How Using Hotel Software Can Help You With Staff Shortage At Your Propertyby Mycloud Hospitality Software Development
The Covid 19 pandemic brought the entire world to its knees, affecting every industry with no mercy. Hospitality particularly suffered a big hit, thanks to the travel restrictions and global lockdowns. However, as the world is opening and the economy is picking up, the record low RevPAR prices and low guest numbers are finally behind us. People are traveling again, hotel demand is increasing too, but there is one problem. The staff that was furloughed or let go amidst the pandemic? They are not returning, and hotels are now experiencing a severe staffing shortage. To address this staffing shortage, there are two things you can do as a hotelier,
Pay more: You can attract talent by offering signing bonuses, higher pays and more benefits but decreasing overall profitability, or
Invest in technology such as automation, mobility, robotization, and next-generation technology applications such as Hotel PMS to address existing labor shortages. The objective here is to use technology to achieve more with fewer workers while reducing your employment requirements.
So, how can you use technology to minimize your staffing requirements?
Here are a few ideas aimed at independent hotels, small and midsize hotel brands; however, most are equally applicable to big hotel chains - the possibilities are limitless!
1. Get a Website and Booking Engine
What if you could begin lessening the need for physical employees well before your guests arrive at the hotel? A well-oiled website and booking engine can do that for you. You need to examine or employ a third-party consultant to evaluate the functioning of your property's website and booking engine. Even if we disregard the importance of much-needed direct reservations, having a solid website and hotel booking engine substantially decreases phone calls or email requests to the property. Which reduces the need for a staff member to answer calls constantly. You can also add tabs of frequently asked questions on the website to avoid those inquiry calls even further.
No more just something out of science fiction; you can now use an AI-powered chatbot on the property's website to interact with potential guests, answer all of their inquiries, and direct them toward making a reservation. Chatbots function as your property's 24/7 virtual customer service department, providing information to users via text, pictures, video, and voice, among other formats. Your chatbot answers visitor inquiries in real-time and around the clock to provide information on hotel services and facilities, make recommendations, manage customer complaints, and so on, to relieve or, more like replacing the front desk work staff.
3. CRM Technology
Your efforts do not end after the reservation is made. You can continue the "automated conversation" with your booked guests using CRM technology, which includes reservation confirmations, pre-arrival messaging with helpful information such as weather during the stay, events and happenings at the property and around the area, some customized upsells and upgrades, and more. The CRM platform automates pre-arrival discussions with visitors, offers information and answers to incoming guests' critical queries, and frees up staff time to handle phone calls and emails.
4. Mobile check-in and check out
Today's guests are tech-savvy, and their expectations revolve around self-service, so let's give the DIY-obsessed clients what they want! There are three goals that are achieved with mobile check-in and check-out.
○ It offers the guests the contactless experience they tend to favor.
○ It reduces the number of people you need at the front desk for the check-in and out process.
○ It provides you with more opportunities to upsell and cross-sell services in an automated manner.
5. Self Check-In Kiosks
Guests who have not checked in ahead can do so upon arrival at the hotel using the Self Check-in kiosks in the lobby, provided by various Hotel Software. For example, the Marriott hotel has revealed that it is testing automated kiosks with self-cleaning touch displays that can check-in guests and provide room keys. With mobile and self-service check-in, you can manage most of your guests while reducing your front desk workforce to a minimum crew level, which is adequate to tackle complicated guest service concerns.
6. Security Robots
Imagine having a terminator guarding your hotel tirelessly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Wouldn't you feel safe? Large hotels with fancy corporate programs, resorts with large pool areas, and casinos may benefit from security robots when human guards are unavailable. Many major hotels and casinos, airports, theme parks, and outdoor perimeters are already benefiting from using robot security guards. It even makes financial sense as a security robot costs $7-$10 per hour to rent, compared to $25-$30 per hour for a human guard.
Why should you stop deploying robots for security? Robots such as Rosie by Maidbot, which has already been installed in 2,000 hotels worldwide, can clean guest rooms 20% faster and public spaces up to 80% faster than human housekeepers. Robot-housekeepers imply 24-hour cleanliness operations, no potential health risks while handling hazardous disinfectants, electrostatic sprayers, and UV-C light equipment, and more. Best part? All of this costs six times less compared to hiring 24 hours available housekeeping staff.
Are you still making your guests wait for the waiter to take their order? They won't like it very much, so it's time to upgrade to Self-ordering kiosks, QR Code menus, and smartphone ordering to minimize the need for physical staff and keep your guests happy. Not only does this offer the opportunity for contactless service, but reduces the dependency on humans for taking orders and decreases the chances of human errors while taking down orders. Sounds like a win-win. Additionally, these self-ordering systems can be integrated with the hotel PMS. The food bill can be added to the room folio directly, saving more time and effort from your restaurant staff.
With so much technology replacing the need for humans, the question on everyone's mind is whether technology will do away with humans altogether? While not wholly; the next-generation technology will replace or augment all monotonous and repetitive professions in the hospitality industry, such as housekeepers, line cooks, bartenders, and waiters, over time. Yet, highly-trained hospitality occupations such as seasoned and highly experienced hotel managers, revenue managers, digital marketers, IT managers, CRM specialists, sales managers, and others will not be replaced by technology.
AI, automation, robotization, IoT, and other next-generation technologies allow the hotel to maintain a "human façade" while automating all back-end operations, enabling smart guest communications, and automating and personalizing every customer contact point. So, how many employees will a hotel require in the future? A decade from now, hotels will only require half the staff they do now, and the money saved on wages means that automation and next-generation technology are a no-brainer.
Created on Feb 17th 2022 05:53. Viewed 105 times.