How UK Hotels Can Navigate Labour Shortage Through Customer-Centric Automation

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Sep 2, 2021 | Technology & Innovation | Reading Time: 3 minutes

In combination with Brexit, the pandemic has caused an increased hotel staff shortage for entry-level positions, with job vacancies at their highest levels.

As occupancy levels continue to pick up, this is expected to affect mid-level and senior management positions in the immediate future.

Many previous talents in the UK market have either returned to their native countries or pivoted into other industries and are increasingly unlikely to return.

In addition to this, the so-called ‘pingdemic‘ continues to add challenges for the industry.

Hotels must, as a result, compromise on their recruitment profile and suffer significant drops in service levels or decide to pay higher wages, interview bonuses and others recruitment perks, which will affect the already small margins during times of continued uncertainty.

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Fortunately, there’s a far more compelling alternative on the horizon. Hotels can explore the opportunity to better support the operation through customer-centric automation of repetitive and low-value tasks, allowing staff to focus on complex problem solving and cultivate meaningful relationships.

The urgency to address this is not to be underestimated as the corporate demand is growing. Offices are returning and re-opening and the leisure segment is surging with fewer restrictions and rules for international travel, which can be expected in the following months.

Without sufficient technological support, hotels will risk losing out on their market share and suffer from sustained reputational damage due to a substandard experience caused by insufficient staffing or unskilled labour.

Here are 3 customer-centric technology solutions hoteliers can adopt in the immediate future to reduce operational service demand whilst optimizing direct revenue.

1. Direct Booking Automation

Keep your guests on your direct channels, by delivering immediate and accurate answers in multiple languages to your guests’ queries at the discovery and booking stage with a 24/7 AI-driven chatbot powered by a full booking engine integration, enabling you to increase direct booking conversion and take back control of your guest data.


🎧 In our Hotel Cast Podcast, we interview Thomas Finn, a UK industry leader in Revenue Management & Commercial Analytics recruitment and Managing Director at Edwards and Finn, his views on the current recruitment landscape in UK, among other things. Listen here!


2. Centralized Service Channel Management

Effectively manage all your conversations across all key channels including brand.com, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp in one unified platform, allowing you to gather all customer data to drive exceptional guest experiences and market towards a future stay.

Effectively reduce incoming low-value calls and emails by up to 65% by deploying an award-winning communication solution in all of these key channels potential guests are increasingly likely to engage with you on.

3. Smart Emails

Remove further friction points for your soon to be overwhelmed reservations team, by equipping them with the tools to significantly reduce time spent on emails with a plug-in function for your email provider. This will enable them to send any information directly from your booking engine including live quotes, details and images within seconds.

It’s important to remember that customer-centric automation is not here to replace, but to support a better guest experience superior to that of a pre-pandemic era with post-pandemic resources.


👉 We have many insights to share with you! The Asksuite Insights – The Reservation Experts Summit, is an one-of-a-kind virtual event focused on the hotel industry. This virtual summit is scheduled to take place on October 6th-7th, and you are invited! Join us to learn the best practices on optimizing direct hotel reservation channels. Register here for free 👇

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About the author: Long Voong is the new Asksuite’s business development manager in UK & Ireland. He is also a customer experience obsessed professional, who seeks to drive the adoption of world-class AI-driven technologies in the hospitality sector, and wants to meet the ever-changing expectations of guests of today and tomorrow. You can get in touch with him on LinkedIn. 

 

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