Hotel Online  Special Report


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Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina Strengthens Service Promise, Improves Concierge Operations in 10 Important
Ways With GoConcierge.net’s Web-based Solution

 
SAN DIEGO — August 3, 2004—The Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, one of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ top performing Sheraton properties in terms of guest satisfaction and profitability, has significantly improved its ability to deliver on its Service Promise with the help of GoConcierge, the lodging industry’s leading concierge operations solution. Web-based GoConcierge is produced by GoConcierge.net, Los Angeles.

“It is gratifying to hear about the Sheraton San Diego’s success and how GoConcierge has made a positive impact,” says Adam Isrow, executive vice president of GoConcierge.net. “It is particularly impressive to see how well the team works together and how various departments are willing and able to step in to assist the guests whenever called upon.”

Since implementing GoConcierge.net’s task-tracking and database solution a year ago, concierges at the 1,044-room property have improved operations in 10 important ways. Each improvement has helped strengthen the hotel’s Service Promise program that guarantees guests a great stay. As part of Sheraton Service Promise, guests who report a problem during a stay are offered instant discounts, reward points or money back.

“If something is not right, we make it right,” says Robert Cartwright, hotel manager at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. “Thanks in part to GoConcierge, we don’t have as many guest complaints as we have experienced in the past.”

Top 10 Ways Sheraton San Diego Improved Operations

Fast, personalized and efficient concierge service are imperative at the high-volume hotel that experiences 75 percent group business. The two-tower property has one concierge desk. Four concierges are employed full time and three others are on call. Since implementing GoConcierge, the concierge team has become more efficient in the following ways: 
 
 

1. Guest compensation costs reduced—Prior to implementing GoConcierge, the concierge team often was unable to find information for a guest. That often resulted in the guest being compensated and ultimately an added expense to the hotel.

“It was a paper trail system,” Cartwright says. “We did not have a way to quickly access reservation information. There was an immediate dissatisfaction and we would have to invoke our Service Promise guarantee. The customer of today expects a perfect, seamless experience. GoConcierge helps us deliver that in our concierge operation.”

2. Task tracking streamlined, clutter eliminated—Prior to GoConcierge, each concierge on duty at the San Diego Hotel and Marina recorded tasks and guest requests on paper. Those requests then had to be consolidated into one logbook. The system was labor-intensive. 

“It was so old-fashioned,” says Ewa Skoog, chef concierge at the hotel. “There were times when every concierge wanted to access the logbook. Also, there was constant clutter at the concierge desk.”

Now, with GoConcierge’s Web-based Guest Task Calendar, all task and request recording is handled through the system, allowing the entire team to access the information at all times. 

“It has made my job so much easier,” says Skoog, who also is director of public relations for the San Diego Concierge Assn. “We used to have our calendar all on paper.”

3. Accessibility to task data improved—Data inputted into GoConcierge can be quickly accessed later. The task calendar is color coded and tasks can be searched for in a number of ways including by room number, guest name or type of task. Internal correspondence such as reminder notes also can be flagged.

“Everything we need is right in front of us,” Skoog says. “We have a lot more time to spend with our guests.”

4. Communications universalized—Because guest activity information is consolidated on-line, other personnel within the hotel have access to the system. That is critical if a guest wants to check on a car or other type of reservation when a concierge is not available. Service Promise Desk employees, front desk staff and bellmen all have access to GoConcierge.

“Because multiple people and departments can view the information, the guest ultimately wins because they get the information they are looking for immediately,” Isrow says.

5. Confirmation letters, itineraries, directions, maps personalized—Concierges at the San Diego Hotel and Marina use GoConcierge to print personalized reservation confirmation letters, itineraries, driving directions and maps. Each printout is branded with the hotel’s logo. Correspondence also can be e-mailed to guests out of GoConcierge.

“Guests are impressed by how quickly we can generate confirmation letters and directions,” Skoog says.

6. Area attraction search process streamlined—GoConcierge’s robust database and contact list eliminates the need for calling information and using a rolodex and phonebook. All location information is searchable and available on-line. It is easy to add new locations. The information can be printed or e-mailed to a guest.

“If a location is not in GoConcierge, we can add it ourselves or request that it be added by GoConcierge.net,” Skoog says. “They respond quickly to all of our requests.”

7. Time-saving short cuts identified—To improve response time to guest requests, GoConcierge.net added hot buttons to the San Diego Hotel and Marina’s Task Calendar. These buttons link to the most frequently requested locations and websites that are frequently used. 

“We have buttons for a movie directory, flight tracker, car rental agency and florist,” Skoog says. “We also have a button for the Zagat Guide. We can quickly access information on any restaurant in the world.”

8. Concierge training process simplified—Because GoConcierge is user-friendly, concierges at the San Diego Hotel and Marina have been able to learn the system quickly.

