There’s no denying that many hotels these days often leave a lot to be desired when it comes to guest convenience and a seamless, modern experience.
NB: This is an article from Operto
Issues might include slow check-ins, cumbersome room keys, malfunctioning keycards, and robotic customer service at the other end of an old-fashioned room phone.
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As a hotelier, you know modernizing and upgrading your systems is the future of hospitality operations. But it can be difficult to know where to start, especially when you’re rushed for time, and you’re not sure how complicated or expensive it will be to install. We get it.
But, as new research shows that improving the guest experience will be among the key hospitality industry trends in coming years, it’s crucial to make key tweaks to elevate the guest experience now.
Here’s our simple, 9-step plan to leverage smart tech and take back your time, so you can delight guests with thoughtful and memorable touches instead of getting lost in admin.
1. Embrace hotel guest technology
Installing smart hotel guest technology is the key to unlocking (literally!) a better guest experience throughout their stay.
It can be overwhelming, but if you commit to it, it’s not as complicated as you might fear. As Ryan Killeen says: “Hotels have done it one way this entire time, and they’re not confident to take a leap in some ways.
“But there is such a lot of positivity in how it can help you operate a hotel, and it’s a fundamental difference in approach. The hotel world is in desperate need of a shakeout.”
Guest communication technology
Technology can automate and simplify your communication with guests—especially when it comes to frequently-asked-questions and standard check-in messages—so you can start building that relationship without extra repetitive work.
Good communication starts as soon as the guest books. Don’t wait until a couple of days before the check-in to make contact.
Many smart tech platforms such as the guest communication portal Operto Connect enable you to send automated emails with all the key info ahead of time, and reach the guest directly on their smartphone, without requiring a separate mobile app.
This gives guests peace of mind and makes sure all their questions have been answered. It also establishes a friendly, direct channel of communication early on, so they feel cared for throughout. It also raises the guest’s expectations, so they get excited about their stay!
You can send personalized local recommendations in the same way, and ask them for feedback at the end of their stay too.
Team management technology
Team management technology means—as its name suggests—that you can share tasks with your team members, and coordinate staff remotely, simplifying room turnarounds.
Platforms such as Operto Teams coordinate everything digitally, you can see the status of each room or property at a glance on a single dashboard, and communicate with staff directly to coordinate cleaning and maintenance easily.
This means that rooms will always be ready and waiting for guests, with no risk of housekeeping entering spaces accidentally. It also limits any delays between check-outs and check-ins, giving guests the perfect first impression and setting a positive tone for their entire stay.
2. Change up your front desk
Changing the way your front desk works means unchaining staff from staying behind the counter, and freeing them up to be helpful and friendly elsewhere.
Not only does this improve the guest’s arrival and check-in (as there’s no more waiting in line), it also gives your staff real autonomy to do whatever they can to help the guest.
Freeing your staff from repetitive, time-consuming admin and paperwork means they can now focus on offering guests friendly, relaxed and helpful service instead.
3. Remove phones from the rooms
Communicating with guests directly via their smartphones removes the need for old-fashioned phones in rooms. That means you can chat with guests in a friendly, easy manner (while still staying professional, of course).
Allowing guests to use their phones brings the experience to them, and makes communication easier and more personal—whether they’re calling you for more towels, or just want a great restaurant recommendation for dinner.
“We’ve all been to a hotel where there’s a hotel phone, and you call and get the robotic ‘Thank you for calling reception services, Ryan speaking, how can I assist you today?’,” says Ryan Killeen.
“It’s intended to be personal, but it’s completely not. So we say, why not try to communicate as you might do with your friends? It’s just really speaking to our guests like people.”