Ibis, a trailblazer in economy hotels since 1974, is shaking up economy hotel standards by offering travelers and local residents a totally new customer experience that focuses on hospitality, opening out to the local community and increased social interaction. This strategy is in response to new customer expectations highlighted by an Ipsos(1) study conducted across 6 countries on behalf of ibis: 80% of respondents would like this new type of hotel to be a social venue, where everyone, including “non-staying” guests, feels welcome. It is a transformation for the brand, which aims to position its hotels as genuine living spaces for everyone, that are flexible, welcoming and on-trend, and which satisfy the various expectations of their clientele at any time of day.
A new customer experience to support the brand’s transformation
Ibis intends to welcome visitors to a life hub, where anyone can come to sleep, dine, meet people or enjoy live music. A whole new range of possibilities within a single location that appeals to a majority of respondents (67%), who gave ratings of between 6 and 10 out of 10 for this new venue concept. Ibis is offering new and flexible spaces that encourage social interaction and connections between customers, travelers and local residents.
Mobile check-in for that “home away from home” feeling
The reception desk, until now a symbolic feature in a hotel, has been removed. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed by a member of the “ibis Smile Team” and complete check-in formalities at the bar while enjoying a drink or from the comfort of the lobby. Although this new welcome format requires the use of tablets and a proprietary mobile solution (PSM FOLS Mobile), it makes employees less static and increases their interaction with guests. Despite the rise in technology solutions, human interaction remains the central element of a successful welcome, as confirmed by 61% of respondents who prefer to deal with a real person rather than technology when checking in and out.
The brand aims to equip the entire international ibis network by 2022.
In addition, a digital campaign created in collaboration with the MRM agency will be launched internationally in February 2019. The aim of this campaign is to put the spotlight on members of the ibis Smile Team via a gallery of employee profiles combining anecdotes and testimonies. It will begin on January 31, 2019 in France, the UK, Germany and Switzerland.
Flexible design solutions for all hotel areas
Far more than just a warm and personalized welcome, the ibis model is evolving from a uniform and standardized approach into a flexible and personalized one, made possible by 3 new design concepts. The selected designers in Europe, Latin America and Asia have based their concepts on connecting with the outside, giving the bar pride of place and making the hotels equally appealing to travelers and to locals. Travelers will have the option to choose from rooms that can accommodate between 1 and 6 people, depending on their requirements, or they can opt for the Smart Room, the Group’s concept that is revolutionizing accessibility standards. As a result of its large size and functional furniture, it provides accessibility, wellbeing, comfort and safety for everyone.
Music to foster new encounters and social interaction