October 31, 2022
The team at the DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside goes above and beyond for their guests: from helping to jumpstart a car to getting lost wedding rings back to their owners, hospitality texting is helping staff solve emergencies and get everyone what they need!
Front office manager Muhammad Jeffrey Hoh has been in the hospitality industry for about 20 years, starting out as a busboy for a Marriott property when he was only 19 years old and working his way up in different roles—from F&B to the front office.
“There’s been a lot of challenges here and there, but also a lot of valuable experience,” he said. Hopping around various properties in Malaysia, his favorite part of the industry is learning about different cultures and what makes us all unique.
“I find that in hospitality, you get to meet [people] from all sorts of different cultures, needs, and preferences,” Hoh said. “It’s nice to know that we are all different.”
From eating times to religious customs, no guest’s background is the same and that’s the fun part. Hoh also enjoys Hilton as a company, from his colleagues to the key values.
“It’s a great company to work with, that provides a lot of value and impacts not only our guests but us as workers as well,” he said.
The location of the DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside is the main attraction, said Hoh. Part of an effort to make the area a “green city,” Lake Putrajaya is actually a manmade lake surrounded by trees and native plants.
Perched right on the lake, the hotel has four distinct wings with different architectural designs, each representing a different prominent culture in Malaysia: from Malay and Chinese to Indian & Borneo.
The property has a total of 290 rooms, but due to the pandemic and lengthy renovations, only 100 are currently available for guests.
“99 percent of our guests are families traveling for leisure,” said Hoh, mentioning the lakeside pool and splash pool with a slide for children on the property. “When I ask guests, ‘Are you here for vacation?’ a lot of them say, ‘Yes, my kids forced me to come here.’”
With a restaurant on site featuring Asian cuisine, Hoh mentioned that the renovations will include more types of food, a rooftop pool, and refurbished hotel rooms and suites.
Like many properties, the DoubleTree by Hilton Putrajaya Lakeside went through the whiplash of no bookings for months, then overwhelming travel numbers with very little staff. To help with smaller teams and increase efficiency, they partnered with Kipsu to provide hospitality texting services for guests.
“It’s helped us a lot,” Hoh said, especially with the WhatsApp integration—99% of Malaysian citizens communicate through WhatsApp. “It’s really helped in terms of guest engagement, a lot of guests comment on the texting feature,” he added, referring to reviews.
Challenged at first by not promoting it enough and having scores reported based on the 290 room count instead of 100, Hoh worked with Kipsu and his team at DoubleTree to ensure scores aligned and guests knew about the offering. “After we adjusted [the reporting], boom! We were the number one property using Kipsu in Malaysia.”
Hoh’s team also makes sure to highlight the hospitality texting feature as part of the hotel’s offerings, mentioning that it integrates with Hilton Honors and allows guests to simply text in requests.
“It has a great impact on guest experience - guests think it’s great that they can make a request and it’s just on their doorstep,” he said. Sending a total of four standardized text messages to each guest—a welcome message, two check-in messages, and a post-stay message—has helped his team engage their guests and keep up with expectations.
“Everyone’s happy—our GM is happy, the team is happy, and guests are happy,” he said, mentioning that he can see a direct correlation in satisfaction scores.
Using Kipsu for just about everything, Hoh told a story of two guests who forgot their wedding rings at the property. “They had left their rings in the room, and left on their honeymoon,” he said, mentioning that they likely didn’t have cell service, so the team contacted them via digital messaging on Kipsu.
Sure enough, after a day the couple responded and eventually came back to claim the rings. “They were so thankful,” he said.
Another time hotel texting saved the day was when a guest had checked out and realized his car was completely dead. With no open mechanic shops in the area, he tried contacting the hotel’s Kipsu number and within an hour, the DoubleTree Putrajaya Lakeside engineering team was on the way to help the guest start his car and go home.
“We’re maximizing the way we use Kipsu,” Hoh said. Using the hotel text messaging platform to the best of its abilities is definitely having a positive impact!
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