Top Tech Tools To Improve Basic Hotel Operations

Stephen Alemar
November 28, 2022

You’ve probably heard plenty of tech providers or hospitality consultants say how important it is to “optimize hotel operations.”

While this advice could mean any number of things, the general idea behind it is straightforward: improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your basic hotel operations to better serve guests, drive more revenue and increase profitability.

There are many ways to do that. You can hire qualified employees, train your staff, implement SOPs, and, of course, invest in hotel technology to support your team.

But before you do any of that, you have to really understand basic hotel operations and how they work together. With this knowledge, you can choose the right tools to improve your workflows.

What Are Basic Hotel Operations?

Basic hotel operations essentially keep your hotel running. As you know, this requires many different departments to work together seamlessly.

Here’s a list of the most important ones your property can’t live without:

  • Reservations: They handle guest inquiries, take bookings and therefore bring in a lot of your business.
  • Front Desk: This is where guests get the first and last impression of your property during check-in/out: Arguably two of the most important moments in the guest journey.
  • Concierge: If separate from your reception team, your concierges fulfill special requests and help guests to personalize their stay.
  • Housekeeping & Maintenance: While they’re less visible to guests than other departments, their work is crucial since they ensure that all rooms are clean and functioning fully.
  • F&B: Delicious food and drinks are often an important part of the stay experience and can even be a way to draw guests.
  • Wellness & Recreation: While this isn’t strictly necessary, a spa, gym and other spaces for relaxation, exercise and entertainment can be an important USP.

When all these teams work together like intricate clockwork, you can offer guests a memorable stay experience that they want to tell all their friends about.

To make this happen, two things are especially important:

  1. Effective Communication Among Departments: Teams need to share knowledge of guest preferences and tasks that need to be completed.
  2. Efficient Workflows: Each department has many tasks to handle, so efficiency is crucial if you don’t want things to fall through the cracks.

One way to support your team on these fronts is to ensure they have the resources to both communicate and work efficiently. Modern tech tools can help with this since they allow you to streamline operations and improve the guest experience.

Since there are seemingly countless options today, let’s look at the technology solutions that will make the biggest difference.

The Most Effective Technology Tools for Improving Basic Hotel Operations

Contactless Check-In

This lets your guests handle all formalities and payment guarantees pre-arrival. For guests that use Contactless Check-In, all that’s left to do upon their arrival is collect the key. If that’s also digital, they can completely skip the reception and head straight to their room.

Your front office team can save between two and four minutes per arrival this way and gain back more time for quality interactions. Travelers see yet another benefit because they can enjoy more flexibility and complete their arrival process on their terms. Dream Hollywood is a perfect example. Here, guests have rated the contactless check-in process an average of 4.92 stars.

Contactless Checkout

Contactless Checkout enables guests to leave at their convenience. This makes departures much less stressful since travelers do not have to wait in long lines at the front desk to hand over keys, while fretting about being late for their flight or train.

Your front office and housekeeping teams benefit from this service as well. Receptionists save time since guests don’t have to check out in person. Room attendants can better plan their day’s work because the system immediately shows which guests have already left their rooms.

And Canary’s Contactless Checkout solution prompts customers to leave a review and pushes uses to share 5-stars on Google and Tripadvisor.

Digital Upsells

Digital upselling means that guests get pre-arrival emails, SMS or DMs that promote your hotel’s ancillary services and higher room categories. Travelers can conveniently browse and book your offers via your online platform to customize their stay as much or as little as they like. Since the information about what the guest has booked flows directly to the department involved, they can prepare everything in advance.

That paves the way for a perfectly tailored experience, great reviews and increased revenue in your rooms, F&B and spa & recreation departments. 

Staypineapple Hotels’ story illustrates the impact of shifting to digital upselling. The group saw their upsell package sales grow by 200% once they moved to a digital model. And they’re not the only ones. Depending on their offering and target audience, hotels can generate as much as $10,000 or more in ancillary revenue per month. 

See how Staypineapple increased upsell revenue 200% with Canary!

Guest Messaging

Staying in touch with travelers throughout the guest journey helps you understand what they want and need, so you can create a more customized experience. Especially if you have a large property or a small team, automated guest messaging is the key to scaling your communication.

Guest messaging brings several benefits for your major guest-facing departments. First, your front office and reservation teams save time because they don’t have to manually reach out to every guest. The system handles it and only requires them to act if guests respond with a request or an issue. Hearing about travelers’ problems while they’re still in-house is extremely important since it gives you the opportunity to fix them. According to the Service Recovery Paradox, this increases your chances of making your guest a fan and possibly a loyal client if you can turn things around.

Lastly, checking in with your guests regularly also opens the door to more upselling and cross-selling opportunities for services from other departments with little effort.

Digital Tipping

You, your guests… everyone has been there: you want to tip someone for great service, but you don’t have cash on you. Or maybe you’re not sure they’ll actually get their tip if you add it to your card payment. Digital Tipping from Canary finally solves these problems. It allows guests to tip departments or individual staff members whatever amount they feel is appropriate via their smartphones. 

Since this makes tipping so much easier for guests, they’re likely to do it more often. Data shows that tips can increase up to five-fold once a digital solution goes live at a hotel. And with integrations making processing and payouts quick and hassle-free for your hotel, your staff can always be confident that they’re getting the tips they deserve. According to the Harvard Business Review, higher compensation through tips results in improved morale, productivity increases of up to 31% and improved employee retention. Especially given today’s staffing crisis, this simple tool can have a huge impact on your business. 

Conclusion 

Digital solutions can help your property optimize a host of basic hotel operations. This not only saves your team valuable time, it also opens the door to more personalized service, better reviews and increased revenue. And while it may feel like a bit much to implement them all at once, each of the tools mentioned here pays for itself in more than one way. So consider where you want to get started with optimizing your operations and go for it. Your team, your guests and your topline will thank you for it.

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