In our pandemic world, housekeeping truly now sits at the heart of the guest experience and it has never been more important for hotels to fully understand and support this vital part of the organisation. The hospitality industry is built on guest’s satisfaction and loyalty. A poor onsite guest experience can result in a negative review which can live permanently online and affect future guest bookings. And any hotelier knows that the cost of acquiring a new customer can be up to 25 times more than the cost of retaining an existing one.
In this article we will explore what hotels should be thinking about to give this part of the operation the technical support it needs to make a hotel shine, and why the right approach to housekeeping delivers so much more than just a clean room.
Flexible housekeeping helps to increase guest loyalty
Guests are more aware than ever now of room cleanliness, but many guests have different requirements where it comes to frequency and approach. This was recognised by Hilton hotels when it announced earlier this year it would only offer daily housekeeping if requested by guests, showing their understanding that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ answer for the guest of today. Flexibility is key and hotels need to have technology in place to allow housekeeping on demand, when and where it is needed.
Housekeeping also plays a central role in ensuring that the needs of new and repeating guests are met. By building individual guest profiles, the housekeeping can keep track of previous guest requests, for example, not to have a stayover clean. Tracking this sort of enquiry means that guests can be reassured that their needs have been noticed, particularly if they are proactively offered their preferences when they check-in for their next stay.
Two-way integration with a PMS makes sure that no aspect of service or guest request goes unmissed. It allows a hotel to have room status updates in real-time; queued, and blocked rooms automatically prioritized; guest names, VIP and special codes immediately to hand; and full transparency between front desk and housekeeping guaranteed so that all guest facing (and back office) service is seamless.
Ensuring great staff on the frontline of guest interaction
Labor shortages are a real issue affecting the industry. Hotels need to attract new staff and retain the quality talent they have. Through providing staff with easy-to-use and automated technology you are empowering your teams and providing them with the tools they need to not only do their job but excel in their role making that hotel a more attractive place to work.
By using technology that automates workflows, room attendants are able to work smarter, not harder. It enables cleaning progress to be shown in real-time and decreases unnecessary paperwork and phone/radio calls. Predictive technology can also enable increased levels of productivity for both room attendants and supervisors, helping lean teams to run more efficiently.
A smart housekeeping operation means smart cost control
Housekeeping labor costs represent one of the largest expenses for hotels and can easily stack up. That is why it is essential to be supported by an intelligent solution that will reduce costs alongside improving productivity for the team.
Taking a data-driven approach and using predictive intelligent AI to optimize labor and cleaning sequences can enable a much more streamlined service. Deploying this technology approach, New Zealand’s QT Wellington hotel realized immediate return on investment with 30% faster cleaning times and almost 60% faster turnaround times year over year.
This approach can also deliver unparalleled visibility for hotel managers, so they can improve team performance and manage room attendants and room status faster and with more precision. This sort of programming can also ensure that attendants save valuable hours traveling from one end of the hotel to another as routes are more accurately planned.
Having the right technology in place can help hotels dramatically increase housekeeping productivity and reduce labor costs, in some cases providing up to 500% ROI within just months of implementation. It can also enable clearly defined goals to be established which is very difficult to achieve without technology in place to track and automate analysis.
Because the risk of getting it wrong is too high
A good experience with housekeeping can be the very reason guests choose to stay in a hotel again and a poor experience can have a lasting impact. There are many housekeeping horrors stories, where guests have left damaging reviews from a poor experience that not only affect reputation but hotel profits.
Having an intelligent, data driven technology system in place can transform housekeeping operations. It can actively help hotel managers to save money and support their teams better. But most of all, in today’s world where cleanliness matters more than ever, making sure that careless mistakes are avoided, and high standards are consistently maintained is essential for any hotel hoping to attract repeat business.