One of these solutions is contactless — or mobile — check-in. Implementing a mobile check-in solution streamlines the arrival experience for guests by enabling them to check-in remotely from their mobile device, and enables hotels to add upsell offers and PCI compliant fraud prevention tools to the check-in process.
Smart-lock integrations also allow guests to check-in on their phones so they can bypass the front desk entirely should they so choose.
2. Deploy Room Service Robots (No, really!)
How can hotels deal with the labor shortage? With room service robots, of course! These handy gizmos help reduce the burden on key hotel departments by delivering things like meals, towels, and other items.
Dash, a robot created by AI entrepreneur Savioke, is even able to operate elevators, change floors, and communicate with guests using a touch screen.
Robots may be cool and improve operational processes, but don’t forget that a human touch is essential when delivering a great customer experience.
3. Offer Upsells & Room Upgrades in a Convenient, Unobtrusive Way
Every hotel operator wants to increase profit. And one of the best ways to do so is by increasing upsell opportunities. If you don’t ask, you don’t get, as the phrase goes. Most guests would be willing to pay a little extra for secure parking, airport transit, or early check-in/late checkout.
But the list doesn’t just end there. Get creative with upsell ideas such as spa add-ons or room upgrades.
A great way to take full advantage of upsells is by using the right technology. Canary Upsells, for example, allows guests to purchase add-ons throughout the guest journey.
5. Power-up Your Workforce
One of the most important elements of a hotel business is its workforce; the individual contributors who keep the establishment going. One of the best improvements you can make is by investing and empowering your employees.
Treat your employees like customers, as this Forbes article recommends, and you might just see a difference in output and performance.
Invest in and get creative with regular training for each department. This can look like incorporating roleplay customer service scenarios where employees are encouraged to think on their feet and improvise. Give them a budget for complimentary upgrades or add-ons when complaints happen.
Your employees will thank you, and so will your guests.
5. Capture More Guest Information at Check-In
The more guest information your hotel can collect, the better. From names and emails to diet restrictions or preferences, detailed information allows you to improve the guest experience from pre-stay to post.
The right information allows you to categorize guests by age, diet, or typical spend for example, and tailor your marketing to suit their demographic and preferences.
When guests book through online travel agencies (OTAs), however, contact details like email address, phone number are not typically shared with the hotel.
Contactless check-in solutions give you a way to collect essential information with customizable fields built into the check-in flow so that you can add guests to mailing lists.
6. Prioritize Preventative Maintenance
Hotel preventative maintenance is essential to keeping hotel facilities and areas functional, and preventing repair costs. It also helps you prolong the life of hotel assets and anticipate when certain things will need to be replaced, which allows you to improve budgeting.
While this is likely something your hotel is currently doing, there are many ways to improve your maintenance systems. For example, regularly check lighting fixtures, HVAC systems, and electrical appliances throughout the property.
7. Give Guests Easier Ways to Communicate with The Front Desk
According to the Zingle “2019 Guest Service Report”, 45% of hotel guests surveyed said that they would prefer to report an issue through SMS or a messaging application — instead of over the phone, email or in-person.
Additionally, one in three hotel guests stated they do not report issues because there is “not an easy or quick way to do so”.
The same report reveals that 51% of respondents said that online reviews impact their decision to give a hotel their business.
Catching a complaint early is essential to avoid poor Tripadvisor and Google reviews. One of the best ways to do so is by implementing guest messaging technology that enables you to have a seamless and comfortable communication with guests at any point in their stay.
Giving guests an easy way to report issues via their preferred app (SMS, WhatsApp, etc.,) helps not only improve their stay, but also save time for your staff.
Want to increase response times to guest inquiries by up to 50% and dramatically improve the guest experience?
Sustainability in today’s world is non-negotiable for hospitality — an industry that is near universally understood to create a lot of waste.
Implementing eco-friendly changes helps hotels achieve growth, save money, and attract more guests. In fact, one in three consumers prefer sustainable brands, according to Unilever.
Implementing Eco-friendly practices in 3 easy steps:
Switch to more sustainable suppliers, and drop the use of synthetic materials throughout your hotel. A good way to do this is by removing single-use plastics from rooms and using glass bottles instead.
Switch to LED lights, provide rentable push bikes, and implement a more thorough recycling program throughout your hotel.
Attract more eco-minded travelers by adjusting your marketing. This entails highlighting things like pictures of your property’s eco-efforts (e.g., rain barrels for watering gardens, etc.) and badges/descriptions that promote the green initiatives you are undertaking. Additionally, Tripadvisor allows qualifying hotels to list under their “Green Leaders” section.
9. Provide a Digital Tipping to Guests
Cash was already less common than ever before COVID-19 hit. And since the pandemic, the number of people carrying paper bills and metal coins has dropped significantly. In countries like the United States, where restaurant and housekeeping workers rely on tips as part of their salary, this situation has had a huge unintended negative impact.
