EXPERIENCE MASTERS
Hotel MSSNGR, Guest Communication Reinvented
XO Private Interview

After graduating, Konstantin Schlüter kicked off his professional career as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. It did, however, not take more than 6 years for his entrepreneurial spirit to surface with the founding of Travel IQ, a travel search engine in 2007. Four years later, he successfully sold the rapidly developing company to CHECK24, Germany's largest online comparison website. A serial entrepreneur at heart, Konstantin co-founded Hotel MSSNGR in 2011 and has been taking the market of guest communications to the next level ever since.

How did you come up with the idea of Hotel MSSNGR?

It was in fact based on personal experiences when traveling with my family. With our four children, time is a scarce resource. Back then, the daily information about what was going on in the hotel was either placed at the breakfast table or on your bed in the evening. I found both to be far from ideal times to browse through the hotel’s offerings. Furthermore, a lot of the information given was not appropriate for a family with smaller children — for example, hour-long spa treatments or gourmet dinners.

As my company was working on mobile digital use projects, the idea of a digital onsite guest communication solution was close to my train of thought. The idea was simple, allow the guest to be the one to decide where, when, and how to read about what’s going on at the hotel.

I can imagine that transforming the original idea into the successful business that Hotel MSSNGR is today must have come with its own hurdles and challenges?

Absolutely! As often happens, ideation is not the hardest task. The execution and implementation of this digital solution proved to be much more challenging in the long run. From the beginning, we had some very enthusiastic clients, Schloss Elmau and Grand Hotel Heiligendamm in Germany. We were able to start the venture from a paper-based idea to the first version of our Hotel MSSNGR app with them.

What we learned for example was, that Hotel MSSNGR is rather hard to pronounce, and Hotel staff therefore seldom recommended the app to their guests. That changed dramatically when we offered a white label version which from then on carried the name and the logo of the hotel, in this way creating a more bespoke option for each hotelier.

"My team loves Hotel MSSNGR as it helps us to safe a lot of time and streamlines processes, so we have more time to focus on essential tasks and guests"

— Fabian Nusser, General Manager, Le Bellevue Grand, Gstaad
How would you describe Hotel MSSNGR? What is its DNA?

My co-founder and I have been working together in tech startups for over 15 years. A vision that drives us daily, is to bring the digital merits which led to the hypergrowth of some internet startups to offline operations like hotels.

Individual targeted communication and detailed user analytics are two of the most important pillars for the success of these businesses. With mobile devices being in place 24/7 with their users while they are on vacation, the means to communicate and analyze are provided, so Hotel MSSNGR then simply developed the software to do so.

When comparing it with other onsite guest communication systems, what differentiates Hotel MSSNGR? What are its USPs?

Hotel MSSGNR is very narrowly targeted at 4/5* resort hotels worldwide. Being so focused allows us to tackle and solve the very specific problems of our clients:

A. We deliver an integrated holistic software solution to onsite guest communication. With our central CMS connected to our wide array of communication channels and booking engines, Hotel MSSNGR aims to consequently solve the problem rather than adding more work to the team.

B. Hotel MSSNGR strongly focuses on upselling onsite. We have a proven track record of delivering upselling revenue figures that surpass € 1,500 per guest and stay.

C. Our quality of communication is in line with the 4/5* standards at our client’s hotels. For example, our PDF tool allows the client to customize all communication, rather than having to adapt to standard templates.

D. A major part of the outstanding guest experience at our client’s hotels is a highly motivated staff caring for every guest’s need. Using Hotel MSSNGR frees up the team's time by helping efficiency. 

Konstantin Schlüter, Co-founder of Hotel MSSNGR
"I was always very skeptical about digitization, too impersonal. Hotel MSSNGR corresponded exactly to my ideas of facilitated digital communication between guests and hotel, without becoming impersonal."

— Jennifer Vogel, Hotel Manager, Orania.Berlin

 
In terms of numbers, how many properties have meanwhile taken on board Hotel MSSNGR? Where do you plan to take the company over the next three to five years? Are there any specific geographical markets that you are after today?

We proudly serve over 400 hotels worldwide. Many of them belong to the most rewarded resort hotels. What makes us especially proud, that our lifetime churn rate is below 0.3%. Our customer success team has a very close relationship with our clients, as their feedback is a highly valued input for our product development team.

Currently, we are more focused on Europe and the Mediterranean region. Our goal is to grow further in our home market but to also tackle high-growth markets abroad. The Gulf region, Indian ocean, Florida, and the Caribbean are on our target list for the years to come.

What is the ideal client profile for Hotel MSSNGR?

Ideally, the perfect hotel client would be a resort providing a wide range of activities catering to different interests (Golf, Kids club, restaurants, yoga, pilates, etc.). Although this is our ideal client, given the fact that Hotel MSSNGR’s offers multiple modules and channels, we have also found that many clients love the flexibility to choose what they need based on their specific property’s requirements.

For example, we have multiple city hotels that use the restaurant tools, our ready-to-print PDF tool, the concierge book, digital signage and spa bookings. So to answer your question of who is the ideal client, we pride ourselves on being able to cater and deliver to a wide variety of clients with different needs.
Hotel MSSNGR is an "easy to use" system - always in development together with the hotelier. Requests and extensions are implemented spontaneously - further developments are progressively discussed and tried out together with Konstantin Schlüter. We are very satisfied & look forward to a continued great cooperation!

 — Karl Brüggemann, Managing Director, Interalpen Hotel Tyrol 
"With over 10 years of personal experience working with Hotel MSSNGR, I can state with great enthusiasm that this product offers custom fit solutions to all types of properties from city hotels to exclusive resorts! Hotel MSSNGR saves you valuable employee time, which equals reduced payroll costs, while directly increasing your properties visibility with Guest Communications across all platforms and simultaneously generating more revenue."

— Nikolai Bloyd, COO, Geisel Privathotels, Munich

Is there a specific success story of one of your clients that you can share with us?

Sure. One of our most successful clients is the Interalpen Hotel Tyrol — a five-star superior hotel, member of the Leading Hotels of the World. The Interalpen Hotel Tyrol has been a client Hotel since 2018 and we provide them a large set of communication channels, among them native apps, web app, digital signage, in-room TV, website integration, and many booking engines like activity booking, service booking, and cart booking. Their in-house marketing department does a fantastic job of content creation as well as marketing the in-house communication channels to their guests.

Right from the beginning usage numbers of the Interalpen Hotel Tyrol apps were soaring. An average of 83% of the occupied rooms were frequent daily users of their apps, many of them being loyal followers even after departing the hotel.

This allowed the hotel to stay in touch with their guests even during the COVID-19 closure periods when numbers of daily active users of the app were unbelievably high - up to 400 daily users with an average session duration of over 4 minutes!

What's the best way for any interested hoteliers to learn more about Hotel MSSNGR and discover the numerous benefits?


The best thing would be to get a trial which we currently offer with no strings attached, to discover all the benefits which Hotel MSSNGR can offer you. And again, we are a small team in Germany with a hands-on philosophy which we apply with every client, we are always available, providing personalized service to our clients just as they want to provide to their guests. We pride ourselves in being a very niche product in the Luxury Hotel Industry that gives each client personal care and service.
Yvan Vermeesch
                          
A Belgian by birth, Yvan Vermeesch grew up across Africa before heading to the Caribbean followed by the stunning city of Prague before calling the Mediterranean island of Mallorca home. Always looking to innovate across the board and with a clear penchant for everything experiential in travel, Yvan Vermeesch takes great pride in connecting the finest players in bespoke travel around the globe.
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