This tech-loving man of mystery knows a thing or two about start-ups, has a healthy appetite for debate, and could quite happily live without his TV. We decided to find out what else this fast-moving Mewser gets up to.
Meet Scott Moran, our Chief Operating Officer!
Current location: Prague
We know that, as COO, you sit on the top line of the organigram, but what does your role actually involve?
Haha, I'm more a servant to the organisation! I think most start-ups struggle to define this role. I work closely with our Customer Care team here in Prague, our Implementations team (who installs our system in hotels all over the world), and the country managers of some of our key regions. In a nutshell, I just try and help solve key organisational topics.
Why, how and when did you fall into the world of Mews?
I was working in London with ParkBee, a Dutch based parking startup that I was helping to scale and I got in contact with Richard and Matt, founders of Mews, and saw what they were building.
It was tech, it was high speed, it was ambitious and I just had to be a part of it, so I packed my bags and jetted over to our operational office in Prague. It has been a wild less-than-one year here and I love it!
Which annual hospitality event is a must-attend for you?
This is so cliché, but it has to be ITB Berlin. The sheer number of events, people and businesses there is unlike any other event I have ever seen. This is THE place to be if you are in the industry!
I believe in the importance of using the human touch to deliver a true customer care service.
Be honest: which piece of tech would you like to throw out of a window?
I would have to throw the TV out. It’s a waste of space and money. I prefer to project onto a giant empty wall via my Chromecast fixed to the back of a projector, with my MacBook Pro streaming Netflix!
What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing Mews as a PMS company today?
We absolutely want to keep innovating and pushing the boundaries for what is possible in your hotel, but as soon as we do so, we see our competitors copying these new features, so we have to continually release new things in order to stay ahead of the curve.
This is extremely hard for a scale-up company that sometimes also needs to feature match some of the “legacy” software items that our customers need. Trade-off decisions about differentiators or neutralisers are a huge and healthy debate within Mews.
What’s been your most memorable example of hospitality done either extremely well or extremely badly?
I still think Vegas does this best: last time I went they gave me a $75 dinner voucher for a room I’d paid not much more than $100 for. That nearly paid for my filet mignon at a great steakhouse in the casino, which led to playing some games, and getting drinks...and of course, I spent a little bit of money, but they know how to keep the guest engaged like no other!
On the downside, I couldn’t believe the line for check-in and the 10 minutes spent processing my reservation and printing out receipts. This part was sad :(
Which of our 2019 hospitality trend predictions are you most excited about?
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are pretty cool, right?
Just imagine the experience of looking around your room to see where restaurants are in different directions through maps, or sifting through a 3D restaurant menu and almost feeling like you can eat the food instead of simply reading about it. This has to be a win-win for both hotels and consumers!
Which industry figure would you most like to get stuck in a hotel lift with?
I would love to get stuck in an elevator with the founder of Airbnb, Brian Chesky.
This company came onto the market via what used to be called the sharing economy, and has really developed a global
industry that is trusted by many people today. It is said they are maybe going IPO this year, which would put them into a category with other legacy companies...
I would love to ask Brian if he had ever envisioned this day happening, or whether he thought it would always be more of a couch surfing concept. Plus, they seem to have a pretty cool company culture :)
What is your favourite integration in the Mews Marketplace right now and why?
I'd say Pace: these guys are true data scientists who take Revenue Management to the next level.
They use historical data to best forecast the optimal results for your business. I think one of the hardest things for Revenue Managers to do is to completely let go. They feel inclined to interject in the process, but algorithms are smarter than people for these types of things. The more data Pace has, the more accurate they will become in the future.
And finally, chatbots: love or hate?
I tend to think people who comment on these things love to hate them, but I’m not in that category.
Chatbots are really just lists of commonly asked questions in a database, matched with certain keywords in questions. At Mews we find that 80% of our questions are repetitive ones which already exist in our knowledge base, so as long as we can keep our satisfaction score up, why wouldn’t we find a way to automate this?
When it comes to answering those complicated questions which make up the other 20%, I believe in the importance of using the human touch to deliver a true customer care service. I would love to have this type of split and use chatbots purely to enhance the experience, not to save costs.