Vintage Hotels, owned by Lais Hotel Properties Limited (LHPL), is a collection of luxury hotels in Southern Ontario, Canada. Located in the heart of wine country in the Niagara-on-the-Lake region, each of Vintage Hotel’s properties offers guests a distinct and individualized experience. By working with local farmers, vintners, and artists, Vintage Hotels has crafted an unparalleled experience for guests featuring world-class spas, fine dining, and great wine.
The executive team at LHPL was looking to achieve 3 key goals when they began looking for a mobile guest engagement platform. First, they wanted to enhance their guest satisfaction — they knew that more engagement with guests would help. Second, they wanted to ensure that any issues guests had during their stays were surfaced to staff and resolved while the guests were still on property. And third, they wanted a way to drive outlet revenue from on-property guests.
After an in-depth review of possible solutions, Vintage Hotels selected Revinate Ivy.
“Implementing Ivy will give our guests a point-of-contact at any point during their stay, no matter the hour or location,” says Bob Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of LHPL. “This will further increase our guests’ satisfaction and free up our staff to create more meaningful guest connections and experiences.”
A month before the pandemic hit, Vintage Hotels rolled out Ivy®, the award-winning text messaging solution. Taking a hub-and-spoke approach, the corporate team set up the key campaigns and responses but also trained the front office team at each of the hotels to respond and engage with guests.
Ivy automatically reaches out to guests following check-in to offer assistance and answer questions about outlets and services. And Ivy reaches out again 30 minutes later with a fun message encouraging guests to take advantage of the Monet-inspired green space, which is perfect for selfies or “Santa-spotting” in the winter. And at the end of the stay, Ivy reaches out for feedback and encourages guests to leave a review with Tripadvisor. Additionally, Ivy has been used for ad hoc situations, such as when the power went out at a property and staff wanted to keep guests informed about the situation.
There’s no doubt that Vintage Hotels got lucky with having Ivy in place following the pandemic. When demand returned but hotel staff was still limited, Ivy was there to ensure guests had an easy way to get all the information they needed for a great stay, including outlet hours, points of interest, and more. Ivy also allows guests to easily opt out of stayover cleaning, allowing resources to be directed where they are needed and allowing guests to personalize their stay.
“In the days of people being reliant on their mobile devices [. . .] it is natural and user friendly for guests to use Ivy instead of picking up the telephone,” notes Kelly Exelby, General Manager of Prince of Wales. “A key aspect to Ivy’s success at our hotels is that, despite the messages being mainly automated, our guests feel like they are talking to someone directly. And so, the experience with Ivy is highly personalized. This can be seen in our guest satisfaction surveys, which often highlight and thank Ivy for providing ‘exceptional service.’”
Finally, because Ivy reminds guests about the outlets and answers guests’ questions in real time, outlet revenue is increasing.
Today, because so much guest engagement is routed through Ivy, the phones at the front desk are much quieter. This allows staff to engage in higher quality conversations during face-to-face interactions. Best of all, it’s clear that Ivy is having an impact on guest sentiment as ‘she’ is mentioned by name in guest reviews and scores have increased demonstrably following the roll-out of Ivy.