Hoteliers know that running their business is no simple undertaking. There are a number of moving parts in a hotel to consider such as timeliness to fulfill requests, amenity maintenance, sending guest reminders, room cleanliness, check in and out, valet options and so much more. Mix that with growing consumer demands and it can be difficult to stay on top of operations while providing a seamless guest experience.
Today, the modern hotel has a lot to manage, which means an opportunity to streamline operations should be a top consideration. After all, smooth operations play a critical role in requests being fulfilled more efficiently, company culture being enhanced, and guest satisfaction rising.
In this blog post, we’re helping your hotel team streamline operations, by providing 4 simple tips any hotel can adopt today to provide more effective and efficient service.
Build A Road Map
A roadmap in any business is an essential tool to help visualize goals and to set in motion a strategic plan of action. It helps streamline operations by making sure teams are working towards a unified goal and are being efficient every step of the way.
When starting your roadmap or crafting your goal, we suggest to first have an overall understanding of your hotel’s current performance metrics. Aspects like service quality, time to fulfill requests, inventory, guest churn, online reviews are great places to start. With that, record any underperforming qualities or areas of improvement to help gauge where you need work, where you are already excelling, and what you need to prioritize in terms of goals.
Once you’ve reviewed your current metrics through qualitative research or through adopting technology that provides insight, it’s time to generate a measurable and realistic goal. When designing your goal, it should be attainable and easy to understand. In most cases, distinct departments (housekeeping, reception, etc.) will have their own goal to obtain. These goals should be clearly articulated and measured. To be most efficient, we suggest investing in tools to help collect insights on customer sentiment and team performance the leadership team can monitor.
With a roadmap and a source of guest feedback in place, you can then ensure every aspect of your hotel is running smoothly for optimal results.
Adopt Customer Experience (CX) Technology
Gone are the days where businesses rely on excel sheets or pen and paper to track team performance, review guest feedback, or record guest sentiment. Not only is it not sustainable in the long-term but these older methods can make things run much slower than they need to.
Let’s say you run a large hotel and have a paper survey that you provide guests at the end of their stay. The survey asks guests about their satisfaction on request fulfillment timeliness, room cleanliness and other subjects pertaining to quality of service and operations. With a paper survey, it might take weeks or months for management to receive and review, not to mention the time it will take to address and train teams to improve service. This not only detracts from operational efficiency but addresses customer concerns at a time that is too late to have a positive effect on service.
With modern advancements and the use of technology in everyday business functions, adopting modern technology like a Customer Experience Management (CEM) solution is a tactic that can help streamline operations.
We suggest a CEM solution because it’s a great option to both monitor employee performance, gauge customer sentiment, and streamline communication between both the customer and team to run a more efficient hotel. With an ideal CEM solution, you can obtain real-time insight, meaning customer complaints or compliments can be used to modify customer service immediately. Not to mention, with its communication capabilities, you can message and manage requests from guests on a range of channels, escalate important tasks, book reservations, and so much more.
Encourage Employee Engagement
As many hoteliers know, an effective way to streamline operations is to consistently monitor employee performance and provide feedback accordingly – so the hotel customer service is always being improved.
In order to stay on encourage employee engagement, we suggest holding weekly or monthly meetings where you can share ongoing goals (that you’ve created within your roadmap) in addition to letting teams have their voices be heard. Holding regular department meetings is a simple addition to your weekly routine that will help streamline ongoing operations for each department and the hotel as a whole.
Regardless of vertical, automating repetitive tasks is a great way to streamline operations. It allows teams to focus on more pressing issues to make things run a lot smoother, and with greater return.
Utilizing a Customer Experience Management solution, you can actually automate communication between guest and team members to ensure requests are being fulfilled faster and questions are being answered correctly. With a CEM, you can route guest requests to the appropriate team member so you eliminate the middleman (usually your marketing department). This reduces unnecessary work like having marketing review guest requests, put the guest on hold, and then transfer them to the department they think the request will be fulfilled by. Having automated request routing saves you time, but also helps you avoid complicating the communication between customer and patron.
Lastly, with a CEM you can pre-populate answers to quicken the response times for guests. If you consistently get guests sending messages asking about your hours of operation, your team can set up quick or automated replies that allow them to respond with the click of a button. Again, this saves your employees valuable time and allows them to focus more time on pressing issues.
For a hotel, it’s a complex undertaking to run multiple departments while ensuring the customer experience is an exceptional one. With a number of moving parts, it’s essential to understand how you can streamline operations to deliver optimal service. By following our four tips of building a roadmap, adopting modern technology, staying on top of team productivity and automating where necessary, you are well on your way to streamlining every aspect of your hotel operations to provide immacualte customer service.