How Hotel Automations Reduce Staff Error and Save Profits
It’s a scenario no hotelier wants to experience.
A guest checking into a room that isn’t clean.
Maybe you can quickly find a new room and even offer them a complimentary drink at the bar while you get it ready, but either way, it’s too late. The bad first impression’s been made.
Dealing with human error is a fact of life for anyone managing a hotel, but by being proactive about error prevention, you can help keep your staff less overwhelmed and your guests more satisfied.
Automation is a powerful tool for hotel error management. By automating the right processes, you take pressure off your staff, meaning they’re less overworked and less likely to make mistakes.
That means fewer guest complaints, no more burned-out staff, and improvements to your bottom line. Especially when it helps prevent mistakes that taint your guests’ first impressions of your hotel, like being sent to a dirty room, automation improves the experience of both your guests and your staff.
Operto automates slow, frustrating processes like check-in and ID verification.
Problems caused by a lack of automation
If you don’t take advantage of automation, there are a number of problems you might see in your regular operations, such as:
- Checking guests into an uncleaned room: Without an automation tool to help you track check-ins and room status, it can be easy to miss a clean or maintenance task.
- Increased guest complaints: A guest checking into a messy room will most certainly result in a complaint, and perhaps a bad review.
- Never enough staff: With a seemingly endless to-do list of manual tasks, it may seem like you never have enough employees to keep operations running smoothly.
- Burned-out staff: Because they’re stretched so thin, your team may feel overworked, overwhelmed, and burned out.
- Refunds, missed sales, and leaky profits: Serious mistakes may mean you have to refund guests or miss the chance of a rebooking, which negatively impacts your profits.
The benefits of automation in hotels: Fewer errors, more savings, happier guests
Automation isn’t just a way to streamline your processes: It takes pressure off your staff so they can give your guests a better stay.
Curtis says that with automation “you get a better and more resilient guest experience, as it facilitates more meaningful interactions with your staff.”
Take a deeper look at the benefits of automation for hotel error management.
More defined processes
With automation, your processes and operations follow a perfectly-defined structure. That means no more uncertainty about who’s confirming and completing a special request, or whether a room is ready or not.
For example, scheduling automation software gives your team a 30,000-foot view over the housekeeping calendar for any given day, week, or month. This eliminates any potential mistakes that can be made when manually filling out a spreadsheet or wall calendar and trying to keep up with a constant influx of new reservations.
So, the right rooms get cleaned at the right time, your supervisors know exactly when to run an inspection, and your front desk can instantly see as soon as maintenance has replaced the faulty bulb or attended to the leaky faucet.
Instant visibility over room and check-in/out status
As we mentioned, automation can help you manage housekeeping tasks and gives you visibility over room status. This is key in error prevention, as it allows you to significantly reduce the chances of a missed clean and unhappy guest.
Or if a guest requests an early check-in, you can instantly verify if their room is ready or see if there’s another clean room available to offer them.
With the right tool, automating arrival and check-out will give you clearer visibility over room status to help prevent errors.
Plus, the best tools make you more flexible and responsive: If a guest suddenly wants a birthday cake or balloons in their room, you can efficiently communicate that information to the right member of staff as soon as the request comes in.
Automated check-in means better performance across your team
Automating check-in means your employees don’t have to wait behind the front desk to assist each guest as they arrive.
And when your employees aren’t stuck behind a front desk, bogged down by transactional tasks, your team performs better—because when they aren’t constantly answering phones or attending to long lines, your staff can review key processes and perform important administrative tasks without interruptions.
This means they also have the capacity to pay closer attention to your guests’ preferences and build rapport with them.
Not needing to staff a front desk doesn’t just have an impact on team performance—it also helps you save. For example, by using Operto automation software to cut down their front desks from four to one, Prague Residences started saving $10,000 per month.
Pro-tip: Want to enable keyless access without having to replace your locks? Simply upgrade your existing locks with Operto Boost to get all the benefits of automation at a fraction of the cost. You’ll make your guests independent and take pressure off your front desk staff.
Less burden on staff
Have you seen even your most seasoned, experienced staff feeling overwhelmed, making mistakes, and not meeting their usual quality standards? That’s burnout.
Especially in the face of a major labor shortage in the hotel industry, it’s not uncommon to see burnout manifested in the form of tardiness, missed details, poor rapport with guests, and costly errors.
Automation supports your team by giving them more time and space in their day to breathe, enjoy their work, pay attention to details, and meaningfully interact with other team members and guests.
By automating check-in, for example, your front desk staff no longer has to look up at a long line of frustrated arrivals who just want their room key and to get ready for the dinner they’ve booked.
Automation also helps you optimize your team by making it leaner and more motivated, while giving you the extra bandwidth to train it better, too.
The best processes to automate at your hotel
While you can’t digitize every process at your hotel, there are a few tasks that can easily be automated and streamlined to ensure error avoidance and improve your bottom line.
By automating the check-in process, you make your guests independent and free up staff from a constant stream of transactional tasks. Online check-in eliminates the need for your employees to wait on each and every guest that enters your hotel (that’s a lot of guests).
If you work with traditional keycards, your front desk is likely constantly bombarded with guests who lost their keycards or are having issues with it, especially if you’re at full occupancy.
And when your staff is bogged down with keycard replacement requests and other guest-facing tasks, it’s easy for them to miss a big issue or make a mistake. But if you use a tool like Operto, guests can automatically receive their door code or mobile key as soon as they check in online.
Now, room access and lost keycards is one less thing your staff have to consider—it’s taken care of by an automated process.
When their stay is as smooth as possible, you minimize the possibility of errors getting in the way of a positive guest experience. Automation solutions can help you do this by providing all the information your guests need upfront within a customizable guest portal.
Automatically share a digital guidebook with your guests that contains information about arrival, parking, finding their room, your amenities, the WiFi code, how to work the coffee machine, local area recommendations, and more.
Guests can even see your add-on services, like equipment hire or late check-out, right in their smartphone. This automated approach to upselling eliminates the chance of an overwhelmed on-the-ground team failing to offer one of your services, getting an order wrong, or forgetting to note down a new check-out time.
Minimize errors and enhance the guest experience through automation
Automation in the hotel industry isn’t just a helpful solution—it’s the way to a modern, frictionless experience for guests and staff.
When you use automation to minimize errors at your hotel, the impact is wide-reaching, helping improve both guest and employee satisfaction. Fewer mistakes means your guests can enjoy the stay they imagined, and your team can focus on providing amazing, attentive care, rather than just putting out fires.
By implementing automation in key areas of your operations like check-in and task scheduling, you’ll see fewer mistakes, happier staff, and delighted guests.
FAQs about hotel error management
What are the ways to avoid mistakes in hotel management?
The best way to avoid mistakes in hotel management is by automating as many processes as possible. Human error happens, so using automation to help with your cleaning and operational tasks prevents mistakes that result from overworked or distracted staff.
What are the common problems of hotel management?
Most problems in hotel management stem from human error, such as checking guests into an uncleaned room. This can result in guest complaints, refunds, and bad reviews.
What are some of the reasons for hotel errors?
The main reason for mistakes in hotel operations is human error. Human error is usually increased when staff are overworked or stretched thin. Other reasons for hotel errors are disorganized operations and a lack of automation tools.