Life moves fast in the “City of Presidents.” Learn how this Cambria team used digital messaging to keep up with its on-the-go guests.
Located near the Black Hills National Forest and a short drive from Mount Rushmore, the Cambria Hotel & Suites Rapid City welcomes guests from all over the country. Throughout the summer, nearly a half-million motorcyclists roll through the area during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in addition to the millions visiting the popular destination for tours and hikes. Assistant General Manager, Aaron Stucker, was excited to share how text messaging helped his team provide elevated customer service to their diverse traveling guests.
"It's my new Sturgis home."
This past August, an estimated 490,000 motorcyclists took part in the 79th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Beginning in Sturgis, South Dakota, the event spans 10 days and draws motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the country who come to enjoy the scenic rides through the Black Hills. This Cambria was home to many participating in the event, and the team did a fantastic job leveraging text messaging to connect with their on-the-go guests! After receiving a mid-stay check-in message, one guest responded "Our Room is awesome...Thank you for making a long day stress free," and another replied, "Fabulous! It's my new Sturgis home." Despite guests coming and going with little face-to-face interaction with staff, the team didn't let that stop them from creating personalized communication with each guest!
During the busy summer season, the area also bustles with tour groups who come to visit Mount Rushmore. Large travel groups often bring increased traffic to the front desk, but Aaron found that welcome text messages play a significant role in cutting back long lines during the rush. According to Aaron, “welcome messages are a great opportunity to mention the hotel’s unique amenities and help the guests remember information.” Tired road trippers are much more likely to forget information listed to them during check-in at the front desk, and the team avoids repeat questions when the information is sent directly to the guests’ phones.
In addition to alleviating front desk traffic, the team enjoys increased flexibility through sending welcome and mid-stay messages. Prior to using Kipsu, the front desk was checking in with guests primarily through phone calls within the first 15 minutes of their stay. “Kipsu takes care of all that for you,'' Aaron said. His staff enjoys the ease of scheduling a text message and the freedom to take care of other guests’ needs, rather than being tied to the phone waiting to give guests a call. Not to mention, guests appreciate that they don't to have to pause their trip to communicate concerns or questions with the staff. Whether guests are out hiking a trail, on a tour, or having a quick bite along the way, they can quickly connect with staff via text message before returning to their room after a long day of exploring.
"When guests can get answers directly from the source, it helps them feel more confident that their problem will be fixed, not to mention, they get to stay in the loop while they are out-and-about."
- Aaron Stucker, Assistant General Manager
Aaron has also found that Kipsu helps his team streamline communication internally. Aaron recalled a situation where he was able to connect a guest having trouble with their sink directly with an engineer on the team, allowing them to text back and forth about the issue. “When guests can get answers directly from the source, it helps them feel more confident that their problem will be fixed,'' Aaron said, “not to mention, they get to stay in the loop while they are out-and-about.” Connecting guests with the appropriate staff cuts out the front desk as a “middleman”, preventing any miscommunications or frustrations between staff and guests. Opening this line of communication not only ensures that guests’ concerns are quickly corrected by staff, but leaves guests feeling more satisfied with their stay.
For tour groups, road trippers, and motorcyclists alike, the Cambria Hotel & Suites Rapid City works hard to provide a seamless experience for many different travelers. While digital messaging facilitates communication between staff and guests, it’s the team’s proactive attitude behind the screen that creates a high-touch experience for guests.
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