TRIO Testimonial: Alejandro Guardado- VP of Hotel Operations, Viejas Casino & Resort

TRIO Testimonial: Alejandro Guardado- VP of Hotel Operations, Viejas Casino & Resort

TRIO360 is taking VIP Casino Bookings to a much smoother and streamlined place, especially when it comes to the communication between Hotel Operations and Casino Hosts. In this recent interview with Viejas Casino and Resort’s VP of Hotel Operations, Alejandro Guardado, we dive deeper into the effect TRIO360 has had on the “Hotel” side.

Topics discussed include:

  • What is the connection between hotel operations and VIP bookings
  • What booking was like before and after TRIO was installed
  • Accountability with managing reservations
  • New Changes in Reservations due to TRIO
  • How TRIO has impacted their team overall

URComped CEO, Craig Shacklett interviews Viejas Casino and Resort’s VP of Hotel Operations, Alejandro Guardado, to dive deeper into the effect TRIO360 has had on the “Hotel” side.

Full Transcript Below:

(0:00- 0:19) Craig Shacklett: Hi everybody, Craig Shacklett from URcomped here talking about TRIO CRM with Alejandro Guardado the VP of Hotel Operations at Viejas Casino & Resort. Alejandro, thank you for being here.

(0:19-0:22) Alejandro Guardado: My pleasure.

(0:22-0:29) CS: Tell us about the relationship between your team and the host team. How do your teams work together?

(0:29-0:52) AG: Yeah. Being a casino hotel, we have to work very close with one another. The host team help us filled the rooms. We’re also here to help the host because they’re the ones driving the revenue. Anything we can do to help out with that, we’re always hoping and happy to do.

(0:52-1:00) CS: Tell us about your team. What’s it look like? How many people are on your team and what do they do?

(1:00-1:29) AG: Yeah. We’re Hotel, so it starts with housekeeping, the front desk, and all that stuff. Back of house, we have a reservations department of about 14 team members. Five of those are being dedicated strictly for our VIP guests with a personal number that they can dial directly to them. And also inputting all the host’s reservation requests that come in.

(1:29-1:55) CS: We started the trial with TRIO maybe three months ago. And now, it’s been about a month and a half. With TRIO being used with the entire host team. And now we have your team using it as well. Before we get into that, why won’t you tell us What was the interaction like before TRIO? How were host putting in reservations, requesting reservations, and what was that like?

(1:55-2:38) AG: It was two-fold. One was a phone call. So a host could potentially call in directly. The issue with that is you have wait times. And there’s oftentimes a lack of accountability if you will. Because we can’t go back to “He said. She said. What room type. What day they wanted reservations made. The other form was email. Emails are very slow and we all get plenty of emails as it is. The issue with emails is, emails get missed and reservations can get forgotten about. And TRIO helped us with that.

(2:38-3:08) CS: What would be… I think the situation that you described… It mirrors a lot of casinos around the country. Like Casino Resorts around the country. To drill in on the emails. What are some issues that… I know other casinos… You and other casinos probably dealt with like… Was it mainly customer service? Maybe things that could pop up with emails being missed or what were some of the effects of all these emails flying around?

(3:08-3:56) AG: Yeah, so customer service was one of them. Because our host, our internal guest… So if we can’t get to an email quick enough or if an email gets missed, then that’s a reservation that doesn’t get put in. And that can cause huge problems for us. Especially if a guest is waiting to get into the room and the reservation isn’t in place. It’s a huge dissatisfier. Not to mention who’s going to be checking the emails. When you have such a large staff, it can be very easy to step over one another, and then potentially things could get miss that way. So luckily, things have been modified and corrected now. Thanks to TRIO.

(3:56-4:04) CS: Yeah. Why won’t we get into that? What has changed with the booking process look like now that your team is on TRIO?

(4:04-4:33) AG: Yeah. I think the booking process is clear communication, right? So host can go in there. Tell us exactly what they want. And then a reservation agent can follow upright with that because we know once a new request is in. And then we can send it right back in a matter of minutes of, “Here’s the information you need.” And it’s very streamlined. And communication is key. And communication is flawless with TRIO.

(4:33-4:49) CS: What about accountability may be on your side where before it was a big shared inbox? How is it now? What’s changed on that front on accountability with who’s managing reservations and things like that?

(4:49-5:09) AG: Yeah. Now we know exactly who got the request. Who put the reservation in. Because everything is stamped with that individual’s name. We can also go back to the host and trace it back to them. So if there ever was a discrepancy, we can identify where that was. And make sure we’re coaching team members. And keeping them accountable.

(5:09-5:32) CS: What about the changes of reservations? Because… The perfect scenario even in the old system, it could have been pretty easy to send an email and one email response and everything is taken care of. But as we know in the casino business things rarely follow the perfect cookie-cutter way we want them to. So what was maybe reservation changes like before versus now?

(5:32-5:57) AG: Yeah, so going back to that, they would either give us a phone call and then hope it gets changed. Because oftentimes that would get missed too or you send the email and you risk potential delayed response in that. But with TRIO once again, you put that change in. We can see it right away. And send it back that it was confirmed and happened for you.

(5:57-6:12) CS: I guess if you were to talk to another… Somebody in your position executive running hotel operations at different Casino Resort. What would you say to them about TRIO? How has it helped your team overall?

(6:12-6:31) AG: It’s a tool that you didn’t really think you need it. Once you have it. You’re just like, “Well that just made my life a whole lot easier.” Especially when you think about the communication in the accountability piece. It really ties everything together nicely for us. And we’ve seen some great success.

(6:31-6:44) CS: I love hearing that. So thank you, Alejandro. I love hearing it from you, as an executive’s perspective. What about your team members? What about the folks that were having to sort through all these emails and juggling phone calls? How did they like using TRIO?

(6:44-7:10) AG: I’m a big believer. It’s the end-user that we need to take their opinion from. And my team loves it. They’re the ones doing it. So they said they hated it, then obviously we wouldn’t do it. But they like… It’s streamlined for them. It keeps them out of their outlook inbox. And they have to take less phone calls which obviously they love. So it’s worked out very well for us.

(7:10-7:21) CS: Well, Alejandro, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. It’s great feedback. And hopefully, we check back again in the coming months and see how do you guys have progressed with TRIO.

(7:21-7:24) AG: Awesome. Thanks, Craig. Looking forward to it.

(7:24-7:29) CS: Thank you.

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