Two PCH Hotels & Resorts Properties Among Best of Best with Help of GuestWare

  • Guestware®
  • 11.30.06
Two of Alabama’s premier hotels, already recognized for their superior guest service, have raised guest satisfaction levels even higher with the help of GuestWare, one of the lodging industry’s leading customer relationship management systems.

The Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa, located in Birmingham, and the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa, Florence, are now among Marriott International’s top hotels nationwide in terms of guest satisfaction. Managers at both hotels credit GuestWare for helping them achieve such high scores.
The two properties, both managed by PCH Hotels & Resorts, implemented GuestWare shortly after opening in summer 2005. GuestWare’s Rapid Response software is the engine that drives the hotels’ Delighted to Serve (DTS) and At Your Service (AYS) call center systems. GuestWare ensures that calls coming into the Renaissance DTS and Marriott AYS lines are replied to quickly and efficiently. The NetLink Wireless Telephones are used at both hotels to further increase the speed at which guest issues are handled. Using the hotels’ existing Wi-Fi infrastructure, the NetLink handsets support two-way text messaging with GuestWare.
When a guest or staff person at the 258-room Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa has a request or problem that needs to be addressed, they dial the hotel’s DTS call center. Calls received there are answered by up to three associates. The calls are then logged into GuestWare. Depending on the nature of a call, a page is automatically sent from GuestWare to a bellman, housekeeper, engineer or security guard. A text message then appears on the employee’s NetLink handset.

After receiving the page, the associate can acknowledge receipt and close out the call with a few simple phone button clicks. This sends a message and automatically closes the call in GuestWare. If the first page is not acknowledged by the NetLink handset carrier, an alarm will sound within GuestWare. The GuestWare system enables the guest response team to allow messages to escalate. If an engineer does not answer a page, the message automatically forwards to management to alert them of the problem.
Unlike other communication systems used with guest response software, the SpectraLink handset not only acts like a paging device but also as an office phone. Two-way text messaging eliminates the labor associated with radio communication and provides more accountability. SpectraLink handsets fully integrate with all major enterprise voice over IP (VOIP) and PBX platforms.
“If a runner does not acknowledge a page in time, you can still call them,” said Tyron Smith, front desk manager at the Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa. “There are two ways to reach someone on the device.”
At the 200-room Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa, guests push an AYS button on their in-room phone when they have a request or a problem to report. When the hotel’s call center is busy, as many as three associates log calls into GuestWare. The software’s user-friendly Request Entry screen uses customizable hot buttons and drill-down menus to make it easy to log a call.
“If, for example, a housekeeper does not respond to a call in 15 minutes, the call will escalate to our director of services and then our director of operations,” said Nancy Byrd, assistant to the general manager and AYS supervisor at the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa. “GuestWare holds all parties accountable from the very first keystroke. We aim for a 15-minute response time.”
Byrd says most calls logged into GuestWare at the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa originate from housekeeping.
“If a housekeeper is cleaning a room and notices a light bulb is out, or observes other problems, that employee will call us,” Byrd said. “Or, if a guest requests a bellman, we will log that in. Our goal is to have more staff-reported calls than guest-reported ones.”
If there is something that cannot be fixed immediately, an employee at the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa will enter a code on the SpectraLink handset to create a work order, which is automatically recorded in GuestWare. The work order system gives the Renaissance and Marriott properties the ability to monitor closed and open work orders, work orders outstanding, and the cost for each work order.
GuestWare’s Guest Recognition system enables both hotels to personalize the stay of each guest. GuestWare interfaces with the two hotels’ property management systems, automatically building and maintaining a database of repeat guests. When guests call the DTS or AYS call centers, the PMS interface allows each person’s name to automatically fill in when their room numbers are entered into GuestWare.
GuestWare updates the profile of every guest who has a problem. When the guest returns, each issue the guest had during previous stays appears on the arrivals report. GuestWare’s two-way interface with the hotel’s PMS integrates global profile information coming from Marriott Rewards and adds local GuestWare preferences and issues to provide a comprehensive single view of all customer information. This gives each hotel’s staff a streamlined arrivals process and the information they need to honor and reward their most loyal guests.
GuestWare provides both hotels with the ability to identify recurring trends because every incident entered into the system is automatically stored in a database that can be accessed for trend analysis and process improvement. 
The hotels produce daily executive summary reports that include information such as top 10 incidents, a breakdown of all requests by department, and the elapsed time it took to respond to each one. Smith said by analyzing one recent report, he was able to pinpoint concerns guests were having with wireless Internet service charges. Byrd said her team meets monthly to review GuestWare incident reports. At these meetings, the most frequent incidents from the previous month are addressed.
Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa personnel also enter as much comment card information as they can into GuestWare. This ensures guests have the best possible stay.
“Year to date, we are ranked No. 6 in guest satisfaction out of 343 full-service Marriotts,” Byrd said. “We have been as high as No. 2. GuestWare has had a significant impact. It allows us to respond to calls in a timely manner and helps us anticipate the needs of our guests.”
Smith said the Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa is currently No. 1 in overall guest satisfaction among 68 hotels in its region. “GuestWare definitely has helped improve guest satisfaction,” he said.

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