It takes an army to move a mountain. The number of moving parts required to deliver an unforgettable hotel experience is simply astonishing, and yet this is exactly what a successful hotelier does on a daily basis. The challenge lays in recognizing the key drivers that will have the greatest impact on the bottom line.
According to a survey by Fast Future Research, 95 per cent of the 610 respondents agreed that by 2020 ‘hotels will increasingly look to new technologies to drastically increase efficiency, reduce costs, personalize the customer experience and improve service.’ And for many hotel managers today, running a hotel without any technology-based tools is almost unthinkable; even more so for a franchisor.
Today's technology touches almost every aspect of a hotel chain's operations, adding unprecedented functionality, streamlining processes, and automating mundane tasks. First-rate hotel groups are fast adopting hotel management software like property management systems (PMS) that not only allow them to better serve their staff and guests but also to provide valuable tools and services to their franchisees to ensure their success.
However, while everyone can agree that adopting new technologies is necessary, implementing these technologies is another story. This is can be particularly challenging if you are a franchisor expecting your franchisees to implement a system that is new to them. To solve this issue, hotel operation managers are turning to to Performance Support.
Let’s take a look at some of the areas where Performance Support can transform hotel operations:
1. Provide just-in-time training
In many cases, lack of time and money to properly train hotel associates on new technologies can lead to low engagement and adoption rates by franchisees. For example, traditional training methods for assisting hotel employees with their PMS include: Having them complete lengthy e-learning modules, participate in formal classroom training, or call a helpdesk. This can be problematic as hotels often have limited staff and don't have time for lengthy training sessions, be it online or in the classroom. Calling a helpdesk also presents many issues such taking too long until the problem is solved, high costs involved with staffing the helpdesk, and hotel guests becoming more and more frustrated as they wait.
Coming to the rescue are Performance Support Systems (PSS) that offer just-in-time training, reducing the need for both off-site and online training sessions. Using visual recognition technologies, the performance support application "sees" the PMS screen just as the user does, and constantly monitors the associate's activities live within the application. Hotel employees can learn on the job with directed guidance or can complete tasks with automated field completion. This not only reduces classroom training costs and time, but also helps promote a culture of performance assurance to build employee capability.
2. Optimize front desk operations
Just like eyes are said to be the mirror to the soul, guests look to your front desk as the mirror to your hotel. Mickael C. Damelincourt, General Manager of Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto said, "If you lose them at the beginning, it is very hard to recover. In their mind, they've decided it is a bad hotel." And according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, hotels everywhere are energizing their efforts to “dazzle guests during the first, crucial 15 minutes of their stay—or at least avoid annoying them.” But this is easier said than done.
Front desk managers are generally among the busiest members of the hotel’s staff – they’re responsible for checking guests in and out of rooms, managing reservations and staff, and dealing with just about any spur-of-the-moment guest request. Large hotel chains can have hundreds, if not thousands, of front desk managers serving customers at any given time. So how can hotel operations managers hope to achieve consistent and superb service quality?
The same performance support technology that you use for just-in-time training can also be used to provide personalized customer service that greatly impacts that guest experience. Performance Support works in conjunction with your property management system to analyze the guest's profile. It makes knowledge and information extremely accessible, by displaying overlaid tooltips on top of the application itself, at the moment of need, so that agents can focus on charming guests and creating lasting impressions. Learn more here.
3. Increase point-of-sale revenues
While room sales are commonly the main source of revenue for hotels, income generated by other departments can also make a substantial contribution to the bottom line. Revenues from restaurants, gift shops, and other points-of-sale (POS) - can amount to a sizable sum when efficiently managed by the hotel. Performance support enhances the customer experience at POS terminals to boost sales even more.
Just like implementing performance support at the front desk, implementing performance support at POS terminals, means cashiers are able to join in to provide helpful and personalized customer service. The system also identifies up-sell and cross-sell opportunities by analyzing the customer profile and eligibility for possible promotions to provide the cashier with next-best-action recommendations that may increase the size of the purchase. Also read: The One Thing Missing at Your POS Terminal to Increase Sales.
We would love to know - Which technologies do you embrace to improve business operations at your hotel? Please share your comments below.
Kryon Systems helps organizations around the world to improve their business results by shortening or eliminating training, reducing users’ mistakes, increasing productivity and facilitating compliance with corporate policies and procedures. Kryon’s flagship solution, Leo, provides performance support to organizations. When using Leo, business managers can rest assured that their workforce performs at the level they expect, from the first time, every time.