As Front of House and Reservations teams know all too well, we all have a list (usually quite a long list!) of things we promise to do “someday” but this list keeps getting put back in the drawer, as ensuring guests have the best experience in our property is the top priority for us.
Whether you are working from home, reduced to part times hours or working in one of the many hotels that are staying open to serve our fantastic front line teams we have put a list together of jobs that are on the never, never! which can be addressed during this down time. Getting some of these things done now could have a hugely positive affect on the running of your hotel once everything is back up and running – get working on your “someday” list today!
1. UPDATE REVENUE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE (RMS)
We are expecting people to holiday at home rather than abroad this year after the restrictions are lifted so because of this we’re expecting the market to be very competitive. It’s important to continue reviewing your rates and ensuring your rules and restrictions are set correctly to make sure you’re ready for the season ahead post COVID-19.
2. PMS CLEAN-UP
We’ve all stumbled upon something in our PMS at one point or another and thought “I need to merge these files!” or “that needs a bit of a tidy up” but never seem to get around to it. Well now might be the perfect time to do a tidy up of files and profiles! Reviewing your room stock and listed room types in your PMS could have huge benefits in the long run as well, especially if you are interfaced with your channel manager – streamlining and adjusting the mapping between these two systems can help lighten your work load once you reopen for business.
3. UPDATING SOP’S
A lot of our SOP’s are written, then put on a shelf or in a drawer and forgotten about until a new member of staff is hired and we realise that they haven’t been updated in line with new or updated practices. When it comes to Front Office and Reservations Departments these SOP’s should not only have step by step guides for check in and check out procedures and telephone etiquette but there should also be an SOP for each system you use e.g. how to use your channel manager, a guide to your RMS and how to use the key machine to complete a check in. There should also be a troubleshooting guide in case something goes wrong to allow staff to work through the steps and fix the issue. From feedback we’ve received, screen shots as visual aids are extremely helpful.
4. OWN WEBSITE REVIEW
Have a look over your own website to freshen up the content. Pay particular attention to opening times for different outlets within your property. Make sure the images published on the site are up to date, including the images associated with your bedroom types. Check the wording on confirmation letters and your cancellation policies so that the information provided is correct. It’s also time to review your packages and get your property ready for post-Covid-19 as we are expecting the Staycation Market to perform, so work on experience based packages with local offerings. Reach out to your website and booking engine provider as most are offering great advice on how to improve your website’s performance once things begin returning to normal.
5. OTA REVIEW
As with your own website, it’s important to keep the information correct on all of the channels you sell rooms on. Items that may need refreshing are content, images, room types and descriptions. A lot of these channels will allow you to do this yourself, but there are some that you need to contact directly. Don’t forget to review your TripAdvisor profile too!
6. CHANNEL MANAGER
Time to review and remove or expire any packages that are no longer valid. Review your channel manager mapping to make sure you packages are assigned to the correct room type (family offers should have family rooms attached etc) and check to make sure any supplements or derivatives on the price are set correctly so the price point is feeding correctly.
7. SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS INTERFACED WITH YOUR PMS
If you’re using any guest confirmation software such as Revinate or Guestfolio or Upselling software like Upsell Guru have a look over the templates and amend accordingly. If you’re using any software such as the Hotels Network or Trip Tease to provide pop up widgets to reinforce your book direct policies, it’s time to review the policies and content.
8. BUSINESS LISTING
Check Google My Business Listing and make sure the information provided is correct, as well as checking the location on Google Maps to make sure guests can find their way to your property when they input your hotel name for directions.
9. UPDATE SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES
Have look over your social media profiles such as LinkedIn and Facebook, and Instagram if this applies. If you don’t have a presence on any of these platforms maybe revisit the thinking behind it and see if it might be worth while creating one as a way of guests and potential guests to interact with you and gather information. If you have profiles on these sites and aren’t getting much traffic on them, review the way you use them and the details you have published.
10. CONTRACT TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Review the T&C’s associated with your tour groups and series, weddings, conferences, individual guests, etc – it’s important to review the terms offered to any kind of groups and make sure the details surrounding rooming lists and deposits are correct and that any release dates are clearly stated.
11. REVIEW YOUR INBOX!
Take stock and review what reports and emails are arriving in your inbox over the next while, some may not be relevant to your property anymore so you should unsubscribe from these lists. You could also take some time to sign up to other companies that might now be of interest to make sure the information you’re receiving is useful so that the main contact email address inbox isn’t full of junk mail that you don’t need.
If possible do a little bit of research to identify blog topics and get working on building up a store of them to publish over the coming months – if you can get some of them written over the next few weeks you’ll be working ahead of yourself when things get back to normal.
The team at Rate Wise are available if you need any help or advice on any of the above – please feel free to contact us for anything that we can do to help.