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Case Study

Cut Pre-Arrival Communications by 2.5 hours per guest

“Previously, we spent three hours a day chasing guests for info and sending check-in instructions manually, leading to errors and back-and-forth calls. Now, it takes just 30 to 40 minutes.”

Challenges

Managing Multiple Roles
Small Team & Limited Resources
Scalability and Service Quality

Goals

Automate as much as possible
Expanding Property Portfolio
Enhancing Guest Experience

The Problem

The biggest challenge was managing operations with a small team. One person is responsible for various tasks, including guest communications, business development, and cost management.

They also handle daily operational duties like coordinating with cleaners and managing last-minute bookings. This extensive workload made it difficult to balance priorities and focus on scaling the business. The manual processes for guest check-ins and pre-arrival communication were time-consuming, often taking up to three hours a day.

This inefficiency hindered the ability to provide a seamless guest experience and limited the time available for strategic initiatives.

The Solution

To address these challenges, Pillo Rooms implemented Enso Connect’s guest experience platform. This solution streamlined their operations significantly.

It reduced time spent on check-ins and pre-arrival communication from three hours to 30-40 minutes daily. The software facilitated smoother guest interactions by automating check-in processes. It provided guests with easy access to information through the Boarding Pass guest app. Pillo Rooms could delegate routine tasks and guest messaging in order to focus on business development.

Enso Connect enabled Pillo Rooms to improve operational efficiency. It supported their growth objectives by freeing up time and ensuring a consistent guest experience at scale.

2.5

less time per guest spent on pre-arrival comms

30

cash ROI on Enso Connect

47

growth in listings since starting with Enso Connect

“Previously, we spent three hours a day chasing guests for info and sending check-in instructions manually. Now, it takes just 30 to 40 minutes.”

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Pillo Rooms is a growing, family-run property business offering unparalleled serviced accommodation for both corporate and leisure guests. Based in Manchester, this short-term lets start-up has successfully managed three Aparthotel sites over the past three years. Pillo Rooms has a strong foundation in business development, marketing, and financial analysis. The company expertly handles all aspects of property management, including bookkeeping, budgeting, and forecasting.

The company’s diverse portfolio ranges from New York-style loft apartments to luxury homes. They provide guests with an affordable yet incredibly stylish “home away from home” experience. Each Pillo Rooms serviced apartment boasts a host of amenities. These include a fully equipped kitchen, cozy living room, and ample space for dining and work. Prime locations put guests steps away from vibrant city attractions in areas Pillo Rooms serves.

Pillo Rooms combines the comfort of home with the convenience of a hotel, all wrapped in a package of style. Whether travelers are visiting for business or leisure, Pillo Rooms is committed to making their stay exceptional.

Location
Manchester

Listings
28

Employees
4

Property Type
Serviced apartments, luxury villas

Integrations
Enso Connect, Guesty, Superhog

Key Features
Boarding Pass, Unified Inbox, Upsells, CRM

“Enso Connect has simplified guest messaging so much that I can now outsource this role to a freelancer. This will free up our management team to focus on scaling.”

Pillo Rooms Home Example

Digital Guest Portal and Online Check-in

Pillo Rooms Upsell Example

Easy Add-On Purchases for Guests

Pillo Rooms Guidebook Example 2

Essential Information at Guests’ Fingertips

Interview with a Head of Business Opps at Pillo Rooms

How does your day-to-day look like?

My day-to-day involves managing all aspects of our operations. I handle guest communications and oversee various tasks. Our small team relies heavily on automation to manage our workload efficiently.

A typical day includes:
  • Responding to guest inquiries
  • Verifying check-in information
  • Coordinating with cleaners
  • Monitoring last-minute bookings
I also focus on business development, which involves:
  • Improving our website and social media presence
  • Working on SEO strategies
  • Finding ways to minimize operational costs

With limited resources, I wear many hats. I’m constantly juggling tasks, from managing daily operations to planning long-term growth strategies.

When did you realize you need a guest experience software?

We realized we needed guest experience software when daily tasks began consuming too much time. These tasks, while important, weren’t adding significant value to the company.

Before Enso Connect, we spent about three hours daily on guest-related tasks:
  • Chasing guests for information
  • Manually sending check-in instructions
  • Dealing with email issues and follow-up calls

This process was inefficient and took time away from growth-focused projects. We knew streamlining check-ins was crucial.

We tried a few different check-in software options without success. When we found Enso Connect, I was initially cautious due to past experiences. However, it’s been transformative.

Now, we spend only 30-40 minutes daily on these tasks instead of three hours. This efficiency allows us to focus more on business improvement and development.

Did the Boarding Pass guest app impact your upselling and overall guest experience?

Yes, definitely.

Our key improvements with the Boarding Pass:
  • We’ve customized the app with our own images for late checkout and early check-in options.
  • Guests find it visually appealing and user-friendly.
  • We’ve received positive feedback on the app’s design and functionality.
Upselling benefits:
  • Guests can easily purchase extras like late checkout directly through the app.
  • This self-service approach has reduced our manual workload.
  • We no longer need to send individual payment links for these services.
Guest experience:
  • The app streamlines the process for guests to request and pay for additional services.
  • Guests appreciate the convenience and rarely ask us to arrange these services manually.

Overall, the Boarding Pass app has automated a previously manual process, saving us time and enhancing our business development efforts.

