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Running In the Black in a Red World

Award-Winning Choice Operator Leverages Handheld Technology to Increase Staff Efficiency and Guest Satisfaction

The Cambria Suites Akron-Canton Airport knows something about operating a successful property. American Hospitality Group recently earned the 2010 Cambria Suites Hotel of the Year Award based on the hotel's quality assurance scores that include guest satisfaction, overall room product condition, and staff service.

Chris Bitikofer, Cambria Suites Akron-Canton Airport general manager, discussed his operation, “The credit goes to my staff and our director of sales for upholding the great customer service that gives our guests a ‘wow’ experience that builds loyalty and increases occupancy.” The service that distinguishes the 108-suite property reflects Bitikofer’s 30 years of hotel management experience, including stints with Intercontinental Hotel Group, Radisson, Helmsley, and other Choice Hotels International franchises.

Bitikofer also cites hotel SalesPro and hotel ServicePro as “two valuable technology tools” that support his staff’s ability to deliver personalized service at every guest touch.

“Our Cambria Suites is modern, attractive, and comfortable,” Bitikofer said. “We not only maintain the brand standards set by Choice Hotels and our ownership company, American Hospitality Group; we strive to exceed expectations by caring for guests the way we would like to be cared for.”

Director of Sales Deborah Mason is vital to that effort, says Bitikofer. “Deborah relies on hotel SalesPro, a mobile web-based sales system, for booking and supporting group and corporate clients. When we gather guest information from a client representative, we enter it in the hotel SalesPro system.” Ms. Mason and her team use the system track special events like birthdays and anniversaries, or note people’s purpose for staying on property so that staff can greet them appropriately and anticipate special needs. Mason admits she does not like computers, but values the added efficiency of accessing her client information in hotel SalesPro remotely to oversee accounts while traveling or from home. The system works so well that American Hospitality Group installed hotel SalesPro in its other properties as well.

Bitikofer also uses a mobile web-based maintenance management system named hotel ServicePro to automate tracking of maintenance tasks important to guest satisfaction. “If a guest has a problem, we enter the issue in the hotel ServicePro system, correct the issue as quickly as possible and immediately follow up with the guest,” he says. “Because we log all problems in the system, our maintenance team can solve problems quickly and correctly. We also track preventative maintenance schedules for rooms. We know, for example, when deep cleaning was done for each room and by whom and when it is scheduled next. All of this adds to time savings, guest satisfaction, and repeat business.”

Bitikofer takes his leadership position as GM seriously and is ready to respond to guest needs even when he is off property. “Good service is essential to any hotel operation. Our mobile systems automatically contact my Blackberry if an issue is not resolved after a prescribed period of time. hotel ServicePro is web-based, so I can track issues from home to respond if needed. Sometimes that is what it takes to keep guests happy.”


About hotel SystemsPro

Founded in 1996, hotel SystemsPro is a technology company operated by hospitality professionals who provide a suite of high performance, ASP-based enterprise property solutions that help hotel companies grow market share through better management of assets, increased sales, reduced operating expenses, and a higher quality guest experience. hotel SystemsPro partners with clients to provide solutions that scale across the broad range of properties in North America and around the world. Whatever the size of the property or its challenges, hotel SystemsPro solutions do the heavy lifting for hotel operators to streamline operations and boost staff productivity and property profitability. Solutions include hotel SalesPro, hotel CateringPro, hotel ServicePro and hotel WebSpace. For more information, visit www.hotelSystemsPro.com.


hotel SystemsPro

Kathy Bannasch, CHA
Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Corporate Training
280 Interstate North Circle, Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: 770-303-9911 or Toll free: 877-263-3645
Email: kathy.bannasch@hotelsystemspro.com

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Softscribe Inc.
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