As a result, cashless tipping technology for frontline hotel workers is more important than ever. Not only does the tech make the tipping process easier for guests, it also strengthens staff retention and attraction.
Using a solution like Canary Digital Tipping, guests can choose exactly how much they’d like to tip and give to individuals or departments. Place QR codes throughout the hotel to make it easy for guests to scan and tip.
Want to boost hotel staff pay by up to $3 per hour and improve employee retention?
Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) and Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) exist to connect communities in a particular region or city. From business travel, leisure, and group business, they can provide you with leads, and take some of the pressure off your sales teams.
A great focus for your hotel could be creating or improving your partnership with these organizations. Given that they look after a whole community — and likely your local comp set — it’s important to stay in regular contact and build strong relationships with the right people within them.
Ensure you provide them relevant and updated information on a regular basis so that you have the best chance of winning business through these organizations.
11. Push Your Best Reviews to Google & Tripadvisor
Collecting excellent reviews is no longer a nice-to-have for hotels. Nowadays, many guests — particularly the younger generations — rely on online reviews heavily when deciding where to stay.
When sites like Tripadvisor and Google make it easy for a potential guest to choose a competitor over your hotel, they also give you a tool to attract more business.
Now, hotel technology, such as Canary Contactless Checkout, gives you a way to guide guests to review sites. This technology allows guests to choose a checkout time and even checkout later for a fee (upselling!). Guests are then driven to Tripadvisor or Google with a brief, customizable survey.
Find out how Canary Contactless Checkout helped Ali’i Resorts LLC increase their Google star rating from 3.5 to 4.6!
12. Read & Analyze Online Reviews
Your online reviews are a treasure trove for hotel improvement inspiration. Spend a bit of time analyzing your reviews and you’ll begin to see patterns. Perhaps multiple guests have complained about the quality of customer service at the front desk, the standard of the food, or lacking in-room amenities.
Even 5-star reviews sometimes come with tips for management, so don’t discount them.
There are two types of fraud that impacts hotels. Card-not-present fraud is where a bad actor uses someone else’s credit card to make a transaction. And friendly fraud is where a person requests a chargeback after a transaction has been authorized.
Hotels are now turning to digital authorizations — instead of using insecure paper/PDF credit card authorizations - to reduce chargebacks and fraud.
Important Note: If you are still using paper/PDF credit card authorization forms, these forms are no longer considered PCI compliant and regularly lead to fraud and chargebacks!
There are bound to be times in the year when occupancy drops, especially if your destination’s tourism is dependent on certain types of weather.
Adjusting your marketing strategy for such times will help you handle low demand and drum up interest during off-seasons. For example, if you’re a ski resort, try advertising alternative activities for travelers to experience during the summer months like biking, hiking, or swimming, and offer special packages for weekends away.
15. Reduce Operating Costs
When looking for hotel improvement ideas, saving money across departments is a no-brainer. From implementing sustainable practices to cross-training staff, there are a myriad of ways you can cut costs.
It’s important to watch out for pitfalls in this pursuit, however, such as letting staff go in times of low-demand. While this can have short-term benefits, you could find yourself in a pickle once demand picks up.
16. Personalize Your Guest Experience
All guests want to feel valued and, while providing great customer service is essential, personalization is now an expectation. Personalizing the guest experience is a great way to go an extra mile and rise above competitors.
Ideas like greeting guests by name or leaving handwritten notes in rooms can make a huge difference to the guest experience and overtime, improve your hotel’s performance.
17. Be an Expert on Your Local Area
It never hurts to have a handful of great local recommendations when guests ask. But what if you could take it a step further?
Following up on the point above about personalization, a great way to wow guests is to share insider tips on the local area based on the guest’s interests.
Tell foodies about the best Italian restaurant in town, and active guests about the best hiking routes the area has to offer. This is where it helps to build guest profiles with the help of technology solutions like Contactless Check-In that enable hoteliers to add customizable information form fields to the check-in process. This is the ideal place in the guest journey to learn everything you need to know about your guests.
When to Implement Your Hotel Improvement Ideas
Now that you have your fresh new list of hotel improvement ideas, you may be wondering, when is the best time to implement them? And the answer is: it depends.
Some ideas can and should be acted on right away. If it’s simple to implement and could make a tremendous impact, or urgently needed due to staffing-shortages, then these ideas should take priority.
Other ideas might take a bit more planning, however. New technology and software may need to be implemented around budget season, and ideas related to marketing may need to be worked-in to your yearly plan with your marketing department.
Having a list of hotel improvement ideas on hand, whether you can make the change tomorrow, in a year, or even in five, will benefit your property.
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