Hoteliering can be rewarding as well as exhausting. Ensuring your guests have a great experience in your hotel takes work. Problems at hotels can handle many different forms. There are always issues at hotels, whether it is a complaint from a guest, a broken thermostat, a paperwork issue, a long queue in the lobby, or cold showers.
When problems arise, they don’t have to be a huge distraction. Hoteliers can solve problems quickly by preparing a plan for dealing with different hotel issues and finding practical solutions in advance.
Depending on each hotel’s location, customer type, and facilities, they will experience different problems. There are some problems that all hotels have in common, regardless of their differences.
Hotel staff may need help with the operation of a hotel.
- The lack of complementary supplies
- There are long queues at the front desk
- Slow room turnover
- OTAs do not provide guests with adequate information
- Low Guest Satisfaction Scores
- Closed facilities
- PCI-compliant credit card authorization forms are not available
- Staff shortages
- Adoption of low-cost hotel apps
- Call volume at the front desk
Now let’s look at these problems and their solutions in more detail.
Lack of complementary Supplies
Problem Although it may seem optional, guests expect complimentary amenities like shampoo, soaps, and coffee, regardless of the type of property they are staying at (e.g., full service, restricted service, luxury, etc.). Unfortunately, the absence of these basic amenities can lead to low ratings and bad reviews online — even when everything else about their stay was great.
Solution To make your guests as happy as possible, it is a good idea for hoteliers to stock large quantities of complimentary supplies around the property. The housekeeping team can quickly access these supplies wherever they may be on the property.
If your property is part of a more extensive management or hotel group, check to see if certain brands offer promotional deals on these products.
There are long lines at the front desk.
Problem No one likes waiting in long lines. This is true especially when the person is waiting for something they need, like a comfortable bed or a room. The long lines at the front desk of a hotel can be frustrating for agents, as guests can become angry and frustrated.
Solution Front desk staff can improve efficiency and streamline guest experiences by offering a Check-In solution before guests even set foot in the hotel. Contactless Check-In allows guests to check in on their mobile devices. This tool allows front desk staff more time to answer questions from guests and less time on administrative paperwork.
Slow Room Turnover
Problem: problemThe hospitality industry’s success mainly depends on the ability to turn rooms quickly. When a hotel is understaffed or has issues running its housekeeping department, it can hurt the guest’s satisfaction and revenue.
Solution Hoteliers must do all they can to ensure their housekeeping staff can turn rooms over quickly. Ensuring that all cleaning stations are well-stocked and considering other logistical issues is essential. Technology can also play a part in improving housekeeping efficiency.
Contactless checkout solutions allow guests to check out from their mobile devices at their convenience. Guests value these tools as they streamline and make the hotel experience more peaceful. They also provide hotel staff with the information they need about which rooms are ready for a turn-around when the guest departs. This gives housekeeping staff a map in real-time that shows the location of all employees on the property.
Lack of information from OTAs about guests
ProblemOTAs are very helpful in generating bookings at a property. However, they do have their downsides. OTAs sometimes provide hotels with important guest information, such as email addresses. The lack of knowledge could prevent properties from creating a marketing contact database that they can use to promote loyalty and direct sales campaigns.
The solution, The solution to this problem is adding the registration of an email address to the check-in process. The information can be obtained in person at the front desk. However, this may lead to uncomfortable questions about the reason for the request. This will also slow the check-in process and could lead to longer waiting times for guests to get their keys.
Hoteliers looking to the future should instead look for technology solutions that allow a Contactless Check In flow, which can be customized to capture these crucial customer data.
Low guest satisfaction scores
Problem: Bad reviews happen. Unfortunately, it is the case. These can happen for various reasons and are the bane to every hotel manager.
Solution When one- or 2-star reviews are left, it is best to know the reason as soon as possible. Include a star rating in the Contactless Checkout flow, which a mobile device can access. This allows hoteliers to identify unhappy guests and resolve issues before they leave.
ProblemA hotel may have to close certain services or amenities for several reasons. There are many reasons for closing amenities and services. It could be because the sun is down, the masseuses have left, or a sudden storm has blown over the resort. Understandably, guests can be disappointed when they expect specific amenities. The amenities of a particular property may be why guests choose to stay there in the first instance.
SolutionTo avoid surprises, hotel management must do their best to make sure guests are aware of the hours of service. This information should be included during the hotel check-in and made available to guests in their rooms through brochures, leaflets, etc.
It’s essential to communicate beforehand if a hotel management team has to shut down guest services or amenities unexpectedly. Using a Guest Messaging tool, you can let guests know about the closures before they discover them themselves. It’s better to be ahead of the problem and let the engineering team work on it.
The PCI-compliant credit card authorization forms that lead to fraud
ProblemMany hotels still use paper authorization forms for credit cards, despite needing to be PCI compliant. The fact that many hotels collect sensitive information about their guests in an insecure manner is a significant problem. This can result in thousands of dollars of lost revenue due to fraud and chargebacks.
SolutionHoteliers who wish to reduce fraud at their property should seek out PCI-compliant Digital Authorizations that are easy to implement and guest-friendly. It’s finally time to put an end to paper forms.
Problem Staff shortages are a significant problem in hotels. Staff shortages in most hotels can be attributed to regional job market issues. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, and as a result, the global hospitality industry can suffer a simultaneous staffing shortage.
The solution, The solution to a shortage of staff is two-fold. First, you need to create a recruitment program for your hotel staff. Find out what bonuses nearby properties offer, and then try to match those. It always helps to inform candidates of advancement opportunities.
Second, to solve a staffing problem, you can use technology to automate messages for guests. This will allow them to be more independent during their stay.
Low Hotel App Adoption
Problem Many hotels have adopted new technology in the last few years to adapt to changing consumer behavior (thanks to COVID), and that’s good news. Many of these hotels, however, have placed a large bet on creating a native application for their properties. This is not advisable. Native apps are difficult to use because they require a smartphone to download them. Guests at hotels are not adopting native apps in large numbers for several reasons.
SolutionHotels can use web-based technologies which are accessible through a mobile browser. It eliminates the need to download and provides a better experience. Hotels will also find that they have a much higher adoption rate than they would otherwise with a native application.
Front Desk Experiences High Call Volume
Problem High call volumes in a hotel can be good or bad. It is good to have a large number of calls, as it means that the hotel is likely complete. More calls at the front desk may overload the staff, leaving guests waiting. Almost every hotel has to deal with this problem at some point.
Solution Offering hotel guests a messaging app that integrates with their existing mobile messaging apps can help reduce call volume. If hoteliers want to offer a messaging service to guests, they should consider tools that allow them to save time by sending automated, direct, and broadcast messages.
The conclusion of the article is:
Hoteliers must plan for potential problems, as we stated in the introduction of this article. Knowing what levers and solutions to use in advance can prevent everyday problems from becoming minor catastrophes. In a crisis, a hotelier’s most valuable tools are reliable technology and well-thought-out plans. Savvy hotel staff can overcome any problem they encounter with these tools.