Austin, Texas, hotels update communication, management software

South Congress Hotel staff now enjoys user-friendly workflow tracking and internal messaging included directly on each task. Photo credit: Alice

Alongside its sister property Hotel Ella, South Congress Hotel in Austin, Texas, selected Alice to optimize staff efficiency, organization and communication for a better guest experience. 

Before using Alice, staff at the South Congress Hotel communicated primarily via  Google Hangouts. While a useful consumer app, Hangouts is not optimized for integrated communication on such a large operational scale; at times, managers could find themselves a part of as many as 10 Google Hangout groups between departments. 

On some occasions, key requests could be missed if managers were away or out of the office, and there was no way to easily track items discussed in Hangouts, which challenged accountability. Moreover, if a past message needed referencing, the amount of scrolling back to find it could become both tedious and overwhelming.

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Alice was launched at South Congress Hotel in August 2018 and transformative changes have been noted since. The staff now enjoys user-friendly workflow tracking and internal messaging included directly on each task. These improvements have increased productivity and accountability, and improved the flow of interdepartmental communication. This enhanced organization and efficiency has revolutionized the process of task management and the ability to pinpoint the status of any request at any given time with ease. 

Moreover, the calendar feature within Alice is a welcomed improvement in time and information management for South Congress Hotel, ensuring events or schedules don’t get lost in the scrolling of previous messages. Scheduled events no longer need reminders and stand-ups; they are now logged directly and tracked via the calendar, meaning expectations can be met consistently and without headache. 

Guest service and engagement has been positively affected by this communication revolution, and staff now feel empowered by the use of the platform. Across the board, staff are confident using the new tools and seeing how they improve the guest experience. With operations inefficiencies largely removed, staff find themselves better informed and more accountable to one another, enabling them to better serve their guests.

Furthermore, because reception agents double as concierge staff at South Congress Hotel, Alice’s digitized vendor database has revolutionized the way staff interact with guests. 

“We’ve been able to input every preferred vendor; we can input the menu, hours, walking distance, the map feature is incredible—just the ability to say ‘You know what, give me one minute’ instead of having to go dig around a filing cabinet for a list,” Assistant Front-Office Manager Jennifer Bumgardner said in a statement. “We don’t have to then waste more time looking around for a resolution, we can quickly find one in Alice. It’s heavily impacted our guest experience and concierge capability.”