Updated: Aug 8
Adam Isrow is the President of Hotel Operations at Wolff Urban Management, a real estate acquisition, investment, development, and management firm. He is an experienced business leader with a proven background in software development, business operations, customer acquisition, and relationship management for global hospitality technology companies.
Adam co-founded GoConcierge and grew it to become the largest concierge software company in the world. It was later acquired by ALICE (an Expedia Company), the leading hospitality operations platform, to augment its technology and customer service offering in 2017.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
Adam Isrow talks about GoConcierge and how it helps people
How GoConcierge acquired its first clients
The importance of being persistent as an entrepreneur
Adam explains the impacts of having a concierge in a hotel
Tips for becoming a better leader and building super active team
The importance of a good company culture
Adam shares his thoughts on how AI influences customer experience
In this episode…
Do you find it challenging to excel in the hotel industry? How can you ensure guests receive the best possible service and experience?
Running a hotel or restaurant involves various aspects, such as guest services, front desk management, housekeeping, security, and task tracking. It can be overwhelming for the staff, particularly concierges. Adam Isrow, the President of Hotel Operations at Wolff Urban Management, shares his journey of creating a tool that focuses on guest response and task management.
In this episode of The Customer Wins, Richard Walker interviews Adam Isrow to discuss his entrepreneurial journey of creating GoConcierge, a tool that helps hotels thrive. Adam talks about how GoConcierge helps people, the significance of speaking your customers' language, the importance of a concierge, and tips for being a good leader and fostering a healthy company culture.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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Meanwhile, our mission is to help the top firms in the financial industry raise their bottom line by streamlining the customer experience with automated, convenient solutions.
Welcome to The Customer Wins podcast where business leaders discuss their secrets and techniques for helping their customers succeed and in turn grow their business.
Richard Walker 0:16
Hi, I'm Rich Walker, the host of The Customer Wins where I talk to business leaders about how they help their customers win, and how their focus on customer experience leads to growth. Some of our past guests have included Shelli Taylor, the CEO of Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, and Thom Singer, the CEO of Austin Technology Council. Today I'm speaking with Adam Isrow, the president of hotel operations for Wolff Urban Management. They manage properties I think you've heard of, and today's episode is brought to you by Quik! the leader in enterprise forms automation, when the last step to earning your clients business requires filling out paperwork, don't ruin a good relationship with a bad experience. Instead, get Quik Forms to make filling out forms a great experience and the easiest part of your transaction, visit quikforms.com to get started. Before I introduce today's guest, I want to give a big thank you to Justin Krane of Krane Financial Solutions. He was a recent guest on my podcast, which is by far the funniest episode I've had. So go check that out and also check out Justin's website at kranefinancialsolutions.com. All right, I'm super excited to talk to Adam Isrow today. Adam is an innovative business leader that thrives on building successful company cultures, technology and businesses. he co-founded GoConcierge, which became the world's largest and most desired concierge software throughout the United States, and 65 countries around the world. He built the company focusing on delivering excellent technology coupled with excellent client support. That's a winning combo for sure. GoConcierge was acquired by Alice an Expedia company. Since the transition of Alice, Adam became president of hotel operations for Wolff Urban Management, a real estate development company, Adam leads by example, and believes the success of any business starts with taking care of your team, in addition to your clients and customers. Adam is a proud dad to two daughters has been married for 26 years. Man, I wish we could just talk about that. Adam, welcome to The Customer Wins.
Adam Isrow 2:14
Rich, great to be with you. Thanks so much for having me. It sounds like we share a lot of similar passions of take care of our customers. So really excited to join your podcast. Great to be with you.
Richard Walker 2:23
Yeah, I'm excited for everybody to learn more about how you've done all this. So if you haven't heard this podcast before, I talked with business leaders about what they're doing to help their customers win, how they built and deliver a great customer experience and the challenges to growing their own company. Adam, I want to understand your business a little bit better. How does your company help people?
