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Luxury Hotel Chooses Communications Technology from Avaya to Provide Superior Customer Service to Guests

09-24-2008

The Heathman Hotel in Kirkland, Wash., chose communications technology from  Avaya to help ensure that it provides superior customer service to its guests. 

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. –  A luxury hotel in Kirkland, Wash., a Seattle suburb, chose communications technology from  Avaya, a leading global supplier of communications software, systems, and services, to help ensure that it provides superior customer service to its guests. 

 

The 91-room Heathman Hotel in downtown Kirkland opened last October. "We wanted a high-tech communication system to match the exacting demands of our clients, many of whom work for technology companies in and around Kirkland," said Les Utley, general manager, Heathman Hotel. "And we wanted to invest in a system with plentiful, flexible, and sophisticated features, with the capability to grow and change with us over the years. We took a look at other small-business systems and quickly concluded that Avaya IP Office could deliver what we needed, and more – particularly because we could integrate IP Office with our property management software."

 

IP Office is Avaya's flagship voice and data communications system for small and medium businesses. Heathman's IP Office system was configured by Interface Technologies, an Avaya Authorized BusinessPartner. The hotel equipped its front desk and management employees, staff in the adjacent day spa, and the lobby with Avaya IP telephones. Avaya cordless IP phones are used by employees who need the added mobility, such as the valet parking attendants. To stay within its initial budget, Heathman installed analog Avaya phones in the guest rooms.   

 

Next, using the IP Office platform, the Heathman Hotel integrated its property management system from MICROS Systems, Inc., with software from DuVoice, a member of the Avaya DeveloperConnection program, to create customized features that are tailored to the hotel's needs, further developing the hotel's efforts to provide the highest level of personal service.

 

For example, when guests check in to stay in a room or to use the spa for the day, their name and room number is captured. When guests call the front desk or spa, the guest's name is displayed on the Avaya IP phone, so the staff can greet the caller personally. This further helps with the Heathman Hotel's 'Personal Concierge' service, which offers a single staff member, called a Personal Concierge, to fulfill the functions of front desk, bell person, concierge, and in-room dining; guests receive seamless service for all requests for the length of their visit. IP Office, integrated with the hotel's property management software, enables the hotel's IT department to activate the in-room phones when guests check in, and restrict access to long distance when the room is unoccupied. When the maintenance staff is checking the guest rooms, they can dial a special code to report if the room requires cleaning or maintenance. The code triggers the property management system and alerts the appropriate department to perform the service. And if a guest has to change rooms during a stay, the hotel's IT staff can administer IP Office themselves, so the guest can keep the same direct number assigned to the room.  

 

"A hotel like Heathman, and businesses throughout the hospitality industry, absolutely must provide excellent service to their guests," said Geoffrey Baird, vice president and general manager, small and medium business pision, Avaya. "Avaya unified communications provides excellence in communications, with integrated services - such as simultaneous ring to cell phones - that enhance staff productivity and help companies better serve their customers. In fact, all small businesses, regardless of what business they’re in, need and value tools that enable greater productivity and top notch client service.  At Avaya, we are focused on delivering those tools to small businesses."

 

Heathman also relies on IP Office to help guests who may have an emergency. "If a guest dials 911, phones at the front desk display the guest's room number. When the police and emergency vehicles arrive, we can immediately tell them where the call originated from. Otherwise, they'd literally have to go door to door, losing precious time, and disturbing all the guests."

 

According to Utley, anticipating guests' needs contributes to Heathman's reputation as a hotel with exceptional customer service. Guests can dial a special number to set their own wakeup calls. The IP Office and integrated property management software automatically dials the wakeup call – but if the guest doesn't answer on the second try, the front desk is notified. "Then we’ll call the room personally, as well as send a Personal Concierge to knock on the door," Utley said. "We've saved many a guest from missing their flight, and they appreciated the extra effort we took to keep them on schedule – even though they didn’t ask for a personal wake-up visit."

 

The hotel's valet parking team uses Avaya IP phones to record in which numbered parking slot guests' cars are placed. When a guest calls to get a car, the guest's name appears on the valet's IP phone, along with the parking slot number. 

 

In the near future, Heathman plans to use further enhance the services it offers, by using IP Office's built-in conferencing system to offer free conference calls from its meeting rooms, which are used by several area companies.

 

"We are completely focused on anticipating our guests' needs, meeting their expectations proactively, and planning for their future requirements," Utley said. "With IP Office, and the ease in which it functions as a key element of our property management system, we are completely confident we can retain and enhance our reputation for superior customer service – which is what the hospitality industry is all about."

 

About Avaya
Avaya delivers Intelligent Communications solutions that help companies transform their businesses to achieve marketplace advantage. More than 1 million businesses worldwide, including more than 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®, use Avaya solutions for IP Telephony, Unified Communications, Contact Centers and Communications-Enabled Business Processes. Avaya Global Services provides comprehensive service and support for companies, small to large. For more information visit the Avaya Web site: http://www.avaya.com.

 

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