Having streamlined hotel operations processes is one of the most important elements of a successful hotel and a seamless guest experience. Guests have higher and higher standards and expect a flawless stay at a hotel. Improving operational efficiency is fundamental to guest satisfaction.
While there are without a doubt many ways to improve the operational capacity of your hotel, one of the key areas is communication – both getting feedback and hearing what your guests want, as well as communication within your team.
Another important area is investing in the right software to make operations smoother, as well as upskilling your team and making sure they feel confident to make decisions. A hotel should work in such a smooth way that guests are not aware of what is happening behind the scenes, but in doing so are ensured a great experience. In this article we will define the concept of hotel operations and give you six ideas to improve.
What do we mean by hotel operations?
When we talk about hotel operations, we are referring to the whole process of how a hotel runs on a daily basis. In order for a hotel to be successful, all these moving parts must be closely coordinated, with optimal communication so that guests are ensured a top-notch experience.
This includes day-to-day management of the hotel, such as housekeeping, maintenance, concierge, and front desk tasks, to managing bookings and personnel to ensure that each step of the guest’s journey is cared for, from the time of booking to check-in and check-out.
The best way to manage these processes is with a hospitality operations platform that helps streamline all the different processes with a single solution. Ideally, you should be able to track reservation and revenue management, front-office operations, and housekeeping all in one platform.
6 ways to improve your hotel operations
There are many ways to improve the way your hotel runs and here we will discuss six tips that will streamline your processes.
Communication is key
As in any company, there is nothing more important than good communication starting from the ground up. There must be good communication between staff, managers and with guests on a daily basis.
Staff should feel like they’re “in-the-know” and that they know who to go to if they have a problem. They should also be empowered to make decisions. They must know important information such as the arrival of VIPs or events happening at a hotel, or if a guest has booked a room for a special occasion such as an anniversary or a birthday.
Informed staff are better equipped to make guests feel special and to make them feel like they’re being pampered. Make sure your staff check in with guests throughout their stay to make sure all their needs are being met; this way you can target potential problems before they manifest into complaints.
Upskill your team
Nothing speaks better of your hotel than well-trained staff. They are the face of your hotel, so make sure your team is upskilled constantly. Not only will upskilling help staff feel like they are progressing in their career and feel more confident, but it will also empower them to handle situations even outside of their job description.
Make it part of your hotel’s practice to conduct regular training in any subject from leadership to accounting, or even computer skills. This training can also be across departments. For example, front desk staff can be trained in housekeeping so they know what should be in each room upon check-in. By upskilling your staff across all departments, your team will better understand the hotel’s operations holistically, and will therefore be better capable of solving problems.
Before you can be a manager you have to know the ins and outs of each department so that you can accurately guide your staff to be the best they can be.
Choose the right software
Having the right operations software, such as Mews’ hospitality management software can make a huge difference to improve your hotel operations. Mews’ software can improve your operations in many ways, but one of the most important ways is by providing integrations to your partners so that you can manage everything from one place.
You also have the ability to manage reservations and bookings all in one place, tracking availability and accessing different views from a centralized dashboard that updates in real time. You can also manage revenue through the software, and the app allows housekeepers to manage their own tasks and smart scheduling to make the team more efficient.
With all these integrations, operations can be streamlined through a simple program so that your human resources can be dedicated to providing the best quality guest experiences, rather than on mundane tasks like scheduling. Tasks become less time-consuming, and remove the risk of human error.
Fix things before they become a problem
Fixing things before they become a problem can apply to many areas of how your hotel works. We recommend all hoteliers spend the night in different kinds of hotel rooms (i.e., standard, suite, deluxe) so that they can put themselves in the shoes of their guests. Is there a light bulb that’s loose or a leaky faucet? Is the bed comfortable? Are there enough hangars and space for guests to put away their things and feel like they’re at home?
Taking a moment to perform preventative maintenance or to make sure there is nothing missing from the guest’s hotel room experience will make sure you can catch potential holes in your services before they become a problem.
This same rule of thumb can be applied when your reception staff notices that guests are consistently asking for more towels, pillows or bottled water. Instead of making guests ask for what they need, give them what they need in the first place. Once you spot a trend, do something about it.
Guest feedback matters
Feedback is important so make sure guests have a place to give it to you. The old way of doing it is by leaving comment cards in your rooms, and having your front desk staff ask for feedback at check out. Nowadays, you can automate emails that get sent once a guest has left your property as part of your guest retention plan. Not only will guests be pleased to know that their opinion counts, it’s a free way of conducting market research, which allows you to see holes in your operations in order to streamline the guest experience.
If you get positive feedback, invite guests to share it online. If you find negative comments, make sure to respond and give a solution, such as a free night’s stay or a free breakfast for their next stay. Reputation management is one of the most important elements of your operations. When managing the feedback make sure to be human. Don’t robotize your comments; instead, put yourself in the shoes of the customers so you respond the best way possible.
Make sure your operations are not stagnant
Nothing says a top hotel experience like one that is constantly striving for perfection. The same goes for how a hotel works; constantly strive for operational perfection by assessing how things are working, and get feedback from your key staff members to see how processes can be improved.
A hotel should work like a fine oiled machine, but since hotels are a non-stop 24-hour machine, the machine needs its oil changed regularly. That is to say that hotel operations should be changed and maintained on a regular basis. Update processes that are obsolete, conduct regular training so your team knows how things work, and refine, refine, refine.
We’ve looked at six of the best ways to improve your hotel’s operations. The key components of a smooth experience are solid communication, asking for feedback, fixing things before they become a problem, upskilling your staff, and choosing the right software choices.
While operations are fluid, constantly changing and evolving, one thing is for certain: by implementing some of these tricks, hoteliers are bound to offer top-of-the-line experiences that will lead to improved guest retention and the fidelity of your brand.
Eva Lacalle | 24 April 2021
Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.
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