InnoBell: When Words Just Aren’t Enough

I love talking on the phone.  I remember spending hours as a teenager chatting with my friends and family about everything and nothing.  It was more than an exchange of words.  It was about company, sharing, and connecting with another person.  When I was in 6th grade, I recall watching Tim Burton’s Batman in it’s entirety with my cousin on the phone.  We worked really hard to make sure we both pushed “play” on the VCR at the same time so that both our viewings would be in sync.  When the movie started, we barely spoke for the next 2 hours. Though my cousin was 65 miles away, it felt like she was right there watching Bruce Wayne become Batman with me.  For me talking on the phone is more than communicating information, it’s about sharing an experience with someone on the other end.

Now there’s a way to bring your cell phone conversations to a new level of interactivity.  InnoBell.com just released an Android app that provides exactly the kind of communication experience you’ve been waiting for.  Their app includes a myriad of add-ons which provide a rich phone experience.  This gives the callers the ability to share in unprecedented ways.  For example, have you every called someone to ask for another person’s phone number?  No longer will you have to hear, “I’ll text you later” or “I’ll send you an email”.  InnoBell addresses this by providing a way for users to share contacts with one another immediately, while still on the phone.

After downloading the free app, the first thing you need to do is register your phone and start inviting others from your contact list to participate. To enjoy the service your friends must also download Innobell and register.  There is a short tutorial you can read through, but it’s probably not necessary since the user interface is very intuitive and self explanatory.  I started off by playing a few games of Rock Paper Scissors during a chat with a friend.  It was strangely much more entertaining than expected.  It brought back memories of a simpler time, almost as if we were hanging out together again.

InnoBell- Rock Scissor Paper
InnoBell- Rock Scissor Paper

Beyond playing games with chat you can also share links from your favorite sites.  For example the YouTube add-on allows a user to share a YouTube video link. The Wikipedia add-on is an easy way to share a Wikipedia link.  There are also link sharing add-ons for Facebook, Groupon, Amazon, Twitter and Quora. If those don’t suffice you can fall back on the generic “Share a link” add-on for any other website you like.

Perhaps one of the more useful add-ons is Location add-on.  There have been times I’ve sat at a restaurant waiting impatiently for friends.  Then the phone rings and it’s them saying they are lost and need directions.  I then usually proceed to ask questions to clue myself in to where they are.  What exit did you take?  How long did you drive for?  What do you see? No longer will I ever ask these questions again! With a few taps on my screen, Innobell’s Location add-on will show me a map and address of exactly where the caller is located.  And more importantly in this case, my location will be shared with the friend.

InnoBell Add-ons

Need to send money to someone on the phone?  Maybe from a lost wager playing Rock Paper Scissors? ;)  The PayPal add-on makes it incredibly easy to transfer money to the caller during the chat or phone call.

Speaking of chat, Innobell’s chat program is very slick and fun.  In addition to access to all of the available add-ons, there is definitely a playfulness to it.  For example, writing “lol” results in an audible laughter.  Though it was a little startling at first, it quickly became a source of laughter in itself.  Send someone a “yeah” response and you’ll hear deep voice saying “Oh yeah.”  lol

Phones have evolved dramatically since I was in 6th grade.  They’re sleeker, faster and smarter.  What hasn’t changed is their purpose.  Whether it’s through a long heart to heart conversation or sharing a funny YouTube video – at the end of the day we just want to connect with someone on the other end.  Innobell.com, with its growing library of add-ons, has created a gateway to accomplish this in new and exciting ways.

InnoBell set off in the night in what would be their last journey. After hours of waiting and with no response a rescue team was sent in after them. They were found wandering aimlessly in the woods until their mother kindly turned the server off. All that was left of their journey is this article.


Inside Hospitality: The Inside Scoop

Have you ever wondered what people thought of you?  I mean what they really thought of you.  Not just polite or socially acceptable patronage, but the simple truth.  The kind of feedback you get from a trusted friend.  Sometimes it can sting a bit, but taken the right way, it can make you a better person.

Inside Hospitality is that friend for service-oriented businesses.  They offer an extensive suite of programs to evaluate businesses such as restaurants, bars, and spa resorts.  The concept is simple.  You have a business, and want to know what it’s like to be on the other side.  The side that pays you and keeps you gainfully employed – the customer side.  That’s where Inside Hospitality comes in.  Their customized programs and trained fleet of mystery shoppers will help you gain that insight.

Inside Hospitality
I was amazed by the number of trademarked programs listed on the website.  They have numerous service offerings to meet the needs of your specific business.  As I read a few descriptions and watched some of the many informational videos, I began to appreciate the different distinctions and purposes.  For example, Phonebuzz™ is geared towards evaluating the user experience when calling a business.  They actually provide an MP3 of the evaluated call and give feedback based upon it. (All local and state laws are adhered to in gathering information.)  BarStoolie™ is geared towards bars and the night scene.  The mystery shoppers are knowledgeable in such a scene and will report whether the bartender is mixing drinks correctly, or if the bouncer is letting people in for free. You can think of them as your very own private detectives.

Beyond the mystery shopper based programs, Inside Hospitality also provides a variety of related services.  GuestPromoter™ is a program that gathers and analyzes data from the customer.  Business owners provide guest information and Inside Hospitality follows up on their experience. This is the type of feedback upper management would value, as it’s processed by a third party instead of their own staff. Mobilabilty™ is their mobile marketing service where they provide the mechanism to communicate with customers via text message. As noted in a recent post, the ability to automate client communications is key to a business’s success.

The GuestPulse™ platform is particularly interesting.  It’s a portal to keep track of what customers are saying about your business in social media.  Are people tweeting about your bar or blogging about your restaurant?  Do they make positive comments?  Are they negative, or neutral? And what’s being said about your competitors?  GuestPulse™ will help you manage your online reputation, and monitor the reputations within your industry.

On top of monitoring your staff once you’ve brought them on board, Inside Hospitality also provides consulting and recruiting solutions.  They’ll do pre-screens, reference checks, initial interviews and even follow up on how the new hire is doing. Their 24 hours, 7 days a week support system is available to all clients and customer.  A chat window on their website gives you direct access to customer service agents for any questions you may have.

Navigating through their site is relatively simple for such an in-depth set of services.  Video demos and tutorials are included throughout their website.  Many sections includes videos which walk the user through how that particular service works.  Due to the extensive and somewhat abstract nature of their business, perhaps they would benefit from more case studies of past clients.

Need more insight?  President Gary Tripp hosts an online radio show, Hospitality 101 (aka H101) once a week.  The site contains archived shows as well, for your listening pleasure.  Inside Hospitality really does have it all!

Times are tough.  Owning a business these days are even tougher.  Consumers are becoming less forgiving.  And on top of that, they have more avenues than ever before to express and publish these frustrations.  Inside Hospitality can help with the damage control – or help avoid it completely.  It truly is a one stop shop for guest experience management programs.

Inside Hospitality morphed to Summers Hospitality Group. We trust the change has been good for them.