you want to be the best of the best, you should see what’s on the market every year,” Flora notes.
And once a hotel is ready to purchase new technology, their current partners need to be ready to adapt. “With other partners, talks can take weeks,” Flora adds. “Some PMS don’t want to make it easy to integrate with as many tech products as possible. Impala is providing an industry-disrupting level of service.”
To effectively communicate with all guests at a hotel, GuestJoy needs to receive data from all partners where a guest might book a stay. It used to be a complicated process, but now everything works seamlessly, making hotels even happier. Flora explains, “With Impala, you can get data from the OTAs, the channel managers, and the PMS. Hotels can now have the connected and up-to-date hotel stack they have always dreamed of, and we can communicate with everyone.”
As GuestJoy brings on hotel customers in new markets across Europe and the Middle East, they hope that Impala can power the hotel data connections to all of them. “We would be very happy to connect as many hotels as possible,” says Flora. “I know everyone is very satisfied with the technology and product.”