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SuiteAmerica Corporate Housing

  

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Company: SuiteAmerica Corporate Housing, El Dorado Hills, CA
Company Description: SuiteAmerica is a national leader in providing quality short-term, fully furnished stays for business and leisure travelers. The company specializes in providing hotel-like concierge services, check-in procedures, and convenience, while providing the comforts of a full size apartment in a residential community for our guest’s stay.
Nomination Category: Customer Service Awards Department Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Department of the Year - Leisure & Tourism

Nomination Title: SuiteAmerica Corporate Housing

    Tell the story about what this nominated department achieved since the beginning of July last year (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

SuiteAmerica excels at providing the comforts of an apartment home with the
convenience of a hotel. However, when a guest submits a maintenance request, the
Guest Service Department is faced with challenges a hotel is not: they must
coordinate with staff at the apartment community, furniture and houseware
providers, utility vendors and the guests themselves. Since the guest views the
stay as that of a hotel experience, this can cause delays they are not
anticipating. 

In 2010, our Guest Service Department focused on reducing this completion time,
and thereby raising customer satisfaction, by creating The SWEET (Service
Without Exception Every Time) Initiative.  This program looked to create a more
efficient system using three main strategies: Enhanced Communication, Expanded
Pro-Active Solutions and Increased Employee Productivity.

Enhanced Communication between our guests and staff:
•     Our new user-friendly iphone and ipad applications allow guests to submit
their requests and communicate 24/7 with our staff. 
•     After streamlining how information is input into our computer system, guests
can now see an up-to-the minute status of their requests, simply by logging into
their account on our website or applications.

Expanded Pro-Active Solutions to common problems encountered:
•     Including additional welcome books upon arrival, which feature services
provided, special information for families with children or pets, and items to
familiarize guests with their new city.
•     Our SWEET Internet program insures each apartment’s internet is set up and
checked before the guest moves in.
•     Providing sound spas for guests moving to nosier city areas.
•     While the hospitality industry has been faced with a rise in the spread of bed
bugs, our methods of checking for and remediating these situations are above
industry standards and have been approved by leading entomologists.

Increased Employee Productivity: 
•     Hiring of additional front-line and back office support.  New employees in the
field are able to check each apartment prior to check-in, and an additional
Guest Service Representative works directly with guests and vendors.  
•     Streamlining of our inter-office processes in order to go paperless. 
•     Individual statistics posted daily for increased personal accountability of
our staff.
•     Establishing an incentive program, rewarding the Guest Service Department on
their cumulative completion times, creating motivation toward efficiency and
teamwork.

The success of the SWEET Initiative has been overwhelming. In the past two
years, the number of days that a service request took for completion has dropped
from an average of 3.15 to a current 1.59.  This has translated into an increase
in overall satisfaction, as seen on our SWEET Satisfaction Surveys. On these
surveys, which are placed in each apartment and found online, our guests rated
the “Service received from SuiteAmerica Staff,” at a rate of 72% “Excellent” and
24% “Good,” for a 96% positive feedback rate. Because of this, while our
industry has continued to slow, SuiteAmerica has seen a 33% increase in revenue
and a 27% increase in gross profit growth in the past year.

 

    List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:

http://survey.suiteamerica.com
http://www.suiteamerica.com/testimonials.cfm

    Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the nominated customer service organization:

As Guest Service Manager, Jill Ernandes is responsible for overseeing our front
line and back-office staff, monitoring department goals, implementing incentive
and accountability programs for staff, tracking service request trends,
establishing procedures, and working as a liaison between Guest Services and our
sales and distribution departments to create a seamless team.

Ernandes has worked with SuiteAmerica for seven years, having started with us in
accounting and working her way from Guest Service Agent to Guest Service
Supervisor to her current position.  Prior to joining our organization she
worked for the past 20 years in retail and the medical billing industries.