Managing a hotel is challenging; there’s no doubt about it. There are multiple balls to juggle, from staff deployment to marketing and from running the on-site facilities to sourcing seasonal supplies for the restaurant – not to mention the thing it’s all about: optimizing the guest experience.
It may seem like an overwhelming undertaking. However, deploying just a few key tips can make a huge difference and have your establishment running like a well-oiled machine, full of happy guests and job-satisfied staff members. Here’s what you need to know.
Automating processes is one of the most effective ways to make your guests’ stay run smoother and ensure efficient staff deployment. You may feel wary about this option, fearing that it’ll undermine the personalized experience you want to give your guests.
However, when used wisely, automation can actually improve your visitors’ time with you. Hotels online check-in systems, for example, can be deployed to cut down the line at the front desk by up to half, meaning fewer frustrated guests and more staff time to ensure every visitor’s experience is a great one. Personalization can be maintained by sending tailored pre-stay messages and making bespoke room suggestions based on data from previous stays.
There are lots of other processes that can be automated, too. Consider applying automation to specific HR and recruitment processes, the production of staff rotas, inventory management, and stock ordering, to name just a few.
Consider Property Management Software
This software can reduce time and labor-saving activities relating to housekeeping, maintenance, analytics, and reporting by taking care of this side of things for you. It can also streamline billing and invoicing processes and promotes clear communication between different departments – especially useful if you run a large or multi-location establishment.
Property management software even supports cashiering functions and currency exchange, making it a useful all-around solution.
Foster a Communication Culture
There are many moving parts in a hotel, and every one is vital to a high-quality guest experience. Establishing a culture of effective communication within your hotel is critical, so individuals and teams work together well and efficiently to meet the guests’ needs.
It’s also key, as a manager, to ensure the nature of your communication with your workforce is second to none. Excellent communication drives up staff engagement, and a team with higher morale is a team that’ll be performing better. As a further incentive to improve communication, it’s worth being aware that the hospitality industry has one of the highest rates of staff turnover in any sector – keeping good staff in post is crucial to saving time and money and ensuring consistency of service provision.
With this in mind, boost communication by ensuring regular meetings with your staff, both as a team and with individuals. Organizing occasional team days and social events is another important way to build rapport within your team.
Build In Opportunities to Upsell
Upselling offers a significant additional revenue stream for many hotels. You can use it to make your guests’ stay even more special and bolster profits. Balance is the watchword, however. Too much promotion or a perceived hard sell will have the exact opposite effect you’re looking for.
Instead, figure out ways to make upselling opportunities a natural part of your guests’ journey with you. For example, if a guest ordered a room service snack on arrival when they last visited, an offer of a similar just-arrived snack when they next check-in is likely to be appreciated. In the same way, you could team up with local tourist attractions to offer guests discounted passes, thereby making a commission from each sale.
Pay Attention to the Details
The little things make the difference when it comes to effectively managing your hotel so that every guest leaves content. Ensuring the cleaning of each room between guests is of the highest possible standard is obviously vital, but how about including some luxe, locally-produced toiletries or a small hamper of artisan biscuits and sweet treats to enjoy upon arrival?
Pay attention to windows, and arrange for them to be cleaned regularly; similarly, have a cleaning schedule in place for soft furnishings, such as the curtains and sofas in each room. The communal areas should be bright, light, welcoming, and easy to navigate. Fresh flowers, interesting artwork, and guides on the local area are all examples of the things that can help these spaces look and feel appealing.
Tech innovations, industry trends, and changing guest sensibilities can make the future seem a little unclear for those in the hospitality industry. Staying open-minded and embracing these shifts, however, will position you perfectly to manage whatever the next decade – and beyond – holds.
Tech is increasingly used in hotels to optimize the guest experience by anticipating their needs, to market more effectively by using ‘big data’ to get a crystal clear picture of a target demographic, and to take on many labor-intensive tasks. With many more of us working remotely and combining our job with travel, the hospitality industry is likely to shift to reflect this – and the sector is uniquely placed to manage this change profitably for all concerned.