News for the Hospitality Executive
An Efficient Way to Confirm Appointments, Room Readiness
LOS ANGELES—March 2, 2011—According to Wikipedia, 74 percent of all mobile phone subscribers—2.4 billion people—use text messaging to communicate with their friends, family and business colleagues while on the go. It is only natural then that hotel guests would want to communicate with hotel staff—especially the concierge department—using this short message service (SMS) technology. Until recently that was not possible but thanks to GoConcierge.net, concierge and other departments can communicate easily with guests by text from the Web-based GoConcierge application. GoConcierge, produced by Los Angeles-based GoConcierge.net, is the first concierge application to include text messaging capability.
“Text messaging is a value-added component of GoConcierge,” says Adam Isrow, executive vice president of GoConcierge.net. “It is a powerful tool and can be used effectively by departments other than concierge as well.”
Text messaging is built into GoConcierge’s Guest Task Calendar. GoConcierge users simply go to the Calendar, type a message and hit “Send.” Messages up to 160 characters in length can be sent. When a guest responds to the text message, it appears in the Calendar as a flashing message until it is answered or the requested task accomplished.
Ideal for Appointment Confirmation
GoConcierge’s text messaging feature is primarily used by concierges to confirm an appointment for a guest—a restaurant or golf course tee time, for example—or by front desk associates to confirm to a guest that his or her room is ready. Any guest carrying a cell phone can receive a text message.
“Being able to communicate with guests on the move is important,” Isrow says. “One of the primary reasons we added this to GoConcierge is because concierges wanted to text guests but not use their personal cell phones. It is one more way GoConcierge makes the daily tasks of a hotel or resort associate more efficient while improving the guest experience.”
GoConcierge.net just completed its first decade in business with more than 500 hotel installations in more than 40 countries. “We can accommodate any language,” Isrow says. “Last year alone, more than 5 million tasks were accomplished through GoConcierge, resulting in a significant amount of efficiencies for our clients—ultimately enhancing the guest experience.”
GoConcierge has become much more than a concierge application. Departments including housekeeping, maintenance, food and beverage (for restaurant reservations and room service), reservations, front desk, shipping and receiving, spa, bell, security, sales and accounting are all successfully using GoConcierge to communicate quickly and efficiently to ensure that no scheduled task is left undone.
How One Hotel Uses GoConcierge
At one hotel using GoConcierge, when a guest calls in to convey a housekeeping- or engineering-related request or concern, it is handled by a communications operator who logs it into GoConcierge for the appropriate department. An engineering-related task pops up on that department’s screen. Engineers, housekeepers and others regularly check GoConcierge for tasks they need to handle. Once an issue is resolved, it is closed within GoConcierge.
At many hotels, GoConcierge is used to manage lost and found items. It is also used for wake-up calls, “Do Not Disturb” requests, to track packages, log guest preferences, and manage amenity requests and deliveries.
“This evolution has been driven by those using GoConcierge,” Isrow says. “It is a testament to the application’s flexibility and its ability to eliminate inefficiencies within departments. For communicating between departments, GoConcierge is a great tool. It guarantees that the level of service within a hotel is consistent and is a constant reminder of every internal or external request.”
Anyone using GoConcierge can log and track guest and other requests and tasks with just a few clicks. The Calendar is color coded, which makes it easy to highlight open, pending and closed tasks. Because a history of each guest’s request is stored in GoConcierge, it is easy to generate itineraries. These can be printed or e-mailed in a matter of seconds along with a personalized confirmation letter on stationery that includes the hotel’s logo. Point-to-point directions and maps also can be generated easily.
Fast Access to Helpful Reports
Buttons on the GoConcierge screen link directly to ticket brokers, airline sites, tour information, weather, and other frequently visited sites. A customized location database within GoConcierge allows concierges to quickly identify area restaurants and attractions. Reports available within GoConcierge detail volume of reservations made for on-site and external restaurants and attractions. Reports also provide insight into staff productivity and scheduling. Reports can be generated for any department using the application.
GoConcierge integrates with Open Table for restaurant reservations, MICROS Systems, Inc.’s OPERA Property Management System, PAR Springer-Miller’s Property Management System, and with Super Shuttle for airport transportation.
Since GoConcierge’s creation, hotels ranging in size from 50-room boutiques to some of the largest hotels in the world have adopted the system. GoConcierge is also used outside of the lodging industry by credit card companies to condos to wineries.
“GoConcierge is applicable for any environment where information needs to be tracked as part of a customer experience,” Isrow said. “In the coming year we are looking to even further expand the capability of our application.”
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 approximately 500 hotels across America, Mexico, Canada, London, Asia and Australia. Customers include properties from major companies including Hilton, Hyatt, Fairmont, Mandarin Oriental, JW Marriott, Omni Hotels, Peninsula, Le Meridien, Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood, Raffles, St. Regis, Westin, W Hotels and Luxury Collection. For more information about GoConcierge.net, go to www.goconcierge.net/home or call (818) 263-8993.
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