Hospitality Know-Hows: Excelling in Customer Service
NowHere Boutique Suites is a 4-star business service residence located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Featuring an outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, hot tub, games room, library, and restaurant, Expedia gave it an overall “4.0/5” rating which is “Very Good”. Find out their secret to customer service in this case study as we take a look at their workflows!
Often times, customer experience is what differentiates a good hotel and an excellent hotel, leading to customer success and happiness. As reported in Forbes News, “Customer Experience is the New Brand” and “companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience”. Of course, converting new customers on a regular basis is vital, but in fact, retaining old customers is equally important, if not more so. This is because the cost of finding new customers is a shocking 6 to 7 times the cost of retaining existing customers.
A study looked into the 3 main problems of customer experience in the industry of hotels and service apartments:
– Query time is too long when a customer wants to make an appointment via phone – Poor communication within the staff members – Unclear website booking guidelines
“Real-time customer response” is the simplest and most direct standard for good customer experience. However, research indicates that more than 75% of consumers complain about the long waiting time for an agent to process the query.
What is one thing that all travellers look for before they book a hotel or service apartment?
Ratings and reviews. In the service industry, ratings, reviews and reputation are crucial, because travellers are increasingly using these metrics to decide on which hotel to stay at. It is important for hotels to have a good reputation in order to retain customers and to find customers. Therefore, it is important for hotel managers to provide top class 24-hour customer service, or else travellers may leave a bad rating and review on TripAdvisor, Agoda or other websites.
In the past, NowHere Boutique Suites had a local Malaysian customer service team. But after 5pm, customer service was limited due to their working hours. As a result, they received numerous customer complaints, accusing the hotel of failing to deal with issues, and ultimately their hotel rating was lowered.
NowHere Boutique Suites recognised the importance of instant support for its guests. They immediately responded by expanding its customer service team and established a support team of more than 10 people in Pakistan.
However, they faced another problem. Although the teams expanded in Malaysia and in Pakistan, both teams could not log in to the same WhatsApp account at the same time to reply to customers!
As a result, they could not increase their customer response rate. First of all, only one account manager could handle customer needs due to restrictions on WhatsApp. Second, the next manager had to re-read all the information to follow up on the case. It was simply too inefficient.
1. Multi Staff Log-in
Ever since using SleekFlow, multiple staff members from NowHere Boutique Suites can log in to a WhatsApp account from multiple devices at the same time! This allows local Malaysian and overseas Pakistan customer teams to log in to WhatsApp at the same time to seamlessly respond to customers. Managers no longer need to take turns using WhatsApp to provide customer support, instead, everything can be done at the same time.
2. Omni Channel
SleekFlow can fully integrate messages from WhatsApp, Facebook, WeChat and other messaging channels. Even if messages are coming in from different messaging channels, all messages will appear on one page. The manager can conveniently view all activity, records, and important information about all the customers on the same page.
3. Assign Conversations
NowHere Boutique Suites can now automatically distribute all customer inquiries to the team in Pakistan team after 5 o’clock through SleekFlow’s automation rules. This ensures that top-class customer service will still be provided 24/7 to all customers after office hours to guarantee customer satisfaction.
A recent study shows that about 90% of workplace errors are due to poor communication within the team. Now that all messages from WhatsApp and Facebook can be automatically distributed to different departments of NowHere Boutique Suites (such as marketing, customer service, front desk, cleaner), it speeds up cross-channel communication and collaboration and converts sales more efficiently.
In addition, NowHere Boutique Suites also uses the “note” function, specifically for internal communication, allowing staff members to note customer preferences, confirmations, or customer check-in times.
Ever since using SleekFlow, their customer teams in Malaysia and Pakistan have become much more efficient since they can split services 24 hours a day. Both teams can actively and simultaneously work on answering customer queries from WhatsApp and Facebook on the same platform. Both message opening and response rates have been greatly improved, improving customer experience.
In fact, NowHere Boutique Suites has always understood the importance of customer experience and is committed to solving customer dissatisfaction. As stated in its mission “We guarantee cleanliness or you can refund within the first 30 minutes after check-in.” (If the room is not clean, we promise to refund within 30 minutes of your check-in.)
SleekFlow’s service is just the icing on the cake.
With more and more people consuming online and using social media as a way to communicate, it is certainly not easy to process customer queries in real-time. It is even harder to process customer needs from different messaging channels. This phenomenon has become the OmniChannel era.
NowHere Boutique Suites started using SleekFlow after seeing the importance of having a centralised software system for easier communication. This allows NowHere Boutique Suites to fully optimise its many social media accounts, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, to effectively process customer reservations and inquiries.
Learn more about future social commerce trends, by taking a look at these two articles: