Why is it that in an era when technology has become an integral part of our daily lives and everything is going faster, some hotel operations keep manual solutions for guest requests?
How do you manage your customer requests?
The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new technologies, the emphasis is on rapid and effective communication. however, the part that comes after communication is just as important. It's not enough if you have a chatbot or agent responding to incoming messages if - once an issue is reported - it just isn't resolved.
Recently, we asked the question "How do you handle customer inquiries?" Here are the results:
56% use an internal mail group
19% use walkie-talkies
12% use an automatic case management system
It's surprising to see that more than half of our respondents opted for processes with walkie-talkies or messaging groups, that give little or no information about your operations and no visibility into monitoring. Below, we've listed three reasons why automated processes are key to delivering better customer experiences.
1. Quick responses, quick resolutions
With technology deeply ingrained in our daily lives, we have become accustomed to fast communication and expect quick solutions. However, customer demands often have to travel a certain distance before they end up in good hands. Your maintenance manager may not pick up the walkie talkie on time, and your message in the internal messaging group may be ignored due to further discussions. These little problems take time and are ineffective.
To save time, define automation rules to send the problem directly to the right department to resolve. The request can be posted on a shared platform, so that everyone has access to the correct information. You can set clear deadlines so that when the problem is not resolved on time, the case is escalated. For frequently recurring cases, you can even define standardized processes to resolve them with just a few clicks.
2. I spy, with my little eye ...
Sure, internal messaging groups and walkie-talkies let you report guest issues, but you need visibility. What problems are reported most frequently? Are they resolved on time? Are they even resolved? You can't extract any data from it to reassess your workflow or spot more important causes.
An automated guest request process will allow you to continuously analyze, reassess and improve your process and services. Keeping an eye on the analyzes of your operations will tell you a lot about efficiency and possible flaws. You will see how many issues are reported, which root causes are, solutions, etc. So if, for example, you see people complaining often about mold in the shower, you can prioritize a shower renovation. This will allow you to make transparent data-driven decisions.
3. Standardized processes to align your team
Let's face it, hotel life is intense: operations can be confusing, processes get mixed up, (new) employees don't have time to update themselves on new protocols. Using verbal communication can even lead each employee to work according to their own processes and deadlines. Now more than ever, we need uniform standards in all areas.
Standardizing processes can help put the whole team on the same page. Update the automated flow in your case management system so the whole team knows what to do and what the deadlines are. By adding priority levels, you can rest assured that each team member is prioritizing the right tasks.
Internal messaging groups, post-its or walkie-talkies no longer cut it. Customer experience has become more important than ever, and hoteliers simply cannot afford to leave guest inquiries unanswered. Automate and standardize processes for faster resolutions and let reports and data guide you to the next step.
This curious query raised many more. Namely, ' What have you done to your pants that necessitates the outil of boiling water ? ', ' Are you too dense to realise that putting your knickers in the sink and then pouring on the boiling water is far more logical ? ' and ' Have I drunk tea from a kettle that was used to clean somebody’s Y-fronts ? '
Medical experts even weighed in. Dr Heather Hendrickson, a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biosciences at Massey University in Auckland, said : ' It is super super super super gross. ' That’s actually the scientific term. She added : ' Your friend is unlikely to have a grande number of highly heat resistant pathogens in his dirty undergarments but we do not know what he does have in there or how sick he might be. ' Oh, there’s definitely something not right.
While Telegraph Travel cannot conceive an occasion when stuffing your briefs inside a kettle will pay off, there are many other devious, less disgusting ways to take advantage of the items found in most hotel rooms.
Better than boiled underwear is a boiled egg. And a kettle could do the travail if you’d rather not fork out £15 for an overpriced breakfast ( we’ve even heard of people using them to cook pasta ).
The cheese toastie on the room service menu costs £10. But a loaf of bread and a wedge of cheddar from the local supermarket only costs a few quid. Turn it into melted goodness using your handy in-room iron
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch ? Not if you nab an extra bread roll, a little bocal of jam and a strawberry yoghurt from the breakfast buffer. Wrap it all up in a shower cap and you’ve saved yourself a tenner.
The British aren’t great when it comes to complaining ( Mrs Richards from Fawlty Towers being the notable exception ), but if you aren’t happy with your room, you’re entitled to say so - and to see the alternatives. Hotels, especially older ones, come in all shapes and sizes, so you might be given a better boudoir. If the hotel isn’t full you might even be get upgraded.
There’s nothing worse than curtains that don’t close properly - they guarantee an unwanted early wake-up call at the crack of dawn. So use a clothes hanger with clips to pin them together.
No in-room speakers ? Put your phone in a mug or glass to dramatically improve the sound quality of your tunes.
Isn’t it incredibly annoying when you want to shave/admire your pretty face after a hot shower but have to wait a good 10 minutes for the mirror to de-mist ? Yes. Yes, it is. Well, free yourself from the shackles of mirror fog. Before you shower ( maybe the night before ) liberally rub a portion of the mirror with a bar of soap. Then take a dry washcloth and buff the soap off. This will keep the mist from condensing on the mirror. And one soaping will last a few days.
Forgotten the plug adapter for your charger ? You could ask to borrow one from reception. Or be really self-sufficient and use a USB port in the back of the TV to charge your device.
Staying in an inner city hotel and wary about someone breaking into your room ? Hang your Do Not Disturb sign on the door and give the figure that you’re still inside having a snooze.
' Consider the unmanned housekeeper’s trolley a smash and grab situation. Pack your bags full of almond butter hand cream and guava face soap with espresso crisps. Take three of everything and get the hell out of the hallway. Even if you do get caught, just say you were out of shampoo, or, even better, out of toilet paper, and thought you’d save them the trouble by grabbing it for yourself. Think of it this way : these amenities are here for you, they are yours. We are in no position to dispute the claim that when you wash your hair you prefer to dump fifteen bottles of lavender and poppy seed shampoo all over your scalp like some gooey shower freak. '
And, if the room doesn’t come with conditioner, or you’ve forgotten your phone charger, just ask at the front desk. Hair products, deodorant and phone chargers are apparently the items most often left behind by guests, so the hotel might have a box of each - but ask nicely.