onefinestay has set out to give people a special way to experience destinations like London, Paris, Rome, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and more by offering unprecedented levels of service for stays in the finest homes since 2009. Beyond locating unique spaces with character and comfort, onefinestay coordinates directly with both homeowners and guests, delivering complete concierge management from start to finish. Today, the company is part of the AccorHotels brand, with 10,000 luxury homes across the world's most exciting cities.
In hospitality, every communication has a ripple effect on multiple people and teams. For example, early guest check-ins impact cleaning and greeting team schedules. To stay on top of all these details, onefinestay employed multiple systems to manage their internal and guest communications. Juggling six inboxes in Google Groups, Gmail tags, copy-pasted messages into JIRA, and Skype and Hipchat for internal communication, became increasingly difficult for teams to maintain accountability and transparency.
"At the time, we didn't think much of it. That was the status quo. But with hindsight, we can see it was all very manual," David Whiteside, Business Improvement Manager reflects.
In September 2016, onefinestay turned to Front to streamline their communication and collaboration tools. Rather than patch together multiple systems to serve their needs, David explains, "We wanted to work with an innovative company that would grow with us and satisfy all of our needs."
One inbox for clarity and visibility
Today, Front offers clear communication and visibility in one place for onefinestay's 100+ employees and vast network of teams, which includes all of their European operations teams, service, maintenance, housekeeping, onboarding, business ops, and management, as well as their US markets.
"We bypass all of the extra steps we were taking because all of our communications are now centrally located in Front," – Jack Petch, Business Improvement Lead at onefinestay
Collaborating between teams is simple
"The Resolution team can see the communication between the Guest and Service team to help quickly resolve an issue," he continues. This transparency helps to coordinate and nurture guest relations, while improving the team's overall efficiency.
Intra-team communications have proven especially valuable to onefinestay's time management. "The ability to @mention other teammates on emails is really useful on a basic level. No more forwarding emails or chatting using a different system. Team members can simply message each other directly to collaborate, find out statuses, and keep everyone posted," David says.
Comments on emails give everyone the context they need to reply
Before closing a case, onefinestay staff can also add internal qualifying comments to explain why certain actions were taken. "So if a colleague checks on the status of the email by searching a guest's email address or using keywords, they can see exactly where things stand, and why," he continues. This is especially helpful to maintain a level of consistency and fluidity as hourly shifts end, so "workflows can redirect seamlessly."
Inbox automation and integration help them work faster
With 54,000 total guest stays since their founding, and 7,000 this year alone, Front has increased onefinestay's productivity. They've set up 187 automated rules within Front, including customized out-of-office replies and automatic funneling of messages to the right inboxes based on keywords or email alias. Front's integrations with their other apps like Slack, JIRA and Zapier also keep employees operating efficiently, outside of Front.
"Front is an extremely useful tool for us," David says. "Now that we have it, losing this kind of visibility and transparency would be a huge step back for us."