Fairmont Launches the Virtual Assistant: A 24/7 Technical Support Hotline

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts today announced the launch of the Fairmont Virtual Assistant - a 24/7 technical support hotline manned by the company`s own IT department. Fairmont has extended its e-business and branding initiatives to encompass nearly every aspect of the guests` networking experience, including technical support.
With toll-free access from the US and Canada, Mexico and Bermuda, guests are connected to a helpdesk staffed internally by Fairmont analysts. Fairmont focuses on hiring analysts that have a raised knowledge of the IT industry at large, so they are able to handle a breadth of issues/activities.
Most of the calls to the helpdesk are resolved on the phone; for more complex situations, the Fairmont Virtual Assistants are able to communicate with the System Managers (SM) in each hotel for additional on-the-ground support. The system managers in the majority of our hotels are part of the same IT department as the analysts, so they know one another and have an ongoing working relationship, which ultimately provides for more streamlined service.
Two years ago, Fairmont began an ambitious e-business initiative, enabled by the hospitality industry`s most advanced network infrastructure - an end-to-end network based on technology from Cisco Systems that connects all 38 properties, and allows Fairmont to offer High-speed Internet Access and wireless service across its portfolio. Currently it is offered in 100 per cent of the meeting rooms, 100 per cent of the lobbies and open space areas and will be in most guestrooms by end of 2002. This strategy ties together Fairmont`s properties, customers and employees, leveraging the brand`s power on the Internet to increase its customer service and delivery of the luxury hotel experience.
More than 50 per cent of Fairmont`s customers are mobile professionals attending conventions or business meetings, many of which are hosted at the company`s properties. ``Most of our guests use the network for real business purposes, and they tend to be online for hours, not just minutes. They`re running VPN clients, and are working as effectively in our hotel rooms as they would be in their own offices,`` says Tim Aubrey, Vice President of Technology, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. ``Fairmont, unlike any other brand, takes direct responsibility for offering, delivering and supporting the guest`s technology needs.`` By offering mobile professionals convenient access to their corporate network resources, along with online hotel services, the Cisco Mobile Office solution increases Fairmont`s customer satisfaction and enhances the guests` productivity, offering guests the same business-class network access as they enjoy at the office. And the network infrastructure provides a vehicle that enables Fairmont to communicate with guests via new technologies, delivering on the their commitment to enhance their guests experience by fulfilling their business and personal needs through user-friendly, high-speed internet connectivity in a world-class environment.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a unique collection of world-class resorts and city centre hotels that enjoy unrivalled prominence in the communities where they are located. Operating 38 properties throughout six countries, Fairmont is committed to providing guests with exceptional service in distinctive surroundings. For more information on Fairmont or reservations please call 1-800-441-1414, or visit us online at www.fairmont.com.