• Rick Campbell

A Few Successful Tips for Hotel Operations


For a customer to have a great experience at your hotel, each area of hotel operations needs to work together and have effective communication between the staff and each department.

Hotel operations include many different areas such as housekeeping, maintenance, front desk, concierge, call center, reservations, and management. Each area is a touch point for the customer. Each touch point needs to be a great experience, from the time of booking the reservation to check-in to check-out.

Ideally to manage these areas of hotel operations would be to have a single solution platform that can track reservations, revenue management, front desk operations, housekeeping and customer contact and preference data.

COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE

As in any company, there is nothing more important than communication starting from the ground up. Communication includes frontline staff, management and with the guests each day.

Every area / department of hotel operations should feel like they know what is going on in the hotel each day. Everyone should know vital information such as the arrival of VIPs or groups, or events taking place at the hotel, casino, or convention / meeting rooms. This information should not be for a select few departments but for everyone in every department.

When everyone in every department is informed, they are better equipped to make guests feel special. Each touch point can check with guests throughout their stay to make sure their needs are being met. Example, when someone in housekeeping is passing a guest in the hallway, housekeeping can ask the guests if everything in their room is ok, or if they need anything. Using today's technology, the front desk or the concierge desk can check with a guest through a text message or mobile app to see if the guests need anything. It is a quick and effortless way to communicate with the guests.

TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING,

It seems at times, when someone is hired into a certain position in a particular department, they are provided with training in the skills for that department and never get the opportunity to learn about other areas in the operations of the hotel. Need to make sure that staff can learn and be able to move within the organization or get a better understanding of other departments. For example, the front desk can be trained in housekeeping so they know what should be in each room upon check-in. Management needs a complete understanding of each department and the expectations of each department need to be communicated clearly. A manager cannot have a complete understanding unless they know the ins and outs of each department.


NOT JUST SOFTWARE - BUT THE RIGHT SOFTWARE

We have experienced some hotel operations and believe that if the software can book hotel rooms it is good enough to use for hotel operations. Management thought since it was cheap, it was great because it came in under budget. A cheaper cost on software doesn't mean it is any less efficient and productive than the higher cost software platform. It all comes down to functionality and what the expectations of the platform are. To make sure you are getting a platform that is efficient and productive for your hotel operations, you need to create an RFP (Request for Proposal). In the RFP, list the functions you NEED the software to do. Then list in the RFP the functions you WANT the software to do. The difference is what the software must do to operate the hotel and what your wish list is for the software to do. The systems companies should respond with how they can meet the NEEDS and be able to list if there are additional modules or possible custom functions that can be created to meet the WANTS of the RFP. Make sure to add a system integrations the hotel system may have to communicate with (i.e. casino system, POS system, ticketing system, mobile app, etc.). Demos from system providers are a terrific way for the salespeople to brag "we are the best system" and it is great to see some of the functionality of the system. But the RFP will answer the questions of what you need in a system.

GUEST FEEDBACK - DON"T GROAN ABOUT IT! IT MATTERS!

Getting guests feedback is important. Make sure you have the procedures in place to capture guest feedback. Capturing guest feedback can be as old school as a comment card in the hotel room. But make sure that housekeeping or a staff member is collecting the comment cards and the information is put into a system. With technology today, automated emails can be sent after a guest checks out, or a link can be sent via mobile for a guest to provide feedback. The guest will feel good knowing you care about their opinion. It also allows you to find areas to improve upon in the operations of the hotel.

STRIVING FOR PERFECTION

Every hotel strives for a perfect stay for their guests. The hotel operations should then continue to strive for perfection by continually assessing how operations are working, getting feedback from everyone in every department. Have an open door to management for staff to provide feedback and see how procedures and operations can be improved.

To continue for the best guest experience and the most efficient ways of operations, processes should be audited and reviewed continuously. Policies and procedures that are obsolete need to be updated. Training, training, training so that the staff know of any changes and know how things are to operate. Keep refining policies and procedures to be effective and efficient in all areas of operations.

While hotel operations are continuing to change and evolve especially with recent technologies, communication, training, the proper tools, using customer feedback and continuing to improve operations are areas that will help to ensure a great customer experience. Your occupancy will increase, your guest retention will improve, and your reputation will continue to grow.

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