Re-opening Plan Checklist
Contactless is the New Normal
Hotels have begun re-opening across the world, and while international travel is still limited, local staycations are being encouraged as a way to boost the economy. Hoteliers should strive to take every precaution and action possible to encourage guests to visit and stay on the premises; while protecting employees, customers, and communities in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The good news is that guests are getting ready to come back to hotels. Now, all that needs to be done is to prepare for their arrival. And the top demand for everyone is a contact-free experience.
Creating a contactless experience is not a new concept in hospitality. It was something that some hotels were looking to offer in order to take the guest experience to the next level. But COVID-19 changed all that in a flash – what was previously nice-to-have has now become a must-have.
Read further for our suggestions on the best contactless practices hoteliers should adopt as you prepare your hotel for the New Normal.
The top demand for everyone is a contact-free experience.
Looking for tips on how to increase the sanitization levels of your hotel based on the World Health Organization guidelines?
Find more information on guidelines and recommendations for:
The guest journey, especially in the New Normal, should remain smooth, convenient, and pleasant. Fully digital check-in options, such as pre-arrival web check-ins or check-in kiosks at the reception, will significantly reduce contact touch points between staff and guests. This will also free up manpower that can be now re-allocated to more important tasks that can provide a greater experience for guests.
In a hotel where there are multiple points of sales, such as check-in/check-out, restaurants, bars, and in-room dining, encouraging cashless transactions will reduce any unnecessary contact among guests and staff, thereby minimizing the chances of further spread of the virus. Customers simply have to wave their card or device over a terminal to effect payment. With many debit cards, credit cards, and smartphones supporting contactless payments, it is no wonder that contactless payment modes were gaining popularity even before the onset of the pandemic. Shifting the Point-of-Sale (POS) System to digital methods will definitely be a step towards safeguarding your hotel.
Keyless room entry
Mobile check-ins are another option that hotels can consider implementing for a contact-free check-in experience. Guests can check themselves in using the unique QR codes they will receive, and unlock the hotel room door via face-recognition on their mobile phone – with zero interaction with the staff at the reception desk. This keyless feature is a useful tool for maintaining a safe distance between guests and staff in the hotel.
Expand the guest experience by setting up voice-activated solutions such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home in hotel rooms to give guests the convenience of ordering room service or controlling the room settings with their voice; eliminating the need to touch any equipment unnecessarily.
In-room iPads or hotel mobile apps
Providing an iPad in the room or even creating a mobile app that guests can download directly on their phones provides guests with an added avenue to communicate with hotel staff while not breaching any social distancing rules. Guests can order what they need or even chat directly with staff on their needs via Live Chat, thus simplifying the order process while still providing a personalized experience without the physical contact.
Another way to reduce touchpoints between staff and guests would be to use robots as delivery vehicles to fulfill guest requests – from towels to, maybe, even food. Just make sure the robots are sanitized regularly to avoid any unexpected contamination. There are even robots that have been developed to kill germs. Review the options available in the market and decide what will be best for your hotel.
Digital travel brochures
Paper brochures with tourism activities might become a thing of the past. Instead, a digital guide containing the information that the guests need will be a great contactless alternative. And since it’s a digital guide, the information provided can be personalized for each guest based on their likes and preferences. Plus, your hotel will be doing its part to run a sustainable operation.
Automated hotel operations
Many hoteliers are still using pen and paper to plan and assign tasks for their team, which can increase the physical interactions among staff. Instead, hotels should adopt automated software that can support the communication of room assignments, job notifications, maintenance repairs, or any follow-ups by the various departments via digital apps with accountability and status check.
The guest journey, especially in the New Normal, should remain smooth, convenient, and pleasant
Be contact-free. Be stress-free.
Implementing a contactless environment for your hotel isn’t too complicated. Automation technology solutions, like the one FCS champions, can help with your social distancing requirements.
First things first, you need a standardized plan for your hotel that can be easily implemented for all staff in your hotel. An online task list, similar to FCS’ COVID-19 Digital Checklists, will not only help to keep track of the daily sanitization procedures that your hotel has implemented, but it can also be customized based on your hotel’s needs. Moreover, the lack of physical lists helps to minimize the unnecessary contact that comes with passing lists around.
Our solutions can be integrated directly with the hotel’s preferred PMS, allowing for real-time room status updates from our FCS Housekeeping solution. This reduces the amount of movement around the hotel as staff do not need to chase for updates with regards to which rooms are ready for guests. Also, with the FCS Housekeeping mobile app, room attendants can view which rooms need to be cleaned directly on their mobile device without receiving a physical list from their supervisor. When a guest switches on their “Do-Not-Disturb” (DND) or “Make Up Room” buttons, rooms are automatically prioritized or de-prioritized for the room attendants. This not only saves the room attendant’s time as they do not have to go to a room to check if there is a DND status, but it also limits unnecessary physical interactions with guests.
The ability to add e-signature and pictures in both FCS Connect & FCS Engineering, as a pre-requisite to signal job completion, not only makes staff accountable for their work but also reduces the need for additional on-site supervision. FCS Recovery can help managers keep track of all customer issues without having to interact physically with other staff. Details of issues can be logged in FCS Recovery, and managers can decide the type of compensation to offer directly from the software. These automation actions will help to significantly reduce the contact points among staff.
Automation technology solutions, like the one FCS champions, can help with your social distancing requirements.
The sky is the limit with FCS.
Our solutions are not just stand-alone solutions. Not only can they be connected with each other to provide you with seamless management of your hotel, but our open API also allows for integration with third-party solutions to create an even more contactless experience for your guests.
Our partnership with Vouch, an award-winning app-less digital concierge, easily supports any guest requests made via a chat function of their choice by automatically converting it into a job dispatch task via FCS Connect. No additional data entry or job assignment (paper or digital) required.
Dispatching their request can also be done without any physical interactions. Simply use a powerful interface that can exchange information with robots to deliver guests request. FCS Connect can be integrated with Savioke, a leading robot manufacturer for hotels and hospitals, to effectively dispatch and track orders from a single platform.
Whether you are opening your hotel in a few days or in a few months, it is crucial to have a plan for your staff to help them flourish in the New Normal working environment. Has your hotel done everything it can to help your team prepare for the arrival of guests?
As restaurants and bars re-open or resume operations the following considerations should be kept in mind to protect employees, customers, and communities and slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made an impact in every area of hotel operations, including Technical & Maintenance Services. Are you up-to-date with the WHO’s guidelines and recommendations? And how can you stay ahead of it all?
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