Following a trail of leaky faucets, obsessing over wake up calls, and gamifying ticket response times are three ways tracking small things resulted in big changes to operations and the bottom line for some of our GMs.
Written by Steffan Bankier, Senior Sales Executive at ALICE
When describing the benefits of using ALICE, our sales team typically focuses on the ability for hotel staff to consolidate all guest requests into a unified interface, making it easier to manage their workflow and providing their guests with a more intimate, high touch experience. While these are clearly huge benefits of using a single system, to me the most exciting part of ALICE is its ability to provide management with hundreds of data points of business intelligence.
Because the system tracks every interaction, from a guest calling in for towels, to a houseman putting in an internal request to fix a broken elevator button (as well as who handled it, when, and how long it took), the system provides tremendous value not just for General Managers, but also for Housekeeping, Maintenance and Front Office Managers hoping to motivate their teams and improve their work. By taking advantage of the hundreds of preloaded and customizable reports, savvy managers can leverage thousands of data points and lean on analytics rather than past experience to constantly make operational improvements.
Below are three stories that illustrate the impact that gathering these data breadcrumbs can have on a hotel’s operation and its bottom line.
#1. On a hunch, a Maintenance Manager at a top NYC boutique hotel called ALICE’s analytics specialists and requested that they pull all of the internal tickets tagged “#fix: leaky faucet” over the past 6 months. As he had suspected, all of the requests were originating from the Southwest part of the building, focused around 10 floors. Upon further investigation, it turned out there was corrosion in the pipes, and by taking proactive measures rather than passively waiting for a major issue, the hotel was able to save thousands of dollars and months of headache.
#2. One General Manager we work with uses a very interesting process to constantly improve his service. Every quarter, he runs a report with the top Guest Issues and decides to focus all of his efforts on resolving them. Last month, it was wake up calls, so he gathered his Front Office team and told them for the next 3 months, their number one focus would be to ensure no wake up call ever falls through the cracks. Then he called our ALICE team and had them attach reminders to every ticket so his team would be notified with an SMS message 30 minutes before the ticket was due, and then again with a call 15 minutes before it was due. Over the quarter, he managed to bring down wake up call complaints from 156 Guest Issues to 7, drastically improving the hotel's guest satisfaction and TripAdvisor scores.
#3. A Front Office Manager at a large boutique hotel in San Francisco has created a team-building game using ALICE. Once a month, during his department’s morning stand up, he gathers his team and compares their average ticket response times to the department average. At the end of the month, they all go to an extravagant dinner where the staff with times that fall above the average pay for those that exceeded the average. It’s more of a tradition than a rule, but this encourages team bonding, creates friendly competition, and improves their operation. Over time, the other managers began to catch on and since then it’s become a hotel-wide policy. Today, every quarter, all of the hotel’s departments take part in a competition to reduce their request times where the winning department is rewarded with a night out, sponsored by the rest of the hotel.
As more managers begin to use our system and leverage the power of data, more managers will come up with creative and operationally empowering uses for their system. This is only the beginning of the data-driven hotel, and we’re all looking forward to seeing where it goes.