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Built by hoteliers for hoteliers, the custom mobile concierge app makes requesting services and amenities easy, and tracks delivery in real time to ensure satisfaction and a stellar reputation

[ATLANTA - AUGUST 13, 2013] - What happens when a development company, owned by a hotel group, creates a flexible, customizable and affordable mobile concierge platform? It results in a reliable and robust mobile app featuring personalized modules to access and maximize hotel services. VirtualHotel by Cardola is the newest mobile app for the North America hotel market designed to enhance communication and revenue channels by facilitating multilingual service ordering and delivery. This is the first mobile app of its kind offering deep level customization and integration with leading property-management and point-of-sale providers. 

Built on feedback from hotel staff and guest, VirtualHotel brings together all hotel services and local information in a simple to use, touch screen interface. Delivered via an in-room iPad or a guests' own mobile device, VirtualHotel informs and serves guests from the moment a reservation is made, enabling hoteliers to extend and enrich the guest experience from beyond the hotel walls to increase revenues, improve brand loyalty and protect the hotel's reputation. 

"With travelers now using smartphones and tablets for making hotel reservations, remote check-in/-out, mobile room keys, and more, hotels are fast becoming mobile-rich environments," said Preston Benson, President of Cardola USA Inc. "While this shift from PCs to smartphones and tablets is providing travelers with unprecedented conveniences, it poses new challenges to owners and operators for reputation management. Should a hotel guest have a bad experience, he or she can tell the world -- or at least his or her personal universe -- in a matter of seconds. VirtualHotel provides the necessary tools to ensure service delivery issues don't happen and isolated incidents are resolved before guests leave the property, lessening the potential for a negative online review or a bad social media post or tweet." 

According to a June 2013 study, 85% of consumers say they read online customer reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business; 79% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations; 73% say positive customer reviews make them trust a business more; 71% believe reliability is the most important trait in a local business; 67% read one to six reviews before forming an opinion about the business; and, 65% are more likely to use a business that has a positive online review.

"With consumers turning to online reviews before booking, it's imperative that hotels do everything possible to ensure a perfect stay -- and that includes making their mobile app intuitive and trouble-free," Benson said. "A recent study commissioned by Expedia shows that travelers are confident and frequent mobile shoppers. They will 'continue to use mobile to plan travel, but easy-to-use apps will drive usage.' If 44 percent of travelers are using a tablet or smartphone to book their trips and 61 percent of travelers are making purchases on a tablet (51 percent on a smartphone), imagine the revenues that can be captured by the hotel offering an easy-to use app that puts all services and amenities at guests' fingertips. If you include a built-in tool that tracks service delivery to ensure that orders are being filled correctly and timely, and one that lessens staff workload to free-up more time to focus on delivering excellent customer service,  then guest satisfaction and revenues will soar, and so too will the hotel's or brand's reputation." 

On the front end, VirtualHotel increases customer satisfaction by enabling guests to use an in-room tablet or their personal smartphone to order room service, examine a map of conference facilities, schedule a spa service, book a tour or a tee time and more. On the back end, VirtualHotel features a robust content management system and integration with the industry's leading PMS and POS systems. With access to real-time, detailed reporting tools, service staff can respond to guest requests via text, audio or video messages. 

VirtualHotel's Service Manager software monitors service requests and the system notifies management to any pending issues. Hoteliers can be confident that the personal touch they deliver today can be extended to mobile and tablet devices."

The VirtualHotel Service Manager can be installed on multiple staff terminals across multiple departments. Requests are sent to the relevant department only (for example, the Spa will not see Room Service requests). However, if an issue is not addressed promptly, the system can be set up so that request are sent to a back-up department (i.e., Room service requests will go to Reception if ignored for two minutes). The system is multiplatform, modular and multilingual -- replies will be processed in the language the request was initially made. 

A "Lite" version of VirtualHotel is available for budget-conscious hotels that wish to offer a guest-service app but have limited resources. VirtualHotel Lite enables guests to access the hotel app on managed devices provided by the hotel in rooms and public areas, and on the their personal smartphones or tablets, however, there is no Service Manager  access and no PMS/POS integration. With VirtualHotel Lite, the price is fixed, and hotels pay a software license fee of $5,000 per year based on a three-year contract. VirtualHotel, in comparison, is available at a license fee from $1 per room per month. 

"Cardola satisfies all types of accommodations' needs from hostels to limited-service hotels and independent boutiques to global chains," Benson said. "Whether they choose VirtualHotel or VirtualHotel Lite, hotels will receive an informative, revenue-boosting, environmentally-friendly and service-enhancing tool unlike any other in the hospitality market."

For more information on VirtualHotel by Cardola, or to become an integration partner, please visit www.cardola.com or call Patrick Scully at (404) 697-4432. 

About Cardola

Cardola was founded in 2009 by MC Hotels to satisfy the 'virtual concierge' needs of its hotels. Designed by hoteliers, for hoteliers, VirtualHotel is a guest-focused, multi-platform technology accessed via mobile devices to extend and enrich a hotel's existing concierge services, before, during and after a guest's stay. For more details on the company visit: www.cardola.com or contact Barb Worcester, PRPRO, at 440-930-5770 or barbw@prproconsulting.com.

Contact: Patrick Scully

patrick@cardola.com / (404) 697-4432

Contact: For media, Barb Worcester, PRPRO

barbw@prproconsulting.com / (440) 930-5770

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