Workforce Management: How Real-Time Messaging Helps Hyatt


A real-time messaging system from Lua helped Hyatt with workforce management and also improved customer experience for events.

Name of Organization: Hyatt Regency Chicago

Industry: Hospitality

Location: Chicago, IL USA

Business Opportunity or Challenge:

Keeping all the pieces of a large downtown hotel in sync is no easy task. The Hyatt Regency Chicago, for one, houses 2,019 guest rooms, along with a multi-level conference center that operates 228,000 square feet or flexible meeting space. A hotel of this size and scope has a lot going on at once—customer engagements, workforce management, housekeeping, and concierge desks.

Hosting events is another aspect of the hotel’s services that requires extremely efficient, real-time communications. Hotel employees need to not only communicate with each other, but also rapidly interact and solve problems with event customers.

Over the years, the hotel’s management tried a variety of communication strategies, but still lacked a real-time solution for customers and its workforce. The hotel was forced to rely on outdated systems to communicate through a cobbled-together system of push-to-talk apps, radio, and email during emergencies and daily tasks. Communication was slow, disjointed and often failed to help improve guests’ experiences.

”Radios aren’t overly discreet, which means the guest experience could potentially be negatively impacted,” related Michelle Burbick in No Jitter. The hotel needed “a better, more consistent way of bringing teams together and facilitating communications among employees as they roamed the property.”

How This Business Opportunity or Challenge Was Met:

Hyatt Regency Chicago deployed real-time mobile messaging from Lua to streamline internal communication. The system provided hotel employees access to an organization-wide directory, sorted by department and role, as well as Lua’s ReadReports, which shows which users had seen their messages and when.

The real-time messaging platform supports instant group calls, and the ability to rapidly escalate a conversation to a group call with no dial-ins or passcodes. Support for rich attachments lets employees pull files from their computers or a file-sharing service to give context to a conversation. The platform also works with existing enterprise tools, facilitating file sharing.

Measurable/Quantifiable and “Soft” Benefits From This Initiative:

The deployment strengthened the relationship between the hotel’s front office and the housekeeping department letting them communicate in real-time regarding their needs of bed types, arrival times, or last-minute changes.

As a result of the Lua real-time workforce management and customer experience initiative, Hyatt Regency Chicago has been able to speed up its response times with real-time messaging and instant group calling – getting answers instantly instead of in hours. An organized directory enabled employees to connect to one another. The hotel also saw faster customer service and greater inter-departmental collaboration.

The Lua system also enables Hyatt staff to communicate with the external event planners in a more responsive way. This faster and more efficient communication ensures that fewer details are missed, while engagements are less stressful for everyone involved. Importantly, the hotel’s response times were significantly improved with real-time messaging and instant group calling – getting answers instantly instead of in hours.

This was particularly evident in the hotel’s events business. According to Burbick, Hyatt previously used push-to-talk phones, which did not allow easy group calling. With Lua, the event coordinators can define who among Hyatt’s staff are involved in any given event, “and send messages or initiate group calls with the click of a button.”

The new system was integrated into the hotel’s day-to-day workflow, resulting in faster customer service as a direct result of improved operational efficiency from back-end staff and greater levels of inter-departmental collaboration. Metrics showed guest satisfaction levels improving, reflecting faster room service and more efficient housekeeping.

With Lua, hotel employees got their questions answered instantly, eliminating the hour-long wait time. The centralized directory enables employees to quickly connect to one another–crucial for a team managing 2,000 guest rooms across two separate high-rise towers. The technology strengthened the relationship between the front office and the housekeeping department.

“One of the ways in which Hyatt has benefitted from Lua is in improved accountability,” writes Burbick. “For example, should perhaps a drink be spilled on the floor, the floor manager or employee who discovers the problem can send out a group message to the appropriate team to have it cleaned up immediately. Lua shows exactly when the message was received and read by team members, so managers can identify exactly how long it took for a person to respond to a situation.”

(Sources: Lua, No Jitter)

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