How Hotel Guest Service Systems Can Enhance The Guest Experience
All hotels know the importance of delivering great quality service, yet the explosion in digitisation and communication makes it a huge challenge to do this on a consistent basis. This makes one question if the shift to Digitisation really worth it.
Hotels are bombarded with requests from countless channels as guests get in touch via phone, email, messaging platforms, mobile apps, and social media. Staying on top of this (and trying to offer great face-to-face service at the same time), means it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
OUTDATED SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGY
The reason it’s overwhelming is that some hotels still rely on old-fashioned manual processes to track service requests and assign tasks. According to Hospitality Technology
Unsurprisingly, this paves the way for mistakes and inefficiency.
Relying on fragmented technology creates similar headaches for hoteliers. If staff are using different systems to track progress on tasks and guest requests, it’s easy to see how errors can be made.
Management is also left with a limited overview of operations, and lots of unanswered questions. Are staff being as efficient as they can be? Are guests receiving the high level of service they expect? Is the brand promise being delivered consistently? It’s incredibly hard to know these things when information exists on paper or lives on multiple systems.
The key to success, then, is digitisation and automation. It requires an industry-specific tool that acts as a central resource for all departments. This kind of technology can carry out a number of roles, including tracking requests from guests, automating and streamlining hotel employee workflow to increase efficiencies, reducing costs, and personalising the guest experience.
Let’s take a more detailed look at five of the benefits they offer.
1. NEVER MISS A REQUEST
A big benefit of a guest management system is that all staff can communicate, track, and update requests in one place. Jobs can be scheduled for immediate or future action, which makes for a more streamlined and intelligent way to handle requests based on their urgency.
This can be especially helpful during a shift change — a key time when information can slip through the net. When a new staff member starts their shift, they can easily check any outstanding requests that need to be actioned. That might involve a room change, delivering additional towels, or confirming a guest’s dinner reservation.
Then there are times when ensuring requests are passed on becomes especially important. For instance, a family arriving with a baby might have asked for a cot to be placed in their room. The last thing you want is for that family to arrive at 10 p.m. with a screaming infant, only to find their request hasn’t been fulfilled.
2. THE RIGHT PERSON ON THE JOB
Guest request management software also allows requests to be automatically distributed to the department or staff member most suited to the specific task at hand. That might be based on their location in the hotel (allowing them to react quickly), or their particular skill set.
An employee can then accept a request and mark it as closed once it’s been handled. This allows for total transparency, so everyone on the team is updated in real-time.
The benefit of this is that the right person is assigned without delay. This means a guest isn’t left waiting unnecessarily and receives help from the most appropriate staff member. When requests are assigned automatically, your team no longer has to waste valuable time manually coordinating and routing tasks.
3. RESOLVE ISSUES SWIFTLY
A major focus for any hotel is complaint management. A negative guest experience can translate into a negative TripAdvisor post within seconds. So when it comes to resolving issues, delay is a dirty word. Furthermore, 52% of consumers say the most important attribute of an exceptional experience is a fast response time to their needs and issues.
A recent Skift consumer survey found that core hotel operations like housekeeping, check-in, and check-out were often cited as sources of frustration for guests, suggesting an opportunity for a more holistic approach to operations.
Of course in the digital age, seamless one-to-one communication raises guest expectations further. We live in a world where email now is considered too slow, so we text or use messaging apps. The pace at which we live our lives is forever getting faster and guests expect super-fast responses to requests and complaints.
This is where guest request management software really comes into its own. Whether it’s alerting maintenance to a faulty in-room air-con system, or housekeeping to an understocked minibar— small issues or potentially major complaints are instantly routed for swift resolution.
4. MORE FOCUS ON THE GUEST
In the hotel industry, attention is a finite yet invaluable resource. Guests expect to have their needs attended to quickly. But when hotel staff are dealing with multiple requests split across multiple systems, their attention is taken away. As a consequence, they simply can’t devote the same attention to the guests in front of them.
A centralised guest management system helps by removing the need for hotel staff to monitor different channels, freeing them up to spend more time on what really matters — providing a great guest experience.
5. PERSONALISING THE GUEST EXPERIENCE
Personalisation is very much the industry buzzword right now. The modern-day hotel guest arrives expecting their unique needs and preferences to be catered for. Especially if they’ve stayed with the hotel many times before.
If a guest previously requested extra pillows or a specific beer in their mini-bar, it’s very likely they’ll expect the same again. In order to meet this expectation, hotels need to understand their guests like never before.
Whether it’s captured via digital communication (e.g. social media, email, messaging app) or through a verbal request on-property, which is logged in the guest request management software, it needs to be recorded in a central system.
Any member of staff can then access this data (and add to it over time) to help pre-empt needs and deliver exceptional service — personalising the guest experience in the most meaningful way possible.
THE BEST SERVICE POSSIBLE FOR GUEST EXPERIENCE
In the digital age, hotels are bombarded with a huge volume of data from an array of sources. The post-it note culture of yesteryear just doesn’t cut it anymore. In order to quickly assign tasks to staff, handle guest requests, and much more — a centralised guest request management tool is essential.
This automated, 21st-century solution is the key to the ultimate guest experience. It allows a hotel to run more smoothly — optimal efficiency to provide optimal service! The end result is happier guests who are much more likely to return time and time again.
Need help considering or selecting the best technology for your Hotel and guests? Technology 4 Hotels can save you time and hassle, and help you increase your revenue. If you have feedback on this article or would like to connect, please get in touch via phone at +61 2 8317 4000, or book a time for a complimentary 15-minute Tech Chat, Just click here.