CASE STUDIES

Grupo Real Turismo and Customer Alliance Securely Connect Using Impala

Charles Cowley's pictureCharles Cowley
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Grupo Real Turismo operate 38 high-end exclusive properties across Mexico. They focus on maintaining high standards of service across their three brands, the Real Inn, Camino Real, and Quinta Real. These properties range in size from less than 100 rooms, all the way up to 700.

As part of their commitment to providing a great guest experience, they started working with Customer Alliance in 2014, to receive feedback directly from guests across their entire customer journey. Initially run as a pilot with the Quinta Real brand to replace their paper questionnaires, Customer Alliance is live in all 38 Grupo Real Turismo group properties. As of August, 2019, Impala powers the secure data connection between the group and Customer Alliance.

Impala had the opportunity to speak with Rubén Blanco Hernández, Project Coordinator at Grupo Real Turismo, and Willem Stimberg, CEO Mexico at Customer Alliance to learn about why they decided to use Impala, and the fast and easy process of getting connected.

Finding an affordable solution to Opera

When looking to use the latest technology in their properties, hotels face fees to access their own data depending on their Property Management System (PMS). In addition, PMS can also charge integration fees to connect third party technology providers to their systems. These fees can be the same price, or more, than the technology solutions hotels want to work with.

Willem Stimberg, CEO Mexico at Customer Alliance says: “We were looking for quite some time for an interface option for Opera. However, Opera has always been very expensive for interfaces. We said in terms of economic terms, it doesn’t make sense to use an interface that costs as much as the whole Customer Alliance system Grupo Real Turismo are paying for.”

“I learned about Impala from the Customer Alliance head office in Germany, and said to Grupo Real Turismo; Hey, I have a good alternative which costs a fraction of the price of a direct Opera interface.”

Impala as the solution

As Grupo Real Turismo are implementing a Business Intelligence platform for one of their brands, it was a good time to try a new piece of technology which could make sure the data is securely transmitted to a central location.

Rubén says: “We are working on implementing a Business Intelligence (BI) platform with Quinta Real, where we want to centralise all the information from platforms in one program, and keep it consistent. Some of that information is from Customer Alliance.”

Set up across 38 hotels

In August, Grupo Real Turismo began connecting Impala to their properties, beginning with five hotels across different brands. After the trial was completed, Impala was connected to the remaining 33 hotels.

Rubén says: “The setup on the Impala side was very professional and well established. We are very content with the system and use of Impala. The directors are also very happy with Impala, and this is a very good sign.”

A significant increase in the effectiveness of Customer Alliance

After connecting to Impala, Rubén noticed something interesting — across the entire group, there had been an increase in the use of Customer Alliance by guests across all hotels. Grupo Real Turismo’s investment in Customer Alliance became even more effective when powered by Impala.

Rubén says: “Before working with Impala, we used the internal reporting from Opera to upload the guest information to Customer Alliance — it’s possible to do this with .txd, .xls or .csv. Now with Impala, it is clearer and the necessary information is there much faster.”

“On average, we’ve had an increase in the reviews received in Customer Alliance, because we are no longer dependent on the import of an excel file, by approximately 7%. And in one hotel, the Hotel de Cancun, there’s been an increase in the response rate by over 50%.”

Using more technologies in the future

Rubén would like to work with more technology providers across the Grupo Real Turismo brands, because he sees the value these specialist technologies bring to the guest’s experience. He is looking forward to the prospect of connecting more technologies to Impala in the future.

Rubén says, “We are very invested in working with the latest technologies. If you have any other partners who are working with Impala, or have suggestions about how the interface can work with them, please let me know and we can evaluate them.”

His advice to other project coordinators at hotel groups would be to make sure reports are sent at the correct intervals for their hotel’s needs, in order to reduce the digital clutter on their hard drive, as Impala can send any number of reports at any interval they might require.

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