How can hoteliers use technology to avoid bad reviews?
The most important aspect of running a hotel is ensuring guests have an excellent experience. Whether it's keeping the hotel clean, offering great facilities, or providing exceptional service, everything is done to ensure that the guest has an unforgettable time. Whatever the size of the property, the primary objective of every hotelier is to offer the best possible stay.
When guests have a positive experience and leave a good online review, it leads to repeat visits and influences prospective guests to stay at the hotel. That said, a negative online review can have a significant impact on the hotel’s profitability long after the guest has left. Not only will the guest not return to the hotel, but it will also leave a lasting impact on whether future guests choose to book a room.
Common causes of bad reviews
Bad reviews can occur for any number of reasons, but the underlying causes are often connected. These reasons can range from it taking too long for guests to check in to their rooms, the room not meeting their cleanliness expectations, or the fact that their requests were not met. Often, these issues boil down to poor communication both within and between hotel departments. While there are a variety of possible causes of bad reviews, from rude staff to noisy neighbors, many of these operational issues can be easily resolved with tools that encourage better collaboration in the hotel.
How technology can mitigate these issues
Predictive scheduling technology for housekeepers optimizes cleaning routes, so the highest priority rooms can always be dealt with first. Additionally, with communications technology implemented, the front and back of house staff can communicate with one another and update on when rooms will be ready, ensuring that guests are not left in the dark about the status of their room and aren’t kept waiting. Another benefit is that guest requests can be rapidly logged and shared with the wider team so that they can be addressed promptly, and don't become lost in the system. For example, if guests need extra towels, then the front desk staff can relay this information seamlessly to the housekeeping team through an intuitive app.
The housekeeping team benefits greatly from the use of hotel operations technology. Checklists can be rolled out across the entire property or the entire global hotel chain which ensures that high standards are maintained. The amount of time saved for each hotel is huge as one checklist can be created as opposed to multiple individual lists. The same is the case for the maintenance staff as checklists can be set by the corporate team, in turn meaning that all assets are accounted for and ready for use.
However, hotel operations technology works in real-time, providing instant updates and alerts to managers about the status of the room. This means that feedback can be given shortly after the room has been cleaned which helps the housekeeper to learn and improve. Without this technology, feedback would be sporadic, which is not conducive to an effective training process.
Housekeeping teams can also better adapt to guest needs as checklists can be updated throughout the day depending on guest needs. This ensures that guest requests are met promptly and mitigates miscommunication.
The impact of good and bad reviews
Investing in technology to improve hotel operations has a direct impact on the guest experience, which translates into good reviews. Good reviews can then lead to increased hotel revenue, as the knock-on effect will drive more bookings from other guests. It also gives the hotel a competitive edge over other hotels in the area, enabling it to price more competitively as guests are willing to pay a premium to stay.
Bad reviews will result in the lost bookings as guests look elsewhere when searching for accommodation for their next trip. As a result, the hotel will be in a weaker position when compared to competitors and will have decreased pricing power. That said, taking the time to reflect on bad reviews can help the hotel to improve.
Every hotel strives to offer its guests a good experience. That’s why a bad review is a clear sign that something has gone wrong. While bad reviews can occur for a number of reasons, they are often due to easy-to-solve problems that can be reduced through the use of technology, such as poor communication between departments. By mitigating this problem with technology, hotels can thrive and make sure guests remember their stay for all the right reasons.