How Twenty Four Seven Hotels rethought a key guest amenity–the hotel shuttle–with Uber and made a lasting impression.
The hospitality business is no stranger to competition, and staying on top of the most desirable and impactful amenities is crucial for retaining ongoing guest loyalty.
Take guest transportation, for example. To expedite arrival, many guests turn to Uber to get to and from the airport, and again to get around town. If guests almost instinctively handled their own transportation, how could Twenty Four Seven Hotels tap into this behavior, and provide it as a complimentary service?
Prior to working with Uber, shuttles ran whether or not there were guests to ride them. Hotel operations were responsible for the driver’s work schedule, coordinating pick-ups and drop-offs, and vehicle maintenance. Guests don’t want to wait for a shuttle, either; they want to get to their rooms as soon as possible after the flight.
“At Twenty Four Seven Hotels, we’re always looking to enhance our guest experience. We also pride ourselves on exploring cutting-edge technology, so this was a great opportunity to support our guest service initiatives.” according to David Wani, CEO of Twenty Four Seven Hotels.
Using Uber Central to round out the ultimate guest experience
Twenty Four Seven Hotels integrated Uber for Business’ Uber Central into the operations of over half the hotels in their portfolio, which includes brands by Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and IHG. Through an all-in-one dashboard, front desk associates can quickly and easily manage rides for hotel guests–no shuttle required.
“It’s easy for our staff to use–at the touch of a button–reducing logistics and ensuring quick and responsive service to our guests,” explains Alison Sansone, vice president of marketing and communications at Twenty Four Seven Hotels.
Offering Uber brought with it brand recognition, familiarity, and convenience, so guests felt at ease from the moment they stepped off the plane. Rides arrive more efficiently and at the guest’s convenience, just as they expect from an Uber trip back home.
With Uber Central, Twenty Four Seven hotel staff can request rides immediately for guests, schedule in advance, or send a link for guests to request a ride when they need it–all compliments of the hotel. All a guest needs to do is request a ride from the hotel associate. All rides are charged to one central bill paid by each property, providing trip-level tracking and ease of invoice reconciliation.
The result: A boost in guest satisfaction, and significant bottom-line savings
Take their Moxy Hotel, for example. When Twenty Four Seven remodeled and reopened their Tempe, Arizona hotel in 2016, it was precisely this type of innovation that earned them the opportunity to operate the first U.S. location for this new Marriott brand.
Twenty Four Seven Hotels was responsible for transforming the hotel into a millennial-minded destination, down to the “Moxy” cocktail which came with each room key. For the hotel’s shuttle offering, Uber Central was an important factor in leaving every guest with a positive experience.
“Uber Central has provided a cost-effective way to build loyalty, easily providing rides–even multiple rides at the same time–to busy professionals needing to get to the airport, to a meeting, or a nearby attraction,” Alison Sansone explains.
Switching from a shuttle to Uber at Moxy Tempe brought with it an unexpected perk beyond guest satisfaction and convenience: a 58 percent year-over-year cost saving, when compared to a hotel-run shuttle bus (in place from 2015 to 2016).
With Uber Central, Moxy Tempe tightened its grasp on scalable transportation needs, allowing instant adjustment for both high-demand days and quieter times. In fact, using Uber as a shuttle replacement came into its own in off-peak periods, where the property realized over 90 percent year-over-year savings.
Through Uber for Business and Uber Central, Twenty Four Seven Hotels offers cutting-edge service to guests without increasing spend. Instead of relying on a predetermined and pre-scheduled shuttle, Twenty Four Seven Hotels utilizes Uber Central across most of its portfolio to book and manage travel for guests when they need it, not when the schedule dictates they should ride.
Guests find using Uber to be accessible and familiar, while many of the hotels, including Moxy Tempe, realize significant cost savings.
“Uber Central has definitely been a game changer, providing a scalable way for us to deliver a reliable transportation service when our guests need it most,” says Twenty Four Seven Hotels CEO David Wani.
As anyone in the hospitality industry knows, it’s the little touches which help build and retain customer loyalty. That drink waiting for guests with their room key certainly helps, too.