Q&A with Michael Gonsalves — Hotel Zetta

Posted by David Temple

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Hotel Zetta, a Viceroy hotel, bills itself as a unique and sophisticated experience for travelers to San Francisco, so naturally they’re always looking to stay two steps ahead of their guests’ expectations. Located in SoMA, their guests range from business visitors heading to Moscone Center for major conventions to cosmopolitan travelers looking to see what the San Francisco hype is all about. They were named one of the “World’s Greatest Hotels” by Travel + Leisure in 2014 and have been included in best hotels lists by Elle Magazine, SF Magazine, CNN Travel, and even British Airways.

In Fall 2015, Area Director Michael Gonsalves oversaw the rollout of Hello Scout to Hotel Zetta guests and, a few months in, the results are resoundingly awesome.

How did you hear about Hello Scout?

Hotel Zetta was designed to meet the San Francisco traveler where they are. We were looking for technology solutions that would help us communicate with our guests in the way that they communicate. Hello Scout was an obvious partner because it allows guests to text with a live concierge in an interactive dialogue without having to disrupt their existing routine. It was like texting a friend for advice – we loved that!

What was it like to implement the app?

Implementation of the app was honestly very simple. Hello Scout created easy instruction cards to be given to guests at check-in and installed the app on the iPads in our lobby for those who didn’t have smart phones.

How’s it going so far?

For guests, the process has been really straightforward and intuitive. On the hotel side, Hello Scout provides monthly recaps of each interaction which gives us a tangible way to understand our guests’ needs and the things they are interested in. That connection to our guests is invaluable.  

What challenge(s) is Hello Scout solving for guests? For the hotel?

The traditional Hotel structure sometimes creates literal and figurative barriers from people being able to get what they want. Whether it’s a line at the concierge desk or simply not physically being at the hotel when you have a question about the fitness center hours – we didn’t like that guests would have to wait for an answer. Hello Scout allows guests to contact a person in real time, with immediate response from wherever they are in the city.

It also allows our guests to plan ahead before they even arrive. They can multi-task during meetings and chat with a Scout about their plans, surprise their spouses with amazing experiences, and find that perfect hole-in-the-wall by texting their location while wandering San Francisco’s streets. For the hotel, Hello Scout eliminated the need to have a physical station in our lobby, making way for more interactive and inviting public spaces, not to mention alleviating our front desk staff so they can focus on running the hotel.

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