Case study

At the heart of a busy hotel operation

Since 2019, City’s Service Desk has made sure the UK’s largest independent hotel company is always ready to welcome guests

Case Study
Case Study

We co-ordinate reactive and planned maintenance for 40,000 rooms in 600 hotels across the country. A team of 45 dedicated colleagues provide 24/7 support, prioritising jobs based on revenue risk and asking the right questions to send the correct engineer to the job to maximise first time fix rates.  

Jobs are despatched to technicians employed by the customer, or a specialist sub-contractor. Alongside routine compliance PPMs (planned preventative maintenance tasks) such as emergency lighting and water hygiene, we coordinate reactive tasks in areas including:

  • Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC)
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • External issues within the property boundary, e.g. car park repairs

 

During the day, the Service Desk comprises four teams, each with a unique role (outlined below). At night, when volumes are lower, a multi-skilled team keep things running smoothly, so guests can sleep soundly.

1. Priority: This team answers all calls to the Service Desk before involving other teams as required. Hot water issues are always prioritised and tracked through to completion, as they risk whole site closure.

2. Offline (unavailable) rooms: Limiting offline numbers is key to this company’s success. Offline rooms risk revenue, plus reputation and unhappy guests when hotels are fully booked. We prioritise jobs based on revenue risk and aim to fix faults within 4 hours, while keeping booking teams in the loop, so if needed, they can limit disruption to guests. We update the Opera Property Management System to put rooms back online for future guests to book.

Our Service Desk teams act as a second pair of eyes to make sure rooms aren’t taken offline unnecessarily. We check for duplicate jobs, examine photos and are trained in questioning techniques to protect revenue.
Two dedicated team members chase contractor attendance, aiming to fix as many jobs as possible within 4 hours. We track ongoing jobs until they’re completed to satisfaction.

3. Planning: This team schedules reactive jobs for 120 engineers every day, focusing on the highest priority jobs, while maximising engineer productivity.

4. Incident management: As soon as a site has called the emergency services, they call City’s Service Desk. This early warning means we can coordinate different parties and support, dealing with all incidents calmly, efficiently and sensitively. Our frequent (up to hourly) updates to senior teams means decisions can be made quickly and reputations managed.

 

Onboarding: helping new teams feel comfortable

This company’s new hotel openings reach double figures each year. City helps ensure smooth onboarding of new sites by inputting PPM schedules into the system and guiding staff when logging their first offline room. While this can slow things down at first, it saves time later by giving the Service Desk clearer information to work with.

Compliance post Covid-19 closures

We supported the customer to safely reopen their hotels on time: co-ordinating engineer visits to check lifts and water hygiene across the estate. City worked closely with the customer's Compliance Manager to make sure all PPM tasks, postponed during lockdowns, were completed efficiently despite the much larger volumes than usual. 

Adding social value

Social benefit: incident aftercare for customer employees

Our Service Desk team are a friendly voice on the phone when a team member reports an incident. Once the emergency is over, the area is safe or the incident has been handled, we ring the team member to check on them. We ask if we can call the employee’s manager or anyone else for them, and if we can support in any other way. We go beyond the customer's expectations in this regard, as we feel strongly that it’s the right thing to do.

 

Highlights

All maintenance activity passes through the Service Desk. Although availability can fluctuate throughout each day, we always have an up-to-the-minute picture, to manage reputation and revenue risk.

Working proactively, City provides the customer with data and analysis of the reasons why rooms go offline, and why hotels call the Service Desk. We also have a small team solely responsible for requesting contractor ETA and chasing missed/late attendance. This helps limit downtime.

Our Service Desk teams are embedded within the customer's team and culture, and have built a great relationship with the customer's maintenance and delivery teams to keep hotels running smoothly.

We'll help make sure you're ready to welcome guests

We’ll keep your equipment and facilities safe, compliant and appealing, so your teams can focus on helping visitors make memories, not complaints.