MIAMI—Nuvola is a guest management platform by hoteliers, for hoteliers. Founded by hospitality veteran and CEO Juan Carlos Abello, the platform seeks to maximize customer value and reduce waste, whether it is from outdated legacy systems and unorganized departments or wasted utilities.
While working in the hotel industry in Miami, Abello was surprised that pen and paper were still being used as a method of tracking guest service requests and completed tasks.
“It all seemed so very dated and left plenty of room for error,” he said. “For instance, there was no clear way for managers to track how efficient their employees were servicing guests or even if requests were ever completed, which is always a concern when you have a shift change.
Abello was inspired and knew there had to be a better way. He began working in the technology industry and completed his MBA, all with the goal of creating a solution for the industry he grew up with.
“I was able to launch the first version of my software in 2012. I started off just going around selling it door-to-door to hotels in Miami, but we’ve now grown substantially and have clients across the U.S. and Colombia,” he said.
Designed to be intuitive and useful, Abello says the guest management software works because it’s designed with hoteliers in mind and created based on his firsthand experience in the industry. A strong focus on the customer helps Nuvola stand out from the rest of its competitors, he said.
“I spent much my early career working in the very positions that the platform is designed for, so we know what our clients need and exactly how to help them achieve their goals. Seeing as the platform was born from the needs of the service industry, we place customer service at the very top of our priority list,” he said. “We offer a full client on-boarding program that includes configuration training and proactive follow-ups. Combine that with our 24/7/365 tech support that is guaranteed to follow up in 20 minutes or less, and you have easily one the most client-focused hospitality software solutions on the market. Lastly, we keep everything outside and limit the amount of outside investments, so we can keep our price point competitively lower than our competitors.”
Another point of differentiation is the “Angel” app for Nuvola’s customer-facing platform. It is accessible for both iOS and Android devices. The app creates a seamless communication between guests and the hotel staff, according to Abello, and allows for guests to make requests via instant message, check in and check out with their mobile device, view a digital hotel directory, and access TripAdvisor for instant reviews.
“We have found that this guest-facing system not only adds convenience for the guests, but also helps improve the staff workflow as it helps requests be processed smoother and helps deliver instant feedback from guests regarding their stay,” he said. “The app is currently white label product, but can be branded for the hotels depending on their preferences.”
Data is critical to the future success of hotels and is a key focus of the Nuvola platform.
“The platform provides automated reports that can be used by leadership that provide insight on individual properties and enterprise-level performance. These reports can detail everything from tracking employee productivity, reviewing global guest issue patterns, and observing guest satisfaction metrics, to reviewing customer loyalty trends, comparing service indicators between properties and even analyzing utility costs of each section of the hotel,” he said. “All of this is designed to alert the manager to issues they may not have known they had, and allow them to intervene to fix the solution to ensure that guests are happy and that the hotel is performing at an optimal level.”
With technology increasingly permeating every aspect of hotel operations, Abello noted there are opportunities to create balance in terms of guest management.
“One our key beliefs at Nuvola is that technology shouldn’t be in opposition to personal touch when it comes to guest management, but rather improve how efficiently it can be implemented,” he said. “With guest management technology, hotel staff members can improve how well they take care of their guests, so they can in turn provide more personal service when needed. For example, an employee that is being pulled in several different directions due to lack of organization may give less attention to a guest than one that has a streamlined workflow created by a guest management platform.”
He added, “Additionally, when it comes to the lack of interpersonal communication that may be brought on by the convenience of technology, it is important to remember that convenience is the nature of the business and that just because a guest texts you that they need towels, doesn’t mean you can’t deliver them in an engaging manner and talk to them when need be.”