How can automation help your hotel run more efficiently?

How can automation help your hotel run more efficiently?

'2022 is the year of automation'

What is automation?

Automation refers to anything (a technology, process or procedure) that exists to reduce or eliminate inputs while maintaining outputs; the technology, process or procedure operates independently and requires little additional intervention.

With 97% of hotels reporting staffing shortages this year, increasing your automation investment and capabilities as a hotel is the smart thing to do. Although it might feel like a chore to spend time learning about this, the point of automation is to make your experience a a hotelier much easier - and it should make your guests' experience pretty hassle-free too.

73% of people want hotels to offer tech that minimizes contact with the staff and other guests

Automation tools can ease pressure

Automation tools have the ability to streamline workflows, increase efficiencies and improve the ways in which you serve your guests in the long term. By easing the pressure off your staff and freeing up time they spend on tasks that can be easily automated, they'll have more time to think strategically about your business and engage guests in a personable manner.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of travelers want to use their mobile device to manage their hotel experience, including checking in and out, paying, ordering food, and more

After all, what’s the most important thing to us all in this industry? Customer service.

It seems the hotel industry is well aware of the uptake needed in smart technology that will make their guests’ lives easier, with 77.6% of respondents in a recent Duetto survey saying they expect to increase their hotel tech investment in the next three years. When asked to identify the most important trends in revenue management for 2022, 54.8% said automation.

Not only this, but 55.2% of Revenue Managers surveyed reported they’ve increased their focus on strategic revenue management as automation has helped reduce manual tasks such as data entry and reporting.

74% of travellers are interested in hotels using AI to better tailor services and offers, such as room pricing or food suggestions and discounts

Utilise all your booking engine has to offer

When it comes to different types of bookings (like weddings for example), are you utilising everything you can so as to avoid receiving a large portion of bookings over the phone? Within the Net Affinity booking engine, we have developed a wedding module which allows you to seamlessly manage all room bookings for a wedding in the one place.

This is an incredibly useful and personalised feature for your couple too, who you can personalise a landing page for. They will have their own code specific to their wedding and can choose to have a specific package for people to book. Another benefit for your hotel, is that you can also use the opportunity to upsell.

As well as the wedding module, we also offer a corporate module within our booking engine which you can use in relation to corporate bookings. The same idea applies – utilising these modules will mean less unnecessary time on the phone.

Learn more about Net Affinity’s booking engine

Get organised

There are so many small efficiencies you can make that will create a lasting and positive impact within your hotel’s eco system, which in turn, will benefit staff and make everyone happier.

FAQ pages

Making sure you are constantly keeping on top of your FAQ pages will save you time in the long run. You will have your standard FAQ page together, but continue to think about what you can add to it depending on the kind of questions, feedback or reviews you are getting from guests. 

Use a channel manager 

Channel managers allow hotels to manage their rates and availability in real time across their chosen channels through one online platform. A smart channel manager has a two-way connection that not only sends inventory to your booking engine and OTAs, but reservations are sent directly to your PMS. This saves you time, reduces overbooking and helps you gain the ability to sell the most rooms as possible through as many channels as possible.

With a channel manager, you can enjoy your morning coffee while interacting with your guests; leave the front desk and take a vacation! Automate recurring operations to save time and money

Detail everything within your rate plans, including enhancements

The more detailed your specific rate plans are, the less room for confusion or queries. When you are developing your rate plans, remember to include information on the likes of room extras – do you need to mention a baby cot for families? Or remote working facilities for someone taking a workation or bleisure trip? Include all relevant detail!

According to a recent Skift report, remote work is still widely prevalent across all international markets

You can also cut queries in half by detailing specific enhancements within your rate plans. Whether it’s dinner, wine, a movie night, a spa offer – leave nothing to the imagination.

Review all of your forms and update where necessary

Reviewing your existing site content is as important as paying attention to anything new you’re uploading. Take a good look through all of your website forms for dining, wedding, corporates etc. Make sure all of the fields are relevant and up to date, and importantly, that they are going to the right person internally. This will save time and leave less room for unnecessary confusion!

Utilise email

Utilising email as a tool is such an incredible timesaver and when done correctly, email can foster loyalty and help to successfully nurture return guests. Consider email marketing systems like Revinate. Organising things like pre stay emails will help you receive more bookings in advance which is helpful from a time perspective.

Plan and automate your social content

A key theme throughout many of these suggestions is in relation to planning. Planning and automation go hand in hand, and it’s no different when it comes to your social content. Using a content calendar and a social media scheduling tool (or the various platform’s own scheduling tools) will not only help your team save time, it will also give you greater visibility of what’s coming down the line, which leaves more room for innovation and creativity.

Download Failte Ireland's social media calendar template here


A Global Web Index survey found that nearly 4 out of 10 internet users prefer to use automated services rather than speak to a customer service representative

The appeal of chatbots is one of convenience and speed. Messaging apps have grown monumentally over the last few years, both socially and elsewhere – in fact, a significant amount of businesses are using messaging to communicate with customers and prospects. A Facebook study revealed that each month over 20 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses on Messenger.

When it comes to the small queries your guests might need an immediate answer to, chatbots can be a helpful solution for both them and you – it means they don’t have to go searching through information to find their answer, and you don’t have to spend time answering something very simple on the phone when you could’ve been chatting face to face with current guests. It’s something to consider if you haven’t already done so. Check out Asksuite if you're interested in chatbots for your hotel.  

54% of hoteliers say their highest priority is to adopt tech that improves or eliminates the need for the front desk experience between now and 2025

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