SAHARA Las Vegas Improves Guest Satisfaction & Loyalty with Mid-Stay Engagement

Messaging for Hospitality

Did you know that hotels in the US are projected to spend about $769 Million on advertising in 2019?

With all that investment in attracting guests and just as much attention paid to online review management as TripAdvisor is estimated to influence $546 Billion on travel spend, how are hotels making sure that their guests have the best experience possible?

Beyond a friendly greeting during check-in, most hotels don’t proactively engage guests, which creates a black hole in understanding how guests feel during their stay.

And when guests have a negative experience, whether it’s something small like the fluffiness of a pillow or something major like a wrong room service food order, most of the time hotel managers don’t hear about it until it’s too late. Sometimes, not until a negative review has already been posted online. Sure they can respond with an apology, but it’s too late.

In this case study, we feature the SAHARA Las Vegas and how it implemented Zingle’s guest engagement platform to more personally engage guests during their stay and to deliver a higher level of service. By using messaging to communicate with guests, the SAHARA was able to improve guest satisfaction, reviews and overall brand loyalty, while creating an experience different from other resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.

About SAHARA Las Vegas

SAHARA Las Vegas serves as a gateway to all that Las Vegas has to offer. With more than 1,600 guestrooms in three distinct towers, each with a unique personality, the resort’s goal is to create an experience that is tailored to every guest through meticulously designed rooms, award-winning restaurants and world-class entertainment.


The Missing Gap in Guest Experiences

Moving the needle on service at SAHARA was challenging for Michelle Huntzinger, VP of Hotel Operations. Being a native to Las Vegas and having more than 20 years of experience managing various hotels on the Strip, Michelle understands the importance of differentiating the experience from other larger scale resorts.

One challenge Michelle encountered was being able to identify patterns in the issues that guests have questions or complain about. Often times, she wouldn’t find out about a guest problem until it was posted on TripAdvisor or another review site. “You can try to apologize and invite them back, but then it’s too late”, Michelle said in a recent webinar. “We were always on our heels trying to fix things and identify guest issues.”

Why Messaging to Engage Guests Mid-stay?

Having to constantly monitor social media and respond to negative reviews are what led Michelle to find a better way to communicate with guests during their stay. She wanted her staff to be more proactive in understanding guests needs and identifying issues and problems while they could still be addressed on property.

“What if you could talk to them while they were here, find out how it’s going, and fix the problem before they leave?” asked Michelle.

As an experienced hotel executive, Michelle had heard about the concept of text messaging with guests and had personally used it for valet services. She also knew colleagues at other hotels using it and decided to explore further.

After careful consideration, Michelle selected Zingle’s messaging-based guest engagement platform for SAHARA based on previous experience, capabilities that fit her needs, and the integration with Amadeus HotSOS, which would help with optimizing staff service efficiency.

Balancing Hi-tech and Hi-touch

Michelle considered herself a “throwback” and wanted to enhance the guest experience through technology, but didn’t want to lose the personal touch so crucial for providing a higher level of service. Zingle’s guest-messaging platform enabled her to do just that.

Through a welcome message sent after check-in, SAHARA was able to set the stage for a personalized experience from the first moment of the stay. To let guests know about the texting service, SAHARA would include instructions and the number in pre-arrival emails, a card they handed out at check-in and through signage in guestrooms.

Michelle quickly saw that guests were engaging with her staff via message for service requests, questions about onsite amenities and more.

The ability to leverage technology like text messaging enabled Michelle’s staff to provide personalized service in a more efficient way. “Our staff can answer 10 text messages at once but can’t be on the phone with 10 guests at the same time,” she said.

The convenience of messaging proved to not only save time for guests, but also for her staff.

Driving Revenue with Mid-stay Promotions

With over 10 unique restaurants and endless shows and other entertainment options, Michelle wanted to proactively let guests know “we are more than just a hotel room.”

By collaborating with the marketing department and various outlets on property, SAHARA was able to send promotions to guests to drive traffic and revenue to restaurants, bars, seasonal events and other entertainment options.

“By using messaging to send promotions to our guests, we can communicate events and specials in real-time and drive foot traffic to those outlets that need it,” said Kat Carrera, Director of Digital Marketing.

Using Messaging to Improve Service

The versatility of messaging goes beyond simple guest communication. The integration between Zingle’s messaging platform and SAHARA’s service optimization software HotSOS enables SAHARA staff to expedite service requests by automatically triggering service tickets based on guest requests via text message. This reduces the time needed to submit and fulfill a ticket as well as the chances for human error to be introduced in those requests.

“Zingle has some really cool reporting features and it’s allowed us to see trends and patterns and the type of questions that people ask or what their pain points are,” said Kat, who’s using the information to improve key processes.

The Impact of Mid-Stay Guest Engagement

Building guest loyalty comes from showing guests you care and for SLS, it’s all about communication. By making it easy for guests to communicate with the SAHARA, Michelle and her team are able to better meet and exceed guest expectations.

“Guests who interact with us through Zingle mid-stay are appreciative of what we can do for them,” said Michelle.

As a result, Michelle is seeing more positive reviews on TripAdvisor and a reduction in the number of times she has to respond to negative reviews. Most recently she saw a guest review that thanked them for the texting option because the guest had anxiety and didn’t want to call or have face-to-face interaction.

Via TripAdvisor

“Zingle has certainly helped enhance the guest experience with technology while allowing us to take care of them personally,” said Michelle.

Going above and beyond for guests is something that SAHARA takes pride in and it even shows in the reviews.

Via TripAdvisor

Overall, the impact of messaging for SAHARA has been valuable in enhancing the guest experience, improving staff efficiency and increasing loyalty.

“I’ve found that when a guest has an issue that you are able to fix and then exceed their expectations, you have turned them into a loyal customer,” said Michelle.

Both Michelle and Kat are proud of how their teams came together and truly embraced messaging and how much they have been able to lift their level of service. Instead of guests telling the world they’re unhappy on social media, issues can be addressed and improved immediately with a simple text message.

Learn how Zingle can improve your guest experience through mid-stay engagement by SIGNING UP FOR A QUICK DEMO.

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