Customer Alliance, a technology company from Berlin, gives hotels the full control over their online reputation and ensures that they receive feedback on their guests’ experiences across the entire customer journey. Founded in 2009, they are now a team of over 90 people representing 18 nationalities, and support thousands of hotel customers around the world.
Impala spoke to Willem Stimberg, CEO Mexico at Customer Alliance, who shared his story of connecting with Grupo Real Turismo, a group of high-end, exclusive hotels across Mexico, and how they now use Impala to securely connect to hotel data.
Willem explains, “I started looking for clients in Mexico and Grupo Real Turismo is always very present in the national market. I approached them and got in touch with the Head of IT at that time. She asked me to implement Customer Alliance as a pilot in the Quinta Real, a brand of smaller, but quite exclusive hotels.
“They started using us in 2014, replacing the traditional paper questionnaire. Eventually, they migrated the other brands, the Real Inn and Camino Real, onto Customer Alliance as well.”
Customer Alliance’s questionnaire product works best when used together with a PMS integration, so each message corresponds with the correct stage in a customer’s journey. For example, by automatically sending the guests a message just after they check out of the property, Customer Alliance can massively increase the number of response rates and provide qualitative feedback for the property.
Without a PMS integration, this personalised timing isn’t necessarily a consistent experience for all guests. It depends on the hotel staff to register the guests in time, in order for Customer Alliance to function correctly. And the important aspect of timing the message at each stage of the guest’s journey doesn’t always happen.
Previously, PMS integrations have been expensive, resource-intensive and not always a viable option for all hotels. With Impala, Customer Alliance is able to help hotels overcome these barriers, while increasing its conversation rates, and providing a better service to its customers.
Willem initially heard about Impala from Customer Alliance’s head office in Berlin. Since Customer Alliance connected its first hotels to Impala in the beginning of 2019, there was no extra product work needed on Customer Alliance’s end to connect to the hotels in Mexico.
Willem explained to Grupo Real Turismo; “I have a good alternative which costs a fraction of the price of a direct Opera interface.”
He then reached out to the Impala team, submitted the details and contact information of the hotels, and Impala took care of the rest.
He says; “I’d recommend setting up the interface via Impala to any of our clients using Opera. It’s a big time saver for them, and if our client is happier and can use our product and tools with less hassle, it’s a huge plus for us.”
The first Quinta Real hotels went live in August 2019, and the results were monitored over the course of 6 weeks. Impala connected to the remaining 33 hotels at Grupo Real Turismo’s other brands, Real Inn and Camino Real, in the same month.
Within this time, Grupo Real Turismo and Customer Alliance saw a significant increase in one of the main drivers for their product — the number of responses received.
Rubén Blanco Hernández, Project Coordinator at Grupo Real Turismo says; “On average, we have had an increase in the response rate, which is the reviews received through Customer Alliance, by approximately 7% across the whole group, because we are no longer dependent on the import of an excel file. In one hotel, the Hotel de Cancun, there’s been an increase in the response rate by over 50%.”
It’s a partnership that has benefited both parties. Grupo Real Turismo are now able to receive a large amount of valuable feedback from their guests, and continuously improve their level of hospitality based on what their guests want and need. Customer Alliance ensures that its customers can make even better and easier use of its solution to communicate efficiently with their guest along the entire guest journey.
“Definitely give Impala a try. So far I didn’t receive any complaints about the work with them. I think an interface implemented via Impala is a great value-add for our product, and it makes the client’s life easier. This increases our client’s level of customer satisfaction, and the stickiness of our tools.”