The hotel industry is incredibly competitive and has many aspects that contribute to the overall guest experience. A successful hotel can stay one step ahead of hotel guests and deliver services that go above and beyond guest expectations. Whether you’re new to the hospitality industry or you’re looking for ways to improve your hotel’s operations, there are many ways that you can focus on exceptional customer service and creating an experience your guests will think about for the foreseeable future.
In addition to leveraging the information in this article, take advantage of our hospitality consulting services at Cultivate Advisors.
What Do We Mean by Hotel Operations?
Your hotel’s operational efficiency refers to the entire process of how your hotel functions daily. There are various moving parts to a hotel business that need to be considered such as daily management, housekeeping, front desk tasks, concierge services, and so much more. The best way to think of improving hotel operations is to consider the entire process from checking in to checking out. The better your hotel operations system is fleshed out, the higher your guest satisfaction will likely be.
Many hotels use a property management system to oversee all of the moving parts into a streamlined process. For example, the right operations software should be able to provide you with information on reservation and revenue management, housekeeping, and front-end operations management in one location.
How COVID-19 Impacted Hotel Operations
The hotel industry was hit hard by the pandemic. Even today, many hotels in the US are closed due to the pandemic, especially luxury hotels. For example, some hotels experienced an occupancy rate of less than 15 percent for luxury hotels and around 40 percent for economy hotels. As the hospitality industry continues to get back on its feet, it’s expected that economy hotels will recover the fastest given the state of today’s economy.
6 Ways to Improve Your Hotel Operations
If you’re in hotel management, we’ve outlined some simple but effective ways how to improve hotel operations and the overall guest experience.
#1 Invest in Your Team
The best hotel managers put a strong emphasis on building the right team. From the hotel manager to the hotel staff, every person that your guests interact with will shape their experience. Consider your current team effectiveness solutions that you have in place; does each department within the hotel have the tools they need to succeed? Don’t overcomplicate things, this process can be as easy as ensuring that your housekeeping team has the right materials to do their job successfully. Investing in your team also means that you have the right software tools such as a strong property management system (PMS) that allows them to keep guest information updated. Don’t forget to focus on ongoing leadership training to improve how your hotel operates as well.
Industry professionals know that communication is key when it comes to building a memorable customer experience. You’ll want to make sure that everyone is on the same page to ensure that you’re meeting standards to consistently deliver the ideal guest experience. Everyone on your team, across departments, should feel comfortable with the daily tasks on their plate. This could mean checking in with them regularly or setting recurring meetings to touch base. Any pertinent information should be noted in the software that you’re using. When your staff feels comfortable, they will be able to interact with guests more confidently.
#3 Select the Best Hotel Operations Management Software
Improve customer satisfaction by using the best-quality operations software. Although there are many benefits to using the right software, perhaps the most important aspect is having one reference point to keep track of everything. For example, you can keep track of your guest preferences, human resources, partner management, and more in one place. The dashboard will update in real time so that as guests arrive and check in, you can oversee your hotel’s operation and make timely decisions. The smoother your running operations, the less time your staff and hotel operations manager will have to worry about logistical issues and the more time they can spend on guest requests.
#4 Take Preventative Measures
Staying one step ahead of issues before the problem snowballs is key to improving your operations management. For example, many hoteliers spend time in each type of room that’s offered at your hotel so they can put themselves in the shoes of their guests. Even small things such as a leaking shower head or a stain on a pillowcase can turn a positive experience into a negative one. Any service gaps should be identified and all preventative maintenance should be performed in-depth to make sure that guests have nothing but a positive experience.
#5 Take Guest’s Feedback
Make sure you’re regularly checking in with online reviews and getting guest feedback that provides you with things you’re excelling at and areas where you can improve. What platforms are you providing to your guests that allow them to provide you with feedback? You can ask for it at checkout or send them a follow-up email that asks for their honest opinions. If you see negative feedback come through, make sure to respond quickly and address any concerns. Consider offering them a free dinner to make up for any shortcomings. Customer experience consulting is another way that hotel management can improve hotel operations by getting guest feedback.
#6 Combat Labor Shortages with Thoughtful Hiring Practices
One of the easiest ways for hospitality hotel operations management to improve operations is through their hiring practices. There’s an industry-wide issue of labor shortages that may cause some hotels to have difficulties filling open roles. Try to create honest and detailed job descriptions that outline the position’s duties, list wage expectations, showcase benefits, highlight hotel culture, etc. You’ll want to fully vet candidates with multiple interviews and background checks to ensure that they’re a good fit for your organization. In addition to the above, make sure you’re tapping into business recruiting services to better understand how to attract and maintain the industry’s top talent.
Considerations for Revenue & Budget Management Strategies
Managing hotel operations also refers to how you handle your revenue and your budget. As ever, the hotel and hospitality industry is at the mercy of economic trends and conditions that are changing and evolving. This means you’ll need to:
- Adapt as needed to keep a high occupancy rate. Make sure that your management teams are always looking into market trends and studying both guests and rival hotels;
- Conduct market research: Who is your main type of customer and what are they looking for during their stay? Are you collecting enough data along the way that will help you better anticipate trends and maximize revenue?
- Plan ahead: Forecasting and mapping are powerful tools to help you tap into these markets more effectively;
- Collaborate: Even though there are individual departments within your hotel, they should all be able to cross-collaborate and understand the larger goals of the operation;
- Optimize distribution channels: Take advantage of various distribution channels and messaging tactics to showcase the unique aspects that your hotel has to offer;
- Adjust prices as needed: Your rooms shouldn’t be the same prices at all times. Have an understanding of when your peak demand is so you can adjust your prices accordingly. On the other hand, if you can entice guests with lower prices and undercut your competitors, this is another approach to take.
Ready to Outperform Your Competition? Improve Hotel Operations Today!
From empowering employees to ensuring strong communication across your staff, there are many ways to help your guests have a smooth experience. If you’re ready to take the steps toward improving your operations and making guests happy consistently, we encourage you to get in touch with our team at Cultivate Advisors. We offer hotel operations consulting that can help you address key areas for improvement to have a major impact on your bottom line. Schedule a consultation with us to learn more about how we can help.