Adam Isrow 2:42
So specifically, with GoConcierge, our goal was can we allow the concierge in a hotel to spend more time attention on the guests less time looking for information looking at logbooks in the manual process? And they do so much? And the thought was, can we help them to have more time and attention on the guests by giving them technology so they can really create that exceptional experience, which ultimately is was what they do every day.
Richard Walker 3:08
But why did you start that? What was the pain you felt?
Adam Isrow 3:11
Good question. Again, entrepreneurs trying to solve a problem. My problem is that I have really bad handwriting. And when we're in hotel for a period of time, we had logbooks and what I found is every hotel using these logbooks and binders and just a ton of information is totally manually done, which in essence is totally inefficient. And if you go behind the scenes at a hotel, and you watch them in action, and you realize that they were totally reliant on these pieces of paper, or these logbooks and these binders and the thought was, we really want to deliver excellence when it comes to service and creating experiences for guests. You don't want to be reliant on these logbooks and binders, you want to be able to just provide them with the information they need immediately. And you also want to be able to give a great presentation. So the time instead of giving, you know back in the old days, a car rental map that was highlighted or something scribbled on a piece of paper. The thought was, can we just deliver something with the hotel logo and make it look beautiful and keep it simple? Can we send a text message can we just create a better experience. And it was a real simple problem. But I saw that everybody had this issue in hotels. And that's really where the goal came from is, hey, let's create a tool that will allow us to create efficiencies. And back in the day it really started with my partner was good at Microsoft Access database. And back in the day, it was you know, in the middle of the night we're sitting up typing in how to go from this hotel to Disneyland and typing in directions because before the internet was there and before Mapquest and all the other Google Maps. And what we realized is that we get asked a lot of the same questions over and over again. We could print this out, have information, write for the guests and deliver a great experience and if they do that the reward of the concierge is visiting, allowing them to help even more guests and go deeper with the guests to ensure they're having a great experience. So for us, that was really exciting. And while it seems like such a basic problem to solve, at the end of the day, we found hotels, it didn't matter whether it was in Los Angeles, California, throughout the United States and around the world, that need was there. And it was in need of efficiency. Because wherever you are in the world, service matters. And we want to make sure we deliver great service.
Richard Walker 5:30
I'm just imagining what some 25-year-old today is looking at where they're saying, What do you mean, this is just standard stuff. I have the iPhone, and I have everything at my fingertips. But we're talking back in 2000 when you started this?
Adam Isrow 5:45
Yes. And interestingly enough, I mentioned we transition from Microsoft access to the internet. And at the time, we thought, hey, we're gonna put this on the internet, because we didn't want to have a single point of failure on every network and go into hotels, hey, let me load this on your network. Because right, he's busy enough. Last thing I want to do is have a point of failure every single hotel. So that will let us put on the internet. That's a crazy idea. And consumers don't even all have access to the Internet right now. Or is that's exactly what we did it. And it really changed our business, because then it allowed us to go anywhere. And we'll buy exceptional service without having to physically touch that one's network. And we started door-to-door in Los Angeles, because I remember thinking I could I worked in hotels, so I knew that it would work. I just had to convince somebody to give us the opportunity. Because once they tried it, though, I knew that would change their guest experience. So I'd walk into hotels, and I would bring a sample of what they gave me because I would say, hey, how do you get to the Hollywood Bowl, and they'd steal something out, I use that since the general managers to hey, here's what we can give you. This is what I got from your hotel would love to talk to you. And fortunately had enough conversations that I were I pressured them just to stop nagging them, I just got them to try this system. And as I imagined once we had one use it, I felt that word of mouth and trout was very close-knit industry. And also couple years has moved around quite a bit. So I knew if they left that hotel, I wanted them to love GoConcierge so much that when they come to the next hotel, they want to bring it with them. And that's what happened. We started in Los Angeles went to San Francisco, San Diego, and we grew throughout the United States and ultimately over 60 countries around the world.
