October 13, 2010 – The results of the 2010 North American Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study by J.D. Power and Associates recently found that customer overall satisfaction is 144 points higher when guests did not experience a significant problem. Satisfaction falls significantly lower when they encounter problems ─ even when those problems are resolved. The study underlines the importance to operators of focusing on preventative maintenance schedules of systems like heating and cooling units, bathroom appliances, and safety equipment that impact guest experience and brand standards. To read an article on the study, click here.
Mark Stuerenberg, corporate chief engineer for Commonwealth Hotels, which operates 29 properties, including Hiltons, Marriotts, and other flags, said Commonwealth relies on a centralized, web-based hotel maintenance software tool called hotel ServicePro specifically designed to enable hotels to achieve peak performance by automating property maintenance and guest request processes. "We use the system to create and track all the preventative maintenance schedules for equipment, like cleaning filters on our PTAC [packaged terminal air conditioning] and VTAC [vertical PTAC] units,” he said. “It also alerts us when to do PM and deep clean rooms. More importantly, it keeps us current on brand Life Safety standards.”
Preventing guest problems is job one Hilton requires Life Safety Inspections twice annually to ensure devices designed to keep guests safe are working properly. “hotel ServicePro differentiates between hotel brands and their varying standards, like our Hilton Life Safety requirements,” said Stuerenberg. "Life Safety has a checklist of 30 items that include smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, strobes, and alarms," Stuerenberg said. "Some brands require an annual evaluation, others are twice a year; either way, we plug their standards into the hotel ServicePro maintenance software to send us alerts so we can schedule tests and verify all systems are performing to specification prior to corporate inspections."
Commonwealth worked with hotel SystemsPro, hotel ServicePro’s provider, to input all the mechanical equipment with its inspection and maintenance schedules into the hotel ServicePro database for each property. The system then sends automated reminders on when service is required. “The service alerts are in the form of printouts in the engineer's office. Guest alerts are sent via text messages, or calls to a cell phone. This is a very valuable tool for our company.”
Stuerenberg explained that many PTAC filters must be changed three to four times a year, so he programmed hotel ServicePro to send out timed alerts to his chief engineers. “Failure to replace filters can lead to early unit burnouts and higher energy costs. Once the filter is changed, the engineer can enter a task-completion notation into the system. If we prevent just three PTAC replacements a year per property, hotel ServicePro has paid for itself," he said.
Guest satisfaction scores increase dramatically Commonwealth has used hotel ServicePro for three years and Stuerenberg said guest satisfaction has increased dramatically. Property general managers meet with their engineers monthly to ensure they are doing everything possible to prevent guest difficulties. The team reviews a history of equipment problems, like toilet or AC failures, tracked in hotel ServicePro. “The system enables our teams to identify recurring problems quickly and eliminate them,” Stuerenberg said. “If we see a history of problems with low-flow toilets, we can buy a different brand, and our guests benefit.”Stuerenberg said Commonwealth plans to coordinate hotel ServicePro with its property accounting systems. "When hotel ServicePro is synced with accounting, we can link costs with preventative maintenance tasks for accountability,” he said. “If a chief engineer says he changed the filters, but there are no filter purchase invoices to back it up, we can take corrective action."
“hotel ServicePro pays for itself and definitely works for Commonwealth," Stuerenberg said.
About Commonwealth Hotels
Founded in 1985, the Operating Philosophy of Commonwealth Hotels is to drive asset values. We do this by focusing on three key result areas: Driving Revenue, Controlling Costs, and Achieving Guest and Associate Satisfaction. These results have been consistently applied over the years, and have lead to successful hotel properties with strong cash flows and growth in asset value.
About hotel SystemsPro
Founded in 1996, hotel SystemsPro is a technology company operated by hospitality professionals who provide high performance, ASP-based enterprise and property solutions that enable hotel companies to grow market share through better management of assets, increased sales, reduced operating expenses, and a higher quality guest experience. hotel SystemsPro partners with clients to provide solutions that scale across a broad range of properties in North America and around the world. Whatever the size of the property operator or its challenges, hotel SystemsPro solutions do the heavy lifting for operators to streamline operations and boost staff productivity and profitability. Our solutions include hotel SalesPro, hotel CateringPro, hotel ServicePro and hotel WebSpace. For more information, visit www.hotelsystemspro.com.
hotel ServicePro is an economical hotel maintenance solution that preserves property asset value and improves guest service by automating the communication, scheduling, tracking and reporting of tasks surrounding best practices, guest requests, safety requirements and preventive and equipment management. hotel SalesPro is a multi-property ASP sales and catering system with scalable functionality that increases sales efficiency for hotel chains and independent properties. hotel WebSpace, is an effective new online marketing solution that drives market share for hotel companies.
Kathy Bannasch, CHA
Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Corporate Training
280 Interstate North Circle, Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: 770-303-9911 or Toll free: 877-263-3645