Delivering the Good Life
Lansdowne Resort and Spa, believes in delivering the good life. The resort team encourages guests to pause to connect with each other, nature, and the local lands by exploring the property's hundreds of acres hand visiting the more than 50 local wineries and breweries nearby. Those qualities also make Lansdowne a great place for meetings and group events ranging from corporate retreats to weddings.
Getting Days Back
The process for planning an event at Lansdowne has not always been seamless, however. As part of a resort team that prides itself on providing a high-touch experience to its guests, The group reservations staff ran into roadblocks, because of inefficiencies in the hotel's old reservation systems. The team couldn't please its event planner clients, since it could offer only one booking template and couldn't customize new room-block links for groups.
The issue grew even more problematic. Lansdowne's old reservation system was creating bottlenecks that resulted in massive inefficiencies.
The process of getting any group into the reservation system was incredibly slow. Spending so much time on putting groups into the system meant that Riza Mina, the group rooms coordinator, couldn't do any work for other planners.
"There are four planners and 10 sales teams, so if she was stuck doing one thing, then everyone else was paralyzed. Basically, (Riza) never had much time to do anything except for putting in a running room list manually," says Hilary Lawhon, the regional reservations manager. Even worse, whenever there was a hotel buyout, it would take an entire day just to load in all the information.
Automation, Customization, and More
Ultimately, it was the team's desire to save time and money, partnered with its need for customization, that prompted the move to Passkey. And they haven't been disappointed with their choice.
Instead of using the old day-long process, Riza can now use the Room List Manager feature to upload an Excel spreadsheet — and then move on to the next group in a matter of minutes. This frees up her time, as well as that of the entire sales team, allowing them to be more effective. It also reduces errors and typos and ensures PCI compliance.
Most importantly, the guests are impressed. "Being able to send the group a rooming list, complete with confirmation numbers, about 10 minutes after they first sent it to us — they're like, wow, that was quick! And that's probably never happened to them before."
Their customization struggles are gone, too .The team can now create customized URLs and websites to be branded for the property, for an individual event, or even for a specific audience within the event. "We had a group that didn't want the word "resort" to show up on any of their paperwork ,and obviously, we're called Lansdowne Resort," Riza says. In the past, that would have been a difficult request to accommodate, but with Passkey, the staff can customize the link and remove the word from all communication and emails. "That's why we got their business — because we were able to do that for them."
Best of all, implementation was easy — their technician helped them get set up and trained in the system quickly. The team's other favorite Passkey features include changing logos for groups, adding pictures to booking pages, updating rates and sub-blocks, and providing groups with the automated emails and dashboards. That last one comes in handy, especially for weddings, clients who used to email every day asking for a rooming list. Now, they can check on their own.
Over the next five years, Landsdowne wantsto expand their its resort offerings and continue to build programming to attract leisure and group guests. We want to have unique events happen at the resort on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, continuing to utilize our land and take advantage of it to give resort guests more to do when they come to Lansdowne," Rizas says. And, of course, the team wants to continue to improve the resort and cultivate its land.
Now, with so much time freed up, team members can be more productive for the company. While the guest list is being uploaded, Riza can move on to her next task, without worrying about how long the process will take. But the biggest impact on the bottom line has been the ability to upsell groups by offering suites. "It gives us more revenue, and we weren't able to do that before with our system."
With this additional revenue and more time to be productive, the Lansdowne team is well on their way to living the good life — and helping its guests do the same.