Hotel automation is a process of offloading repetitive manual tasks from staff to technology. Whether it is streamlining daily tasks of guest-facing departments or at the backend, automation simplifies hotel operations and helps your teams work together like a well-oiled machine.
Most hospitality professionals agree that the staff is a hotel’s most valuable asset, and every leader wants to bring out the best in their team. However, the day-to-day job of a hotel manager poses many challenges such as staffing gaps and managing employees across multiple departments who are working different shifts.
As guest requests become more sophisticated, managing dozens of rooms while dispatching tasks to members of different departments is increasingly difficult. By automating workflows, or parts of workflows, you can end the operational chaos for good and free up more time to focus on your guests.
In this article we will look at what benefits hotel automation brings to the table and why it is the most sustainable way to generate team efficiency behind the scenes.
Automating hotel operations, task management and guest services through technology will let your staff take the wheel and introduce transparency into your workflows. Here are 7 ways process automation helps hotel’s behind-the-scenes operations.
In an ideal world, front of house (FOH) and back of house (BOH) collaborate to bring the highest quality services to hotel guests. Reality is, though, often different. Because FOH roles are guest-facing and BOH works behind the scenes, these two stations may end up communicating in silos.
It is in the manager’s best interest to foster collaboration between the two not only to increase productivity but also to create that emotional connection with the guests. This involves gathering the minute particulars that the receptionist, concierge, guest service agent, bartender, housekeeping staff, and maids “pick up” or come across during their job duties.
The good news is that you can quickly solve this with hotel technology. With the right digital platform, such as an operational management system, housekeeping system or task management system you’ll bring transparency into your operations and allow your teams to talk to each other. This will ensure that everyone understands the methods and reasons behind the organization of the property, aiming to automate unnecessary and stressful tasks and facilitate collaboration.
Some hospitality roles work ‘regular’ 9-5 hours while others switch between different shifts. Messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, or LINE, are a good start to managing hotel teams on a smaller scale. However, messages are often overlooked in long conversation threads, and it is easy to lose track of each other’s responsibilities when the person is off duty.
Digital platforms for hotels take communication between departments one step further. You can centralize all requests and tickets in one place and assign them to respective team members regardless of their work schedule. If you opt for a desktop and mobile-friendly solution, every staff member can use the system on their phone and get automatic notifications about changes or new tasks coming their way. This way your team will never lose track of their tasks and most importantly, they will be in sync even if they are working different shifts.
Exceptional execution behind the scenes is the key to creating personalized guest experiences that keep them coming back. If all teams are able to connect through one system and oversee their responsibilities, customer requests will not be forgotten, and you will create an environment where everyone is working together toward the same goal – increasing guest satisfaction.
With the right hotel automation strategy such as implementing digital task management system you will increase responsiveness and ensure your guests’ messages get through every time. Then, you can prioritize requests and act fast, because you would not want your guests to ask twice.
Automation of repetitive tasks will save your staff a giant headache as they do not need to intervene with the workflow anymore. This will drastically reduce errors in processes such as filling out guest information during check-in, handling bills, closing tickets or creating reports.
Implementing automated workflows will require some training time until your teams get used to the new process, but this will quickly pay off as you will end up saving hours of their time. If you are looking for greater flexibility, choose a solution that offers a certain level of customization. For example, the Aiello Task Management System gives you a library of customizable workflow templates for processes like maintenance issues, housekeeping or meal delivery orders, so that you can design workflows that fit your needs.
If it allows me to do something in 30 seconds that used to take 30 minutes, sign me up.
~Tom Wolfe, Fairmont SF Concierge [Source]
Transitioning away from manual processes and embracing digital solutions, alongside the strategic automation, leads to enhanced efficiency and substantial cost savings. This approach not only reaps the benefits of time saved but also empowers you to accomplish more with fewer resources at hand.
For example, the InterContinental Kaohsiung automated FAQ to offload the incoming front desk calls to a voice-activated device inside the guest room. This decision saved the team over 500 hours in the first 5 months, which equals 62 working days for one full-time employee.
Traditionally, hotel employees would remember and jot down important details about the guests, share them at standup meetings or write them in the guest profiles. While it is true that your staff is out there, talking with your guests every day, there are other types of interactions with your guests that could power your decision-making.
For example, a good management system should help you leverage the information from tickets, guest requests or email communication and auto-sync them with other systems for further guest profiling. So, if you know that your guests often request dry-cleaning service, custom meal options or additional amenities, you can use this information to improve their experience. AI-powered hotel solutions analyze guest interactions and put them together to deliver actionable insights. If you want to empower your strategies with real data, AI is the way to go, as it will help you sustain your brand standards and stay ahead of the competition in the long run.
The goal of every tech savvy hotelier is to make hotel tech tools speak to each other. Therefore, when shopping for hotel technology today, it is crucial to do some future planning. Your hotel technology solutions should be agile enough to work together and step by step help you build an internal tech ecosystem that empowers your people.
Because every property is unique, one size definitely does not fit all. It is essential to look for a provider that can accommodate your specific needs and help you achieve your goals. In other words, be there for you when you need them. Whether it is building integrations, debugging the system, or solving urgent issues during the holidays, your provider should be there ready to assist.
Introducing hotel automation frees up your team to get out there and talk to the guests, prevents duplicate efforts, and also makes behind-the-scenes work run more smoothly and promotes teamwork between front-line and backend staff. In today’s world, guests want both a seamless tech experience and a warm, personalized touch from friendly staff. This blend of technology and hospitality is crucial because efficient backend operations shape guest experiences.
As you start with hotel automation, remember to spot areas where it fits, figure out how your existing systems will work together, and help your staff adapt to changes. Our Aiello Task Management System (TMS) is designed to suit the unique needs of the hotel teams. It empowers managers by giving them an overall view of operations, gathering all staff tasks in one place, and making hotel workflows more independent.
Do you want to learn more about voice AI technology for hotels? Sign up for a free demo.