A recent survey conducted by Oliver Wyman found that cleanliness was the most important factor (after price) that impacted the decision to stay at a hotel. While “clean” may be a casual term, the underlying message is clear. Travellers are looking for “virus-free” accommodation. In fact, 83% of travellers would prefer to stay at a hotel that advertises precautionary practices on their social media or other channels. The hospitality sector is known for its focus on quality and customer satisfaction. So, it is no surprise that in the post COVID times, there is an increased pressure to maintain guest satisfaction. However, as the industry primarily relies on a human to human interaction, hoteliers and property managers are now rethinking ways to gain the trust of their customers. After all, it is more expensive to gain a new customer than to retain an existing one.
1. Improve Hygiene Standards
Maintaining superior hygiene standards has become one of the key factors for gaining a competitive advantage. Even though vaccination delivery has begun across the globe, customers’ confidence is relatively low. 34% of travellers believe that it is unsafe to travel until WHO declares the end of the pandemic. Therefore, the only way hoteliers can stand out in this highly competitive marketplace is by shifting their focus to regular sanitization. Cleaning high contact areas such as the reception desk, doorknobs, bathrooms, etc need to be prioritized. Hand sanitiser dispensers need to be made available at reception and other public spaces e.g. near the elevator. In order to carry out these tasks, the hotel staff there is a need for a clear internal communication system. Hotelogix offers an easy solution to this problem with its single panoramic dashboard. Its user-friendly designs help hotel managers visualize the housekeeping status of every room.
2. Optimize Check-in and Check-out
Hoteliers need to adhere to social distancing norms and keep guests safe in public places like the front-desk or reception. In order to overcome this challenge, modern managers are turning to technology. While some hotels are preparing their staff with pre-arrival procedures for the guest others have implemented express or online check-in or check-out. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of POS touch-points and maintaining social distance queueing guided by designated markers on the floor are some strategies that can be easily put into action. Hotelogix offers contactless check-in which enables guests to enter and exit without having to wait in a queue at the front desk. This is a feasible option not only for guests who are prioritizing their safety but also minimizes the interaction and exposure for the hotel staff.
3. Offer Flexible Cancellation Policy
Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, many potential hotel guests have lost their money on hotel bookings. However as the world slowly recovers from the impact of COVID-19, most guests are still hesitant to pay upfront. This is a great opportunity for hotel managers to show that they value their guests. By providing free cancellations and having a flexible rebooking policy for the foreseeable future, hoteliers can give a strong message to their potential guests. Prioritizing your guests and their safety is a great way to show that you care.
4. Train employees
While it is important to build credibility and trust among your guests, it is equally important to focus on your employees. Employees training on the hotel’s new hygiene measures are a must. This can be a little difficult considering the varied shift timing and social distancing norms. However, your staff must be informed about the management’s plan to tackle post COVID demand and strategies to provide a safe environment for guests. Hotelogix’s AI-powered Automated Coaching Engine (ACE) is an interactive platform that offers hands-on training for the staff without any human intervention. This unique approach empowers your staff to handle hotel operations and also certifies them.
5. Personalize Experiences
The hospitality industry has seen an increase in its dependency on technology in the last decade but it is still very human-centric. It is good to remember that while experiences are backed by technology, they should always be driven by people. Hotel managers need to ensure that the relationship between their hotel and guest is a personal one. Customizing tailored experiences for your guests is a way to enhance guest satisfaction and get positive reviews that build your online reputation. With Hotelogix PMS, you can automate manual tasks like sending confirmation emails, customer feedback forms, etc. It easily integrates with online review portals so you can ask and respond to all your reviews from one place.
We can’t deny that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the hospitality and travel industry. For most hotels today, the main focus is to drive the necessary measures to protect their hotel staff while promoting their services. Providing an exceptional guest experience is the most effective strategy to bounce back in business. This is also a good time for hoteliers to look for up-selling and cross-selling opportunities to every guest that makes a booking. As borders slowly begin to open, hoteliers and property managers can expect a surge in incoming guests.