The hospitality industry was one of the most impacted by the effects of the pandemic, and while things are beginning to open up and individuals are looking to resume travel, guest expectations have changed. In order to continue to meet their needs and deliver an outstanding customer experience, you have to transition your business operations.
It’s your job to make these changes without reducing the quality of the customer experience, and that has everything to do with who you hire to your team. Your employees are the backbone of your hotel: they interact with your customers, they set and maintain standards, they build connections with your guests, and they are the reason your customers keep coming back. So as guest expectations have changed, so has the importance of each and every hire you make.
Here are some guest expectation shifts you can expect from the future of hospitality, and how your staff can continue to make a huge impact on your customer experience.
Technology needs to feel personal
Much of the face-to-face interaction that used to take place in hotels will need to transition to online in order to keep guests feeling comfortable and safe. But that doesn’t mean the experience can’t be personalized. Here are a few ways your staff can do this:
- Call or email guests promptly after booking to inform them of anything they may need to know including safety precautions and hours of operation for your hotel attractions.
- Create an online concierge experience, where an employee can suggest activities and offer recommendations through the internet without putting your guests or staff at risk.
- Before a guest’s stay, email to ask if there are any special requests they may have like extra towels, pillows, a roll-away bed, etc. and have your staff make sure those are in their room prior to check-in.
- Offer contactless room service and request fulfilment to limit the interaction of guests and staff.
- Follow up after their stay to ensure they had a pleasant stay, and ask for any feedback on how to improve in the future.
- Keep notes about your guests, their preferences, and their feedback in your CRM so that you can make each and every stay one to remember.
Your reliance and your guest’s expectations of heightened technology is here to stay, so make sure you’re hiring employees that are well-versed in technology and can facilitate the guest experience in these ways.
Be more flexible
Cancellations are still going to happen, especially as we continue to see fluctuations in COVID-19 cases around the world. It’s important to communicate your flexibility to your guests, so they know that you value their safety and comfort over anything else. That way, when they are ready to book, you’ll be the hotel they choose.
If you have change or cancellation fees, consider removing them temporarily, or offer credit to those that have to change their plans last minute. You’ll be able to preserve customer loyalty while maintaining the safety of your other guests and employees.
Cleaning for safety, not presentation
There’s an important distinction between pre-COVD cleaning and now. Everything not only needs to be clean for presentation, but for guest and staff safety. The cleanliness of your hotel will be the new measure of luxury, and some of the ways you previously interacted with guests, like bringing up fancy room service dishes, may be different for a while in order to provide a safe stay for every guest.
You can use clean seal labels to create temporary seals on doors of rooms that are freshly sanitized, ensuring your guests’ peace of mind that they are the first ones to enter their room since it has been cleaned. Make digital keys and contactless check-in a priority, offer complimentary hand sanitizer bottles and masks to each individual that stays with you, and remove high touch items from rooms, like pens and paper, and instead offer freshly sanitized items on request. Prioritizing these safety protocols will set you apart from the hotel down the street.
Do more with less
You’re operating with fewer employees, but it doesn’t have to be obvious to guests. With the right team in place, you can have a fully functioning hotel staff that appeals to the wants and needs of every guest, but it requires your current employees to be willing to wear several hats. Give your employees cross-functional jobs so that they can work more efficiently, and use technology to your advantage to make sure they are able to manage their roles easier.
And, make sure everyone you hire from here on out is a star employee by using technology to make your hiring process more efficient and make finding qualified talent easier. Hireology offers pre-screening surveys, automated background and reference checks, and a 5-star rating system, so you can separate the best applicants from the rest and move them through the hiring process at record speed. And with Hireology’s mobile app, you can do all of this on the go, so you can continue to run your hotel with precision.
Interested in learning more about Hireology and how we can help you hire your best team to keep up with guests’ changing expectations? Schedule a demo now.