TrustYou Top Interview: Quality is at the Core of the Guest Experience

Gruppo UNA is the biggest Italian hotel chain. With almost 30 hotels all around the country they provide solutions both for business and leisure. As part of our TrustYou reseller business development team in Italy, Beatrice Odelli interviewed the Head of Quality for the group, Giorgio Galli, who focuses on the guest journey as the centre of a quality hotel experience.

Beatrice: Good morning Giorgio, can you tell us about your role in Gruppo UNA?

Giorgio: Good Morning, nice question… I’ll try to keep it short.

I have various tasks, but the most important one is to manage the quality and to verify the standards of our hotels. To do so I work every day analysing data and metrics coming from TrustYou.

Another task is the collaboration with the hotel managers to test, in presence, the quality and the compliance. Our investor, Gruppo UNIPOL (Italian insurance group) is really focused to excel, both in quality and in innovation, always taking into account laws and norms.

Beatrice: Why are TrustYou metrics so relevant to you?

Giorgio: Well, they are useful for various reasons. 

They help us understand issues that can be easily solved (for instance housekeeping, food & beverage, and front office). Furthermore, the numbers help us to keep Customer Experience under control in an organized manner at corporate level, for every single hotel and for its departments. We also use competitor’s analysis to check how we perform in comparison to other hotel chains.

TrustYou is giving many ideas to the unit “project development”. This unit is proactive and ready to innovate; during pandemic it studied what the “new guest” wants. The objective is to create “guest centric projects, avoiding waste”, this means every guest opinion is gold to us.

Beatrice: How are you taking care of security and safety in Covid-19 era?

Giorgio: Gruppo Una is following well defined rules and processes and we created “UNA Safe”. This safety protocol was designed for our guests and for our team, and it is validated by DNV. 

Thanks to this great effort we get really good feedbacks both in online reviews and in our post stay survey.

In addition, to underline even more our care for safety, we got TrustYou “Trusted Cleanliness Badge” for every hotel of the chain. To obtain this badge every hotel had to fill a long survey about safety and we luckily all passed!

Beatrice: Which are the future trends for hospitality business? And how will Gruppo UNA face them?

Giorgio: In my opinion we will have three main trends:

– More and more technology, AI and even robotics… But I think this is a bit too much, I believe that personalization and human have to be the centre of the guest experience.

Recent Cornell University studies, say that automatization is approved especially by Asian guests (36%), less from Americans (30%), and even less from European (23%). Therefore, technology is needed, but it is there to help the “surprise and delight” that only people can give.

– Being more careful to guest experience 360°. For instance, we are making all our restaurant internally managed, with modern and innovative cuisine. A real example of the Italian food experience, linked to tradition of every region and city.

– Data analysis. To us is relevant to study data coming from different system in a dynamic and harmonic way. We like to correlate the economic performance with reputation metrics. These data are the best measure to make us better, also comparing ourselves to competitors. 

Beatrice: What does the Gruppo UNA clusters means? 

Giorgio: Clusters were created thanks to market studies, both with internal and external inputs. We asked help to customers and to international players. Our challenge was to communicate different types of hotels of the group after the merge with ATA Hotels. Our three brands are: UNA Esperienze, upper scale and emotional; UNA Hotels, for business and MICE and UNAWAY the perfect solution for MICE and long stay. 

Beatrice: What is Gruppo UNA strong point and how do you differ from other Italian hotels group?

Giorgio: Our strong point is to have an investor who strongly believes, invests, and supports the project. Thanks to economic stability we can plan the future in the best way: get new hotels, implement new services and new units, all with the final goal to give to the guest the best possible experience. 

During pandemic we invested a lot of time to think about “the future of hospitality”. To collect all the possible ideas, we opened an email address where every colleague of Gruppo UNA could share their thoughts. We wanted to be sure everyone can express themselves: we strongly believe in the DOWN UP learning process.

Then, with the Quality team and “project development” unit, we often organize open meeting in the hotels, here everyone working there can join us. In this meeting, starting from TrustYou KPI, we show the status quo and we discussed about how to get better, defining clear goals, tasks, and timeframe. We believe in participation to get better, all supported by methodological approach. By involving everyone, we often have great solution at a low cost.

Beatrice: Which are your future challenges and how you think you can win them? 

Giorgio: I believe all the hospitality industry first challenge will be to attract the costumers who could not travel because of the pandemic. To do so our commercial team is focused and created new innovative proposals.

Then we will need to keep a high reputation index, both for the hotels and for the group, this is a signal for the market and for all stakeholders. Gruppo UNA reputation, linked to customer experience, is great but since we use TrustYou our performance index got even better, and the guest are more satisfied.

Contact the TrustYou team today to request a demo and further discuss a TrustYou Guest Experience solution especially tailored for your hotel.