GuestWare Helps Streamline, Untangle Blue Mountain Ski Resort’s Guest Response Processes

Prior to installing GuestWare in December 2002, front desk personnel at the Blue Mountain Resort needed more arms than an octopus to perform their jobs

Seattle (February 07, 2003) –

Prior to installing GuestWare in December 2002, front desk personnel at the Blue Mountain Resort needed more arms than an octopus to perform their jobs. Guests who needed an additional cot or pillow, or who had another request, called the front desk first. The person on duty then had to relay the call to the proper department. Simultaneously, that same person was responsible for checking in guests anxious to hit the resort’s slopes. It was not the most efficient way to use personnel or ensure quality customer service.

“Our resort is too busy to do things that way,” says Guy Peters, the resort’s hotel manager. “With GuestWare, front desk staff still get calls but they are no longer the ones fielding all the calls.”

To facilitate the best use of GuestWare, the Collingwood, Ontario-based resort radically adjusted its guest response processes. As part of its customer quality initiative, guests anywhere on the resort property who push the front desk or housekeeping buttons on their phones are now directed to a dispatch center. Usually manned by three staff members, the center is located in the resort’s Blue Mountain Inn.

Having a centralized call system is critical at the resort because of its size and its different types of lodging. Set on more than 250 acres, the resort includes an inn, hotel, ski lodge, condominiums and mountain homes. Vancouver, B.C.-based Intrawest Corp., 50 percent owner of the Blue Mountain Resort, manages 546 units on the property. The resort will add another 152 units by December 2003.

Peters says the property’s diverse clientele also creates a unique challenge. Both business and leisure travelers stay at the property and many more guests visit just to ski without staying overnight.

“On a busy day we can have 10,000 to 12,000 skiers, including those staying with us,” Peters says.
GuestWare’s Rapid Response Solution

When a guest calls the dispatch center, a staff member will answer and assess to whom the call should be directed. If the call pertains to housekeeping, someone in that department will be notified of the request by radio. If the call pertains to the front desk, it will be forwarded there.

Dispatch center personnel log each request into the Request Entry screen of GuestWare’s Rapid Response software. The screen uses customizable hot buttons and drill-down menus to enable the operator to quickly log the request. While a staff member works to solve the problem, GuestWare displays it as an open request. After a problem is solved, the staff member then calls the dispatcher, who then closes the incident. GuestWare alerts the dispatcher when a request is overdue and sorts new calls by elapsed time.

“GuestWare gives us the intelligence we need to handle the needs of our guests,” Peters says. “It allows us to track the number of calls we get and the specific types of calls. It gives us the ability to identify negative trends quickly. Thanks to GuestWare, we can turn those negatives into positives faster than ever before.”
Software Can be Customized

Because the Blue Mountain Resort is so large, its guests rely on shuttle transportation to move from one end of the property to another. A large percentage of the calls to the dispatch center are shuttle-related. Because of that, Peters says his staff set up a specific category within GuestWare called “Shuttle.”

“GuestWare allows us to process and analyze the number of shuttle trips we are taking in a day,” Peters says. “It allows us to track the flow of people around the resort.”

Peters says GuestWare has enabled his staff to schedule personnel more efficiently. The software helps identify peak times and locations of labor needs.

“We have a better handle on recruiting,” he says. “If we schedule better, we can have a positive impact on our employees and our guests.”

GuestWare also has helped Blue Mountain management identify spiraling costs such as coffee.

“Coffee is a problem,” Peters says. “Even though we supply it in our rooms, guests call our dispatch center to request it. It costs us about $80,000 a year but if guests don’t get it, it is a huge dissatisfier.”
Comment Card Tracking Implemented

GuestWare also enables the Blue Mountain Resort to track and analyze comment card responses. Before using GuestWare’s Comment Card Tracking, comment card results were not saved in any type of software program. Using GuestWare, resort staff can log comment card responses quickly. Hot keys take the user through each question in less than a second. The software’s mail-merge capability makes generating follow-up letters easy. GuestWare also summarizes comment card results graphically. That allows the resort to quickly identify negative or positive trends.

Comment cards are collected in many places around the resort. An administrative assistant sorts through the cards. Comments requiring immediate attention are forwarded to department managers before being entered into GuestWare. All card responses eventually are entered into GuestWare by night auditors and front desk managers during slow periods.

Peters says the comment card data collected in GuestWare enables his staff to identify problem trends for the owners of the properties they manage.

“We can say to an owner, “Look, this is what guests are saying about your property. We suggest the following solution for the problem,”” Peters says.
Robust Reporting Capability

Because the Blue Mountain Resort is in the midst of its busiest season, Peter says staff will wait until spring before analyzing most of the data they have collected in GuestWare.

“This time next year, GuestWare will be huge for us because we will use it to its full capacity,” Peters says.

GuestWare’s reporting capabilities will enable the Blue Mountain Resort to show response time by staff, request or department. Incidents can be tracked by unit, type of incident and department.

“We will be able to go to that data to build a case for capital expenditures,” Peters says. “In any company, you are always fighting for dollars for improvements. It will help us spend more wisely.”

The Blue Mountain Resort is 50 percent owned by Vancouver, B.C.-based Intrawest Corp., a leading developer and operator of village-centered resorts across North America. The resort offers 34 trails over 253 acres and many lodging options. For more information, go to or call (705) 445-0231.

GuestWare, Customer Relationship Management software for the lodging industry, is developed, marketed, implemented and supported by Diversified Computer Corp., Seattle. GuestWare is installed in more than 700 hotels worldwide. Four Intrawest Corp. resorts have installed GuestWare: Blue Mountain, Collingwood, Ontario; Copper Mountain, Copper Mountain, Colo.; Stratton Mountain, Stratton, Vt.; and Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Sandestin, Fla.

For more information about GuestWare, contact:
Mike Benjamin, Vice President
Diversified Computer Corp.
(888) 504-8378
Glenn Hasek, President
Hasek Communications
(440) 243-2055; cell: (216) 702-0334

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Source: GuestWare