SERVICE BECOMES TOP PRIORITY FOR STAYCITYPublish date: Tue 21 Oct, 2014
A renewed focus on customer service is paying dividends for serviced apartment operator Staycity with a 10% rise in guest satisfaction scores in the third quarter of 2014.
“Guest satisfaction is something we take very seriously at Staycity. It’s a huge focus for us,” commented COO Keith Freeman. “Customer service has become one of the absolute keys to success in hospitality and we are aiming to go over and beyond our guest’s expectations.” The company, which currently operates 1,000 apartments across the UK and Europe, has introduced a series of measures designed to enhance the customer experience including additional customer service training for front- and back-of-house staff, advanced customer service skill training for managers, and the implementation of added value measures such as high-speed Wi-Fi across the estate.
In addition the group’s reception staff undertake a four-week induction course covering local knowledge, enabling them to offer advice to customers on where to go and how to get there and managers have become more visible to guests during key times of day.
Guest satisfaction at Staycity is tracked using the NPS (Net Promoter Score) system based on likeliness of recommendation; customer feedback forms on cleanliness, service and value for money; and an online reputation monitoring tool tracking the company’s performance over 100 channels.
Extensive weekly reports are generated to show guest satisfaction results, which are circulated to everyone in the company and reviewed at weekly quality meetings. While several Staycity properties achieve guest satisfaction scores of 9/10 every week, the company’s goal is to achieve these levels across its estate.
“We are very proud of the result in Q3, given its the company’s busiest trading period, where rates are higher and value for money can influence expectations,” said Freeman.
As an added incentive Staycity is offering cash prizes totaling £15,000 to teams and members of staff achieving outstanding customer service in the last quarter of 2014.
“We want to recognise those team members that continually perform their job really well and work hard to ensure team goals are achieved,” he said.
“Demonstrating the right attitude and providing service with a smile from someone who really cares makes all the difference to guests.”
Staycity operates across eight European cities including Birmingham, Dublin, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London Heathrow, London Greenwich, Manchester, Paris and Amsterdam. The company is on target to expand to 5,000 apartments over the next five years and recently announced the signing of a 35-year lease on a site in London’s prestigious Covent Garden, giving the company 106 studio apartments.
About Staycity Aparthotels
Staycity Aparthotels is a privately held company based in Dublin offering quality short-term and long-term apartment and aparthotel lettings in central city locations. These include Dublin (179 apartments), Edinburgh (146), Manchester (266), Liverpool (56), Birmingham (249), London Heathrow (269), London Greenwich (166),Paris (50), York (197), Marseille (108) and Lyon (144). With a total estate (pipeline and operating) totaling over 4,500 apartments the company is on target to achieve its stated aim of 15,000 apartments by 2022.
Staycity Aparthotels was founded in 2004 by Tom Walsh and his brother Ger, starting with a single apartment in Dublin’s Temple Bar, a former recording studio used by the likes of U2.
With an active European expansion plan Staycity has quickly established itself as one of the leading aparthotel operators. Projected annual turnover for 2017 is expected to reach €60m.
Staycity’s properties are made up of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments offering 24-hour reception, fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes, a dining area, sitting area and bathroom. Additional features include complimentary Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TV and guest laundry facilities as well as weekly housekeeping. Most sites have private car parking facilities and many offer a dry gym. All latest generation properties, such as London Heathrow, York, Birmingham Newhall Square, Lyon and Marseille have a guest lounge/café for breakfast, all day snacks and beverages.
In 2015 Staycity Aparthotels won the Industry Breakthrough Award at the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) Annual Awards as well as being inducted into the Tripadvisor Hall of Fame for its Dublin (Saint Augustine Street) and Birmingham (Arcadian Centre) locations for five consecutive years. In 2016 Staycity was highly commended in the Serviced Apartment Business of the Year Award Corporate category at the ASAP Awards while in 2017 Staycity Aparthotels York Paragon Street was a finalist at The Serviced Apartment News Awards under the Best Aparthotel category. The company also gained four nominations in the recent Serviced Apartment Industry Awards.