How did Enso Connect improve your guest communication?

Enso Connect has significantly streamlined our guest communication process:
  • We’ve created a library of saved messages, making responses quick and efficient.
  • Guest communication is now much easier and less time-consuming.
This improvement has led to new opportunities:
  • We’re now able to consider outsourcing guest communication to a freelancer.
  • This will free up our management team’s time considerably.
Our future goals:
  • With the time saved, we plan to focus more on scaling our business.
  • We’ll be able to dedicate more resources to developing our growth strategy.

Enso Connect has transformed our guest communication from a time-consuming task into a manageable process. This allows us to shift our focus towards business expansion.

What is your strategy for scaling? What’s next for Pillo Rooms?

Our scaling strategy for Pillo Rooms focuses on several key areas:

Expanding our property portfolio:
  • We’re seeking blocks of apartments, ranging from 5 to 20 units.
  • This specific requirement presents challenges, pushing us to be creative in our search.
Attracting landlords:
  • We’re developing innovative ways to stand out from larger competitors.
  • Our goal is to appear as attractive as bigger, VC-backed operators.
Leveraging existing relationships:
  • We’re maintaining open communication with current landlords about our expansion plans.
  • Many landlords own properties in other locations, potentially leading to new opportunities.
Utilizing word-of-mouth:
  • This has been incredibly effective for us and we plan to continue capitalizing on it.
Overcoming challenges:
  • We’re strategizing how to compete with larger players in the market.
  • Finding ways to make our smaller operation appear equally appealing to property owners.

Our next steps involve implementing these strategies to increase our number of units and expand our presence in the market.

How do you maintain high quality of guest experience at scale?

Maintaining a high-quality guest experience as we scale involves several key strategies:

Anticipating increased communication:
  • We recognize that expanding our property portfolio will lead to more guest interactions.
  • We’re proactively preparing our systems to handle this increase efficiently.
Investing in support systems:
  • We’re considering hiring additional virtual assistants or support staff as needed.
  • This ensures we can maintain our service levels even as we grow.
Balancing growth with service quality:
  • We’re committed to not letting our service standards drop as we expand.
  • Each new property acquisition is carefully considered in terms of our ability to maintain quality.
Building a resilient team:
  • We acknowledge the challenges of being a small team, where one absence can significantly impact operations.
  • As we grow, we plan to expand our team to create more robust support structures.
Leveraging technology:
  • We continue to invest in and optimize our communication and management systems.
  • This helps us handle increased guest interactions without compromising quality.
Continuous improvement:
  • We regularly review and refine our processes to ensure they scale effectively.
  • Feedback from guests and team members is crucial in this ongoing improvement process.

Our goal is to grow sustainably. We always ensure that our expansion doesn’t come at the cost of the high-quality guest experience that defines Pillo Rooms.

What is your vision of a great guest experience?

Our vision of a great guest experience combines digital convenience with personalized touches:

Digital-first approach:
  • Everything accessible via smartphone, including booking confirmations and check-in details.
  • Digital keys or lock boxes for seamless, contactless entry.
Clear communication:
  • Prompt, clear confirmation of bookings to set guest expectations.
  • Welcoming messages that assure guests we’re prepared for their arrival.
Flexibility:
  • Automated check-in processes that allow guests to arrive at their convenience.
  • No pressure to arrive at specific times, enhancing the leisure aspect of the stay.
Quality and cleanliness:
  • High standards of cleanliness throughout the property.
  • Attention to detail in presentation, from bed-making to towel-folding.
Thoughtful amenities:
  • Well-equipped spaces that anticipate guest needs.
  • Small touches that enhance comfort and convenience.
Effortless technology:
  • User-friendly systems like digital Boarding Passes integrated with smartphone and Apple wallets.
  • Tech solutions that simplify rather than complicate the guest experience.
Personalization:
  • Recognizing that preferences vary, we aim to offer options that cater to different guest types.

Our goal is to create an experience that feels both high-tech and high-touch. We make guests feel cared for and in control of their stay from booking to check-out.

How do you implement this vision of the best guest experience at Pillo Rooms?

At Pillo Rooms, we implement our vision of the best guest experience through several key strategies:

Digital check-in system:
  • We use Enso-powered online check-in, which has been well-received by most guests.
  • For those initially apprehensive, we explain the process and its security features.
Flexibility for diverse needs:
  • We accommodate guests who may not be comfortable with digital processes, such as some elderly visitors.
  • Our approach is adaptable, not rigid, ensuring all guests feel comfortable.
Standardized presentation:
  • We maintain consistent standards across all properties.
  • Beds are made and towels are folded in the same way in every apartment.
  • This consistency helps guests feel familiar and at home in any Pillo Rooms property.
Intuitive layout:
  • We design our spaces for ease of use, with consistent placement of items like cutlery.
  • Guests can quickly familiarize themselves with the layout of any Pillo Rooms apartment.
Fully stocked inventories:
  • We ensure each property is 100% stocked with necessary items.
  • Our goal is for guests to have everything they need for their stay without having to ask.
Attention to detail:
  • We focus on small touches that enhance the overall experience.
  • This meticulous approach sets us apart from other operators in the market.

We combine technology with thoughtful, standardized hospitality practices to create seamless, comfortable experiences. This approach meets the needs of all guests, regardless of their tech-savviness or personal preferences.

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