Technology can’t replace good people, but it can help you stay on top of routine tasks that affect the guest journey.
Right now, you’re probably seeing awesome occupancy and record revenue. But, chances are, you’re also finding it difficult to hire and keep good employees. We can’t know how long the current hiring environment will persist, but we do know that it has exposed operational inefficiencies and workflow issues across the board. A full and competent staff can overcome or at least hide these challenges, but trying to do more with less has a way of showing the cracks in your operational foundation.
Better technology may be the answer. When you’re already stretched thin, the thought of changing things up might give you hives, but sometimes it’s the only way to give yourself a break while continually improving.
Welcome to the wonderful world of triggers and automations.
What Triggers and Automations Are (and Are Not)
In 2021 and beyond, the key to making sure routine tasks are done accurately and on time is through automation.
Basically, automations use triggers to set one or more actions into motion, sometimes called “if this, then that.” Both direct and third-party bookings run through your property management system (PMS), and anything that happens in your PMS could be a trigger that instantly generates an email, a work order, a calendar item, and so on. Taken together, these individual steps form an automated workflow.
Many common triggers are related to email marketing, such as a sequence of emails that go out once a user completes a form. But more sophisticated workflows that depend on data from your PMS can be tricky and often require yet another third-party tool like Zapier or ITTT to work.
Our Track PMS platform enables at least 1.2 million different triggered automations (we’ve done the math). Practically anything that occurs (or could occur) in a connected digital space can be automated.
Extra Hands and Timely Touches
When it comes to repetitive tasks and time-consuming processes, automations can be like having an extra set of hands.
Let’s say you review your bookings at the end of the day and add them to a Google Sheet shared with your housekeeping and maintenance staff. The purpose is to keep them updated on arrivals and departures so they can plan ahead. But think of the steps involved. You need to run a report and either manually enter the data or copy and paste. Your housekeeping staff then needs to go to the document, review it, and assign the work accordingly. When they’re finished, they call in or complete a report so you can note that the property is ready.
You can automate all that! Once your booking engine is integrated with Track PMS, it will update your calendar and notify housekeeping via text or email about new bookings or changes, all in real-time. Meanwhile, your staff can use a smartphone to quickly note when cleaning begins and ends, which updates your master calendar automatically.
All you did was set up the workflow; the rest happens without your direct involvement but is still accurate, organized, and current.
That makes your life easier, but what about your guests?
Automations Dazzle and Delight at Every Step in the Guest Journey
This is especially true when it comes to communications. Timely, relevant messages make guests feel valued and that their needs are understood. Emails with time-based, pre-arrival triggers, for example, can steer them toward helpful information ranging from road closures to area attractions. Mobile triggers, such as smartphone check-in, can let you know they’ve arrived and are happy with everything while simultaneously changing the property’s status in Track PMS.
Once you set up and test an automation, it runs all day, every day without complaint. Would an employee do that? Would you ever expect them to? Of course not. Automations work while you sleep to help make life easier and deliver a superior guest experience. Everything from communications to lead follow-up to accounting and billing to work orders can be automated, even with complex dependencies and multiple steps.
If you wish you had an extra set of hands, talk to us. Our Keystone Award-winning Track PMS was just dubbed “Software of the Future” by VRMB and has all the integrations and automations you need to close the gaps between where you are and where you’d like to be.
For more information on Track automations, visit trackhs.com/automation.