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Commune Hotels Move Beyond Apps & Gets 75 Percent of Guests to Text

Commune Hotels & Resorts announced the launch of its personalized guest communication program powered by CheckMate.  The service, which enables conversations between guests and hotels through any mobile channel, requires no app download, providing a convenient and easy means for two-way communication.  Guests at most Joie de Vivre and Thompson hotels can now check in, request an upgrade, get notified when their room is ready, report service issues, ask for restaurant recommendations, and order a car service, all by text.  The rollout to Commune’s properties comes after the completion of a successful pilot program that demonstrated 75 percent of Commune guests engaged with their hotel via SMS at some point during their journey.

“In a world of immediacy, we were searching for a platform that would allow our team members to communicate with guests via text to provide more personalized service and deepen engagement,” said Niki Leondakis, CEO of Commune Hotels & Resorts.  “CheckMate enables our team to care for and provide service to our guests via the same mobile devices they use when communicating with colleagues, friends and family.  The convenience of not having to download an app for this service reinforces our goal of making life easier, not harder, for our customers.”

CheckMate collaborated with Commune to develop the personalized, one-on-one conversation platform, which Commune’s hotels can leverage to proactively check-in on guests and quickly respond to their needs. And, as the pilot program and rave TripAdvisor reviews demonstrate, travelers respond positively to the service and on average rate their stay 20 percent higher than guests who did not use CheckMate’s service.

Commune ran a four-month pilot program of the CheckMate platform across 25 of its hotels from April to July.  More than 24,500 Commune guests used the CheckMate platform to communicate with their hotel during the pilot.

Giving Guests Real-time Service Solutions
Commune Hotels have already reported on several service wins. Guests of Thompson Chicago alerted the front desk to a barking dog in the pet-friendly hotel.  The hotel texted the dog’s owner (and hotel guest) who was off property and asked for permission to bring the dog downstairs.  The dog spent a delightful day in the back of the house with lots of love and belly rubs from hotel staff.

In another example, after a long day of travel, a guest of Thompson Miami Beach requested, prior to check-in, tea and honey for a sore throat. She received an immediate response that in-room dining would deliver hot water, tea bags, honey and lemon to combat the cold, compliments of the hotel. When the guest arrived at her room, she was delighted to find a hot tea kettle, and she texted her thanks and appreciation to her -- in her words -- “guardian angel.”

Finally, a guest of Hotel Vitale in San Francisco let the hotel know she was celebrating her husband’s birthday and would love a complimentary upgrade if one was available.  The hotel upgraded the couple to a room with a spectacular view, and further elevated the customer experience by delivering a bottle of the birthday boy’s favorite wine, as well as a birthday cake, to the room in advance of the couple’s check in.

High Engagement Demonstrates Guest Demand for Personalized Communication
The numbers don’t lie when it comes to the success of the CheckMate rollout. Seventy-five percent of guests provided a mobile number and opted in to receive SMS communication before, during, and after their stay. Thirteen percent of guests requested an upgrade. Ten percent of guests provided structured feedback on service quality in real-time.

Commune also reports that 24,548 guests began digital conversations with staff before they arrived at their hotel. Of that number: 1,916 guests requested room upgrades and paid amenities, 2,613 guests completed CheckMate’s in-stay feedback prompt, providing Commune unprecedented visibility into guest satisfaction. From these conversations, Commune was able to identify 299 service recovery opportunities resulting in happier guests.

Commune is rolling out additional CheckMate services to better prepare for their guests’ hotel arrivals.  Seamless Curbside Check In will be available to guests of most Joie de Vivre and Thompson hotels, and guests who do advance check-in via their mobile device and provide a credit card for pre-authorization, will have room keys cut and ready upon hotel arrival.  CheckMate’s single-click surveys will also be available to guests via SMS, making it easy for them to share feedback and make requests during their stays.
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