Maciej Głowacki and Bartosz Pałka (Espondi) are the authors of the article published on LinkedIn
Implementation is a specific kind of audit that immediately verifies the following aspects:
- the condition of infrastructure (IT, electrics),
- marketing department,
- sales department,
- shift management.
Among the most frequent problems that hotels face are the ones with infrastructure and promotional materials.
1. Photos – to quote a Chinese proverb: “A picture is worth a thousand words”. We should stress that although it seems blatantly obvious, this is the place where the hard part begins. Theoretically, we know that we sell by means of a picture, but hotels usually do not have their own stock of photos. We lack pictures of available attractions, SPA treatments or dishes from the hotel’s menu. Even if there are some, it turns out that the list is incomplete. Additionally, such photos are all completely different (they were taken at different times and in different styles). Let’s not delude ourselves that we will be saved by ‘stock’ pictures, as they are too artificial. Most importantly, they don’t show our premises, hence they don’t build up trust. There’s no other way – we need to solve the problem, take some photos and then regularly update the list. We need pictures both to implement the solution and promote the hotel on social media (on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedln).
2. Descriptions – descriptions of dishes from the menu are a good starting point, but the Hotel360° app gives hoteliers a chance to display their skills. We aren’t limited by the size of the paper menu; thus we can spread our wings (but not too much… we still sell by means of a picture). What’s more, we should remember about our foreign visitors, so we should provide them with translations of the descriptions of what the hotel offers. The English-speaking version is not enough, although that’s what we should start with.
3. Opening hours – that goes without saying. The opening dates and hours of the SPA zone, restaurants etc. should be included in the material.
1. Internet – this is the basic way in which a modern hotel should function (according to research carried out by hotels.com on the basis of a questionnaire filled in by 25 million guests, Wi-Fi is a must in hotels). One or two places where one can connect to the Internet are not enough, the devices given should be fully configured and should handle a frequency range for Wi-Fi: 2,4 GHz and 5 GHz. What is important is that for safety reasons a public network (available for hotel guests) should be isolated from an internal network by means of VLAN mechanisms.
A Wi-Fi signal must be available in all rooms, whereas according to Espondi’s experience, problems with the signal occur in the vast majority of hotels. Even relatively new premises which declare that their Wi-Fi system is working properly have problems with implementation, which often ends up with staff looking for some lost devices in the hotel’s attic.
We often see that it is all about savings. We need to remember that guests using the internet should be easily able to move around their room. It doesn’t matter whether we connect with the internet when we are sitting on the sofa or at the table, using our phone or tablet should never cause any problems. Wi-Fi accessibility should be checked everywhere in the room – not only near the door. When testing the signal, we should empathize with our guest. Where would I go and what would I do with my smartphone if I were in his shoes?
Apart from problems with being out of range, we must also not forget about the bandwidth. Internet access at a speed that reminds us of the “golden age” of dialled modem connections is more annoying for a hotel guest that having no Wi-Fi at all. In spite of the fact that Wi-Fi is the basis of the hospitality industry, wireless network coverage is still a huge problem for a number of hotels. We tend to forget that a guest should have the possibility to request what he needs!
1. The guest looks through a paper leaflet,
2. The guest calls the reception desk and places an order,
3. The reception notifies the kitchen whose cooks prepare the order,
4. A waiter delivers the order to the room, the guest signs for it,
5. The waiter goes back to the reception and enters a certain amount of money to the PMS.
1. The guest searches for a dessert on the tablet,
2. The guest orders it by tapping it on the tablet’s screen,
3. The order is sent first to the PMS, then to the kitchen and a waiter; the charge for the dessert automatically goes to the PMS.
4. The waiter delivers the order to the room.