At the start of the pandemic, a large proportion of the hospitality workforce was laid off. Many of them switched to jobs with better security and never returned to the sector. This led to a shortage of labour as well as experience. So, how can you effectively run a busy hotel with fewer employees, all while keeping them happy?
#1 – Automate your guest communication
Let your hotel website do the work for you! Provided that you have a professional, user-friendly website, you can use it as a 24/7 sales and customer support tool. Make sure visitors can quickly find the necessary information and can easily place their direct booking. This will significantly reduce the number of phone calls and emails your property receives. To save even more time, introduce a chatbot (with Quicktext) that can answer frequently asked questions.
For each reservation you receive, a number of pre-arrival, during-stay and post-stay emails need to be sent: confirmations, reminders, practical info or updates, upsell messages, requests to leave a review, marketing newsletters ... This task can be quite time-consuming! You can speed things up with Emailinglist, our cost-effective emailing solution that allows you to easily personalise and send out automated emails to your guests. Did you know you can automate your upselling efforts as well? Tools like Oaky are a true game changer if you wish to drive more revenue by selling extras, add-ons and upgrades.
#2 – Simplify your payment process
Let’s be honest, the payment is nobody’s favourite part of the hotel experience. Are you still processing payments manually at your accommodation? Then it may be time to modernise your approach. Have you considered introducing a self-service kiosk at your hotel? It can take on a number of administrative front desk duties including payments, so your staff can focus on more rewarding tasks.
In any case, working with a Payment Service Provider (e.g. Mollie, Stripe, Worldline …) is indispensable nowadays. It significantly reduces the amount of time your staff spends on processing payments as it eliminates unnecessary manual steps. When you integrate a PSP into your Booking Engine, you can let your guests pay in advance or pre-authorise the transaction. Their personal details are automatically verified and securely stored by the provider, while the hotel is always guaranteed payment. Clients can be charged automatically at any time and staff waste less time dealing with erroneous card details, no-shows, late cancellations, chargebacks or refusals to pay.
#3 – Automate your revenue management
As you are undoubtedly aware, maintaining a viable pricing strategy is a full-time job when done properly. Market trends need to be monitored daily, business reports need to be analysed and - of course – room prices need to be adjusted accordingly on all booking channels. A good Revenue Management System (RMS) like RoomPriceGenie or RevControl fully automates this process, so your (revenue) manager doesn’t have to stress about getting last-minute changes done.
An RMS proposes optimal rates multiple times a day based on a vast amount of data with the additional option to upload them automatically. RevControl also forecasts your occupancy, allowing you to adapt your staffing levels accordingly. The result? Maximum revenue with minimum staff!
#4 – Keep your employees happy
In the current market where labour is scarce, employer branding is essential to attract and retain employees. Ask yourself the question: “What’s in it for them?” By creating an employee-facing brand for your hotel and communicating your core values, staff members can identify with the company. The next step is to turn them into ambassadors. When people are happy to be working for you, they are more likely to voluntarily share their positive experiences with friends and family or even on social media. In other words, free advertisement for you as an employer!
Finally, remember to focus as much on retention as you do on recruitment. It’s important to offer your staff a clear career plan and a sense of purpose. One of the main causes of staff shortages in the hotel industry is that workers feel undervalued and switch to industries that offer better pay. Therefore, don't take them for granted but show them that you’re willing to invest in them. Reward loyalty with salary increases, bonuses and trainings. In addition, embrace technology and offer your staff the right tools to reduce their administrative workload and stress levels. This gives them a chance to broaden their range of tasks, learn new skills and advance to other positions if desired.
Want to know how our technology can help you cope with the staff shortage?
We offer a range of software solutions that will help relieve your staff of tedious, time-consuming tasks. Would you like to know more about Cubilis or any of our integrations mentioned in this article? Feel free to contact us at any time using the form below. We’re happy to help you find the perfect solution for your business!