Smaller staff are dealing with real challenges as occupancy rates rise. Here’s how to give hotel staff the tech they need to make it work.
Across travel industries, there seems to be agreement that a return to travel is on the horizon. But the questions still hanging in their air is: When?
Right now the answer depends on who you ask. CNN Travel reports domestic travel will likely see a big uptick this summer as “Staycations” continue to become more popular; as for long-haul travel, they report “optimistically” things will be back to normal later in 2021 or early in 2022. But this optimism is not held by everyone: Singapore-based director at Alton Aviation Consultancy, Joshua Ng predicts global travel will continue to be reduced until 2023 or even 2024.
For many hoteliers, this uncertain timeline makes it difficult to prepare. How long should reduced staffing continue? When should full services and staffing be put back into place? Will extra staff be needed when short and long-haul travel rebound?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a rollout plan that’s one-size-fits-all. Every hotelier will have to craft a timeline that makes sense for their properties. In the interim, it is vital that priority is given to making sure staff is not overwhelmed and service is not compromised. In order to avoid high turnover and guest frustration, tech can lighten the load on hotel staff and fill in gaps in the meantime.
Whether reduced or full, here are three ways to make sure your staff is prepared for the full return of travel.
1. Alleviate Front Desk Friction
Guests will be expecting mobile options, but they also want the ability to speak to a real person always available. To keep front desks freed up for guests, hoteliers should be offering mobile options for services that do not require a staff member. When check-in, dining requests, and concierge services can all be done on their personal device, guests don’t have to worry about standing in a long line or waiting on hold.
Mobile options allow for check-in efficiency and accessibility of services for guests without requiring full staff. Maximizing front desk systems before the travel rebound, can ensure the transition to more guests and full staffing is smooth.
2. Resolve Day-to-day Operational Issues
As hoteliers look to the future of post-COVID travel, they must look to the past. What common pain points will show up again once travel rebounds? Consider the ways ticketing and service requests have been handled previous to the pandemic travel lull.
Streamlining work orders and service requests from start to finish through mobile technology will give reduced or full staff simplified systems with clear task management. Managers should be able to keep tabs on work orders without having to track people down. And staff should be able to access their to-dos on the go. Mitigating past pain points now will set staff up for success when occupancy increases.
3. Streamline Staff Communication
Regardless of staffing size, operational efficiency hinges on effective communication. How are front desk, dining, and maintenance staff able to stay on the same page? Where are wires getting crossed?
Hoteliers should take this time before things return to “normal,” to streamline communication between staff and management as well as staff and guests. If hoteliers wait to add mobile systems to their internal communication, they risk wasting time and staff on easily avoidable service requests and work order issues. They also risk losing valuable opportunities when guests want face-to-face assistance or need service recovery. Now is the time to provide hotel staff with the tools needed so they can give guests an enjoyable, personable experience. From the time guests arrive to the time they leave, ensure your staff is available to assist guests while being entirely in sync with other departments.
Give Hotel Staff the Tech They Need to Succeed
Whether it’s 2021, 2024, or somewhere in between, the only thing standing in the way of staff being ready for a travel rebound, is effective, streamlined systems. Hoteliers have the opportunity to set up internal communications and external services to alleviate, resolve, and streamline the staff experience. Creating an environment for success on the staff side allows for guests to get the best service and attention. Now is the time to set up staff for success by filling in the gaps with tech.
Equip your staff with everything they need to handle everything that comes with the new normal. Request a demo of the INTELITY platform now.