For-Sight’s Partner Benbria, leader in customer experience and engagement solutions, helps the world’s most customer-centric brands deliver a superior experience that goes above and beyond their competitors.
The topic of labour shortage in hospitality is one that precedes the pandemic.
Yet while it’s been ever-present, the challenge today arises in a shifting demand and expectation.
With travel on the rise and a new wave of guest preferences, being short-staffed can feel more overwhelming than ever.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Shifting mindset and perspective on operations, a labour shortage can actually give rise to several benefits.
In this blog, we’re tackling how you can make the most of a labour shortage while taking a deeper look into the state of labour in hospitality today.
That State Of Labour in Hospitality Today
Hotels are set to experience massive growth. With travel on more agendas today, bookings are expected to skyrocket and operations are starting to double down. And although more business is better than no business, for hotels, it can be challenging to keep up with.
This is especially true with a significant shortage of staff.
Today, as a result of the decline in labour, “hotel operations are scaling back”. Reports are predicting that “if the labour shortage is not addressed, the accommodation industry could experience a labour shortfall of 10,000 by 2035”. In addition, comparing December 2021 to pre-COVID level, “employment in accommodation and food services remained 206,000 workers short (16.9 percent)”.
When relying solely on employees, this shortage can lead to massive pitfalls in operations and overall efficiency. Things like straining current staff can impact levels of service and dampen innovation. Further processes can get disorganized, leading to low growth rates and impairing revenue.
With “2 of every 3 accommodation businesses seeing labour issues as a significant business impediment”, understanding different ways to scale your hotel is paramount.
The Unexpected Benefits of a Labour Shortage
First and foremost labour shortage allows hotels to become more tactical in how they operate. Without personnel that is readily available there’s less room for error, and ideas and thoughts must be more structured. The key here is shifting mindset towards a more proactive approach.
In that same breath, greater productivity can also be an experienced benefit. With less staff, employees lean towards doing more with less – especially if you’re empowering them with technology.
Fewer staff can also be seen as a tool to build better relationships with customers. A solid group of employees at key moments in the guests journey, can add a personal touch, especially if they’re listening to their preferences and building rapport.
Lastly, a labour shortage can be an integral time to pivot operations and introduce workflow efficiencies. Although having more hands is helpful, it’s not always necessary. Technology today has advanced to streamlining many elements of the hotel experience and even replacing full tasks.
Pivoting Towards a Scalable Future
If you’re experiencing labour shortages or see them on the horizon, it might be time to consider technology that empowers your current staff to do more with less. In this section, we’ll look at key technology solutions and how they can help your hotel pivot towards a scalable future.
A Data-Driven CRM
Guest data is an invaluable asset, it not only helps you become more personable but it enables efficiency in everyday operations. Taking a look at For-Sight’s CRM as an example, you can better understand guest preferences, behaviour, desired level of contact and potential purchases.
This insight allows employees to become more proactive in managing the experience, leading to greater productivity and efficiency. These two qualities are essential in streamlining your hotel, and reducing the amount of uplift needed from your employees.
A Consolidated Inbox
With the Loop Experience Platform, you don’t need added personnel on-site to answer queries or up-sell products. Rather, you can have your current employees available 24/7 with contactless communication channels. Using the channels of the guests preference, they can write in with requests or inquiries that get directed to your team in real-time.
Messaging With Real-Time Action on Requests
You don’t need an extensive team to ensure things get done on time. In fact, sometimes, having more people can get disorganized and complicate simple tasks.
Using the Loop Experience Platform, you don’t just get access to a range of channels, but you also make it easier to respond and take action. Most businesses that use multiple channels find that they have to have multiple people on board to ensure all channels are monitored. It makes sense, it’s a lot of work flipping through multiple tabs and windows, ensuring every message is read, while completing everyday tasks.
However, when you automate the process with Loop, a single team member can answer an array of inquiries from different channels in a single inbox. Streamlining response times and enhancing the experience.
Further, the message is tagged and auto-routed to the relevant department. Sentiment is provided and trending topics are extracted, to ensure the right person sees the right message, with the right context. If you’re still looking for assistance in replying, Loop’s functionalities also enable teams to communicate internally. Tag a department without wasting valuable time looking for them, they can reply in the communication thread to resolve the issue in real-time.
In the case of both For-Sight’s CRM solution and the Loop Experience Platform, data plays an integral role. By using the actionable data collected, you can find ways to improve operational efficiencies and enhance the customer experience at the same time.
Use measurement capabilities to better understand busier areas of your hotel, so you can schedule and allocate appropriate personnel. In addition understand your guests through your CRM so employees save time inquiring about services, and instead suggesting ones in line with their preferences.
Dealing with labour shortages is never easy; Managers are working double duty and current employees can feel overwhelmed.
However, contrary to popular belief, labour shortages can come with their own set of benefits. As we’ve highlighted in this blog, it can be an opportunity to pivot and re-evaluate how you can work more strategically to grow. Shortages are inevitable, but it is how you adapt and evolve with the tools available to you, that pushes you forward.