Sofitel London St. James + Kipsu: How Text Messaging Boosts Guest Engagement

Read about how the Sofitel London St. James uses technology combined with a dynamite location to provide a fantastic guest experience in the heart of the city.

The Sofitel London St. James embodies a luxury hotel experience in the heart of London. Guests at the Sofitel do not need to wander far to find the rich history and culture of London, with London staples like Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, and the River Thames just steps away. Not only is the Sofitel in a prime location, but it also offers five-star quality hotel amenities, including eight styles of rooms and suites, a fitness center, an in-house spa, and a restaurant with a bar and lounge.

The Sofitel London St. James’ building was a bank in its past life. During renovations, architects were careful to preserve the state and shape of the old structure, while also maintaining its combination of British and French architectural style. Each room is unique in shape and design, making every stay distinctive at the Sofitel. The stylish build and top-notch amenities have earned the Sofitel numerous accolades, placing it as one of the top Family, Luxury, and Romantic hotels in London. The Sofitel is also consistently among the top 20 properties in London’s robust market, so they are no stranger to being in the top percentage of their cohort.

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Superior customer service pairs well with such a fabulous property, so Kipsu was excited to help the Sofitel London team achieve their guest service goals. We chatted with Guest Relations Officer Remy Foucault about the way his property uses Kipsu to go above and beyond with customer service. Remy likes Kipsu because it provides a human lens to customer engagement: “With Kipsu, we’ve really found that you keep real contact because it’s the receptionist saying to the guest: ‘I am going to text you’ -- not ‘we’, but ‘I’... and then the guest knows who is talking to them, and realizes that it’s person to person.” Remy and his staff want their guests to know that they’re texting with someone they just met in-person because it personalizes the staff to guest relationship. If guests know exactly who they are communicating with and who is helping them, they’ll feel more comfortable staying at a property -- it feels just like home.

Remy emphasizes that the key to success with Kipsu is making sure the whole staff is able to successfully implement the tool into their daily routine. Remy says it’s important to have a good introduction of Kipsu to new front office team members so Kipsu becomes a team effort rather than just one person’s project. Getting the whole team involved in Kipsu’s introduction means everyone will be comfortable sending and receiving messages, so guests will not have to wait for seasoned staff members to get a response.

With Kipsu, we've found that you keep real contact because the receptionist says to the guest: 'I am going to text you' -- not 'we', but 'I', and the guest knows who is talking to them, and realizes that it's person to person. 

- Remy Foucault, Guest Relations Officer

 

The Sofitel London St. James uses Kipsu in numerous ways, including welcoming guests upon arrival, checking in during the middle of their stay, and even providing directions to the nearest Pret A Manger. Remy says his staff also uses Kipsu for more unique situations, like when a guest leaves their luggage at the airport and it arrives at the hotel late at night. Instead of having to call the guest or slip a note under their door, they can send a simple text for the guest to view when they wake up the next morning.

The Sofitel London St. James’ superior service has not gone unnoticed by its guests. One TripAdvisor reviewer wrote: “Throughout the stay, we received multiple text messages from customer service asking how we were doing, if we needed anything. I used this feature on a couple different occasions to inform the hotel of a need I had, and to have a question answered. Such a simple idea that other hotels would really benefit from implementing.” Another reviewer had a similar sentiment, noting that a text alert that their room was ready was a “convenient touch”. The Sofitel’s already stellar service model is only increased by their implementation of Kipsu, which is shown through its TripAdvisor rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.

Luxury amenities and outstanding service are the standard at the Sofitel London St. James, and quick communication with guests adds to the Sofitel’s service plan. Providing a personal touch is Remy’s secret ingredient when it comes to working in the hotel business: “as soon as things are automatized, it’s not luxury anymore”. Kipsu is one piece of the Sofitel puzzle, allowing Remy and his team to maintain a personal, human connection with their guests and ensuring an amazing stay in England’s capital.

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