Richard Walker 7:23
Yeah, you fill the very, very important need, do you have any concept of how many hotels you went to before you got your first sale?
Adam Isrow 7:31
I called a lot of hotels. And what I found was in Los Angeles, it helped going actually door to door, because everyone is too busy to call them on the phone. And oh yeah, that sounds great. Send me an email or send me information or what have you. But fortunately, probably made 100 phone calls. And in the beginning, what I found was when I walked into those first few hotels, and explain what we were doing, I thought that would be the homerun. And then what I learned is that it was threatening, because they thought, oh, well, this is going to take away my job. And I thought, okay, I need to change the position because I don't want them think it's going to take away their job. But I was trying to explain is it going to enhance their job and make it better. So once I started doing that, and getting into that first hotel, that's when I knew that we were onto something, but to your point, it didn't happen after that first phone call, it took some time.
Richard Walker 8:28
I said I love these stories of startup too, because I had a friend who started a carpet company, you go to contracting sites, see homes being built, he went to 49 job sites and got denied over and over and over the 50th they bought and then he was in business. He was 18. He just kept going and going and going. So I love these stories.
Adam Isrow 8:50
You have to be willing to hear no, because it happens a lot. People say no, and you're off to the next week, because you're gonna hear it a lot. So I love that 50 times and fine.
Richard Walker 9:00
But you also said something else really important there, which is you changed how you presented it, you learn to speak the language of the person you were selling to or talking to, you learn to understand the value that they wanted from it. Even though that wasn't necessarily the first thought that came out, right?
Adam Isrow 9:16
It evolves. It evolves during that because you're learning what works and what doesn't work.
Richard Walker 9:22
Yeah, I think everybody in business has that problem of being able to speak the language of their customer. And you know, when I think about concierge, I think about going to a hotel. And when you go to the concierge desk, you get the best treatment out of anybody in the hotel. I mean, the front desk was great, the maids are great, but honestly the concierge is like a beaming light. They want to serve so much. And it's so great to work with somebody like that. And so it's nice to hear about how you have improved their ability to do that. Do you have any kind of sense of what kind of impact that was having on hotels or customer service scores or anything like that?
Adam Isrow 9:56
Well, I think what was happening was we were able to look at the impact it has on the guests experience, which translates to the common cards at the time, the surveys and overall satisfaction. One of the ways they used to like to turn the question upside down is what's the cost of not having GoConcierge. And that was something that I spent a lot of time on. Because concierge is are exceptional what they do. And they were like magicians, they just wear so many hats, and they just get things done. And they don't always think about all that they're doing and the impact it's having. But if something was to fall through, because that car rental wasn't made, or that airplane transportation wasn't arranged for them, and now it's last minute now that person jeopardize a loose missing their flight? What's the impact on that? And because all that stuff was automated, no matter how good the team is, something could happen. And of course, it concierge will take care of it. But how do you remove that friction? So yes, we found that it made a big impact on the overall satisfaction of hotels, because their guests left happy. And those concierge has created what I like to call magical moments. So it's one of the most unique professions in the world, right? Because you're creating happiness memories, there's gonna be a picture of a family having a great experience in your family room. And if because the something that concierge created through a lot of people that can talk about creating that much pleasure for others. And my thought was, can we just make their job easier? Because they work so hard?
Richard Walker 11:29
Yeah. Wow. So if that's what they're doing for their clients, how are you doing that for them? How are you creating those magical experiences for the concierge? And I have to imagine this probably stems from how you built your company and the team and the culture. So how did you approach that?
