Michael Böhler is the General Manager of The Opera Hotel, a four star, 58 room property in Zurich, Switzerland. Moving to Mews not only gave them some huge time savings, it allowed them to implement their 21st century lobby concept. Here, he explains exactly what he’s been able to achieve.
Tell us about your hotel lobby: how does it work and how do guests benefit?
“We got rid of the reception desk because we thought we want to have a smoother arrival for our guests. How did we do that? On one side we implemented Mews: that’s the reason we were more flexible and could be everywhere for our guests, if that’s during arrival, on the app or wherever.
But then again we needed a system for our team members which is simple and easy to use, so they really can look at the guests instead of doing administration, and since we have the Mews, we can get rid of the reception – we don’t need it anymore, we are quite flexible. We can do anything, anywhere.
Now we are walking around with our heads up and our tablets in our hand and we give the clients a [personal] experience instead of a demonstrational experience.
Mews was our biggest help actually to be able to build this lobby, because if we still had the old technologies as we used to have, we wouldn’t be able to be as mobile, as agile – we would be sitting behind a screen. Now we are walking around with our heads up and our tablets in our hand and we give the clients a [personal] experience instead of a demonstrational experience.”
So what’s the experience for a guest who arrives to check-in?
Julian Correll, Receptionist: “Some guests arrive here and of course they expect a reception in a four star hotel. But most of them – when you greet them with positive energy, you pick them up at the door and then sit together in the lobby, offer the welcome drink, and then you start doing the check-in with the ipad – they’re surprised in a very positive way and they think: ‘Oh, this is the way of doing things now,’ and then it becomes normal. I guess you call this framing: and when you have a strong frame you win, and this works very very well here.”
(...) you greet them with positive energy, you pick them up at the door and then sit together in the lobby, offer the welcome drink, and then you start doing the check-in with the ipad.
What’s this modern check-in like for staff?
Julian Correll, Receptionist: “Mews makes things easier for me. It’s more intuitive: I can do the check-in just with the iPad instead of using the computer – I don’t have to type anything, I can just scan it, which is working very well most of the time. Especially with the iPad it’s quite nice because we can scan credit cards as well which is very helpful and makes things easier, and also we have more time for the customer because the administrative part is going automatically.”
What are the benefits of using automated payments?
“Automated payments were straight away integrated into Mews, which helped us save a lot of time during checkout, because it’s quite simple: my team just push a button and off the invoices go. The payment is charged, and pre-authorization is automated so we can do a lot of extra services which helps us.
We have, I would say, saved [time] overall with Mews over the integration. As an example, for reservation we have saved time, going from four minutes before down to 90 seconds. Or as another example: checkout used to be 4-5 minutes as well, and we came down to two minutes easily.”
As an example, for reservation we have saved time, going from four minutes before down to 90 seconds.
How are you finding the Mews Marketplace?
"The other thing with Mews – and this is beautiful – as an example we’re just testing revenue management tools. As an example, Atomize: we just switch them on, test them for a month, see if it works or not, and off we go.
I always say when it comes to technology, it’s an enabler. It has to be easy, it has to be smooth otherwise just don’t do it."
What would you say to any hoteliers thinking about moving to Mews?
"Three tips about Mews: do it, do it, do it now. Don’t be scared about changing: go ahead!"
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