“Any problem you might have (for us, we needed a different coffeemaker, needed towels on several days, had an issue at the pool) can be easily taken care of by using…Loop! On your computer, iPad, iPhone, etc. log into the Sandals Loop, and your issue can be taken care of ASAP by the quick response by the management team… In addition, if you see employees doing stellar work at their jobs, compliment them on Loop! We got to know some of the restaurant/club workers, and to praise them for a ‘job well done’, we “looped” them, and it is so appreciated! Shout outs go to Kenton, Basil, Eric, Montess, Delvina, & Allison! They worked hard to meet our every need while we were there!”
With its pristine beaches and breathtaking views of Caribbean blue waters, Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma welcomes tens of thousands of guests every year. Attending to their needs around the clock is a tall order — so when Jeremy Mutton, the resort’s general manager, learned that the company was to introduce the Benbria Loop mobile guest engagement solution on all of its properties, it was, in his words, “a gift.”
“We are one of the largest Sandals resorts — not necessarily in terms of room size, but in terms of acreage. We have a huge beach. We have a very big garden. We have a golf course. We’re on 500 acres,” he says. “When Loop was introduced to us, we saw it as a solution to a big problem we had: how do you have immediate access to guests over 500 acres?”
Despite its sprawling size, Emerald Bay has the highest Loop rate and the fastest response times among all Sandals properties. Mutton credits that to the inexhaustible work he and his team do promoting the solution, from the minute a guest steps off the plane to the moment they leave the resort.
When guests arrive at the Exuma airport, they are met by a Sandals representative, who gives them a backgrounder on Exuma, the resort, and Loop. At the same time, guests are provided an information card that explains how to access Loop. According to Mutton, this ensures guests know about it before they even set foot in the resort.
At the resort, guests are given a personalized room orientation that includes a reminder about Loop. And later, at the weekly welcome party the resort throws for all its guests, they hold a contest to see who can send a message the fastest. The prize? A bottle of rum.
“It shows all the other guests how quick and easy the process actually is,” Mutton says. “Within 10 to 15 seconds, we receive a [message] from somebody who’s at the cocktail party, and that reinforces just how quick and easy it is to use.”
But Mutton is swift to point out that it’s not just about promoting it to guests; employee recognition plays a big role in the resort’s success with Loop.
The resort keeps a board in the staff cafeteria that highlights all the compliments they receive from guests about specific team members. It’s a way to recognize team members when they do good work, and also encourage them to keep providing great customer service. And in turn, Loop plays a big role in how Sandals recognizes employee excellence.
“We have various awards — Employee of the Month, Smile of the Month, Courtesy of the Month — and then we actually have a specific one in terms of guest recognition,” Mutton says. “A guest can leave a note in the room, it could be that a guest has mentioned someone on TripAdvisor, but we also include Loop in the process. And honestly, 90 percent — probably even 95 percent — of the names we derive for that are from Loop.”
At the end of the day, Emerald Bay’s success with Loop can be attributed to quick and enthusiastic adoption of the technology. The team reinforces Loop by reminding their guests at multiple points throughout their stay that they have it at their fingertips. And by maintaining a policy of responding as quickly as possible, they show their guests that Loop is a powerful tool.
“We were always challenged as a management team. You can’t be everywhere, so when this came along, we realized that wherever a guest is — on the golf course, down the end of our mile-long stretch of beach — they have the opportunity to immediately get in contact with us,” Mutton says. “It was something we immediately embraced and we understood its power. It really has been a win-win.”
Here are Mutton’s tips for making Loop a resounding success on your property:
- Inform the guest about Loop before their arrival.
- Follow up! Make sure your guests receive the message about Loop throughout their stay.
- Recognize team members for their good work.
- Assign management of Loop messages to a core group of team members.
- Use a radio system in tandem with Loop to inform or remind team members to fulfill a guest request.
Drop by the Mitel Pavilion (booth #1425) during HITEC 2016 (June 20-23) to see a live demo of Loop!