Adam Isrow 11:43
So first and foremost, no matter how great our technology was, I felt very passionate about our team and the technology we built. At the end of the day, our set success was going to come because of the support we provided our clients. And I always told the team, I want to be the best support the best vendor partner they ever worked with. And that's 24/7. Because as we grew from Los Angeles, California to throughout the United States and internationally, it's basically a 24/7 operation, we have clients all over the world. So it was 12, o'clock noon, somewhere all the time. And I did not want to take a chance that our team was going to let somebody down. So our mantra was that we would kill him with kindness. And we would make sure that we were going to always be there to take that phone call or return that email immediately. And it seems unheard of. But what I learned during that process is it is amazing what just returning a phone call or respond to an email promptly, will do. And I think that I took great pride in knowing that if you talk to any of our clients around the world and say, hey, how's the support the technology and the support? Are they responsive? Do they do what they say, secure your clients call anyone that you want around the world. And they would be very supportive, because that's how we help them the most we were there when they needed it. And we built up a business that helped concierge to do what they needed to do. And then I learned the hard part about that is now they reliant on go concierge, oh my gosh, we've got to be able to be up 24/7. Because if opsin don't have access to the system, craziness happens at their hotels. So it was a really interesting paradigm because we wanted to make sure we delivered everything they needed. And you're dealing with technology. So as you know, hardware sometimes breaks things happen. And that, to me is the moment of truth. What happens when things don't go great. And go come two years goes down which you know what, we're very lucky to have incredible uptime. But things happen. That's when you really can see how much your clients value because we're very grateful that if something happened, they were appreciative that they spoke to someone they knew, hey, here's a glitch, something's happening. We're working on it. And we were very transparent of what was going to happen and what we were doing. And I think the messaging is important, because when your clients know that something is going wrong, but we're fixing it, or here's what the amount of time is going to be. I think they appreciate that. Like, moreover, they appreciated the fact that there was always someone to take care of them. And I think that's important in any business.
Richard Walker 11:43
Yeah, the reason I asked this question is because you're becoming the concierge, the concierges. I mean, what, how much harder of a job could you have? If you have to impress a concierge?
Adam Isrow 14:34
That's where I always go back and thank my family because my wife, when we were first starting this company, you know, it'd be the middle of night I'm taking phone calls because I didn't want Asia to think I'm sleeping, they're waking up support. I want to make sure we're there so I would take phone calls or respond to emails and do it at any time. So yeah, my family. They had to be very supportive and they were as well as our team. Everyone was ready to jump in because you want to take care of those concierge just so they can take care of their guests?
Richard Walker 15:03
Oh man, Adam, that just reminded me of my first or second year in business. And I had my all my work at home, it was just my partner and I, and I was taking customer service calls at any hour. So I remember being woken at 4:30 in the morning, not realizing it was a customer service call. Hello. Yeah, sure, let me help you.
Adam Isrow 15:25
I became very good at answering phone at three in the morning and making it look like it was two in the afternoon. You have to do and it was because we didn't have a huge team. So it was like I say, oh, my customer support team. Look, we started this on a shoestring we didn't have a lot of people in the team. And then I felt grateful, we're able to start hiring people. And we're so lucky with the amazing people we have on the team because they were all equally passionate about taking care of our clients. And that's how you build a business.
Richard Walker 15:52
Yeah, there's actually so many facets to what you were saying before, and I think this, to distill it down to what you're saying is, when you have that very strong focus on excellent customer success, meaning you're helping your customers, you're there for them, it's almost like the product doesn't have perform as well, you want it to, I mean, the killer combination is an excellent product with excellent service behind it. In our company, one of our core mottos is that we have to provide outstanding service at all levels at all times. Because if you get a product and can't get help with it, the product becomes basically useless and worth zero.
Adam Isrow 16:27
Yeah. And I bet your clients appreciate all your customers that use the forms, doesn't seem like a big deal, just filling out a form until you're the one doing it. And you've got a timeframe to get this done. If your client is utilizing your tool, and it's not working, it was hard to get that client, you want to make sure you keep them and not providing support, it's a nice way to display.
Richard Walker 16:49
One of the metrics that we look at is how many defects on forms do we have. And you know, I mean, a defect could be a bad field name, but it really truly bad form is one that cannot be accepted when it's filled out. And we are 99.99% correct on our forms throughout the years. That's less than one defect a month across the entire library. And we think of it that way, like every form has to be perfect. I think Bank of America had a commercial that said we're not trying to print 15 million checks perfectly, we're trying to print one check perfectly 15 million times.
