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Top 5 Tips for Hotels Reopening After Lockdown
On the 17th of August, New Zealand was put into a swift nationwide lockdown after detecting one case of the Covid-19 Delta variant. The entire country was in alert level 4 – the highest level – for two weeks, with regions outside Auckland moving down a level last week.
Whether you are in Level 2 already or looking forward to Level 3, this means you may be reopening your hotel soon as the restrictions lighten. For some, this may be the first time you are preparing your business to reopen, for others it may be the second or third time. For those who have done this before, you may agree that not everything went as smoothly as it could have the first time around.
To help simplify the complex and eliminate the challenges we’ve put together our Top 5 Reopening Tips:
1. FREE COVID Clean Approved Assessment (Only 20 questions)
The COVID Clean Approved self-assessment tool has been developed by Qualmark. This free assessment offers information and checklists compiled by Qualmark, derived from the New Zealand Government’s COVID-19 guidelines, to help businesses adhere to these protocols.
By completing the COVID Clean Approved assessment, operators can demonstrate to visitors and staff that they have an awareness of COVID-19 government guidelines. Additionally, COVID Clean Approved is formally recognized by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
2. Get Compliant with the TouchPoint Checklist
As we live through changing lockdown levels the health and safety of your guests and employees continue to remain a top priority. To ensure your hotel is following the recommendations of the Ministry of Health in relation to COVID-19, our experts have created a TouchPoint Checklist to help ensure the new operating policies and standards are easily met.
Checklists are a vital tool in giving your establishment consistency and meeting compliance across the board. Don’t be afraid to make a show of cleaning throughout your establishment. Make your efforts visible to guests so they feel safe.
3. The Ultimate Appliance Maintenance Checklist
The pandemic has had a profound social and economic impact on all of us. Guest expectations have changed and hotels are now facing new ways of working. If you’re interested in driving profitable demand as you reopen it’s important to focus on enriching your guest’s stay by delivering a flawless experience.
To do this we’ve created The Ultimate Appliance Maintenance Checklist. A guest's experience begins well before they arrive in their room and this will help Hotel Operators, Motel Owners, and team members to check the appliances to guarantee they are all in working order.
4. Employee Development for Reopening
Over the past years, the hospitality industry has been evolving the way they provide service in order to create a more guest-focused approach. As your hotel prepares to reopen in a post-COVID-19 environment it’s the perfect time to start thinking about your staff’s development. The objective is to have motivated and skilled employees who can be a source of excellence and deliver outstanding customer service.
Great customer service starts with Great Training!
To succeed in a highly competitive market hotels need to be well-equipped. It’s important both new and existing team members all have the same level of training. By covering the essential customer service fundamentals your team will have the right tools and attitudes to handle any customer type and any situation.
Customer Personality Types:
Some guests love your team’s approach, while others brush it off. Some customers want to pick a fight, while others won’t disclose what they really want. Sound familiar? Guests don’t share personalities; they vary from person to person so discovering how to professionally engage is key.
Premium customer service means focusing on every guest experience, including over the phone. From creating a great first impression and transferring a call effectively through to controlling the conversation, the depth of your phone skills will affect the perception one has on your business.
Online Chat Skills:
Some prefer to speak online, and although this can be effective and efficient, it can also be frustrating for both parties if the Online Chat agent is untrained. It’s important to know when to use canned responses and how to properly respond to multipart questions. By providing efficient and informative service online – you can convert leads into guests!
Receptionists play a vital part in creating a positive first face-to-face impression. How are your guests greeted when they walk into your hotel? With a warm smile and a helpful attitude? Or maybe nothing at all? Great receptionists require a lot more in their arsenal than just technical skills. Listening, interpersonal, and soft skills create the recipe for success when dealing with customer enquiries and more.
5. Reopening with a Smile:
Service is all about people – this is a basic fact that will remain so despite the many changes brought on by the post-COVID-19 world. Whilst preparing for your reopening, hoteliers must not forget the top fundamental rule that built their past success: good service is based on the friendly staff and happy clientele.
Thinking about the different touchpoints along your guest's journey – from taking their reservation and orders to their final payment - how can you ensure our guests have a great experience at each touchpoint? Understanding your guest’s needs or concerns and adapting your operational processes to accommodate them will help your business build a competitive advantage.
With over 20 years of experience, Astro is the premier supply partner and understands the hospitality industry like no other. We hope these Top Tips help arm your hotel and staff with the right customer service tools to welcome guests back with a smile.
If you have any questions about how your staff can deliver exceptional service within the parameters of Covid restrictions we’d love to hear from you. We are always eager to share our expertise to ensure your guests are dazzled and delighted when you reopen.
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