New York Boutique Hotel Leverages Text Message to Create Relationships With Guests
Life Hotel, a 98-room boutique that opened in spring 2017 in the original Nomad-neighborhood which is home to Life Magazine, said it was recently looking for a guest engagement tool. However, it chose the multi-purpose ALICE platform over a handful of other vendors, once it saw how ALICE improves staff coordination and request management via dedicated task management technology connecting every department of the hotel. Now, all of Life Hotel’s staff departments (front desk, maintenance, housekeeping, and F&B) are using and benefitting from the multi-purpose ALICE platform.
Erin Pepper, Life Hotel’s VP of Brand and Experience, says text messaging is proving a strong differentiator for the hotel, letting staff continuously delight guests with immediate, personalized responses.
“Guests are always responding to our texts with, ‘Wow, what a quick answer!’ or ‘Thank you for the helpful information!’” Pepper explains. “I think guests are continuously surprised it’s a real person writing back to them on the other side. In this day and age, with so many bots and automated response systems, I think it’s important that we maintain personal and direct communication with our guests. The 'human touch' is inherent to hospitality and with ALICE technology we are able to strike that healthy balance. We also encourage our team to partake in the occasional use of emojis, which is relatable and familiar to our guests. It is almost like they are texting with a friend, which by the end of their stay (and beyond) we are!”
Erin says the most common use case for text messaging is pre-stay. Guests often text the hotel to let staff know they’ll be arriving at a certain time and to request early check-in. Guest also gravitate towards text messaging when it comes to requesting a refresh of in-room amenities, like towels or pillows.
ALICE is also helping staff delight guests in other ways. Because Life Hotel’s busy management team doubles as concierges, ALICE’s suite of concierge tools (which include a local vendor database and hotel-branded custom confirmation letters, maps, and itineraries) are helping them quickly become neighborhood experts and provide guests with the trappings characteristic of a fully-staffed concierge team.
ALICE is also improving staff operations behind the scenes. Pepper loves that, with ALICE, every staff member is united on one system, with all the accountability and efficiencies that affords.
“Everyone gets the chime [of a new work order or request] and everyone gets the message,” she says.
Creating a digital paper trail of work orders and guest requests is also providing the hotel’s management new insights into the business. Having a record of maintenance issues, for example, allows the maintenance team to systematize reporting and preempt more serious maintenance issues by recognizing patterns in asset malfunction and then addressing things quickly.