Successful hotels don’t pop-up overnight. It takes time to build a brand, design an experience, furnish a property, hire and train staff, and finally gain loyal, repeat guests. One of the people who has the biggest impact on all of this is a hotel general manager. General managers are often the glue of a hotel bringing together the guest experience, work culture, service standards, and financial performance.
A hotel general manager can’t do it all alone though. One of the most important things a general manager can do to ensure their success is leverage technology for operational excellence, streamlined communications, and efficient task management. Platform-based hotel operations software keeps all departments on the same page. From front of house staff to back of house staff, teams are aligned when they’re using a cloud based hotel management solution.
Here are five habits of successful hotel general managers:
Use hotel operations software
Hotel technology is essential for hotels of all sizes. It is the source of truth for answers to questions posed by guests, staff, or management. General managers can leverage hotel operations software to:
- Communicate with guests using messaging tools
- Maintain a new level of clean with housekeeping software
- Enable employees to wear multiple hats
- Keep guests safe with preventative maintenance software
Make data-driven decisions
Data helps hoteliers make informed decisions. Every data point, from how many requests for towels are made in a day, to how long it takes for room attendants to clean a room, tells a story about a hotel. That story might be the hotel is a well-oiled machine, with all daily operations happening with ease. But that story could also highlight inefficiencies, broken processes or barriers in day to day operations.
Hotel operations software helps general managers gather, store, and report on just about everything that happens in a hotel. From a cost savings perspective, data can provide big picture or small detail information that can inform decisions.
Grupo Posadas, a large hotel brand based in Mexico, which owns and operates 180+ hotels, uses ALICE’s full suite of operational software to understand and improve its hotel operations. General Managers are trained to detect easily overlooked issues and deploy immediate preventive and corrective actions to proactively improve service and avoid negative reviews.
"ALICE has helped us by providing enterprise and individual property statistics that we have used to implement operational improvements," remarks Enrique Calderón, COO of Grupo Posadas. "30% of our requests involve bringing more towels to guest rooms. If we simply put extra towels in each room, we lower guest requests and save the staff the time that it takes to fulfill each request. The results are fewer annoyed customers, fewer room deliveries, less workload, and greater savings."
Solicit and listen to feedback -- from staff and guests
Guest comments are a gift. The best time to solve guest issues is when they are still on site. Understanding and empathizing is sometimes all the guest wants!
Ask guests for feedback throughout their stay. Use guest messaging software to send a text and check-in on them mid-stay: “How is everything? Please let us know if you require anything else to enjoy your stay!” You can also leverage messaging software to send guests an email or text post-stay: “Please let us know how you enjoyed your stay!”
Asking for staff feedback is as equally important as getting guest feedback. A hotel’s ability to provide superior guest service relies heavily on its staff. Happy staff are essential to providing exceptional guest experiences. Having a finger on the pulse of your staff’s general contentment is important for general managers.
Provide opportunities for staff training and development
A general manager is responsible for the guest experience, and the staff experience. The hotel industry is constantly learning. Opportunities for growth, training and advancement within a hotel incentivize employees to go the extra mile. Frequent training allows for every member of that department, or your entire hotel, to operate on the same page.
Providing hotel staff with the tools they need to be efficient, like hotel operations software, is also important. Many pieces of hotel technology are industry standard, and an employee that has deep familiarity with operational tools, channel management software, or any other software program is a valuable employee.
Most importantly, training opportunities help employees recognize how important their roles are within a hotel. No department or individual can run a hotel on their own.
Automate processes when possible
Hotel management software helps general managers and teams automate housekeeping, preventative maintenance, and guest service tasks. Automation can save time and money. With certain tasks that are automated, staff have more control over their time allowing them to act proactively instead of reactively. 80% of maintenance personnel favor preventive maintenance over reactive maintenance.
General managers who automate preventative maintenance can:
- Increase the lifetime of your hotel’s most expensive pieces of equipment
- Budget appropriately, reduce unexpected capital expenditures, and save money
- Support lean teams
- Work smarter
At the end of the day hotel general managers that are able to leverage hotel operations software have a much better chance of success. Hotel operations software helps managers achieve short term and long term goals for their property and their teams.