New Orleans: Managing guest expectations in the city of events
New Orleans is no ordinary town. Not one to shy away from a celebration, New Orleans hosts a special event or festival nearly every single day. From jazz and blues, to king cake and crawfish, there’s truly something for everyone. But events can disrupt day-to-day lodging property operations as well as their guests’ plans. So how do properties ensure that guests know what to expect? We sat down with Rebecca Potts, Director of Front Office/Guest Service Operations at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel to find out.
Rebecca Potts knows how disruptive events in New Orleans can be. After all, she’s spent the past four years managing the front desk at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, a 218-room luxury property in the heart of the French Quarter.
“Each event throughout the year comes with its own unique challenges, whether it’s hotel special event policies, or city street closures to allow for parades.”
Originally built as a ballroom and theatre in 1817, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel preserves the integrity and beauty of the architecture, while providing modern amenities and services. The unique nature of the property often means long booking windows, with guests frequently booking before detailed event plans and road closures have been finalized.
“Keeping everyone informed to ensure a smooth arrival and check-in can be a real challenge when the information changes every weekend.”
The team previously spent hours emailing guests individually about events to explain the event and the effect it would have on their stay. Partner Central scheduled messages changed that. Now they’re able to schedule informational emails to all guests arriving during a special event weekend in moments.
“Partner Central scheduled messages has ensured we don’t miss a single opportunity to improve our guests travel and stay experiences. [It] allows our guests to receive one comprehensive e-mail prior to their arrival with everything they need to know, in a timely fashion.”
They’re also able to “set it and forget it,” which guarantees guests receive the information they need prior to arrival, and the team doesn’t have to worry about missing a guest.
“This has made for incredibly smooth arrivals during events that previously presented a challenge. It’s helpful for our guests, and also for our team!”
Tips for getting the most out of scheduled messages
Open the lines of communication by thanking your guests for selecting your property. It’s also a great chance to give them more information about your property and services.
Tip! Create a welcome message template and schedule it to be sent one day after booking.
Prepare guests for arrival by letting them know about any local events or activities that might affect their stay.
Tip! Create a pre-arrival message template with event information and schedule it to be sent a set number of days before arrival, during a specific timeframe.
Thank guests for staying with you and encourage them to submit a post-stay review when they receive the email survey.
Tip! Create a checkout message template and schedule it to be sent one day after check-out.
Ready to start scheduling messages? To get started, sign in to Partner Central.