The evolving challenge
With a diverse range of hotels and customers spread across Ireland, the Windward Management Group sought an experienced partner who understands both service innovation and customer support. The group continually onboards new hotels, so needed a responsive service provider they could trust to deliver consistent service across their hotels, help create margin and ensure the best possible customer experience.
“The dynamic nature of our operations can be hard to manage for suppliers, with new hotels joining the group frequently,” said Ian McSweeney, Director of Finance with the Windward Management Group. “Fexco account management ensures this is done as seamlessly as possible from the day they officially become a member hotel.”
A value-add solution
Fexco Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) provides a value-add solution designed to create a reassuring, relaxed experience for hotel patrons while delivering additional revenue and customer engagement opportunities for the management group. Fexco’s expertise in foreign currency management and exchange enables smooth implementation of the service, with a seamless user experience for patrons and strong customer support for Windward. Having AIB Merchant Services (AIBMS) as acquirer in this process for Windward further strengthens the solution.
The diverse nature of the hotels operated by Windward means staff regularly welcome guests from many nationalities, and giving them the choice to pay in their preferred currency lets the Group’s hotels stand out in a competitive marketplace. Plus, Fexco DCC unlocks new revenue for the hotels with each DCC transaction, further supporting Windward’s overall differentiation and growth.
Partners in collaboration
The Windward Management Group has formed a long-standing relationship with Fexco to provide seamless delivery of Dynamic Currency Conversion services to international guests. Fexco provide a dedicated and highly experienced Account Manager who makes the onboarding of new hotels as straightforward as possible.
The Account Manager not only supports Windward’s requirements for setting up new properties, but also works closely with hotel management to ensure the DCC service is optimised in each location to provide maximum revenue. This includes a full onboarding and training experience for hotel staff that is tailored to the needs of each hotel, as well as supporting literature to offer guests the best possible payment experience. With a focus on ‘getting it right the first time’, Fexco works alongside Windward to make sure each location delivers from the outset. The Account Manager provides continuous monitoring of each property’s performance and works closely with the Group to help deliver ongoing service improvement initiatives.
“Being able to offer Dynamic Currency Conversion is of massive value to us,” said McSweeney. “We can enhance the guest experience by offering international visitors the opportunity to pay in their local currency and they really value knowing exactly how much they are paying when using their cards.”
Results to build on
As an extension of Windward’s focus on delivering superior guest experiences across their hotels, Fexco DCC enables guests to feel confident and informed about purchases during their stay. They get certainty in how much they pay, with no additional fees and the best currency rates on the day, which research suggests is of growing importance to international travellers.
According to Fexco Qualtrics 2023 research, 85% of consumers believe that DCC provides clarity, convenience and transparency, and improves forecasting budget and overall travel experience. Moreover 79% of consumers say they are more likely to return to a brand which they know offers DCC.
In addition to offering exceptional customer experiences, Windward Management also generates an extra revenue stream at no additional charge to the guest. This is particularly important in the current economy with so many upward pressures on costs.
Fexco also provides monthly reporting at both Group and hotel level, ensuring that all parties are clear on their DCC performance. These reports are designed alongside the team at Windward’s head office and cover elements such as FX convertible opportunity, converted FX and unconverted FX, hit rates, commission earned and commission unrealised. Reports are tailored to each hotel’s specific requirements, giving them the opportunity to optimise performance. These reports allow the hotels to identify the best performing currencies as well as provide additional segmentation data for their own marketing programmes.
“Delivering customer excellence is our number one focus, and our long-standing relationship with Fexco allows us to deliver industry-leading services to our guests across the Group,” said McSweeney. “Over the years we have built a highly successful partnership which allows each hotel to generate additional revenue, while offering the best possible customer service to our guests. Having one trusted provider of DCC services across all our hotels creates efficiencies and offers seamless and easy integration. It really is a win-win situation for everyone – the guest, the hotel and Windward as a whole.”