The Importance of Being in the Know In Order To Maximize Your Hotel's Performance

By Phil Tufano Partner & Chief Operating Officer, Kokua Hospitality | February 08, 2015

With markets continually becoming more segmented, the need to differentiate your hotel from your competition in order to appeal to your travelers is increasing. This can be achieved by staying connected to every level of your team by means of constant feedback and financial reports. This intel coupled with an understanding of current trends is critical to keep in stride with your market's needs.
Real-time financial reports

Knowledge is power and consistent updates with new information are not only empowering but necessary to succeed and surpass your competition in hospitality today. Constant "real-time" financial reporting is an essential ingredient for making effective decisions. For example, the boutique Powell Hotel in San Francisco uses a system created by Kokua Hospitality that allows their team total access to daily, weekly, and monthly reports. This also allows the management team to remain on the same page and making decisions based on consistent information by understanding where the hotel stands at all times. This also provides immediate, transparent feedback of the hotel's efforts towards each of their individual goals. In a world in which companies are only as good as their last financial statement, this system of providing readily-available financial information to team members helps them keep in pace with constant change and to respond effectively.

Daily Meetings With Your Sales Team

In addition to looking at results from financial reports, it is equally imperative to meet regularly with the sales team to discuss all tentative and prospective pieces of business on the books. The meetings are a time to ask questions about what needs to be done in order to close the deal. It is helpful to make plans together and go over sales tactics and challenges with the group so that each person knows they're not doing it by themselves. The management team should stay close to the process, show interest and let everyone know how important closing the business is and that it has your undivided attention. To secure meetings, the sales team should meet personally with all meeting planners and site inspections. People do business with people they like. So make sure your customers know and like you.

Constant Feedback from the Trenches

Those working at the front desk, serving at your hotel's restaurant, working as concierges- these are the people that your guests interact with and are most concerned with when evaluating the service of your hotel. They are the first and lasting impression left on your traveler's minds. In the hotel business, communicating policies and procedures to the field from the corporate office is important to maintain product and service consistency and standards. Therefore, quality communication is crucial, on both sides to deliver feedback and new ideas.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.