24 - 7 Communication
Jon Sholter - April 12, 2022
Today in less than 5 minutes we are going to cover:
How technology can change the dynamic of your hotel.
How is your 24 hour hotel communicating?
Sure every business needs to communicate between colleagues and departments, but not every business runs for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But wait, isn't 7-11 open 24 hours / 7 days a week? Yeah...
A hotel can be odd depending on your position. You come in, put in the work and all the magic of the guest experience happens when you're gone. You come in the next morning and thank God everything went well, or pray to God the next evening goes better.
With a 24 hour operation, it's impossible to have consistent in person interaction with each person on your team. If you think you're solving this problem with notebooks and pass on's, keep reading.
As technology progresses, so does hotel communication. There are plenty of software solutions out there designed for workplace communication. Investing in one or two of these solutions is must and ongoing optimizing may take your hotel to the next level.
Hotel specific solutions include Quore, Alice, Hot SOS, Kipsu and more. These platforms tie in specific hotel functionality, but are sometime lacking in overall features. Additionally, there's a bunch of non hotel specific software like Basecamp, Slack and Workplace by Facebook to name a few, where the opposite problem is true (no hotel specific functionality). We personally do not have exposure to all of these solutions, but if you are going on a search, vetting a number of companies is worth while.
But how do I choose the right software and how do I put this altogether?
Your solution should have the following functionality at the core. Additional features are bonuses.
Indexing and thread capability. Meaning if you have an issue or a communication, your team can reply and keep tabs directly on that topic. They do not need to search around multiple posts and piece things together. Imagine being able to track a guest issue from a previous guest stay. Or documenting an entire guest recovery process on one screen.
Who read what functionality. When you post a new directive or policy, you want to be able to tell who read it. This creates buy in and accountability on your team.
Culture building. You want your software to be able to build and facilitate culture within your hotel. This is so important when management is not ever present. Giving public recognition through a centralized space for everyone to read is much needed.
Team chat communication. How about finding a platform that allows you to talk directly to team members through instant messaging? This is a game changer as it simply is not plausible to have everyone's cell phone number or What's App contact.
Cross department communication. Sure, your Front Desk may always be keeping up with guest notes and ongoing communication, but what about the rest of your Team? Can you get a platform that builds engagement through your entire organization?
Media Posts. Ability to post pictures, video, live calls. Once a bonus, has now become a must.
If any of these criteria are not met above, either keep searching for the right solution or look at combining more than one solution. Obtaining this functionality is going to lead to:
Better problem resolution through documented process.
Better team learning through seeing how other collogues have handled situations day in and day out.
Better problem identification through seeing common trends through guest and staff struggles.
Better team engagement through recognition and appreciation.
Probably another 100 positive side effects that cannot all be mentioned.
Now comes the challenge. Is there a solution out there that does everything you need it to for your hotel? If there is, we'd love to hear about it. At the moment however, you may have to split some of these duties between platforms.
We personally use Quore for some hotel operational documentation (like PM's), front desk day to day guest log communication and guest recovery. However, this platform left us wanting when it came to cross department communication and team building. Our solution for this was Workplace by Facebook. A platform not built for hotels specifically, but familiar enough for employees to easily buy into. The solution is great for announcements, direct messaging, recognition and process training.
To the owner, cash is king, to the operator, communication takes the crown.