Bridging the Gap Between Operations and Guest Feedback

By Benjamin Jost Co-Founder & CEO, TrustYou | January 28, 2018

One of the biggest buzzwords in the digital space has been the 'tech stack' (or technology stack). While there aren't too many people talking about it in hospitality, it's a relevant term to help you choose the right technology in order for you to manage your operations and marketing. Simply put, a hotel technology stack is a description of all the software and programs you use to manage your digital marketing, operations, booking software, revenue management, third-party distribution, guest services and more.

Startups often depict their tech stack like a quadrant or map, where you see all the technology you have in place divided into the different categories of their uses. When laid out visually, you can easily see the gaps in your stack - where there are opportunities to streamline manual processes with technology - and the places you've invested your technology so far.  

Tech stacks vary in size and type, of course - a small property will have fewer tools than a larger one, but even "manual" tools can be included as part of your tech stack (that will give you a better picture of where you might want to switch something manual to something automated). Plus, a light tech stack isn't necessarily a bad thing - the "lighter" it is (i.e. fewer tools), the more likely you're able to be flexible and adapt to new processes or tools and the less likely it is to hold you back (on the flip side, lighter stacks are not as scalable when you do need extra tools to improve your operations). 

What's the value in understanding tech stacks and creating one for your hotel? Think of it as the technology blueprint of your property - you need to lay it all out before you start building. By doing so, you can focus on:  

  1. Users of the technology 
  2. Technology gaps
  3. Technology spend
  4. Technology ecosystem

1. Users of the Technology  

How many people at your property actually use the marketing or operations software that you have invested in? Is it 50%? How about 80%? How often do they use it?

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.