Hoteliers need a helping hand. As the labor shortage continues to limit the ability of hoteliers to operate at a high standard, many have turned to Technology to fill operational gaps. The ultimate goal of technology is to simplify complex and time-consuming processes or activities and present needed information quickly and accurately. Most importantly, independent operators need to take stock of their technology stack and use it to simplify operations as much as possible to support their operations until economic conditions improve and headcount rebounds. But where do they start?
One of the easiest ways that technology can help hotel staff is to automate or streamline the check-in process. Whether a hotel has implemented mobile keys and electronic locks with bluetooth card readers or uses magnetic / RFID locks, the ability for guests to check in on their own personal device is perfect for this application. Similar advantages can be seen with mobile departure, allowing the customer to settle their account from their mobile device, freeing up reception while alerting housekeeping staff that the room is free and ready to be cleaned.
Hotels and resorts can be successful and time-saving by using other apps provided directly through the Property management system. For example, thanks to the PMS, hoteliers can manually prepare magnetic room keys in advance, distributing them quickly when guests arrive, whether at reception, at the curb or at the customer service counter. Some systems may offer customers a digital check-in option, which can shorten the time spent at the front desk and allow customers to be quickly taken to check-in after collecting their key. These capabilities can also be used in a synchronized fashion to provide customers with a variety of check-in options, reducing inquiries or front desk clutter. If you opt for mobile keys, they can also be used to manage areas of a hotel beyond the bedroom, such as parking lots, swimming pools, and other amenities.
The front desk is only one area of focus of hotel operations, but making improvements frees up time for hotel associates to meet the urgent needs of guests who require a more focused approach. practice.
Factoring in your confidence in computers and the time spent dealing with technology issues is another area that should be looked at. Hosted or on-premise browser-based solutions will simplify many LAN management and property software obligations, thereby reducing the time spent on technology issues in general. Greater reliability and less time dependent on IT teams will allow staff to focus on customer service. With a little creativity, hotels find ways to reduce the burden on employees.
Communication today remains a major obstacle to improving operations in independent hotels. Today, more responsibility than ever falls on fewer and fewer employees, leaving front desk managers and general managers to fend for themselves in some cases. This magnifies the impact of missed information and leaves little room for error. For this reason, many hotels have turned to SMS communication for texting directly with guests before, during and after their stay.
Text communications offer several benefits to hotels, ranging from creating a series of clear and easily referenced messages that can be addressed as they arrive and can be referenced or tracked later as needed. Text messages are useful for quickly responding to customer concerns, such as housekeeping or maintenance needs, without requiring customers to visit or call the front desk. This benefits both travelers and hoteliers, not least because it uses existing technology that both sides are already familiar with.
Above all, text communication reduces round trip calls between different departments in a hotel. While the physicality of housekeeping, catering and reception operations does not go away, improving the way each of these departments shares information is invaluable, especially when staff are kept limited. The hotel industry must turn to technology to reduce the number of people needed to address each outstanding room, and communication is key.
It takes two – or more
There is a growing need for hotels to invest in technology to automate and simplify many of these processes, because despite the downsizing of staff and lower rates that most hotels continue to offer, the business of l he hotel business is getting more complicated. It has never been more difficult for hotels to prepare the rooms necessary to process reservations, handle guest complaints and stay informed of current events and changes in market conditions in order to maximize rates. All of this leaves little precious time for training and onboarding the new employees this industry desperately needs.
Hoteliers need to find a way to retain skilled workers who show up, and that starts with not overwhelming them in the classroom. Get into technology. Automation of areas of the check-in process, sophistication of your systems that integrate cross-departmental needs such as reservations, group sales, catering, spa and activities, as well as making common sense changes to your internal communication strategy go a long way in reducing the training required for new employees. For the skills to be taught, e-learning tools have proven effective in helping new workers get on board while they are away from the property, from programmable screens to help new hires acclimate to your property’s PMS, to lessons designed to refresh workers on the intricacies of the property. hospitality.
Today, hotels are under-resourced and workers are quickly faced with an epidemic of burnout. By rethinking your property’s approach to communication, interaction and automation, hoteliers can create an environment that fosters cooperation and learning, as well as increased profitability as the economy recovers. . To be successful today and remain successful in a year, hoteliers must consider a marriage of several technological solutions designed to make their life easier – and it all starts with the PMS.
About Maestro PMS
Maestro is the preferred on-site, web browser-based PMS solution for independent hotels, luxury resorts, conference centers, vacation rentals and multi-property groups. Maestro’s PCI certified and EMV compliant enterprise system offers a web browser (or Windows) version with over 20 modules integrated into a single database, including mobile and contactless applications to support a customer journey digitized as well as personnel operations. sophisticated solutions allow operators to increase profitability, generate direct bookings, centralize operations, and provide customers with a personalized experience from booking to departure and everything in between. For more than 40 years, Maestro’s Diamond Plus service has provided North American unparalleled 24/7 support and education to help hotel groups stay productive and competitive. Click here for more information on Maestro. Click on here to get your free PMS buying guide.