Imagine you’re staying in a gleaming luxury hotel in a picturesque location. The amenities are amazing, the staff is exceptional and every aspect of the hotel is designed to impress. Then one evening you return to your room to find the bed unmade and the bathroom a mess. You’re probably going to remember this housekeeping failure long after you’ve forgotten all the positives about the hotel.
Housekeeping is something most guests will really only notice when it’s off, and when this happens, it can have a huge impact on the guest experience. As such, this routine operational activity can actually have a direct impact on a hotel’s bottom line. At the same time, however, housekeeping also presents an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition. To understand the true extent of this impact, consider the potential of truly effective housekeeping.
Meet a Major Guest Expectation
Guests expect a lot from a hotel, but having a clean room tops the list. One survey found that room cleanliness is an important factor for 97% of guests. That same survey also found that 90% of guests will avoid a hotel that is described as dirty in an online review. Considering that one bad review can lose a hotel about 30 guests, just one dirty room can lead to a lot of lost revenue. Consistent, top-quality housekeeping is what every guest expects, no matter how nice the room or hotel is otherwise.
Create Extra Value for Guests
Some guests are extremely picky about cleanliness. If they know a hotel deep cleans every room every day, they are a lot more likely to pick that property specifically. However, quality housekeeping can be an asset in other ways too. Adding supplemental services like dry cleaning, shoe shining or ironing can relieve common headaches for travellers. Similarly, having housekeepers leave chocolates on the pillow or fresh flowers in a vase makes ordinary rooms seem more attractive. Small changes or additions to standard housekeeping lead to a better reputation and, ultimately, more reservations.
Cultivate Guest Loyalty
Guests are motivated to return to a hotel for many reasons, including location, price and novelty. What drives long-term loyalty, however, is a consistent experience that meets the guest’s most basic needs. Realistically, that means having clean sheets, fresh towels and working air conditioning each and every stay. Obviously, guests are unlikely to return to a hotel with dirty rooms, but don’t underestimate their willingness to revisit a hotel where they know the rooms are clean and comfortable and the service is first rate.
Control Costs More Efficiently
Housekeeping is one of the few hotel costs that can be accurately forecast and carefully controlled. The goal is not to minimize spending but rather to make the most effective use of the existing housekeeping resources and budget. A centralized housekeeping portal allows hotels to track exactly where, when, why and how housekeeping resources are being used. That leads to better cost control along with improved oversight and management over housekeeping generally. At times it may be necessary to spend more on one-time maintenance or day-to-day housekeeping, but with the right tools it’s possible to limit those expenditures while verifying that they deliver a positive ROI.
It’s easy to assume your housekeeping department is firing on all cylinders, but it’s impossible to know until you check. Since just one dirty room has the potential to cause a lot of damage, hotels must make a regular audit of housekeeping quality a priority. It may not be the most flashy initiative for a hotel to undertake, but meeting basic guest expectations is in many ways more important than providing opulent amenities or novelty experiences.
If you’re ready to dazzle guests with the quality and cleanliness of your property, contact us for more information about our housekeeping module.
Photo Credits: Shutterstock / Rawpixel