2020 has been a challenge for the hotel industry; a lesson in facing adversity. There’s no need to list the myriad of ways in which hotel teams around the world, and the hospitality industry in general, have suffered; we’ve all lived it. Part of what was hard about 2020 was that so many of the events that had an impact on hotels were unexpected, and ever changing. Things moved quickly this year with regions opening and closing practically overnight.
We’d all like to put 2020 behind us as soon as possible, which means looking ahead and planning for 2021. While there still may be many surprises ahead, as an industry, we can only do our best to expect the unexpected, and prepare for it. This is where hotel software comes in. Hotel software enables lean hotel departments to do the most impactful work in the most efficient way.
The time to buy a solution for your hotel is now.
The housekeeping department is more important than ever
Most housekeeping departments are currently operating with a lean staff until occupancy returns to pre-pandemic levels. With a smaller team, the importance of making sure teams are doing the RIGHT work at any given time is critical. A change in room status shouldn’t require team members to do anything other than consult their mobile devices, in real time, for related messages and new assignments.
There is an intense scrutiny on housekeeping teams to implement and follow new safety protocols (to keep both guests and staff safe), and there are numerous new standard operating procedures that teams are now expected to comply with regularly. Digital checklists, that are built into operational software, act as reminders for the important, but easily overlooked tasks.
Selecting a good housekeeping solution for your hotel is important -- find features that work for your team. Check out our blog on the top features to look for in housekeeping software.
Prepare for changes in staffing and job descriptions
Hotels have been operating with lean teams, across all departments, since early 2020. Even as hotels have reopened around the nation, hotels are struggling to hire back some of their employees that were laid off in March. Lean teams mean that employees often wear multiple hats, and take on job duties that they are unfamiliar with. Hotel software helps hotel teams that are understaffed, with checklist reminders, flexible user permissions, and training new employees.
A good piece of staff-facing hotel technology should be user-friendly, meaning that training your staff shouldn’t be time consuming. With intuitive design and functionality, new staff can easily start using hotel software with little training.
The days of housekeeping managers and supervisors sitting behind desks, pens and paper in hand, and running back and forth to the printer are gone. With lean teams it’s essential that teams are out on the floor, jumping in where needed, and not chained to a desk. The inclusion of technology in the housekeeping department is not new. However, COVID-19 has accelerated the need for housekeeping departments to do more with less, and housekeeping software helps teams do just that.
Guests want transparency and clear communication every step of the way
With COVID-19 on the minds of travelers and hotel guests this year, making contactless communication a priority is essential. Let your guests know how your hotel is responding and taking the proper steps to ensure safe operations.
Contact your guests prior to their arrival, during their stay, and after they’ve departed. Communicating and reiterating hotel cleanliness and your specific COVID-19 cleaning protocols can help put your guests at ease, and make sure that they are also doing their part to stay healthy and not put staff at additional risk. The guest experience is enhanced greatly with contactless communication.
Use these templates to message with your guests and keep them updated before, during, and after their stay.
Evaluate and compare solutions
Purchasing hotel technology doesn’t have to be a challenge, but it can take time to read reviews, get recommendations, and request proposals from companies. There are a lot of resources available to hoteliers, including ALICE’s Hotel Technology Buyer’s Guide and websites like Hotel Tech Report.
Finding out how long it takes for a company to launch a solution at your hotel is vital. And what’s the lag time between purchase and implementation? If you start this process now, you could be well on your way to implementing hotel technology at your hotel very quickly! While implementation time may vary for different solutions, we’ve written a guide on how long it takes to implement ALICE at your hotel for your reference.
Hotel operations software can improve online reviews
Your hotel’s online reviews matter. Nobody wants to stay at a hotel with poor reviews, and during a time of low occupancy, where hotels are fighting for every guest, now is not the time for poor reviews. Hotel operations software can help your hotel improve its online reviews immediately.
Nearly 98% of travelers read online reviews from other travelers, and 78% of travelers think that reviews from other travelers are very, or extremely important in the decision making process. So if your guests are leaving bad reviews on review sites, chances are they’re deterring future guests from making hotel reservations.
Operations software can help hotels improve their reviews by:
- Communicating with guests to set expectations
- Asking guests for reviews in a thank you note
- Providing proactive service recovery before it turns into a bad review
There is no time like the present to implement hotel software at your hotel. As hoteliers make their budgets for 2021, an investment in hotel technology is step toward preparing for the unexpected.
Interested in learning more about ALICE and how it can help your hotel’s operations? Request a demo today!