Hospitality is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world, so we decided to gather some key challenges (and tips) for every industry professional and remaining community that wants to improve their knowledge and/or activity.
In this article, we identified and discussed five big issues that we expected to have the greatest impact on the Hotel Industry in 2018.
With an influx of new players in the hospitality sphere — especially in the peer-to-peer accommodation market –, it is essential that hotels reinforce their competitive advantages. Services such as Airbnb, a marketplace platform where hosts and guests exchange housing for money, continue to grow every day, as they can be, in most cases, cheaper than hotels and with a different cultural exposure.
But what do hotels have that Airbnb can’t offer?
- Amenities: although there are differences from between hotel, they can include WiFi, housekeeping, restaurants and room services, in-room toiletries, among others;
- Consistency: customers know exactly what to expect when they walk into a hotel room, which offers a different, and consistent experience;
- Data collection: CRM and analytics allow for an in-depth understanding of the customers, which can help to improve the service;
- Meals: From breakfast to dinner or room service, having easy access to food can make a hotel stay a lot more pleasant;
- Sophisticated level of service: hotels offer much better service with hospitality professionals of another level. Just as an example: there is usually a 24/7 reception, where you can easily check-in at any time of day;
- Trust and safety: Highly regulations make hotels more reliable and safe.
2. Customer expectations
As customers are increasingly demanding and rigorous, it is crucial that companies focus on their total satisfaction, positive feedback, and repeated purchases.
How is this possible?
The main goal is working hard on housekeeping efficiency, as it is critical for brand reputation management and to drive loyalty amongst guests. Their work can be a lot smarter and simpler with:
- Easier checklists and to-do lists: with the Infraspeak Mobile App, the housekeeping team can access the to-do lists at each location, and the top managers can check the status of the operations at any time;
- Easier reports: the housekeeping team and the rest of the hotel staff can access Infraspeak Direct, a failures reporting interface, and even report any failure to the maintenance team during the execution of their tasks. Guest requests can also be directly reported on Infraspeak, which speeds up the resolution process and optimizes customer satisfaction;
- Centralized operations: Infraspeak API allows the integration of the platform with others that are already used by the hotel, such as reservations management.
All of this will improve the housekeeping team work and, thereafter, the key points on customer experience, such as cleanliness (considered the number one concern for guests), organization, fast failure resolutions, and even the creation of a stronger emotional connection.
3. Staff Retention and Recruitment
Some of the services required in the hotel industry are highly personalized, so it is necessary to devote more time to guests and optimize operations within every team. This will allow for a higher rate of staff retention, as they can have a more organized work schedule and a better quality of life.
With Infraspeak for Hotels, you can use a Preventive Maintenance module, where the staff can easily create multiple work orders and better organize and manage calendars and schedules. On the other hand, the Corrective Maintenance module can make reporting faster to every user or easily organize failures.
Also, recruitment is expensive and time consuming, so hotel managers should do their best to optimize these processes and relations with new and remaining staff.
“Going Green” remains an important issue for the fast growing tourism destinations around the world. It is important that hotel managers try to redesign the product/services offered, so that they need fewer environmentally harmful or resource-depleting raw materials.
Simple processes, such as recycling, installing low flush toilets or shower heads, shifting PVC key cards to options made from bioplastic, or go paperfree, as with Infraspeak, should be adopted by every hotel unit.
Customers are increasingly sophisticated in their research. There are more and more countries/cities emerging as a top destinations on the global travel map, so the use of technology is crucial to select and purchase a hotel stay or service.
In this scenario, hotels should anticipate evolving customer needs, adapting and updating marketing approaches to effectively reach the target audience.
Technology disruption also has a big influence on the inner operations of a hotel. One trend for 2018 and beyond is the adoption of platforms that allow a new work paradigm — more agile, integrated and supported by technology to enhance communication between the staff. At this point, Infraspeak can be a helpful interface, as it can improve the quality and efficiency of operations (saving time), while continuously saving costs.