As the hotel industry continues to operate under the extraordinary circumstances of 2020, many hotel employees have proved themselves to be not only hospitality heroes, but in some cases, essential workers, as defined by their state. From hosting medical personnel and first responders (like many New York City hotels in April did), to hosting COVID patients or individuals who have been required to quarantine, hotel employees have gone above and beyond to operate in unprecedented conditions.
Hotels and resorts are continuing to face a new world of healthy-distancing, contactless guest service and new cleaning protocols across their properties. As guests return, they are demanding to know what steps have been taken to ensure that they have a safe and healthy guest experience.
No matter what type of business you run, cutting costs and operating more efficiently should be a top priority. It’s called lean operations, and it’s a key strategy to improving internal functions, creating a productive and engaged workforce, and increasing profits.
It is driven by the principle of doing more with less. It is a minimalist approach to running a business and improving day-to-day operations. Hotels with leans teams may:
- Reduce the stayover cleaning frequency
- Need staff members to wear multiple hats
- Manage multiple hotels from on location
Hospitality technology will now become the driving force behind the changes that are needed to promote and ensure health and safety in a post-COVID world. Here are the top five ways in which hotel technology is essential to your hotel’s success:
Maintain a new level of clean with housekeeping software
Guests expect a high level of cleanliness in their hotel rooms and throughout a hotel’s property. As occupancy increases, there will be intense scrutiny for housekeeping teams to not only clean, but also sanitize every inch of each guest room, and be able to prove it. Housekeeping departments have been implementing new SOPs that include additional deep cleaning and disinfection protocols, and being able to track and report against their work is important.
Housekeeping software with digital checklists helps teams adhere to new SOPS. Software also enables teams to reduce the amount of staff to staff interactions that happen on a daily basis.
Housekeeping software with mobile functionality allows teams to communicate progress, and adapt to mid-shift changes, without having to see each other in person or use noisy radios. Mobile housekeeping software is critical for keeping staff and guests safe, and ensuring your hotel delivers a contactless guest experience.
Thinking about investing in housekeeping software? We have a blog post detailing the top features to look for when buying housekeeping software, check it out!
Communicate with guests using messaging tools
Guest engagement before, during and after a stay at your hotel is important. It’s a sign of hospitality, caring, and excellent guest service, but it is also important to be able to connect with guests to communicate important health and safety information.
Pre-arrival messaging can let guests know about your arrival procedures, and can encourage guests to contact you in advance with their arrival times. Mid-stay communication can provide your guests with real-time information and updates about their room or any requests they’ve made (including room service menus). Post-stay communication can encourage guests to leave you a review, and encourage them to return for another stay.
Hotel technology that provides messaging tools for hotel guests is essential because it ensures that guests always have a direct line of communication with your hotel, it is a real time solution for guest recovery, and it prompts guests to leave a review for your hotel (positive reviews noting your hotel’s cleaning efforts could be a game changer right now!).
ALICE has text message templates to help you communicate with your guests on their mobile devices.
Transform your concierge into the voice of your hotel’s safety program
Here at ALICE, we consider concierges to be magicians. They are constantly pulling off the impossible and if they sweat it, they certainly don’t show it. Concierges are caretakers and nurturers, solving problems, and remembering all of the details that you have forgotten.
Concierges are the essence of hospitality, and providing them with guest services software, enables them to be the face and voice of your hotel’s safety program. They will be the first point of contact for a hotel’s loyal guests who are looking for assurances from trusted sources about sanitization standards, and your city’s public health status.
Guest services and messaging software enables a concierge not only to provide superior customer service, but to also put guests’ minds at ease. A detailed vendor database that lives within many concierge software solutions can be used to track the ever changing operating hours and procedures of local restaurants and attractions.
The Concierge’s most important roles in a post COVID-19 world will be to communicate to and reassure guests that their safety — inside and outside of the hotel — is being taken seriously; the easiest way to do this is with hotel technology and contactless communication.
Enable your employees to wear multiple hats
Hotel management teams are finding that operating with lean teams requires hotel staff to wear multiple hats. A front desk agent may also find themselves occasionally playing the role of a bellperson or runner. A housekeeping manager might find themselves changing light bulbs, which is typically a role for a maintenance team member, and on rare occasions, a general manager might be jumping in to clean a room.
Hotel technology should help your team do the most impactful work without all the guesses. Task management, real-time communication and operational analytics reduce the complexity and chaos of hotel operations providing the transparency and flexibility needed to run efficiently.
Additionally, hotel technology can provide reminders and accountability for employees fulfilling new roles. Certain solutions also have flexible user permissions, which supports lean teams by allowing team members expanded privileges and functionality within the software. A lean team will find hotel technology essential.
Keep guests safe with preventative maintenance software
Preventative maintenance is an essential task in hotels. It keeps guests safe (not to mention saves hotel money!), and the best way to stay on top of it is with the help of hotel technology. Preventative maintenance matters a great deal, which is why replacing paper work orders and setting automated reminders for daily maintenance is essential.
There are thousands of technology offerings available for the hospitality industry, from hundreds of technology companies. Make sure you find the right technology for your hotel management team and your hotel staff. Check out ALICE’s Hotel Technology Buyer’s Guide for help selecting the right tools to support your lean hotel team.
Interested in learning more about ALICE and how it can support the success of your hotel? Schedule a demo today!