In a world where more and more customers are talking about their experiences, providing high quality customer service is paramount. In fact, 97% of global consumers say customer service is important to their choice and loyalty to a hotel brand. It is therefore essential to have a clear picture of the service you want to deliver, to ensure that your customers’ expectations are met or exceeded, every time.
Equipping staff with the right skills, abilities, attitudes and tools is necessary to achieve standardization and consistency. To achieve this, many properties establish a series of brand and operating standards. However, ensuring they are adhered to and maintained is just the start, followed by management and measurement.
Industry expert Kristin Ingram, who has spent the past 25 years in leadership positions at hotel groups such as Hilton and LaTour Hotels, has a lot to say on the matter. On the question of the importance of managing and measuring standards, she says:
“I agree that ‘You can’t manage what you can’t measure’, but I think that statement is very similar to ‘Inspect what you expect.’ If you’re not building a strong foundation, training and retraining, taking action and following through, you’ll continue to get the same result every day – which isn’t a good thing.
Streamlined quality assurance and self-audits
So how did a professional in the field like Kristin, who now manages vacation properties with equally high brand standards, rise to this challenge? Carrying out 30 quality assurance audits every year, which was no small feat. As she explains:
“At LaTour Hotels, I was often on the road doing quality assurance audits. One of the “interesting” things was all the manual work that followed. I enjoyed the discussions with the general managers and their teams, but at the end of the day, you have to put all this information together. At that time, I was using an Excel spreadsheet with 15 different tabs, many items and tasks on each tab. I also took photos, I had to more later remembering where each photo was taken, then I had to calculate the audit scores.”
It was with the transition to digital technology that Kristin found a more efficient way to manage brand and operational standards across the various properties she audited.
Use digital technology to measure and improve standards across the real estate portfolio
One of the tools Kristin relies on for effective and efficient standards management and measurement is GoAudits, an all-in-one web and mobile platform to simplify and streamline quality and brand standards.
“My primary reason for contacting GoAudits was to identify software that would be more efficient in calculating and documenting the QA audit inspections I performed annually in various parts of the United States and the Caribbean.”
Using the GoAudits mobile app, Kristin and her team could simply tap answers from a digital checklist, attach and mark up photos, and then generate a formatted report in seconds. Scores were calculated automatically, with trending and historical data readily available. All discoveries were easy to share immediately with the right teams.
Not only did this digital tool save Kristin time compiling reports, but it also provided the hotel’s parent company with critical information to enable decision-making. As she explains:
“This digital process has helped our management company become better at document retention, also saves ink, paper and time. GoAudits provides us with digital trending reports that help us with our annual budgeting processes – we now know the top 5 issues for each property and can earmark funds to correct these issues, as well as the overall trends across our entire portfolio.
From digitizing corporate quality assurance to daily operational checks at every property
Regular site inspections are essential to assess each hotel’s processes and operations, and GoAudits has certainly made it easier for Kristin’s team. With the benefits clearly apparent, the The organization then made the decision to implement GoAudits as a self-auditing tool in the day-to-day operations of all properties as well. Christina explains:
“We created dozens of different digital inspection forms that are now used daily to operate more efficiently. While there may have been some resistance to the change initially, once general managers saw how much money they were saving on supplies, training, and payroll, it spread like a trail of powder! Last year, more than 20,000 paperless audits were carried out”.
During the pandemic, the tool allowed the team to quickly roll out updated procedures for each property, then gradually adjust them as circumstances change. Self-verification has become essential in the training process and to ensure consistently excellent standards.
**GOAUDITS is a SaaS platform specifically designed for hotel operations. It allows you to easily create and customize digital checklists. You can also ensure that all action items are taken care of in a timely manner, with features such as photo attachments, timestamps, and sending critical action points in real time to the right member. Staff. Analyze results and trends in real time with smart reports, summaries and dashboards. Save time and money, ensure compliance with brand standards and COVID guidelines, accelerate and improve decision-making.
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