AccorHotels is using biometric testing to try and predict where their guests want to travel before they even know it themselves. The program called Seeker by LeClub AccorHotels was launched to promote the merging of its loyalty program, Le Club AccorHotels, with the programs from Raffles, Swissotel, and Fairmont.
Loylaty members can take a biometric test via mobile or desktop to help them determine where they should go and what hotel they should book. The tests use the device's webcam to measure the user's heart rate and pulse to determine their traveling personality.
Tests measure six metrics to determine traveling personality
The test uses six different psychological, personality, destination, and style metrics including tone, environment, and company to determine what sort of trip the person should take ie. to a hot or cold place, alone or with family, luxurious or local. “It’s not a BuzzFeed quiz,” an AccorHotels spokesperson told online media.
“It’s more about a person’s impulses and his or her gut reactions.” The travel companies teamed up with the creative content company, The Mill to ensure the questions being asked would give accurate results. Senior creative developer of The Mill, Mike Manh, said the “biometrics are very accurate and reliable,” he also noted “as this is the first time we’re using them to detect travel preferences, we don’t have any long-term clinical trials to use as proof but, based on user reactions and responses, they’re quite accurate.”
In addition to recording peoples data via their own mobile or desktop device, Accor is testing people in a live studio environment. Users can also participate via special kiosks in Accor hotel lobbies in North America.
The test uses both audio and visual stimulations and the test measures how quickly a person responds to each image presented to them. Each image is related to one of the six categories being measured. According to the test, the more quickly someone responds to an image, the stronger the attraction.
Users can choose the method of testing
Siobhan Mitchell, director of loyalty marketing for AccorHotels explains that while the studio test and mobile tests are different, the results are the same. “The two experiences [on mobile and desktop versus the studio] are simply different … both experiences are testing against the same metrics, the same aesthetic preferences, personality drivers, and travel motivators,” she said.
No matter the way the test is performed it's the person's heart rate and pulse that is being measured. The kiosks for the lobbies are still in development and will be deployed in July. The kiosks are designed to “evoke the in-person experience but function as the online experience,” meaning they will employ the similar usage of webcams to monitor heart rate. “Your body doesn’t lie,” Manh said. “With all the stress of our 9-to-5 lives, we need new ways to listen to it.”
Results present both destination and hotel choices
The tests are meant to help travelers find their ultimate travel destination. “As a large hospitality group, AccorHotels has deep insights into why guests travel, where they go, who they like to travel with and what kind of experiences they’re looking for,” Sabrina Lillew, executive director of loyalty programs for AccorHotels said.
“We used these consumer insights to define some key motivators which were then combined with more basic travel decision-making needs like hot or cold climates to get a mix of functional and emotional stimuli.” After completing the test the user will be presented with the results: a destination with hotel recommendations. Accor says they hope the results will help guests consider places they might not have thought of or really considered before. AccorHotels said that none of the data captured will be stored — at least for now.