While good communications between staff and customers matter to all businesses, for the hospitality industry the stakes are even higher. Online ratings and reviews can dramatically affect your hotel’s bottom line, and how you handle your guest experience will dictate whether and how well your guests review your hotel. Here are a few key hospitality-specific communications challenges that can make or break your guest experience, and a few ways to solve them with the right hospitality technology.
Challenge #1: Limited resources, particularly at night
The hospitality industry is a 24/7 business, but at night hotels typically have reduced staff numbers. On-duty staff are left multi-tasking, and can miss crucial communications while away from the front desk tending to other matters.
The solution: Automation and effective mobile technology. When your staff numbers are down, it’s important to take advantage of hotel technology that can automate responses to certain types of calls. Features like recorded announcements, multi-level auto-attendant, music on hold and automatic call distribution can be a boon to lean teams. Mobility plays a role in mitigating fewer resources as well – with SIP-DECT handsets or applications designed for personal mobile devices, your staff can take care of issues on-location without worrying about who is answering front desk calls.
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Challenge #2: Staff turnover
Staff turnover is a huge issue in parts of the hospitality industry, and can cost hotels up to 33 percent of revenue.1 Staff turnover creates problems for many aspects of a business, but it creates a specific challenge to maintaining effective communications across your property.
The solution: Intuitive user interface. Without an intuitive system that’s easy to learn, new employees will waste crucial time on training and trying to understand your communications system. To give new employees the most effective onboarding, look for a communications system with simple, user-friendly interfaces with intuitive menus and icons to help users find what they need, and mobile applications that leverage the smartphones employees are already familiar with.
Challenge #3: Service consistency
Between shift changes, staff turnover and general variation in staff performance levels, there are a lot of ways your guest experience can vary. With the impact online reviews can have on your property, ensuring your guest experience is as expected is critical.
The solution: Standardized technology. Rather than relying on risky tools like clipboards or paper lists that can be misplaced between shifts, look for technology that streamlines your communications between staff. Give your whole staff access to the same workflow tools by looking for a communications system with mobile application and technology options.
Challenge #4: Limited IT resources
For smaller hotels, access to IT resources on-site can be limited. Older or unnecessarily complicated communications systems can create serious problems for any size hotel, as a communications failure can have drastic results on your guest experience.
The solution: A reliable, easy to maintain system. Not all communications systems have to be overly complicated. To protect your property against downtime, you should look for a communications system that is easy to maintain yourself.
These four challenges are particularly important for the hospitality industry where every guest interaction counts. With limited resources and staff turnover, your hotel’s communications investment matters. Look for a communications system that helps fill the gaps and prevents downtime.
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1 Source: Employee Turnover Is a Hospitality Industry Problem: Here’s 5 Ways to Fix It.