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Use Technology to Lighten the Guest Request Load

For many hoteliers, 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 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 ability to continue revenue growth as a result. No two guest service request 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 5 steps that can ensure a property’s ability to offer first-rate guest experiences. According to FCS Computer Systems, those five steps are:
1)      Get 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 member of staff, and preferably one who is most ideally situated to respond quickly. By implementing an effective runner profile management system, properties can be assured that any task is always automatically assigned to an employee based on preferred skill set, location coverage and work shift; drastically minimizing the time spent on routing and completing a request, yet at the same time greatly improving end result quality. To preserve staff resources and allow team members to better focus their efforts where needed, properties should consider providing a framework where dispatch runners can notify each other when a task has been taken on. 
2)      Never drop the ball on guest requests. A request or complaint left unresolved can spell disaster for a hotel’s reputation. Hoteliers wanting to ensure that no guest leaves unhappy, should take advantage of 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 capable of ensuring that each stage of escalation conforms to a hotel’s set policies and procedures can also further guarantee that a guest request is always handled in the most professional manner possible.
3)      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. This can be accomplished via the ability to view VIP codes, room change information or preferences listed under a particular guest’s profile, for instance.  
4)      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 time of year.        
5)      Always keep an eye on room for improvement. With guest demands continuously raising the bar on what is considered a satisfactory experience, today’s hotel staff are more than ever in need of a tool capable of comprehensively measuring performance. In order to judge service quality level, 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 which aspects require immediate attention for improvement. By quickly identifying root causes behind ongoing issues, such hoteliers can readily change course and ensure that their property only delivers the highest level of service during the coming year and beyond.
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