Adam Isrow 17:23
So true, right? I mean, you think about the macro perspective of that where you're dealing with so many people are so many clients or so many forms that you're going after the volume is great. But that small hiccup that happens will have a much bigger impact if it's not taken care of properly. So own the mistakes, fix them, and talk to the customer. Because it doesn't matter what the business I'm convinced and but right now I'm running hotels, and as much as we do a great job, things are gonna happen, we make a mistake, my feeling is own that mistake, take responsibility and fix it and do more than you need it. Just so that that customer that guest leaves happy because it's hard to get customers want to keep them happy. And when something doesn't go right, turning the negative into a positive, I think it's an amazing way to build loyalty, because they know you care.
Richard Walker 18:16
How do you teach somebody on your team to own the mistake or take responsibility? What does that actually mean to you and your mind?
Adam Isrow 18:23
I think you got to empower people, right? And starts with finding the right people. Because if they have to wait to talk to a manager, or my boss isn't here yet, we'll call that you lose. I want to take care of something. Now I don't want to wait. And what I learned because I'm really passionate about this is now when it doesn't happen, and I'm talking to a company or I'm on the phone. And I'm going crazy, I think how much time do I possibly have to spend just to get the answer of this question or just to fix this. And I think you build a lot of great political capital, they seem to do politics. Same thing in business, with your customers with your clients. If you go overboard, to do a wonderful job for them, and to go above and beyond what they need, during the time of challenge. I think they're going to be supportive, because they see how hard you've worked. They see how passionate you are, and they know that you're going to take care of the problem. And that's the big thing. Take care of it right now. Don't pawn it off on somebody else. And don't say my boss, like I said in the beginning is going to take care of it. Have the ability to empower your team, but it's a two-way street, you got to let them do it. If they make mistake, that's okay, too. You have to be able to coach them. So that I think didn't miss maybe a mistake. Maybe they gave too much compensation. It's okay. The next time here's how I handle it. What I've learned is that the majority of time by far, didn't make the right decision. And I tell people do what you feel is right. If it was your family, who was you? Who was your partner or your wife? What do you want, and just do that? So I say DWR do what's right and do more than you need to do and I think that's how you win people over.
Richard Walker 19:59
I love that do more than you have to do while doing what's right. I'm gonna echo some of the things you've said, because we've had downtime. Amazon had a glitch in their system that caused the whole internet to go down. And I remember the CEO of a major, major company, kind of being very upset with me personally saying, I didn't choose Amazon, you did. It's your responsibility. And it is us, right? It's our responsibility. It is right. And we had to think, how do we overcome that next time? How do we build another backup plan, but the more important point was, I was talking to him, I wasn't shirking in a corner, I was actually accepting his phone call and talking to him and having the meeting. And when emergencies happened, your brain thinks I got to fight the fire. But you forget to communicate with the client. And we've learned as a team to have a lot of outbound communication during those problem moments. And what we actually learned from our customers is that because we're proactively communicating, and we are reacting to their communication, they respect us more, they want to work with us more. And they're naturally not upset. They're like, well, you know, things happen, we get it. What upsets them is bad expectations, or mismatched expectations, right.
Adam Isrow 21:07
That's it? You're so right. And what I think in the beginning is it's easy to do when you're starting, the question I have for you. And what I challenge other companies for is, it's great in the beginning, how do you scale it? And when you have one client and 10 clients and 100 clients, that's great, what happens, you get to 1000. And you can't physically pick up the phone and talk to everybody at one time? How do you scale that. And that's something that I think is so important to think about that in advance, because no matter how great your system is, something is going to happen, there is going to be a point of failure because Amazon or other third-party providers.
