Comment: Five ways to boost hotel guest services

Technology can be leveraged for guest-oriented hotel operations

Eric Rogers, FCS Computer Systems
Eric Rogers, FCS Computer Systems

For many hoteliers, especially in the mid-market sector, maintaining a focus on high quality guest services can often be lost among the maze of day-to-day routines and a need to balance the often limited availability of resources. With many tasks and responsibilities competing for staff attention, keeping up with a multitude of guest requests can be daunting, yet is critical to maintaining full guest satisfaction.

Fortunately for properties today, hospitality technology has evolved to provide hoteliers with a range of solutions aimed at enhancing the streamlining and tracking of guest-related assignments, safeguarding a hotel’s reputation and having the ability to continue revenue growth as a result. No two guest service requests and work order dispatch systems are alike, however. When determining which solution best fits their needs, hospitality professionals should always keep in mind whether they are able to implement the following five steps that can ensure a property’s ability to offer first-rate guest experiences:

Top 5 tips to propel guest services:

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Give the right job to the right person. Few things represent efficiency more than being able to instantly assign a guest request to the most qualified and ideally situated member of staff. By implementing an effective runner profile management system, properties can be assured that any task is always assigned to an employee based on preferred skill set, location and work shift. Consider providing a framework where dispatch runners can notify each other when a task has been assigned and done.

Never drop the ball on guest requests. A request or complaint left unresolved can spell disaster for a hotel’s reputation. Hoteliers who seek that no guest leaves unhappy, can opt for automated job escalation protocols that bring an issue to the attention of higher-level staff if left unresolved for a pre-determined length of time. Using a system where each stage of escalation conforms to a hotel’s standards can also guarantee that a guest request is handled in a professional way.

Keep all personnel in the loop. Employees that have the ability to access real-time information are always in a better position to ensure that guest services retain a high standard of operation. When equipped with the ability to remotely view guest details in a property’s PMS, such staff can far more adequately address particular needs. For instance, this can be accomplished via the ability to view VIP codes, room change information or preferences listed under a particular guest’s profile.

Maintain your inventory. Running out of an amenity item due to high demand is hardly an excuse for a paying guest who wishes to get the most out of their hotel stay experience. By providing staff with a system capable of alerting them when stock of a particular item is beginning to run low, hotels can safeguard the ability to ensure that each guest need is adequately catered to, regardless of property occupancy levels or the time of year, and can drastically reduce loss of goodwill situations.

Always keep an eye on room for improvement. In order to judge service quality levels, hoteliers must be able to view reports detailing critical factors such as speed of request completion, the number of unfulfilled or dissatisfactory requests and performance by individual staff members. Armed with such information, properties and their staff can determine what areas are performing effectively, as well as evaluate which aspects require immediate attention for improvement.

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