Hospitality Highlight: Embassy Suites Bethesda Leverages Hotel Texting to Engage With Their Guests

From renovations to extended-stay guests, Kipsu helps Embassy Suites meet the moment.


Sonja Swanson


May 13, 2024

With our recent partnership with Hilton, bringing Kipsu to all of their locations across all brands, many are already seeing the benefit of hotel texting within a few months. Victor Hernandez, Front Desk Supervisor at Embassy Suites Bethesda, sat down with us to share his experience with Kipsu. From engaging with extended-stay guests to keeping communication strong during renovations, the hotel has seen how Kipsu can meet the moment for each of their needs.

Victor joined the Hilton team a few years ago when the property was converted to an Embassy Suites. “Honestly, working here has been great,” said Victor, “Within here it’s a great community. I like it just because the people here that you work with, they make you feel like you’re at home. They make you feel like you’re a family.”

When the team has a strong relationship, it can make any transitions or renovations the hotel is making a smoother experience for guests. While this hotel used to be geared toward business-oriented guests, they are now trying to convert it to a more family-friendly property. Over the last few months, Victor mentioned they have been busy with hosting groups, including weddings. 

Communication during renovation

Given the function and target guest of the hotel is changing, renovations are needed to make the hotel fit their family-oriented vision. As renovations and transitions are being made, it is crucial to keep strong communication between guests and staff. With Hilton’s partnership with Kipsu, Victor and his teammates are able to text with guests to give top-notch customer service. 
When there are renovations, some inconveniences can happen like having to switch rooms due to noises, construction, maintenance issues etc. Kipsu can help with their service recovery so the guest feels heard in such instances. “If we get that text message, it helps us just because we’re…able to fix the issue right then and there. ” said Victor. “We want to know how we can make them feel like they’re more at home even after they might’ve had a minor issue with us.” 

Creating engagement with guests

Not only is texting an additional form of communication with your guests, it’s one that most guests actually prefer, as they don’t have to leave their room, or set time aside to call if there is an issue. Because of people’s comfort level with texting, Victor has been able to get more important feedback from guests with Kipsu. He said, “I feel like communication is always the main key here. You know of course, if we don’t know what they need, then we can’t satisfy that. So as much [engagement] we can get from them, that’s the most important thing for us.”

“Guests always tell us they appreciate that whenever they are able to get a welcome text just because they do feel like they are more welcome here.”
- Victor Hernandez, Front Desk Supervisor of Embassy Suites Bethesda

The first step to start that conversation is sending a welcome message. This opens the door for communication, and gives the guest the place to share valuable feedback. It also starts building a meaningful connection with your guests. Victor agreed that the welcome message is a game-changer, mentioning, “Guests always tell us they appreciate that whenever they are able to get a welcome text just because they do feel like they are more welcome here.”

Extended communication for extended stays

Relationship-building is even more important with extended-stay guests. Embassy Suites Bethesda has had one long-term guest that has been staying with them for several months as she is in the area for medical treatment. “She has honestly been our number one priority,” Victor said.

She generally had questions, but since getting Kipsu a few months ago, Victor has seen her engagement with the front desk staff increase. He said, "Ever since [getting Kipsu] it’s been amazing. She always asks me questions directly with Kipsu. She always asks us questions daily, and honestly, it just helps us because we at least know what her mind is always going through.”

When in and out of the clinic, texting is easiest for the guest. This guest is always able to text Victor whenever needed - morning, afternoon, and night - because she feels most comfortable with certain staff, like him. He is able to reach out back to her whenever is needed for her. “With Kipsu, it is way more convenient for her. Before Kipsu, she used to call, but it seems like she prefers using Kipsu, and that’s helped both of us out.”

The lobby of Embassy Suites in Bethesda, MD

Kipsu just makes things easier

For Victor’s team, Kipsu became an easier form of communication. Before Kipsu, they only were able to communicate with guests through a phone call. Now they are able to text as well, giving guests more options to how they want to communicate with the hotel. This provides more opportunities to elevate the guest experience and find moments for service recovery, which in turn boost overall guest satisfaction scores. 

Kipsu is also easier for the staff, as it takes less attention away from the front desk than attending to a phone call. “Sometimes we aren’t able to get to the phone right then and there,” said Victor, “[With Kipsu,] I don’t have to be on the phone constantly. I’m able to send them a text and get their response on their time.” With texting, staff can easily send a message either while they are checking in another guest or even while on the phone with a different guest. Guest messaging gives more chances for guest engagement with the front desk staff. 

This extends to housekeeping as well. Victor shared his experience working with housekeeping through Kipsu. Through our software, they are able to access a guest’s information like name and room number for verification. As guests bring up issues regarding housekeeping, Victor is able to reach out to housekeeping right away to let them know what that issue is, or even if they just need the notice that they can skip their room for the day. He said, “We let them know this is what the guest would prefer, just so that they don’t have to keep thinking that the room isn’t professionally cleaned from them.” This is how Kipsu can bring convenience in communication for everyone. 

A 24/7 solution for 24/7 service

Another way that Kipsu’s texting software can help deliver exceptional service is the ability to communicate 24/7. As some guests check in late, or if they have an issue late at night but don’t want to wake anyone up in the room, they can text for less disruptive communication. Victor mentioned that as their staff is there 24/7, the ease of communication should be 24/7 as well. He said, “I would advise staff to be on [Kipsu] daily. It really does help you and makes guests feel more welcome at home when you can attend to their requests late at night.” 

That’s when guests truly appreciate Kipsu - when they feel heard and valued at any moment. Victor said, “In the morning, that’s when they always let us know that they appreciated what was done for them last night, how they were able to just send a text.” Whether they are cold in the middle of the night and need extra blankets, or have a question early in the morning, Victor’s team can meet their requests with Kipsu.

Meeting the moment

In moments like these, it provides the opportunity for service recovery, and ensuring that any issues are resolved at any moment. Whether staff have an issue with noisy guests in the middle of the night, or need to switch a guest’s rooms due to renovations, or just want to stay engaged with an extended-stay guest, Kipsu helps Victor and his team at Embassy Suites meet the moment. “We are here to make sure every guest is satisfied with their stay here, and we help with any request that they have needed,” said Victor. “And that’s honestly what I’ve really liked about Kipsu. Because as long as they’re happy, we’re happy.”

Kipsu is grateful for our partnership with Hilton, allowing guests to continue to feel valued during their stay through hotel texting. Read more about Kipsu working with extended-stay guests at Homewood Suites Concord. Want to learn how Kipsu fits with your hotel? Schedule a conversation with us today!

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Curious to learn more about Kipsu and digital messaging? Connect with a member of our team to get all of your questions answered.