OKLAHOMA CITY—Do you want to maximize onsite revenue, enhance hotel communications and gain insight into operational metrics? Software firm Monscierge has an app for that.
“Our goal is to provide hoteliers with data-driven tools to confront next-generation hospitality providers like Airbnb. Our solutions enable hotels and resorts to monitor operations and mitigate issues in real-time, and focus their efforts on increasing operational efficiency and guest satisfaction,” said John Weis, lead data strategist, Monscierge.
The mobile app’s features are twofold: “There’s several components to the app, and it’s powered by a Web-based content management system (Connect CMS). We have a mobile app where a guest can download and connect to the content provided by the hotel through the CMS—local guides, restaurants and weather, for example—and we offer guest-to-staff communication, which means a hotel guest can request a staff member provide valet service, towels to the room, maintenance, etc.” said Weis.
Monscierge’s Connect Web serves as the guest-facing app, tapping into its large database of local recommendations aggregated by the software firm’s research team. “Our team vets the best of the best within urban and local areas, sharing restaurants and entertainment venues,” said Weis.
With the Connect Staff feature, employees are empowered to communicate with other team members and directly with the guest to facilitate and manage requests, such as room service and maintenance, among other needs. The app records all the interaction and saves it on the CMS. Monscierge analyzes the procured data and provides detailed analysis to the hotel or its corporate parent. “We are aggregating all this data, then reporting it and giving visibility to guests’ desires and the frequency of specific issues,” he said.
The collected data can provide useful information for hotels seeking to get a firm grasp on potential property maintenance issues that may arise, such as plumbing or electrical problems, and the frequency of each occurrence. “The information helps with future forecasting of maintenance, staffing levels and peak times of requests from guests. Hotels will be able to use this data to alter their staffing levels to accommodate an increased workload,” he said. “Because all the interaction is within the CMS, it’s all going through the same nexus. We’re able to store it and report it back to hotels, with different levels of granularity. Properties can see their own data; brands can see all the data of their properties; and corporate can see the data of their own sector.”
The ability to access such detailed information also enables hotels to gauge the performance levels of their offerings at various properties. “Let’s say they want to try out two new room service menu options. They could roll out one option at one property and one option at another property, look through our request system to see which menu items are more popular and, then, tailor that to the tastes of their guests.”
Hospitality clients are also using Monscierge’s app to proactively cater to individual guests by tracking their requests over time.
“We hope to enable hotels to maximize or increase their onsite revenue by understanding what guests want and need in the short term and longer term with guest loyalty,” he said. “We profile the guest, and that profile will stay with the guest. This way, hotels can see what a particular guest tends to order for room service and use that information to increase guest satisfaction by having the food or amenity ready. Or, if it shows they travel with kids, hotels can share local kid-friendly events and offer a discount to attend.”
According to Weis, hoteliers using Monscierge’s web-based tool are able to forecast maintenance or supply trends across properties in order to effectively negotiate lower prices on replacement parts or products. “When guests say the TV is not working or staff says a TV needs to be replaced, the hotel brand can look across 1,000 properties and take into account how much would be spent over time, and then go to an electronics supplier to negotiate a cost-effective deal,” he said.
In response to the rise of Airbnb and similar competitors, Weis believes Monscierge’s data-driven service can help hotels gain an edge. “Airbnb is an interesting problem because it’s affordable, guests can choose features and where they want to stay. With the data we collect, the hotel and the management group is able to get an analogous feed of information that an Airbnb provider would get meeting in person with the guest,” he said. “Using this data, hotels can fix an issue quickly and forecast out in the future to see how guest demands are changing and start to think about larger-scale changes they may need to make as a business.”