Richard Walker 21:46
Adam Isrow 21:48
Yeah, and it's going to happen. So you want to think about what you're going to do when that happens. And talk about that with your team. So that everyone is aware, because quite frankly, when something goes wrong, knock on wood, it was very rare. But when it does, people are an added dread, because they're not used to dealing with that. And I think you want to have people comfortable with failure, if something goes wrong when I say failure is a mistake. But we failed at what we've done. And I want to acknowledge that. And when we do that, we need to make sure that everyone knows what their role is going to be and how we're going to take care of the customer. And that's a learning process for different companies. But it's important because it's going to happen. And to your point, when you do take that phone call and the CEO is talking to you. You're not ducking away from it. And it's easy to blow it off and have someone else take care of it. But you're the face of the company, and you don't own it, and you didn't let them know that we're going to take care of this and maker, right? And I think when that happens, what are your options, the mistake has happened, the glitches, the harbors, broke, whatever has happened. But the best thing you can do is own it. And what I like to say another acronym, LBE, you lead by example. And I think if you do that it's contagious, and you freak out. It's contagious. So you're team is gonna go one way or the other. And you want to leave with confidence so that way they know how to handle what I call the moment of truth.
Richard Walker 23:08
Yeah, but there's something else I want to bring it back to which I think comes back to company culture. I know from my own example, we have a company culture of working with our customers and trying to meet their expectations exceed those expectations and serve them well. So when there's an emergency, literally every person on my team has the mindset of I'm gonna help the customer, I don't care if I was solving problems with software or whatever, I'm gonna help the customer right now and deal with the issue. Drop it all.
Adam Isrow 23:36
Yeah, I love that. I'm sorry to interrupt you. But I was just gonna say one of things I found interesting was that one of the co-founders and art and people on our technology team. So often, people's expectations oh, that just the program just sitting there in the dungeon somewhere coding right now. But I used to love having them got on the phone, because it's really rare, where maybe have some this exceptional technology, but they may not always feel comfortable talking to the customers. And we had the good pleasure of having people on our team that could just talk to the clients and they knew and that way was like no matter who is there to help, they're ready to get on the phone. And I think the clients appreciated that. Even the developer was on the phone, let him know, here's what we're doing. We're gonna make this right. We all share that same passion.
Richard Walker 24:21
Yeah, I want to share something because I want to give credit to somebody on my team, my customer success manager, Kim, she's amazing. And it was, I think, through her leadership and evolution, that we started to solve this problem better than we've ever had. And I'll just share this one thing. What we came up with is putting together a 911 channel in our internal communication, we use Slack. So we have a 911 channel on Slack. And we have rules about it and we train on it and she trains everybody about how to interact in the 911 channel. When is it actually emergency? When does it get posted? When do we start communicating with customers and divide and conquer who talks to customers who talks Internal, who talks to engineers who's solving the problem? And we split it up. And it's been working so well for us for the last several years.
Adam Isrow 25:06
Good for Kim, because she found the Holy Grail, right? It's about making sure that you channelize you have the proper channels to communicate, and also know what is an emergency and what isn't an emergency? And who knows what's a wait, no, Kim?
Richard Walker 25:20
Yeah, I don't let's switch gears a little bit. I love this conversation. I think we could talk about it for hours, because I'm passionate about company culture. But I want to switch gears to another topic, which is artificial intelligence. And I'm curious how you see artificial intelligence impacting customer experience, whether that's in the hotel, or in the operations that you currently manage? Or if it's concierges, what is your perspective on AI these days?
Adam Isrow 25:44
Do I think it is ever-changing? Right now it's in the you know, it's just such an amazing time because AI is the buzzword right now it's happening everywhere happening in schools, with kids with students, chatGPT and see what that can create. But I think the most relevant area is repetitive questions when people get calls or emails or texts, if you have a chat about how do I get to the hotel? Or how do I come to your business? Or what are some of the basic things that can be answered? Of course, AI can do that where it gets a little bit more involved, or the nuances because we've all been on those chats that are in the chat bots. And it's like, well, I need to talk to somebody, this isn't really helping me in especially in hospitality, you want to be helped. But I think there are things that are happening now, whether it's the digital checking process, the mobile check-in process requests from websites about concierge-related activities. I want to caution people about too much on the AI side when it comes to the guest service part. Because I think there are people they're still hungry to talk to the concierge or talk to people and have that communication, but to automate the process to allow people to spend more time and attention on the necessary aspects of it. The overall experience, I think, is critical. So can you use AI to chop up some of the mundane aspects that don't necessarily need to be human on the other side of it, I think that's the direction is going to go. But in hospitality, it's going to be a little bit of a process of understanding that fine line between where the guests needs a human, and where we can help automate the process, but it's happening and make no mistake about it doesn't matter what the industry is, AI is here, and the technology surrounding the AI is really remarkable.
Richard Walker 27:33
Yeah, I would like to see AI in the hotel room to help me understand what services are available, because I hate looking through the book. Where's the Wi-Fi? What restaurants open? What's around here?
Adam Isrow 27:45
Right? What's on the menu? And what time is the pool open? And can I get in? Are there classes? And can I take a yoga class? Or can I take a Pilates class or if I want to go play pickle ball is there pickle ball, we're here at the resort. That's something that again, helps the guest experience and is being done right now.
Richard Walker 28:06
I think I'd also like to see AI help solve and troubleshoot problems that guests have. For example, I went to a hotel last summer, and I tried the virtual key for the first time with my phone. And I was at the front desk, I'm like, oh, I got the virtual key. I don't need a physical key. That's awesome. I walk all the way around the hotel, dragging my bags, my back is sore, I get to the room well and open up to go all the way back to the front. There were the guests that wait 10 extra minutes to get the card. Like I want the AI to be smart enough in my phone, just say let's fix this problem.
Adam Isrow 28:35
Yeah, or be able to send someone immediately because if you have to go back to the front desk, and the process now you're having steam coming out your ears because you're so aggravated because we've been traveling all day walked all the way to the room and I go all the way back and oh, by the way, there's a line to the desk. If you have technology, it has to work. And if it doesn't work, there has to be an easy way to solve that problem. So that's something on the hotel side that they're trying to make better because right, that ruins the experience and they haven't even started airing got into the room yet. So you have to have the ability to solve that problem. And is there something on the phone that can immediately dispatch somebody saying get you into that room and make it a simple experience for you and then turn a negative into a positive because that's a tough way to start the experience. So there's so many different aspects of that. It could be ordering room service, and there are easy ways to do that. And we want to make that a more efficient way because oftentimes you talk so when you get put on hold you want to order something we forget to put the cheese or what extra cheese or I don't want this on how do you get that process simple. And then the next step to that is well, if I deliver that to you in the room service trays, shouldn't that tray be automatically picked up? I don't want to see that in the morning in front of my door. There should be a process for that getting removed so someone knows the trays in front of the room So those are some of the areas that I think you can create a better experience for the guests, you can leverage this technology.
Richard Walker 30:07
Yeah, I want the chipotle app for the in hotel restaurant. That's right. That's simple to order.
Adam Isrow 30:12
Bring it right away. That's right.
Richard Walker 30:15
You know, there's a fallacy. I think you probably know this in software, I'll see if you've had this experience. But I think it also applies to artificial intelligence. And the fallacy is that people often consumers of products often think that now that I have the software, it should do 100% of everything I want, that I could ever ask of it. Right. And I'll give you an example. We had a customer early on, call us and say, I can't use your software, I cannot justify paying for the software. Because I'm missing two of my data points. They're not flowing under the Forms. I said, let me get this right. We can bring over 48 out of 50 of your data points. But because we can't do the extra two, a 96% solution is not good enough. Nope. Not good enough.
Adam Isrow 30:57
Yeah, how do you solve that problem? And how you say we'd go considered, I wish we could clean the rooms for them as well do everything that we can, is much service we can provide. But there are some things that we can do and know it if you're 96% good. Couple things that you need to do. Wow, the time they're saving, aside from those two points. So maybe the technology.
