3 Ways to Aid Hotel Recovery by Strengthening Operations

Position your property for quick recovery and lift stress from staff by streamlining hotel operations with back-office hospitality tools.

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry remains in a unique position compared to others. The novel coronavirus still poses a significant challenge to both operations and occupancy and while hotels have largely reopened, the cautious optimism shared by many hospitality experts is reliant on a slow build back to normal, not a sudden jump.

In the meantime, your team likely has even more responsibility than normal—but with fewer resources to accomplish everything. And you’re facing difficult choices: what can we afford to keep and what needs to be cut in order to make ends meet? All the while, intense scrutiny and pressure to get things just right is hanging over everyone. Yikes!

Yet while that stress is real and undeniable, it doesn’t have to overwhelm you or your staff. By strengthening the backbone of your property—your operations—you can empower employees and accelerate your recovery timeline. Here are three ways to streamline hotel operations:

Lighten the Load on Staff with Automation

In hospitality, automation has often been regarded as a negative, not a positive—something that over-promises and under-delivers. Or worse, something that works, but leads to a loss of service quality or employee cuts. In reality, it can empower employees and transform how you handle guest requests, room service orders, and more.

To be clear, automation can’t solve every problem. But tying service requests into a back-end platform ensures more efficient tracking and fulfillment, greatly reducing the chance of requests falling through the cracks and employees becoming overwhelmed. Fewer employees are needed to effectively manage them all, leaving time to focus on providing great service. Overall, backend automation can save more than three minutes of employee time per request, giving employees back thousands of minutes a month.

Streamline Service Using Business Intelligence

Automation can transform day-to-day processes, but to solidify recovery efforts and drive higher revenue, you also need a clear look at the big picture of your business. In that respect, no tool is more useful than business intelligence. It can show you:

  • How guest behavior has changed during the COVID-19 period
  • Where you’re losing money—and which channels are proving most profitable
  • How to identify broken processes and common service issues

With that information in hand, you can begin to streamline processes, reassign resources appropriately, and optimize your reopening strategy. As occupancy rates rise, you’ll be better equipped to test, refine, and scale an already successful system—one based on hard data.

Prevent Common Guest Issues Before They Arise

With business intelligence and automation working hand-in-hand, your property can shift from reactive service to proactive service. First, identify common friction points in every step of the guest journey. Then, look for ways to fix or remove the issues from the guest journey wherever possible. If confusion or frustration remains, pivot to communication. Let guests know in advance if service is disrupted or changed due to new COVID-19 protocols. The simple act of keeping them informed drastically reduces friction.

Once you shift to a proactive mindset, your staff will be able to breathe easier knowing they’ll likely see a drop in service requests and guest complaints, leaving them more time to handle other important tasks. And it’s not just a time-saver, it’s also a critical differentiator for your business. Proof that excellent service relies not on frequent face-to-face interactions between guests and staff, but a deep understanding of what guests need, and when they need it.

For many, investing in technology feels counterintuitive in a time like this. But it’s never been more important to have every tool at your disposal to ensure operations are running smoothly. In the end, the insights a set of back-office tools can provide will help smooth new processes and lift stress, putting your property in a prime position to rebuild and thrive as recovery begins.

See how you can streamline hotel operations to empower staff and form a proven recovery strategy.

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