Kipsu’s guest messaging platform is bringing a bit of positivity to busy front desks at the four hotels Megan Newman has in her portfolio.
In an industry where the negative comments and feedback tend to dominate the day-to-day, it can be hard to focus on the bright side. But with Kipsu, four properties in the Phoenix metro area have been able to find positivity in their interactions with guests.
Director of Sales at four properties in the region—a Red Lion Inn & Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn & Suites, and Residence Inn by Marriott—Megan Newman moved into the hospitality industry after running event sales at a golf course.
“Nothing is ever steady, there’s always something to do,” she said of her position in the hotels and resorts space. Her favorite part of her job? “Meeting new people from all over the world.”
All of her properties in the Phoenix metro are popular destinations for MLB spring training, happening now, and NASCAR events at the nearby Phoenix Raceway. The Holiday Inn and Suites Goodyear/West Phoenix location is going to have a busy winter season next year—the Super Bowl will be taking place just 15 minutes away.
This location is one of the only in the area that was able to stay open during the lockdown era of the pandemic, Newman said. After having to furlough most of the team to keep the doors open, general managers and members of the sales team had to work the front desk, clean rooms, drive shuttles, and work night audits.
“I want to thank our managers here,” she said of that hard time. “We all came together as a team to make the hotel run.”
A user since June 2021, Newman is now using Kipsu at all four locations to keep things running smoothly. During the current labor shortage, she described the platform as a “second employee.”
“It’s hard to find people right now,” Newman said of the challenges in employment across the country. “If we only have one person [at the front desk], they can manage a bit better because guests aren’t standing in line or on hold, because we can just text them,” she said.
One thing Newman has noticed since implementing the guest messaging platform is that guests take the time to thank her team. The front desk is a place that can be bombarded with complaints, but Kipsu balances it out.
“More positivity is going through the front desk,” Newman said. “Ninety-five percent of our guests are happy, but we [tend to] only think about complaints.”
With capabilities like the mid check-in message, it helps the team stay positive and receive feedback because they’re asking for it, she said.
As one of her properties works with a local cancer treatment center through a travel agency, Newman mentioned that Kipsu helps immensely with the booking process for patients.
There can be miscommunication between doctors, patients, the travel agency, and the hotel, Newman said. Now that they use Kipsu to communicate directly with the patients, they’re saving tons of time.
“Kipsu is a huge tool for us, because before we had Kipsu, the front desk had to call every arrival,” she said. Often these calls would go to voicemail and it would bog down the team.
“[Now] we just send a text,” she said, adding that they often utilize the mass text capability to reach multiple patients from the same center simultaneously. “It saves a ton of time for our front desk team, it’s super easy.”
Newman uses Kipsu to make an impression from the sales side, too. If a guest is staying longer term, for a month or even a year, she likes to introduce herself via text and offer to set up a meeting or invite the guest to an event. Forming relationships with the longer-term guests makes their stay more personal, she said.
“I really enjoy it, I read the reports every morning,” she said. “Our service scores have definitely gone up since using it.”
Holiday Inn and Suites Goodyear/West Phoenix is a property in the IHG portfolio of hotels and resorts. Learn more and book here.
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