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Hospitality ON Event - Awards

Worldwide Hospitality Awards

Tuesday 30 November 2021 à 18:00

Candidat - Best Innovation in Hotel Concept


Campaign - 360 Degree transformation in Guest Experience

Cette candidature n'est disponible qu'en anglais / This application is only available in English.

AccorHotels has undertaken a 360-degree transformation; culturally, technologically and physically in hotels.


A 2017 study by the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that between 400 and 800 million of today’s jobs will be automated by 2030. The hospitality industry is part of the transformation and some brands are replacing people with machines. Overtaken by process, frontline staff have too often been obliged to follow strict guidelines in that ‘golden’ minute when a guest arrives. But AccorHotels is taking a different approach.


The travel industry is going through a period of rapid change with diminishing brand loyalty. It is becoming more and more difficult to differentiate guest stays, as products and services are becoming commodities. AccorHotels’ aim was to transform the experience of guests and employees and become the benchmark in customer service and in doing so, improve guest satisfaction and loyalty. After location and price, ratings and reviews are amongst the next most important factors when choosing a hotel

The objective was to introduce a 360-degree transformation across AccorHotels’ core brands in the UK; Novotel, Mercure and ibis. This started with an internal cultural transformation called ‘Heartist’ to empower employees to go off script and provide personalised service.

The use of new mobile technology removed the need for check in desks and instead allowed staff to check in guests from an app on their smart phone or tablet. This leaves less time for administration and more time for interaction. As a result, space was made available in hotel lobbies, enabling the hotels to be physically transformed.


The 360-degree transformation had three elements; cultural change, technological change and physical change in hotels.

Supported by innovative mobile technology, the transformation simultaneously improves customer service, operational efficiency and employee satisfaction, while creating space that can transform traditional reception areas into vibrant, revenue-generating spaces.

The cultural change was introduced via an internal transformation programme called Heartist, AccorHotel’s reinvented brand and service ethos which has been rolled out across 230 hotels in the UK and Ireland. It empowers over 7,000 staff in our UK hotels including the ibis, Mercure and Novotel brands to rip up the rule book. We have given our colleagues the freedom to go ‘off-script’, go the extra mile and provide the spontaneous, heart-felt acts of service that transform hotel stays.

To enable the cultural transformation, employees had to be given the time and space to spend less time being administrators and more time being customer services professionals. The new mobile technology introduced in over 100 of our hotels allows employees to manage their schedules and access information while being freed up to welcome guests, approaching to help them rather than waiting to be approached.

The removal of the traditional reception desk allowed for more social spaces around hotels to be created, which are more appealing for guests and passers-by. These also offer revenue generating opportunities by incorporating retail services in the space where reception areas would otherwise have been. This approach has enabled AccorHotels to roll out retail restaurants and cafes such as its successful Chill and Canary Coffee concepts faster.


Overall, AccorHotels has used innovation, enabled by mobile technology to simultaneously:

  • Empower employees to provide great customer service
  • Make operations more efficient
  • Improve employee engagement and retention
  • Create the potential for revenue creation through retail services
  • Place hospitality back at the heart of the hotel for personalised experience


  • The 360-degree transformation has already had great success in the UK, with 75% of the hotels who completed the cultural transformation element, increasing their year-to-date reputation performance score vs 2017
  • 82% of the hotels who completed the cultural transformation have increased their staff service score vs 2017
  • One hotel leapt almost 100 places in the TripAdvisor rankings for London recently with the only change made in the period being this adjustment in service culture
  • A fully mobile operating system has allowed cost savings of around 30% on hardware for a hotel opening
  • Chill Coffee Concept in ibis Cambridge generates a six-figure annual gross turnover
  • Greater levels of employee satisfaction and engagement


Going mobile enables a 360 transformation, promoting interaction and transforming guest and staff experiences. It has allowed employees to speak to guests in a way they expect, from the heart, personally using their emotional intelligence. The design transformation replacing the check in area as a result of this change has transformed the environment and provided a revenue generating opportunity to fill the empty square feet.

When people are given the freedom to use their emotional intelligence an employee can be a hero instead of an administrator. This philosophy helps guests and hotel teams who feel more empowered and satisfied with their jobs. It also helps the hotel owner and manager who will benefit from a happier, more engaged workforce and happier, loyal customers.


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