Luxury Hotel Taps Real-Time Guest Feedback Tool in Quest for Exemplary Customer Service


The West Paces Hotel Group is a highly respected member in the hospitality industry whose leadership hails from The Ritz-Carlton Company and has long prided itself on providing an unparalleled level of personalized service. West Paces was created to develop and operate hotels in select upscale market segments, such as its luxury hotel brands Capella and SolÍs.

In an environment driven by price wars, West Paces' challenge was to transform their vision for exemplary service into a competitive differentiator. They needed a system to produce a more detailed level of information to step up their game and "wow" guests with quicker response times.

UniFocus' GUESTScope fit the bill: a robust, user-friendly platform for feedback, with greater visibility to quickly drill down and see any number of factors such as critical issues, purpose of stay, last visit, or even impact of rate paid on satisfaction.

West Paces now has a transparent window into the service experience of both individual travelers and groups: meaningful information with executive or operational detail reporting, so that restaurant managers or GMs have everything at their fingertips.

A three-pronged approach

Third, it is important get real-time information that can be acted upon immediately; not only negative but also positive reinforcement when performance is exemplary. Actual ongoing performance improvement is then based upon accumulated data and trends; better outcomes are the result of personalized interaction with guests based upon their responses.

Primed for success

For communication with guests, the GMs provided the generic verbiage for electronic communications, which was refined, edited and loaded into the system. User names/passwords were created and e-mail was customized to deliver a professional, personalized response to guests from the hotel.

An escalation process triggers guest alerts when any rating that is critical, e.g. intent to recommend; if below standard, key individuals are notified. The value of a quick response time is equal if not greater than a fix, usually a matter of minutes. Capella properties typically get 95-98% on mean satisfaction scores (but nobody is happy with less than 100%).

A new luxury brand from scratch

Ryan Magnon is the Vice President Quality for The West Paces Hotel Group (founded by Horst Schulze, co-founder and former President of The Ritz Carlton Hotel Co). His current responsibilities include oversight of global customer and employee satisfaction, service quality metrics, process improvement, change management, and service leadership training for all brands within the company.

Mystery Shops: Waste of Time or Key to Driving Guest Loyalty?
In summary, GUESTScope has enabled West Paces Hotel Group to successfully build a luxury brand from scratch, and to better manage their other hotels in each market segment: to respond more quickly to guests and recognize key staff members and leaders that deliver exemplary service. The most important goal is to better understand the independent, changing tastes of today's discriminating traveler and how they feel, delivering impeccable service.
The installation process for GUESTScope was simple. After meeting with the account liaison and communicating company values, management stated what their objectives and goals were. A basic operational set of questions was formulated, taking into consideration customer wants, needs or desires, and demographics.
The West Paces approach to guest feedback embraces three areas. First, survey questions must reflect perception of the brand, find out whether guest expectations are being met and get higher response rates (They presently get a 25-45% response rate). Second, the ease of execution via web-based e-mail enables quick, easy communication with guests; conversely, guests can easily communicate with management.
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds