By Jessica Holt, Customer Success Manager, ALICE
Streamlining a business is much easier said than done in the hospitality industry. Hotel operations are complex and there are many different departments to communicate with. Hoteliers are some of the first to say that with the number of moving pieces at play, streamlining can sometimes fall off their priorities.
Priorities tend to be placed on specific tasks such as housekeeping requests, reactive maintenance, sending guest reminders, or efficient check in and check out. On top of this, hoteliers have to continually provide superior customer service.
With all the different departments a hotel has to constantly stay on top of, streamlining operations should be a general manager’s top priority. After all, streamlining all departments can be a big help when fulfilling a hotel guest request. It will go faster with the entire hotel on the same page and in constant communication.
The primary goal when streamlining hotel operations is to be able to communicate with every staff department through one platform for all tasks and guest requests.
Communicate with your Guests
The first step to streamlining a hotel operation is to over communicate. Communication and transparency are absolutely key here. The use of technology can ensure your teams are accountable and empowered. Platforms, such as ALICE, can give hotel managers and owners complete visibility of the hotel operations at any given time.
Specifically in 2020, the pandemic has completely changed hotel operations – even the way we communicate. With the need for fewer face-to-face interactions, guests are becoming more and more receptive to providing their cell phone numbers for SMS communication, limiting physical touchpoints.
With hospitality technology, concierges are able to enhance the guest experience by sending guests scheduled pre-arrival messages. This can help capture no-show reservations and optimize sell out opportunities. As well as this the day of arrival, guests can receive a message in real time that can direct them to a link detailing your hotel’s latest guidelines or COVID-19 procedures – making the check-in process a bit smoother.
During the stay guests can communicate requests or questions virtually! This frees up the ringing phone and allows for quicker and direct communication. Requests can then be noted in the platform and all departments are able to access it! No more forgetting about any requests.
Lastly, hotels are able to use this virtual communication to receive feedback at the end of the stay. With the guest already being used to communicate with the hotel virtually, with a pre departure or post departure message, there is a higher chance to capture any feedback before the opportunity closes.
Listen and Act on Guest Feedback
Feedback is crucial for your hotel to grow. Hotel technology allows for better communication and accountability on all tasks while hearing about your guests’ journey. Streamlining your hotel operations puts all departments in communication and allows for any team to receive feedback.
Responding to feedback quickly shows you care about your guest’s personalized stay. For example, all of the WiFi complaints come from the 3rd floor, perhaps installing a WAP (wireless access point) is needed for better coverage.
After receiving feedback, the general manager needs a system to log this feedback, track status and follow-up- keeping themselves and the team accountable for this feedback. ALICE allows you to log feedback, add service tickets, track communication, and status. To take it a step further, ALICE allows you to review the reports and trends in each department of your hotel holding each responsible.
Use Tools for Preventative Maintenance
Things happen, whether it’s a light might burn out, or the flapper gets hung in the commode tank. However, communicating these deficiencies quickly and effectively through a ticketing system will satisfy the guest. As well as allow the front desk to be able to check the status of the fix with the click of a mouse.
We all know some things cannot be avoided, but I cannot stress the importance of preventative maintenance – especially when times are so lean. Routinely maintaining guest rooms and assets will significantly cut down on the amount of maintenance requests that come up last minute. Additionally, now more than ever before, it is best to reduce the amount of time team members spend in occupied rooms.
A preventative maintenance tool will help keep track of tasks and occurrences.
My biggest advice — automate tasks! Stop asking and start scheduling. Any task that needs to be done on a routine basis, regardless of the frequency, should be automated. Hotel managers need the right tools to see where all operations stand at a glance of a report.
Reduce the need to ask when routine maintenance was last completed in a guest room or on a specific piece of equipment. Instead have confidence knowing it was scheduled and completed with automated tasks.
Make Checklists your Best Friend!
Any general manager of a hotel will agree when I say that there is always something that needs to be done in a hotel. Instead of guessing what tasks need to be completed, standardize the process and increase efficiency.
Here are some benefits of making checklists:
- Allows for team members to easily see what needs to be done.
- Enables team members to take on more responsibilities and a lean team means everyone wears more hats.
- Checklists allow team members to pick up where someone left off without having to ask a single question.
Check out our other blog all about how checklists can free up brain space by providing reminders outlining all tasks.
Streamlining hotel operations allows for seamless communication throughout the hotel and all team members. Platforms, like ALICE hold the team accountable and give general managers complete visibility of the hotel operations at any given time.