Richard Walker 31:18
Yep. Man, Adam has been really good to talk to you, too. So before we wrap this up, I do have another question that I want to ask how would you like people to find you or connect with you? What's the best way?
Adam Isrow 31:28
I appreciate that, probably the best way is right on LinkedIn. So Adam Isrow, and send me a message. I'd love to connect with people and help wherever I can and learn about other people's businesses and companies and work and help them.
Richard Walker 31:40
Yeah, and I can attest to that, because we're meeting for the first time and you've been just awesome to work with.
Adam Isrow 31:45
Thank you so much and great talking to you as well. And I just got to say one thing that struck me before we were talking earlier about the water, we need your first business that you started that entrepreneurial spirit from way back when you figured out a way to solve people's problem, even when you were 12 years old. So for those that aren't familiar with your first business, check it out, because it is pretty amazing. And I can see how you've parlayed that into amazing companies thus far, and you're passionate for taking care of that customer, which I think is amazing.
Richard Walker 32:14
Well, thank you. Yes, I was bitten by the bug of being an entrepreneur. Yes, for sure. I often tell people, I'm unemployable. I have to have my own thing.
Adam Isrow 32:26
Which is good. It sounds like you're on to something great. So kudos to you.
Richard Walker 32:30
Well, thank you. Okay, so here's my last question, who has had the biggest impact on your leadership style, or how you approach your role?
Adam Isrow 32:37
I think early on, I would say, I've been fortunate be around really great people. But I like to think about family. Because I have been surrounded by an amazing family that has taught me the importance of hard work, being a leader. And I saw it firsthand with my parents, with my brother and sisters. And really, that's where I got the initiative to want to go out there and be successful, because I learned it at home. So I would say those are the people that helped me grow to where I am today. And without them, it would have been really hard to get here because we've all had challenges along the way. And when you can be back on your family, especially when you're trying to build a business, which I think you could attest to, you need all the support you can get. So I've been really grateful for my family. Who helped me get here today.
Richard Walker 33:30
Well, cheers to that. I hope everybody understood a good family is the one that actually supports you, not the one that tells you can't do it, don't even try, et cetera,
Adam Isrow 33:38
Especially during the tough times when things aren't working to remind it, keep going keep going. That's what you need. So you know, my wife and my kids that because there are times when you're building a business and you know, things come up and just you're about to go do something, that phone call comes in, you've got to take that call, you got to pick something, but it's really a balance. And there are no shows shortcuts to success. And you need to be able to put in the time for you to be surrounded by people that are supportive. And I think that's what is key helped me out quite a bit.
Richard Walker 34:09
Yeah, man, I echo that. I didn't tell you but my mom is my partner. She's the other co-founder of our business, right? Yep. I love it. So she sacrificed a lot. She risked a lot and she's made it work which is I mean, huge testament we've always put our family first in front of the business and made sure that we were always on the right path together. So yeah, I agree.
Adam Isrow 34:33
That is very nice. So take care of your mom. She's taking care of you and together the dynamic duo that we built together and that is a family fortune when I call that because helping each other doing it together and sharing the success. How exciting is that? Way to go?
Richard Walker 34:50
It's been super rewarding. Well look, I want to say thank you to Adam Isrow President Hotel Operations of Wolff Urban Management for being on this episode of The Customer Win. Go check out Adams website at wolffurbanmanagement.com. That's wolf with two F's, right? And don't forget to check out Quik! at quikforms.com where we take the work out of paperwork. I hope you enjoyed this discussion, and we'll click the like button, maybe even share this with somebody and subscribe to our channels for future episodes of The Customer Wins. Adam, it was such a pleasure to have you on today. Thank you.
Adam Isrow 35:22
So fun Rich, keep up the conversations because the court has stayed in touch with Brad's and all you've done thanks for having me. It's great to be with you today.
Thanks for listening to The Customer Wins podcast. We'll see you again next time. And be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.