Home Hospitality Use Behind-the-scenes Tech to Exceed Guest Expectations

Use Behind-the-scenes Tech to Exceed Guest Expectations

In 2018, Domino’s CEO Patrick Doyle told Forbes that Domino’s is a technology company selling pizza. When ordering from Domino’s, it is engaging to see the pizza-making process—the technology provides focus and attribution on how each team member is delivering value to the customer, which helps their franchisees maximize profits.

In the hospitality world, one should embrace the same focus to invest in technology that makes a substantial impact on guest experience and operations. There is no denying technologies such as mobile check-in/out and keyless entry are all the rage, but they only scratch the surface of a guest’s stay. To elevate the guest experience—and drive profits—consider focusing on behind-the-scenes technology systems to help ensure the entire team works together seamlessly to delight guests at every touchpoint.

Upgrade Hotel Labor Management

The first on-property interaction guests typically have is upon check-in. When all goes smoothly, the status quo is maintained, but if a guest arrives and gets trapped in a long check-in line or their room isn’t ready, this hurts guest satisfaction scores considerably.

Rising wages and staffing shortages make managing hotel labor particularly challenging, and as has been observed, there are still hoteliers relying on guesswork to manage labor. They make ineffective staffing decisions based on what happened in the past week or year, leading to either increased costs because too many team members were on hand or disgruntled guests because there wasn’t enough staff to meet expectations. The impact of labor management extends to every aspect of a hotel stay. A labor-management solution with scheduling capability integrates with the property management system (PMS)—and budgeting and forecasting technology—to deliver significant gains in accuracy and profitability.

Establish Clear Collaborative Communication

Effective communication is crucial for ensuring an exceptional guest experience, and despite the popularity surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots helping maintain a connection with guests, they often fall short when it comes to meeting guests’ needs.

Many hotels use separate tools to communicate with guests and among team members and distribute work order tickets, but a better solution is to provide all team members with access to a single integrated stream of communication.

Some front desk associates acknowledge the benefits of being able to see a record of each communication a guest receives. This allows personalized interactions and the ability to offer relevant upsells, such as offering chocolates and wine for the couple on a romantic getaway or sports memorabilia for the guest who’s there for a big sporting event.

Additionally, a clear view of any back-of-house issues impacting a guest’s stay allows staff to provide an instant update. If a guest arrives earlier than expected, staff can help defuse any potential frustration by sharing with the guest how the housekeeping team is progressing and exactly when the room will be ready.

Engage the Power of Actionable Insights

Leveraging analytics impacts an entire operation by empowering it to assess performance on a broad scale and precisely pinpoint areas of concern. A hotel business intelligence (BI) tool helps run operations more efficiently by providing reliable information in an easy-to-consume format. It offers the ability to quickly identify problems impacting guest satisfaction and profitability and create an actionable plan to solve those issues.

For example, a luxury brand with a high-performing portfolio was having trouble with one of its property. Despite its condition and high average daily rates (ADR), guest satisfaction scores and aggregated reviews fell short of other properties in the brand’s portfolio. The team knew the root problem—noise and the inability to sleep comfortably—but the details remained a mystery until BI and analytics shed light on the situation. With BI technology, management connected guest scores with comments and associated work order tickets. Through analysis, management discovered a new adjacent building’s construction dumpster—located in a nearby alley in closer proximity to a particular wing of room windows—was being serviced pre-dawn on certain days of the week. The “wake-up calls” fueled complaints, but because guests could not see the dumpster, they couldn’t pinpoint the origin of the noise. Putting all the data together gave the management team a direction to investigate further and work on a fix with their neighbor.

In Summary

In today’s economy, it’s easy for hoteliers to be distracted by all the shiny, new objects in technology. To enhance both hotel profitability and overall guest experience, it’s critical for hoteliers to integrate technology solutions that go beyond isolated areas and instead choose those that encompass the entire guest journey. By incorporating technology that impacts every aspect of an operation, one can unlock the potential for greater success.

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