Missed Connections: 3 Low-Tech Tools Holding Your Hotel Back
A positive guest experience can make or break your hotel’s online reputation. From the initial reservation made through your website to the special requests your guests make to your front desk staff, your execution needs to be flawless if your hotel is going to reap the benefits of a positive online review.
In the digital age of hotel management, there are some sophisticated ways to achieve a guest experience that goes above and beyond what your guests are looking for (and boost your hotel’s ADR). Some hotels, however, have held on to communications practices that leave room for missed connections.
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To help you root out some of these low-tech tools that are holding your hotel back, we’ve put together a few of the most common culprits, and what to replace them with.
1. The sticky note
We've all done it. A guest has a last-minute request at the end of your shift, and you need to be able to communicate it to your colleague without letting it fall down a black hole in their email inbox. So you leave a sticky note on the monitor, front desk phone, or desk where your colleague will see it.
Unless, of course, it gets moved by another colleague. Or blows away when the front door is opened. Or loses its stickiness and just falls into the oblivion between your desktop and the wall.
Rather than depending on such a low-tech way of communicating important guest requests across shifts, your hotel should find a hotel management tool that enables guest notes inside your software, where you can assign a task to another user to follow up with the guest directly upon their arrival.
2. The two-way radio
Two-way radios serve a great purpose, which is connecting your mobile staff who don’t have desk phones to the central dispatch or staff leader. If your staff hears your request for guest assistance when you issue it, your problem can be solved quickly, and your guest will be impressed with the efficiency and responsiveness of your hotel.
However, if your staff member has turned their radio down or off, even temporarily, they will have missed your call, and have no way of receiving a notification that they did. That means your guest has to wait while you scramble to see if you can find a back-up staff member, or physically locate the staff member you need yourself. Not efficient.
To get the right message to the right person the first time, consider looking for a way to connect your staff mobile phones directly to your hotel management system. Or, look for a SIP-DECT headset or handset you can use to provide your roaming staff, to ensure they always see a missed call or voicemail.
3. The written checklist
For routine tasks, like preventative maintenance and housekeeping, most hotels have a specific checklist they use to ensure all the major points are met to leave facilities in top notch condition. This helps ensure a consistent guest experience no matter who’s on shift.
When you run out, though, handwritten and printed checklists are only as good as the copies you can find in your filing cabinets, which may be outdated or missing items. And where do you store completed checklists? Filling can quickly turn into a nightmare, and researching a specific guest issue can become difficult when there’s a possibility of storing the checklist in the wrong folder.
To eliminate the risk of a missed or incorrect checklist, your hotel can implement a workflow management and optimization software package that enables staff to fill out these types of checklists directly from their mobile devices, as they complete the work they are doing. You can also set up alerts to signal when a checklist has not been completed, to avert a messy room or maintenance problem upon check-in, before your guest has even arrived.
The guest experience has never been more important, and with the digital transformation of hotel communications, your hotel has never had such a great opportunity to exceed guest expectations. Now is the perfect time to review your hotel’s practices to eliminate the low-tech tools that could be holding your hotel back.