Updated: Oct 23
Owners Kurt Inderbitzin and Indrani Pillai operate the Cornell Inn and the Lakehouse Inn in Lenox, United States. They encountered numerous operational challenges, predominantly in room bookings and guest preferences, which they were hoping to overcome with the adoption of a new technology.
No. 1. The Cornell Inn has 28 completely unique rooms, both in size and design. Guests – roughly 90% of the time -- want to choose “their” specific room. The only way to do this was with phone calls to the inn, thousands of them, many lasting 20-40. In the worst labor shortage in history, this was a clear disaster. Indrani and Kurt needed a way that guests could see picures of rooms on their website, then choose in a few clicks the specific room they wanted. Or, conversely, to enter in “filters” (size of bed, fireplace, deck, steps to room, etc) and then see rooms that meet their needs available for the dates requested, and book it, instantly.
No. 2. Although the hotel needed to offer specific room bookings to guests booking directly with the hotel (see No 1 above), it still needed to “club together” groups of rooms (say “standard queens” or “deluxe kings”) for presentation to the OTAs. Why? The OTA algorithms like to see inventory in bulk; hence, if you present to them a single room in each category you get knocked down in the OTA listings.
Individual room offering by Cornell Inn
No. 3. Because guests book a specific room 90% of the time, Indrani and Kurt cannot unilaterally move a guest to a different room in the same room category to resolve an overbooking. This often led to guests either having split stays; being upgraded for free; or being moved to a new hotel at great expense. This was very costly and stressful.
Example of Automated Length of Stay
No. 4. As a bed and breakfast, the front desk is closed after 9 or 10 pm each evening. At that time, all new bookings for that day have to stop, as there is nobody at the hotel to make key arrangements for guests booking after 10 pm and arriving that same night. We needed a way to shut off ALL reservations – on our own booking engine and on OTAS – automatically each night.
No. 5. The hotels have a default strategy of selling inventory on a two-night basis but still want to sell “gaps” of one night when they open up. Their old booking engine would see that one night “gap” and not offer it as inventory to a prospective guest trying to book a room. They needed this to change.
No.6. Due to the heavy workload required to provide excellent guest experiences, Indrani and Kurt faced a challenge. They couldn't expand or open a second hotel without either compromising on quality or hiring more staff, which would significantly increase operating costs.
The adoption of GauVendi’s product suite effectively resolved all these sales & distribution challenges, facilitating potential expansion without compromising service quality or inducing increased staff workload.
Implemented GauVendi Products:
Internet Sales Engine replacing the hotels booking engine. Now guests can choose room preferences online and book their best match with instant confirmation.
Sales Optimizer enabling new automation for restriction management including length of stays and close to stay management
There was a 90% reduction in phone calls and email requests, leading to over $100,000 in operating cost savings.
The proportion of direct online bookings experienced an increment, constituting 50% of all bookings.
User-friendly and transparent booking options were introduced, elevating guest satisfaction.
84% of bookings experienced an upsell to higher-value room products, with an increase in upsell revenue per room night of $33.86 USD.
Upselling through attribute-based selling was on average $9.41 per room and night
Top 5 Upsold Features
Lawn Side View
Significant reduction in labor costs and communication overhead was achieved.
User experience was enhanced, resulting in a 10 times ROI following the implementation of GauVendi’s solution.
Clearer booking options were established, ensuring aligned guest expectations from the outset.