Now that hotels are reopening as strict lockdown and distancing measures fight COVID-19 around the world, the influx of new guest bookings and questions can have many businesses pushing capacity. When this happens, efficiency drops and the guest experience suffers. Beyond this, there is an inevitable competition between hotels to gain the biggest foothold in the recovering market. This can all mean thinner margins and higher overheads, threatening the long term plan of the business.
Luckily, there are still many ways to make the most of this transformative period while staying competitive (even with reduced capacity).
General constraints hotels are currently facing
A number of possible factors can impact your hotel’s efficiency as it comes time to reopen. Some examples include:
Social distancing restrictions that require hotels to reduce guest capacity and staffing.
Other health and safety protocols.
An increase in bookings and guest questions.
Most hotels are likely to face some level of financial impact both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is the reduction of staff that may have the biggest impact - especially when the same numbers of guests are enquiring about your services.
Although it is likely that demand for hotels will also be lower for the foreseeable future, many guests will continue to seek answers to their questions and make bookings. However, when your hotel is working with less staff to cover more areas, this can become a juggling act that strains employee and guest relations, and hurts your bottom line.
The best way to make the most of these ever-changing times is to craft a contingency plan that allows your hotel to reduce overheads (including staff and number of rooms) whilst still turning over a steady profit margin.
To achieve this, your workers need to be utilised more effectively as the hotel somehow manages the repetitive but necessary daily work of answering questions, taking bookings and promoting your latest offers.
Many hotels are now turning to cutting-edge technology to automate these tasks. Premier hospitality chatbot Book Me Bob is one such example. Book Me Bob is maintained by a passionate team of hoteliers and hospitality enthusiasts around the world and helps your contingency plan by automatically responding to guest queries on your website. This frees up human workers to be better utilised - and, better yet, Bob costs just 1/10th of what a human worker would cost for many times the value (Bob answers hundreds of queries at once, compared to a human answering just one or two at a time).
So what about when your capacity increases? The Bob chatbot’s operations can scale up or down depending on your needs. Bob also gathers guest data and forms analytics. The team behind Bob can then use this to create models that help you evolve hotel services to meet demands and stay competitive in this changing market.
It’s impossible to say exactly which way things will go in the future of hospitality - but what can be said for certain is that taking action now and ensuring a contingency plan for lower overheads, better use of staff and staying competitive with new technology is key.
Click here to learn more about Book Me Bob and request a free demo for your hotel. Book Me Bob is opening offices around the world - including across Asia and North America - so don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team.
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