The new year offers a chance to look at the bigger picture. The calendar beginning anew is a time to take a look back at the year that was and plan for the year ahead, it’s also the perfect time to figure out what you can do to make your hotel run smoothly.
What were your stumbling blocks in 2018? Where can you get faster in 2019? What parts of the process can you cut out, offload or automate to ensure that, come 2020, you can look back on the last year and be proud?
We understand that the tough thing about big pictures is they are hard to see when you’re too close. That’s why we are going to give you a few tips on how to make your hotel faster, leaner and overall more efficient in the new year.
The new year should be a time to eliminate unnecessary time-wasters. We know it can be tough to consider staffing for check-ins as something that can be cut out. After all, the person at the check-in desk has been a cornerstone of the hotel business for so long and has served as the key point of interaction between guests and hotels. But times are changing n more ways than just the date. Modern customers enjoy having the option to avoid checking in and out via a front desk agent and prefer to do so electronically.
Kiosks can also add an additional revenue stream, placing upsells like turndown service and other in-room add-ons in front of the customer as an option as they are checking in. Not only can this increase your rate of successful upsells, but it can also save staff time by not forcing them to push the sale on someone who isn’t interested.
Not being tied to check-in desks saves valuable time for employees and management alike, allowing staff to better serve the needs of guests who have already arrived.
Try Out Cloud-Based Management Software
While we’re on the subject of the desk, we should take a second to weigh whether it is necessary at all. To put it frankly, if your management style still runs through a single hub at your front desk, beholden to a legacy management system and requiring countless relays between management and staff, you’re burning away valuable time.
Cloud-based property management systems allow every single employee to access the system, their messages, and other crucial data without relying on a word from a desk-bound taskmaster. What’s best, cloud-based PMS don’t require any new hardware to operate, being that cloud-based property management systems are accessible from the tablets, phones and other equipment that your hotel already has on hand.
Head Questions Off At The Pass
If you do decide to switch to a mobile-enabled management system, particularly one that allows guests to interact with their booking via their smartphones, you can use the platform to answer frequently asked questions about the property, the surrounding area and policies. By placing the FAQ in front of them as they work their way through the app to access their keycard, you can cut out some of the simple questions an employee would need to answer that add up to a significant amount of time over the year for staff.
Social media is a part of the game now. If you aren’t meeting customers where they are, you can bet that another property that is willing to put in the leg work is getting to them. That being said, we know that there are only so many hours in the day and keeping an eye on the business will always take precedence over social media. Services like Hootsuite can be a lifesaver.
The social media management platform organizers all of your accounts into one convenient place, allowing you to schedule messages well ahead of time. You won’t have to waste hours crafting posts and remembering passwords. Such a social media management system allows you to plan ahead and keeps your accounts from going dark during the busy season, should posting slip your mind.
Outsource Where Possible
You know your business. As such, it can be tempting to think that you can handle any new problem that comes your way. If the numbers have always worked out and the building’s still standing, it can be hard to assess how things could run smoother and therefore be easier.
Consider handing off tasks like accounting, website building and appliance repair to accountants, designers, and repairmen. The one-time cost of paying an expert is worth it when you consider the time saved and the fact that the things built, fixed or figured by professionals who do it for a living tend to stay that way. If you can spare the expense of bringing in outside help, it’s almost certain it will pay off in the long run, in peace of mind if not monetarily.
Take the first step to a more efficient 2019 by contacting StayNTouch for a demo of their modern hotel property management solutions. Whether you need check-in kiosks, cloud-based management software or quicker, more responsive support, StayNTouch can get your year started right.