South Congress Hotel Graduates from Google Hangouts to ALICE

Alongside its sister property Hotel Ella, South Congress Hotel has selected ALICE to optimize staff efficiency, organization, and communication for a flawless guest experience in the heart of Austin’s iconic South Congress shopping, dining, and entertainment district. ALICE is the hospitality industry’s leading operations technology, connecting every department of the hotel with one platform for all staff communication and guest requests.

Prior to using ALICE, staff at South Congress Hotel communicated primarily via Google Hangouts. While a useful consumer app, Hangouts is not optimized for integrated communication on such a large operational scale; at times, managers could find themselves a part of as many as 10 Google Hangout groups between departments. On some occasions, key requests could be missed if managers were away or out of the office, and there was no way to easily track items discussed in Hangouts, which challenged accountability. Moreover, if a past message needed referencing, the amount of scrolling back to find it could become both tedious and overwhelming.

ALICE was launched at South Congress Hotel in August of 2018 and many transformative changes have been noted since. Now, staff can enjoy user-friendly workflow tracking, as well as internal messaging included directly on each task. These improvements have increased productivity, accountability, and improved the flow of interdepartmental communication. This enhanced organization and efficiency has revolutionized the process of task management and the ability to pinpoint the status of any request at any given time with ease.

Moreover, the calendar feature within ALICE is a welcomed improvement in time and information management for South Congress Hotel, ensuring events or schedules don’t get lost in the scrolling of previous messages. Scheduled events no longer need reminders and stand-ups, they are now logged directly and tracked via the calendar, meaning expectations can be met consistently and without headache.

Guest service and engagement have been positively affected by this communication revolution, and staff now feel empowered by the use of the platform. Across the board, staff are confident using the new tools and seeing how they improve the guest experience. With operations inefficiencies largely removed, staff find themselves better informed and more accountable to one another, enabling them to better serve their guests.

Furthermore, as reception agents double as concierge staff at South Congress Hotel, ALICE’s digitized vendor database has greatly improved the way staff interact with guests. “We’ve been able to input every preferred vendor; we can input the menu, hours, walking distance, the map feature is incredible--- just the ability to say ‘You know what, give me one minute’ instead of having to go dig around a filing cabinet for a list. We don’t have to then waste more time looking around for a resolution, we can quickly find one in ALICE. It’s heavily impacted our guest experience and concierge capability,” explains Jennifer Bumgardner, Assistant Front Office Manager.

South Congress Hotel leaders shared that they were happy to get everything on a single platform. Their favorite thing about ALICE is the customization it offers, reflecting the needs of the property. The adaptability of ALICE has also proven to be a key component for South Congress Hotel.

Of the ALICE support team, Amanda Wasnock, Front Office Manager, notes, “there’s the aspect of the team recognizing what could work best for our property and then bringing new ideas in for development with future implementation. It helps us understand that our needs are being met by the ALICE support team, and that really speaks to itself.”