Guest Blog from ALICE
At the heart of a great hotel stay is personalized service that meets and exceeds the expectations of hotel guests. In the hospitality industry, one of the best ways to achieve a high-level of guest satisfaction is with clear, helpful, streamlined communication between guests and staff, and between each department in a hotel.
For hoteliers, excelling at communication can be the difference between a loyal, repeat guest, losing a guest, or the worst case scenario: a negative review. 33% of Americans would consider switching companies if they have even one bad customer service interaction, and now is not the time to lose guests.
As hotels struggle with fluctuating occupancy due to the impact of COVID-19 on travel, good communication is essential for hoteliers.
Here are four ways hotels can leverage streamlined communication to improve guest satisfaction:
1. Reduce response time for guest requests:
One of the best ways for hotels to exceed guest expectations is by fulfilling requests not only in a timely manner, but faster than guests expect. This can be achieved only if guests can easily make requests, and employees have a streamlined communication system to assist them in carrying it out.
A request for extra towels isn’t hard to fulfill (in principle), but these requests often meet roadblocks when hotel employees don’t have the proper processes in place to document requests or the proper technology to communicate with each other. Additionally, when requests are sent to the wrong department, a long game of telephone begins in which departments pass the task along, without taking action.
A process which leverages hotel technology enables guests to make requests through an in-room voice-controlled device or mobile app. This request directly enters an operations system where a staff member could accept and acknowledge the request, from wherever they are on the property, and route it to the right employee with the click of a button.
2. Connect directly with guests:
With the help of guest messaging software, hotels can communicate with guests before, during and after their stay. Texting is no longer reserved for friends and family — it can, and should, be leveraged by businesses as well.
“According to Twillio, 89% of consumers prefer to use messaging to communicate with businesses.”
Leverage guest messaging software to:
- Communicate any COVID related efforts or procedures to guests: Build trust with your guests by communicating with them. Let them know exactly how your hotel is responding. Everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to COVID-19. Give your guests links to your website detailing your efforts. Let your guests decide for themselves if they feel comfortable.
- Drive secondary spend by encouraging guests to pre-book services or upgrade their reservation: Before guests arrive, send them links to your restaurant’s website encouraging them to book a reservation.
- After guests depart, encourage them to complete a post stay survey or leave a review of their stay by sending them a link to an online hotel review site.
Whether it is automated messaging, or personal conversations with staff via text, guest satisfaction is increased with personalized service.
3. Improve cross-departmental communication
Many companies suffer from poor internal communication, and it can affect the guest experience. Streamlined and effective communication within and between departments helps break down archaic and siloed communication systems in hotels. Improved cross-departmental communication provides an opportunity for personalization.
When departments communicate and talk to each other, housekeeping knows immediately about any guest requests that were made directly to the concierge. Front desk agents know that guests are celebrating a special occasion, and spa attendants know that guests won’t make their reservation if they can see that they haven’t checked-in yet.
Improve communication between departments by:
- Providing staff with the tools they need: Relay’s mobile push-to-talk devices seamlessly connect employees who are on the go. Employees can communicate with each other on the cloud-based platform, accessible from anywhere on a hotel’s property.
- Leveraging user-friendly operations software: ALICE’s housekeeping software is icon-based, making it easy for multilingual teams to communicate.
4. Set guest expectations
Transparent communication builds trust, and it is essential for hoteliers to be upfront and proactive in communicating with guests. If your breakfast buffet is temporarily closed, or has been replaced with grab and go items, let your guests know in advance so they can plan accordingly.
Good communication helps guests set their expectations, and ALICE Guest Messaging helps do that. Many hotels have temporarily closed some of their amenities (pools, spas, fitness centers, etc.) in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. While this in and of itself may not be a reason for a poor review, if guests aren’t notified at the time of booking, or with enough time that they can adjust their plans accordingly, this could be a major disappointment.
Be transparent with your guests by:
- Making sure all of your staff are informed and on the same page: Operations software or communication devices that enable departments to talk to each other ensures that teams are on the same page, with access to all of the same information.
- Using broadcast messaging to contact all of your hotel’s guests at once with notifications or updates: Connect with every guest at your hotel by sending them a message with the click of a button. Provide updates or extend offers to every guest on your property.
ALICE is the all-in-one solution that enables hotel staff to do the most impactful work without all the guesses. Task management, real-time communication and operational analytics reduce the complexity and chaos of hotel operations providing the transparency and flexibility needed to run efficiently.
Interested in learning more about how ALICE can help your hotel streamline communication and improve customer satisfaction? Schedule a demo of ALICE today!