“I was skeptical at first but it was a breeze,” Skoog says. “We recently hired two new concierges and it took them little time to learn GoConcierge. They understand why it is so important to log everything and find it quickly.”

“The technology is not difficult,” Cartwright adds. “Our staff is more productive because they have the technology. That’s huge when trying to achieve a goal of delivering first-class service on a consistent basis.”

9. Vendor business quantified—Custom reports can be run using all the data from GoConcierge’s Task Calendar.

“We use the system to generate reports that summarize all of the reservations we book with outside vendors,” Skoog says. “It helps improve our relationships with them.”

10. Technology support provided—If someone at the San Diego Hotel & Marina is in need of assistance with GoConcierge, technology support is available immediately. 

“Because the system is Web-based, GoConcierge.net can provide real-time support,” Skoog says. “The support is incredible from them.”

“Their response time is immediate,” Cartwright adds. “They are proactive in ensuring our satisfaction and helping us use the system as it is intended to be used.”

Cartwright, who presides over operations at the San Diego property that was one of three Starwood hotels nominated for “Hotel of the Year” in 2003, says the hotel also was the top performing Sheraton convention property in terms of guest satisfaction last year.

“GoConcierge helped us get to that point,” he says. “I would recommend GoConcierge.net unconditionally to other Starwood properties.”

“Robert has been instrumental in the success of GoConcierge at this property,” Isrow says. “He recognized the potential of GoConcierge right away and was quick to encourage his team to embrace the system and make it a ‘way of life.’”

About the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina:

Nestled at the water’s edge on spectacular San Diego Bay, the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina offers panoramic views of the bay and the downtown city skyline. Spread across two towers, the hotel’s 1,044 guest rooms and suites are filled with fine comforts and conveniences. The East Tower features 699 guest rooms, four restaurants and lounges including Tapatini’s with an exclusive tapas menu and signature martinis. The West Tower is located 300 yards away and features 345 guest rooms, an outdoor pool, Jacuzzi and Alfiere’s, an award-winning restaurant that features Mediterranean fresh market cuisine. All guest rooms feature the new Sheraton Sweet Sleeper(SM) Bed and Starwood Turbo Net High Speed Internet Access.

For more information about the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, go to www.sheraton.com/sandiegomarina or call (619) 291-2900.

About GoConcierge.net:

GoConcierge is a Web-based task-tracking and database solution for concierges and other departments including guest services, front desk, shipping and receiving, and restaurants. It is used by hotels across America and Mexico. Customers include properties from major companies including Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt, Interstate, Kimpton, Mandarin Oriental, Marriott, Omni, Peninsula, Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood and Starwood.

GoConcierge has been adopted by hotels and resorts throughout America and Mexico, some of which include The Peninsula Beverly Hills, the Waldorf Astoria (New York), Bacara Resort (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Boca Raton Resort (Boca Raton, Fla.), Hilton Sacramento (Calif.), Hilton San Francisco, Hilton Los Cabos (Mexico), Omni San Francisco, Hyatt Regency Huntington Hotel & Spa (Calif.), the Hotel Monaco (San Francisco), The Ritz-Carlton (Dearborn, Mich.), Le Merigot JW Marriott Beach Hotel (Santa Monica, Calif.), Westin St. Francis (San Francisco), Doubletree Sonoma (Calif.), Hilton Short Hills (N.J.) and W hotels.

For more information about GoConcierge.net, go to www.goconcierge.net/home or call (310) 966-2371. 

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Contact:
Adam Isrow
Executive Vice President
GoConcierge.net
(310) 966-2371
E-mail: adami@goconcierge.net
www.goconcierge.net

Robert Cartwright
Hotel Manager
Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina
(619) 692-2323
E-mail: robert.cartwright@sheraton.com
www.sheraton.com/sandiegomarina

Glenn Hasek, President
Hasek Communications
(216) 476-9663; cell: (216) 702-0334
E-mail: hasekcom@aol.com
www.hasekcom.com

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Also See: Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club Energizes Aloha Attitude, Transforms Concierge Operations With GoConcierge.net’s Web-based Solution / June 2004
GoConcierge.net Defies the Odds, Doubles Client Base to More than 100 in One Year; Boca Raton Resort & Club, InterContinental Mark Hopkins are Latest to Adopt Web-Based System / April 2004
Mandarin Oriental, New York Implements GoConcierge, Provides Concierge Team with Technology it Needs to Deliver Five-Star Service Quality / March 2004
The Fairmont San Francisco Embraces Technology, Goes Paperless and Enhances Concierge Operations With GoConcierge.net’s Web-based Solution / January 2004
Using Web-based GoConcierge, Three Leading Hotels Transform Concierge Operations, Take Customer Service to New Heights / November 2003
Concierges Bid Goodbye to Clutter, Hello to Efficiency — Thanks to GoConcierge.net’s Web-based Solution / September 2003


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