How does your property entice guests to book or leave a great review? The attentive staff? Grand vistas? Or delectable banana pancakes? All play their part (your pancakes are unbelievable), but to your guests, cleanliness is king.
- 86% of hotel guests cited cleanliness as their top criterion when reading online reviews.1
- When choosing a hotel, “overall cleanliness and safety protocols” jumped in importance by 24% after the Covid-19 pandemic began.2
But nothing is without cost. You’ve probably felt it at your own hotel–housekeeping expenses across the industry are on the rise. Before the pandemic, a standard leisure room cleaning cost an estimated $9.42 in labor alone, but that amount has increased to $10.12. Up 7%.3
Business travelers had provided some relief (requiring only an estimated $7.60 per room), but business travel is down more than 20% for 2022.2 Meanwhile, leisure travel and its high cleaning costs will dominate the foreseeable future.
Balancing customer expectations against managing the rising cost of housekeeping is a challenge, but both can be accomplished in three key stages.
1. Before Check-In
You value being well-informed (we know it’s true, that’s why you’re here, right?) and your guests are no different. Surveys show that travelers crave transparency about their accommodation’s safety and cleanliness.
- 54% of guests value certifications of cleanliness from trusted authorities.4
- Nearly seven out of ten guests want to hear directly from hotels about cleaning and safety measures.2
- 41% of guests value emails outlining cleaning protocols.4
Even before they set foot on your property, your future guests want to hear about housekeeping.
Listing your safety and cleanliness information online is a great start, but the stats show that guests are eager for direct communication.2 Hospitality management systems, like Sirvoy, offer a more personal touch with automatic SMS and email messages.
Automatic emails or SMS can be delivered based on:
- Booking Date
These messages are the perfect opportunity for the housekeeping rundown your guests value. But don’t forget–we’re not called the hospitality industry for nothing. Your emails should be just as friendly as any in-person interaction, but how?
Automatic messages can be customized to each visitor with Sirvoy’s placeholder code. So, instead of a chilly “Dear Guest,” your patron can be warmly greeted with their own name and much more.
Efforts to connect with your guests will pay off–personalizing emails bumps up engagement significantly, resulting in open rates of 83% and clickthroughs of 75%.5 Your emails will reach their mark instead of collecting dust in an inbox.
Opt-Out or Opt-In Cleaning
Early guest communication also gives you the chance to ask what your guests prefer. There are a growing number of people who are uncomfortable with others entering their rooms, even to clean.
- 84% of hotel guests considered personal control over cleaning to be somewhat or very important to their experience.4
- 44% of hotel guests preferred being given cleaning supplies themselves at check-in and completely forgoing housekeeping during their stay.4
- Nine out of ten frequent travelers said that housekeeping by request makes them more comfortable.6
- Nearly two-thirds of guests do not want daily housekeeping.6
By providing the option to opt-in to daily housecleaning (an approach already taken by big players in the industry, like Hilton7) you are simultaneously making guests more comfortable and cutting down your own expenses.
Automated emails are the perfect place to include an opt-in or opt-out option for housecleaning. Immediately with a new booking or any time before check-in you can touch base with upcoming visitors about their housekeeping preferences.
2. During the Stay
We know how important cleanliness is to guests, but hoteliers face an uphill battle delivering. In addition to the rising cost of housekeeping in general, the industry is facing a staffing shortage. According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, a whopping 97% of hotels are short-staffed–especially in the housekeeping department.8
So how can hoteliers still provide the deep clean that will leave guests raving (and leaving rave reviews)?
Efficiency and organization are vital. Hospitality management systems, including Sirvoy, offer a helping hand to make every minute count during a guest’s stay. Namely with two features: the activity tracker and user profiles.
Managing individual tasks for each room is the bread and butter of all housekeeping software, but not all of them are created equal. You need something intuitive and easy to learn. Why? The hospitality industry requires significant (and costly) training.
- Yearly training expenses for housekeeping, front desk, and laundry staff average $48.60 PAR (Per Available Room).9
- Housekeeping positions have an accelerated turnover rate in recent years. In the United States, 70% of housekeeping staff work their position for less than two years and 39% for less than one.10
Training is expensive and needs to be repeated with each new hire. You need an easy and intuitive system to keep training costs from spiraling out of control.
In Sirvoy, the units page includes a ready-made column that keeps track of a room’s general cleaning status, but additional activities can be added and tracked.
Activities can be scheduled:
- At different daily intervals.
- Based on check-in or check-out.
