The award-winning luxury Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa offers French art de vivre and a refined 5-star experience in the heart of Queenstown, New Zealand’s favourite alpine, adventure and summer destination. Guests can stroll to Queenstown’s popular shopping and dining districts or to beautiful Lake Wakatipu. Within easy reach are the ski fields, top wineries and other popular attractions including golf courses, adventure tourism, hiking, fishing and boating, nearby Wanaka and historic Arrowtown. Just 15 minutes from the airport, the Sofitel Queenstown is a luxurious retreat after a full and active day exploring.
Before implementing Pulse, General Manager Jeremy Samuels said that one of the hotel’s biggest challenges was to obtain guest feedback during their stay, not after.
“The feedback was often verbal, difficult to track or quantify, and not always actionable. We wanted to be able to source meaningful feedback in real-time, to allow us to respond quickly and effectively to positive and negative comments.”
"We wanted to be able to source meaningful feedback in real-time, to allow us to respond quickly and effectively to positive and negative comments.”
Samuels describes how they chose Pulse as the way forward: “We spent a great deal of time and energy researching solutions, to ensure we would definitely receive ongoing, meaningful feedback during the guest stay.” Pulse was identified as a tool that saves time and obtains customer feedback from check-in or each Wi-Fi log-in, he said, so the team decided to implement it as the best solution for their needs.
Samuels said the team’s input of time spent on feedback remains the same, but more of this time is now spent proactively handling Pulse comments, rather than retroactively resolving feedback after check-out.
“As a hotel that takes great pleasure in creating surprise and delight moments, Pulse has certainly given us the edge to deliver this."
Setting up the feedback solution simply involved giving a URL to the Sofitel Queenstown’s internet provider to integrate Pulse into its system. Now, as guests or visitors arrive and connect to the hotel’s Wi-Fi, a page is displayed that asks the guest to rate their experience on a 1–5 scale using emojis.
If a guest leaves a low rating, a follow-up screen asks them to comment and provide their room number, so a team member can quickly handle that issue. Reviews scored 4–5 are receive an auto-reply, but are still reviewed for any actionable feedback.
To efficiently handle guest responses within an hour, the Local Measure dashboard is constantly checked by the manager on duty, giving them 24/7 real-time visibility of guests’ feedback.
To rapidly escalate and resolve any serious comments, push notifications are shown on all reception computers as well as the phones of the Guest Relations Manager, Front Office Manager, Rooms Division Manager and General Manager.
Future goals for the team include improving response time and consistency of actions taken and looking into other ways to incorporate Pulse beyond guest Wi-Fi.
When analyzed to assess the impact of Pulse from July 2018 to July 2019, the hotel’s guest satisfaction score has increased from 90.6 to 91.2. The team is very happy with this score: the highest from any Accor Hotel in New Zealand, Fiji and French Polynesia.
Since guests do not always voice complaints in person, Pulse has allowed them to pick up on more fixable guest issues. Samuel reports that the team are able to turn at minimum 6 negative experiences per month into positive customer experiences.
In this first year of usage, Samuels said that the hotel averaged 85 Pulse responses per month, but this has skyrocketed over the past three months to 250 responses per month.
“As a hotel that takes great pleasure in creating surprise and delight moments, Pulse has certainly given us the edge to deliver this, concludes Jeremy Samuels. “One example is of a regular guest telling us through Pulse that while they enjoy the chocolate plate they receive on arrival, they actually prefer savoury flavours. That enabled us to prepare a cheese platter instead of chocolates for their next stay, with a note thanking them for letting us know that preference."