When customers are happy, the internet knows it. Similarly, when a guest is unhappy, hotels bear the brunt of that dissatisfaction in their online reviews. Luckily, there are ways to help improve the guest experience that don’t involve renovations, profit losses, or hiring more employees. Excellent customer reviews are the pinnacle of success for any hotel, but there’s one industry secret that guarantees optimal guest experiences every time. That secret is maintaining the flow of communication between team members.
Smoother Communication, Smoother Operations
Seamless internal communication supports better business, regardless of industry, but it’s critical in hospitality. Knowing what customers want and getting it to them quickly means you spend less time resolving client concerns and more time taking care of business. From front desk personnel to non-desktop workers who move all around the property, your employees must work as a team to provide an exceptional guest experience. Between check-in and check-out, each guest will interact with front desk staff, maintenance personnel, housekeepers, bellhops, and more. When you improve internal communications
, good things happen, and not just for your staff.
Better Guest Experiences, Every Time Entrepreneur
suggests six steps toward creating memorable customer experiences, and our communication strategy
fulfills each one. From attentiveness to recognition, personalization to consideration, appreciation to delight, behind-the-scenes communication sets the stage for it all.
A disconnect between staff members on your team could spell disaster for customers with specific preferences, billing concerns, or exclusive offers. However, with an internal communication platform
that allows for private messaging among team members, noting guest preferences and stay details is one less headache staff must manage. Creating group messages or channels allows team members to contribute and share relevant and real-time information throughout each shift, while incoming staff can quickly get up-to-date. Keeping all staff on the same page with policies, procedures, and specific guest concerns reduces the chances of misunderstandings during client service.
Quicker Reaction Time
When all employees maintain communication channels on a single platform, your property becomes a digital workplace. Sharing information happens faster than picking up the phone, and sending media and attachments means all your vital information is in one place. The digital workplace has made phone calls and high-priority emails obsolete. Rapid communication via messaging platforms, accessibility that extends to non-desk workers, and organizational news distribution all contribute to employees’ ability to knowledgeably engage with guests.
Confidential messages between staff can make the difference between an ordinary customer experience an exceptional one. Centralized information and automated campaigns
keep staff up-to-date on critical calendar events, both guest-related and internal. Imagine having access to an internal phonebook function that allows front desk staff to connect with the resident chef. Staff can confirm a menu for an event and even receive a document or photos via a confidential message, rather than waiting for a return phone call or a time-consuming fax.
While non-desktop workers often rely on radio communication across hotel facilities, those devices allow customers and staff alike to overhear conversations. Even if your staff utilize communication methods responsibly, guests probably don’t need to know about the clogged toilet on the third floor or a request for housekeeping services. Switching to a comprehensive internal communication platform gives employees options for outreach, and ensures that confidentiality is a constant. At the same time, information is handy and easy access whether an employee is near a computer or not. Both app and web capabilities mean your team can move beyond the constraints of the company intranet.
If you stick with outdated methods of internal communication, chances are your employees are less productive than if you embrace a digital workplace. The guest experience depends on your ability to equip staff with the tools to do their jobs effectively and appropriately, not simply the ability to hire more people when business picks up. In general, a small group of knowledgeable and dependable employees is more valuable than a larger group of employees who are ill-equipped to handle customer concerns because of roadblocks in internal communication. Hiring more people isn’t always the right solution to low customer service marks, but preparing your people to manage guest expectations better will always benefit your organization’s bottom line.
The connectivity of your employees dictates the extent to which they espouse your brand’s personality. By encouraging collaboration and connection among employees, a company can contribute to its brand’s reach. Further, sending feedback via internal systems personalizes that input and opens up communication between peers as well as supervisors and their teams. Tailoring internal solutions to your brand’s objectives allows you to create a sense of community within teams, particularly those who manage customer-facing functions. At the same time, the division that hotels often see between departments ceases when all employees collaborate toward fulfillment of brand goals and customer service targets.
To see an example of how InterContinental Miami uses Beekeeper to deliver the ultimate guest experience, download the case study.