- Based on individual units.
All activities appear on the units page as a column with a red or green icon that represents if a task is complete. Any user profile with access can click the icon to set it as complete or incomplete.
Put simply, it’s a housekeeping tracker that takes only minutes to master.
Multiple User Profiles
A unique user profile can be given to each team or even each staff member. This allows for instantaneous status updates. Your staff can have Sirvoy open on their own phone or tablet (or anything really–it’s cloud-based. Go ahead and use a smartwatch). With it, they can keep the activity tracker up-to-date in real-time as they work.
All the tasks that make your guest’s stay pleasant will be well organized, with nothing slipping through the cracks. Not only that, but individual user profiles overcome a common hurdle–the language barrier.
In the United States:
- Spanish is the most common non-English language spoken by housekeeping workers (51.6%)10
- French and Tagalog are tied for second most common (9.7% each), then Japanese (6.5%), and Portuguese (3.2%).
Sirvoy’s software is provided in ten languages and covers nearly 70% of all non-English languages spoken by housekeeping staff in the U.S.
Every staff member will be able to set their own profile to use the language most comfortable for them; increasing efficiency, cutting out confusion, and just making life that much easier.
Want Even More?
To cover every situation you may face, your Hospitality Management System needs to be part of a software ecosystem–like Sirvoy’s connection with Siteminder Exchange.
Siteminder is the leading hotel commerce platform and includes hundreds of professional tools for the industry. If your business needs a more in-depth housekeeping solution, you can find it on the exchange and Sirvoy can communicate all the needed information about your bookings and properties to it automatically.
3. At and After Check-Out
The stay is over, and the guest is leaving. There’s nothing more to be done to satisfy them about cleanliness or safety now, is there?
Almost, but sometimes the last service provided can leave the most long-lasting impression.
- 80% of hotel guests said remote checkout was somewhat or very important to them.4
- 81% of guests reported that follow-up communication about health or safety during their stay was somewhat or very important.4
- 54% of travelers have left something behind in their room.11
Just like good communication prior to their arrival was valued, so too is good communication after your guest has left. Consider sending another, potentially automated, message to your former visitors a few days after check-out.
These messages can include:
- Your thanks and your hopes to host them again.
- Updates on any health concerns (or lack thereof) during their stay.
- Details of lost items left in their room. One-third of U.S. guests will return to claim lost items11 (and probably be your fan forever!)
Thankfully, the need to report health concerns will be rare, but 85% of guests see visible evidence of safety protocols as important.4 Your message will comfort them even though it may only report that there were no Covid-19 or other health concerns. Just getting the all-clear lets them see that you have safety protocols in place to care for them.
Three Opportunities, One Solution
“Sirvoy is the only fully professional, simple-to-use, PMS on the market at a low cost. Normally the PMS offered on the market is really complex, full of gadgets you don’t really need, and far more expensive than Sirvoy. It takes me 15 minutes to get my staff up and operating all bookings and details in the system.”– Johan Svensson, Owner of Aspa Herrgård Apartments, Sweden
Every step of the way, your Hospitality Management System can help you to succeed.
- Before check-in, send automated emails with opt-in or out-out housekeeping.
- During the stay, keep your staff organized with the activity tracker and user profiles customized for every team member’s language.
- After check-out, send automated follow-up messages about health, safety, and lost items.
As always, Sirvoy is your partner in this. Drop us a line any time and we’ll be happy to help you implement any of the features discussed here.
1. Numan M. Durakbasa and M. Günes Gencyilmaz (Proceedings of the International Symposium for Production Research, 2018)
2. American Hotel & Lodging Association (State of the Hotel Industry, 2021)
3. David Dajani, Optii Solutions (New hotel cleaning protocols to cost over $130k USD per hotel on average per annum, 2020)
4. Deloitte Consulting LLP (Deloitte Safety & Cleanliness Survey, 2020)
5. The Institue of Direct and Digital Marketing (The State of Digital Personalization in 2016, 2016)
6. American Hotel & Lodging Association (Survey: Hotel Industry’s Enhanced Cleaning Protocols Putting Travelers at Ease, 2020)
7. Hilton Hotels (What to Expect During Your Stay? 2022)
8. American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA Front Desk Feedback survey, 2022)
9. Robert Mandelbaum, Global Commercial Real Estate Services (Investing in Training Hotel Employees, 2022)
10. Zippia (Housekeeping Staff Demographics and Statistics in the US, 2022)
11. G6 Hospitality LLC (Items Left Behind, 2016)