Dubai-Headquartered Staytus Has Launched A Web-Based Chat Platform Built Exclusively For Hospitality (And It's Being Offered For Free)
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As a company that specializes in digital communications for hotels and resorts, the Dubai-headquartered Staytus probably didn’t shock anyone when it launched Hotel Chat, a web-based service it billed as “the world’s first chat platform built exclusively for hospitality.” But what made this announcement particularly noteworthy was the fact that Staytus was allowing hotels around the world to use Hotel Chat for free- permanently.
To understand why Staytus did this, founder and CEO Troy Simoni points toward what drove his company to build Hotel Chat in the first place. “We have watched the steady growth of chatting in our clients’ properties over the last several years, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we watched the chat numbers go through the roof, even while hotels were less occupied,” Simoni notes. “We knew this was a fast-growing trend, and one that was going to be here to stay. So, we looked at our existing chat platform, and realized it was not good enough. We tore it apart and rebuilt it from scratch, with the goal of making it the best in the world for hotels, resorts, and guests.”
According to Simoni, what guests want/need is entirely different than what hotels and resorts want/need- so, he and his team decided to build two separate chat systems, and then connect them to each other as Hotel Chat. Guests, for instance, are concerned with speed, ease, and simplicity- as such, there are no frills involved with them using Hotel Chat; they simply scan a QR code or hit a link, and that will see them immediately connected to their hotels. “On the hotel side, the needs are completely different,” Simoni says. “Hotels and resorts need team collaboration tools, tools to enable fast and accurate responses to guests, monitoring systems, management oversight, recordkeeping, alerts and escalation paths- they also need high security and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. Hotel Chat provides all of these, along with apps and web interfaces for the hotel to allow team-wide oversight of guest requests and feedback, and enable high-quality engagement with guests.”
Given all of these features, Hotel Chat does sound like something that could radically transform communications between hotels and guests- but the platform would need to be actually used by the industry at large if Staytus is to prove that supposition. And that was when Simoni and his team made the decision to offer Hotel Chat free of charge. “We wanted to remove every possible hurdle to ensure the broadest possible worldwide adoption,” he explains. “It was a big gamble to give up that revenue, but we believe by offering the world’s best chat platform for hospitality, we’ll build awareness and goodwill in the market- which we hope will lead to increased sales of our other guest communications products.” Only time will tell if Staytus’ bet pays off- but one cannot deny the inventive nature of the idea regardless.
PUT YOUR THINKING CAP ON: STAYTUS FOUNDER TROY SIMONI ON HOW TO SPARK A GREAT IDEA
1. Find a pain point that annoys you a lot “If you are aware of something that creates friction in your personal or professional life, you are much more likely to be able to design a workable solution for it that others will also find useful. Also, your passion and experience will serve as fuel to drive you farther and faster.”
2. Break down the problem “Don’t think about products; think instead about experiences. Put yourself in the shoes of individual people on all sides of the issue, then consider what would be ideal for each person in each situation. Once you have those pieces of the puzzle, look for ways to bring them together.”
3. Don’t do it alone “Find a partner in crime, someone who maybe has different experience, different skills, or even a different way of thinking than you do. A partnership with creative tension can multiply your ideas, and a partnership with complimentary skills can extend your executional capabilities and your network of resources.”
4. Get ready to be rejected “No great idea didn’t get laughed out of the room more than once. Humans are attached to the status quo and find new ideas preposterous, unachievable, or even threatening. The automobile, the airplane, and the internet were all belittled at the outset. Keep that in mind, and persevere! At first, only you will understand the power of your idea, but when it finally gets momentum, everyone will say, ‘How could we have done without it?’”