Dolce Slashes Call Center Costs with Group Res Tool

Success in the hospitality industry depends on the experience delivered by a business to its clients. As a leading operator of hotels and conference centers in North America and Europe, Dolce Hotels and Resorts has successfully honed and defined its client experience with a high level of personal service, state-of-the-art facilities and premier cuisine.
However, Dolce’s existing group housing solution, while efficient, was hindered by a mostly manual process and an inability to deliver important event information and tools to its meeting planners and guests in a timely and convenient manner.
In addition, its call center was unable to process call-in groups that were loaded directly into the property management system (PMS). Furthermore, loading groups into the reservation system came with a costly transaction expense.
As a company that hosts more than 30,000 events and more than four million clients globally each year, executives realized that this deficiency was more than a minor chink in the armor that could be simply overlooked without consequence. The reservation experience was the first touch point many meeting guests and planners had with Dolce, and it was not consistent with the desired Dolce client experience. Thus, it was considered a major problem that needed to be addressed.
Three-pronged strategy
To resolve this issue, Dolce engaged in a three-pronged approach to implement Passkey’s group reservations technology, GroupMAXTM. The resulting solution brought Dolce’s group reservation process more in line with its clients’ expectations. Dolce’s strategy included three important elements:
  • Personalization: Push all group reservations online through a customized meeting portal that offers guests a top-notch booking experience. Additionally, utilize the integrated e-mail toolset to send highly personalized e-mail communications to guests so that they can review special upgrade options or choose from ancillary hotel services.
  • Reduce Costs: GroupMAX directly connects to Dolce’s PMS system, a synchronization that minimizes the transaction costs associated with group bookings.
  • Service: Raise client service levels with the ability to offer meeting planners the tools needed to track their events across multiple dates and properties via GroupMAX’s online dashboard functionality. This enables both event organizers and Dolce staff to track room block and reservation trends throughout the event’s lifecycle with intuitive online tools, e-mail alerts and mobile applications.
With each reservation made through the new GroupMAX system, Dolce has experienced a correlated drop in group bookings made through the call center. Each booking diverted online saves Dolce costly transaction expenses. Moreover, hotel properties have seen a drastic reduction in call-in costs, as GroupMAX provides group guests extensive and more personalized event information, offering these guests a wide range of upgrade options and hotel information. The automation of the group bookings process significantly improved productivity while establishing unforeseen service levels across the brand. 
The positive difference GroupMAX made in Dolce’s group reservation process was wholesale and revolutionary, yet the installation process caused very little disruption. Four weeks prior to deployment at each property, Passkey conducted a conference call to describe the process to property managers. Meanwhile, Passkey’s technical team aligned the SSL interface requirements between the hotel’s PMS system and Passkey. Two weeks after installation, Passkey trained property employees across all functions on how to use the tools for their respective groups.
Leveraging personalization, cost savings and improved service levels, Dolce has extended its meetings service offerings with its unique ability to automate and customize the previously inefficient meeting process. GroupMAX has become an integral component to Dolce’s group business, enabling its hotels to provide guests and planners with a higher level of consistency across its properties brand-wide.
The increased visibility of the GroupMAX system has brought a new surge to Dolce’s group business, as meeting planners are more frequently choosing to book meetings solely with properties that use this advanced technology.
Barry Goldstein, is the chief revenue & information officer for Dolce Hotels and Resorts. He is responsible for directing the company’s sales, marketing, revenue management and information technology teams.
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