Efficient Communication Enhances Work Environment and Customer Satisfaction


Residence Inn Grand Rapids Airport needed a reliable communication solution to address the challenges posed by the airport environment, ensuring seamless connectivity for staff and bolstering customer service.

A brand mandate turned a safety requirement into climbing customer reviews

When you work at an airport hotel, more of everything is just expected. Wayne Burgher and his staff at the Residence Inn Grand Rapids Airport know the stress of working against the clock and navigating a continuously fluctuating flight schedule.

Employees frequently have to hustle to get a room ready on the fly, or coordinate getting a guest shuttled back to Gerald Ford International Airport to catch their plane.

All while maintaining the high standards of the Marriott brand.

As General Manager of the all-suite, 100-room hotel, Burgher says his staff needs to be able to talk to each other quickly and efficiently to handle all the different types of challenges they face every day meeting the needs of their guests.

But everything he tried before discovering Relay wasn’t up to the task.

”Being an airport property, the [traditional] radio doesn’t always make it to the airport,“ said Burgher. ”Or you have dead spots throughout the hotel. It makes it more difficult when you’re trying to get a hold of someone, and the device isn’t working. They always seem to either get lost, broken, or you just can’t get through to whoever you’re trying to get through to.“

Over the years, Burgher and his staff tested other technology solutions to keep staff connected. Everything they tried came with extra baggage.

”We’ve used things such as tablets where you enter the information online and send it to a tablet,“ said Burgher. ”The problem is then you’ve got to have someone carry a tablet around.“

Burgher explains that two-way radios and tablets weren’t just hurting their customer service; they were putting his staff’s safety at risk.

”Your biggest fear is something happening to your team, and you don’t know it’s happening,“ added Burgher.

As part of their brand mandate to provide personal alert devices, the Residence Inn Grand Rapids Airport began using Relay in January 2022. It only took an afternoon to install the system in guest rooms throughout the property and while it satisfied Marriott’s alert device brand mandate, it also solved their communication needs.

Immediately, issues with losing communication with staff were gone. Relay’s technology allows devices to automatically toggle back and forth between WiFi and the cellular network, depending on what the strongest connection is. This allows his team to be online and in contact just about everywhere.

”We do have a few dead zones in the hotel. There’s limited service where it may cut in and out,“ lamented Burgher. ”We can communicate better and more effectively just by those two things together – WiFi and cell – being able to work together to make sure we hit every area of the property, including all-the-way to the airport where our driver has to be,“ said Burgher.


”I’m a huge fan. I would recommend it to whoever else is looking for a panic system or communication device.“


Customer satisfaction reviews for the Residence Inn Grand Rapids Airport have started to climb because staff response times improved.

And staff safety concerns were minimized.

”I know I can find them right away because the device literally spells it out for you, and it tells you exactly where you need to go,“ explains Burgher. ”That security blanket knowing that my team has the device ready to go and if they need me, they can get me, that’s the biggest thing for me.“

Burgher also notes Relay provided an unexpected ‘added bonus’ of improving camaraderie amongst the staff from the creative way the hotel conducts panic tests. The hotel stages weekly tests where they play a game of hide-and-go-seek. A lottery decides who gets to be the one to initiate the panic alarm from their Relay device. The rest of the team uses the location information provided from Relay’s GPS and indoor mapping system to find them.

”It was really fun to do it that way and get that training done, and that way, they could feel comfortable,“ continued Burgher. ”It’s one thing to tell them, hit the button five times, and we’ll come running for you, but it’s different when they actually get to push it. When the live thing happens, we’re ready for it.“

”I’m a huge fan,“ adds Burgher. ”I would recommend it to whoever else is looking for a panic system or communication device.“

  • 4 floors, 100 suites
  • 1 meeting room, 46 sq m of total meeting space



The primary objective was to enhance communication efficiency, improve staff response times, and ensure the safety of employees, meeting Marriott’s brand mandate for personal alert devices.


Relay eliminated dead spots, ensuring constant connectivity and swift responses. Customer satisfaction rose, and Relay’s features enhanced staff training, fostering camaraderie. Operational efficiency, staff safety, and guest experience significantly improved.

Sign up to receive news, product updates and more from Relay

"*" indicates required fields


Get a live demo of Relay

Our team of experts are ready to answer your questions.

Copyright: © 2024. All Rights Reserved.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.