Located in the heart of Sacramento, the Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown utilizes guest messaging in many innovated ways through being more environmentally friendly to providing a line of communication even when the guest is out exploring the vibrant area.
Sacramento, the capital of the great state of (insert Arnold Schwarzenegger voice here) CALIFORNIA, has everything you could possibly want and then some. They have state-of-the-art buildings, such as the Golden 1 Center. It’s the home to the Sacramento Kings; as well as a hotspot for global artists to perform. Sacramento also gives you a sense of nature without having to leave the area as the Sacramento River runs right through it. Today, the downtown riverbanks is formally known as “Old Sacramento” as it’s a historic area that is full of Gold Rush-era buildings, along with cobblestone streets where horse-drawn carriages once traveled. Sacramento has so much to offer - now it’s time to find a place to stay that is centrally located and knows how to take care of their guests.
Liz Tavernese, the General Manager of the Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown, said it best, “Location Location Location!” They are within walking distance to every main attraction the city has to offer. Whether it’s tourists, business groups, etc., they are all roaming the streets rather than staying cooped up in their room. It’s important to be able to communicate with guests whether they are on or off site. That being said, Liz and her staff have utilized Kipsu to communicate via text message without their guests having to download an app. Kipsu has taken away the need to download a cumbersome app in order to have a direct line of communication. Direct communication via text message, like you normally would with a friend, makes it an easy and personal way for the staff to let their guests know that they are only a text message away. With Millennials making up 27% of the global population, there tech savvy background makes it easy for both the guests and employees to adapt to Kipsu. “They took to Kipsu immediately, it became second nature to them!” said the front office manager, Mary Gilbert, in regards to her staff. The foundation that Kipsu is built on is the the ability to text guests, and whether a guest/staff member falls under the millennial umbrella or not, they’ve all sent/received a text message. It’s an efficient and effective way to communicate with guests while honoring the root of great customer service - direct face to face interactions. Aside from the guest experience, Kipsu has the functionality to connect with various PMS Systems, including Opera, to make sure delegated tasks are taken care of.
They took to Kipsu immediately, it became second nature to them!
- Mary Gilbert, Front Office Manager
Liz and Mary came up with the idea of sending out a “Go Green” text if a guest is staying more than two nights. The text asks if a guest wants to “Go Green” and opt into a day with no house cleaning services in exchange for extra IHG rewards points. By skipping one day, this has reduced the consumptions of resources and workload of the housekeeping department. Liz shared a story where someone from the housekeeping department called in sick; this would normally leave the staff stressed and scrambling to do a full workload with fewer hands on deck. Fortunately, due to 30+ rooms electing to “Go Green,” they didn’t miss a beat. Reducing the workload also decreases stress; if your staff is genuinely happy and motivated, this leads to improved overall success and better customer service. Not only does it save the housekeeping time, it has a deeper impact on the environment and bottom line. The Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown utilized the Opera connection to provide above and beyond customer service, while also making the staffs lives a little easier.
Top notch customer service works hand in hand with direct communication. Implementing conversations via text message adds another way for our partners to separate themselves from competitors. A great way to use Kipsu during an everyday occurance is when a guest arrives early or their room is not ready. Liz addressed this recurring situation and offered, “Instead of having them wait in the lobby and continuously come up to the desk and ask “Is my room ready yet?”, we can hold their luggage and simply text them once their room is available. This allows them the freedom to go about their day.” This eliminates potential friction by taking away the burden of continuously checking on the status of the room from the guests’ shoulders and allows them to explore the area. From here is where a property can really have fun with it; then, they could take it a step further and bring the luggage up to the room then simply notify them with, “Your baggage has been brought up to your room. Come by the front desk to pick up your keys!” The ability to communicate via text message takes this normal “Your room is not ready yet” interaction from a standard conversation to an unexpected top notch experience. The root of working in hospitality is to make a guest feel comfortable and taken care of, and that can also be met with a simple text message.
We continuously encourage all of our partners to initiate the conversation with all of their guests. “Not only is it a nice gesture in general, it’s also a way for the guest to save the number and use it as a line of communication if needed” said Mary. It gives the guest a sense of reassurance to know that any of their needs can be taken care of by shooting a quick text. These text messages are handled personally by a staff member and allows them the freedom to handle requests/concerns how they feel is best. Mary put an emphasis on how this has been a huge indicator of the overall teams success. Obviously, this is great for the property as a whole, but this also helps each staff member develop their own problem solving skills.
“Not only is it a nice gesture in general, it’s also a way for the guest to save the number and use it as a line of communication if needed”
- Mary Gilbert, Front Office Manager
The Holiday Inn Sacramento Downtown exemplifies what it means to use Kipsu to go above and beyond the status quo. They not only welcome each of their guests with a text message, but they also utilize the connection with Opera to be more effective and efficient when handling tasks. What it means to provide high quality customer service is a forever revolving door; but direct communication will always be an integral part. In a tech savvy world, the most recognized and efficient way is with a simple, personal text.