Understanding the details of hotel operations is the key to predicting guests’ future needs and ultimately increasing guest satisfaction, says Enrique Calderon, COO of Mexico’s Grupo Posadas. Grupo Posadas owns, operates and develops hotels under seven different brands, with more than 22,000 rooms spread across more than 180 hotels.
Grupo Posadas’ success is rooted in its consistency in leveraging operational details to understand hotel operations as a whole, and not as sets of isolated systems. At the ITH Innovation Summit 2019, Calderon detailed how ALICE functionalities have allowed Grupo Posadas to understand the details, connect departments and implement and scale operational improvements across its properties.
ALICE is the hospitality industry’s leading operations technology, connecting every department of the hotel with one platform for all staff communication and guest requests. It is the centralized solution to manage service standardization across an entire portfolio of brands and hotels, ensuring brand uniformity and data structure. ALICE has been partnering with Grupo Posadas since 2017 when they first started using the platform across all Grupo Posadas’ numerous hotel brands.
Calderon, a seasoned hotel expert, not only shared how he makes the most of ALICE’s functionalities to monitor everything from executive movement at the enterprise level, to the simplest of housekeeping tasks at individual property, but he also offered an interesting overview on how he and his team use statistics to predict their guests' future needs.
How has Grupo Posadas developed this capacity? And is it really possible to predict the future? Well, it seems that Calderon and his team, do it every day.
The secret lies in statistical analysis. Calderon explained that his team is trained to detect easily overlooked issues and deploy immediate preventive and corrective actions to proactively improve service and avoid negative reviews. “ALICE has helped us by providing enterprise and individual property statistics that we have used to implement operational improvements,” remarks Calderon. “If 30% of our requests involve bringing more towels to guest rooms, if we simply put extra towels in each room, we manage to lower guest requests and save the staff time that it takes to fulfill each request. The results are fewer annoyed customers, fewer room deliveries, less workload, and greater savings.”
But what happens when managers are certain that everything works correctly and, nevertheless, their hotels get what seem to be “inexplicable” negative online reviews? Do some guests just enjoy complaining? Or is there an underlying issue behind their claims? Calderon explains how his team gets to the root of these complaints.
“When you cross-check your guest satisfaction data and the complaints you are receiving about room temperatures, but you don’t observe any corresponding maintenance requests in the system, you can understand that maybe it is not that your AC is not working, but instead, its operation is complex and guests do not understand it how to use it.”
ALICE’s operational insights have been a key asset for managers to not only oversee operational issues such as temperature control, water pressure or the excess or lack of bedding, but to track and schedule their own tasks as well.
“Something else that has helped us a lot is that we schedule important managerial tasks through the software to have a record of inventory creation, inspections, inspection-related tasks, inspection times, payroll reports, etc. ALICE has helped us carry out a lot of our operations successfully, keep everyone accountable and make our supervision visits really meaningful, because we’ve been able to monitor a hotel’s progress over a period of time. You cannot think that what you see in a visit twice a year is an exact reflection of how the hotel looks the rest of the year.”
But how did Enrique Calderon and his people determine that by connecting departmental communication and keeping detailed records of their operations they’d have a high ROI from ALICE? Again, the answer is data.
“With ALICE we have the certainty that all hotel activities are being carried out to completion, and if there is a delay, we know why. This has resulted in better operating margins, better payroll control, better inventory control, better administrative operation, and a higher NPS (Net Promoter Score). Today, our NPS is above the standard industry level for a hotel group. In only one year we managed to increase our NPS level by 7 points.”