The pandemic had a profound impact on people and industries across the world, with lasting changes to the way many people work and travel. Travel has now rebounded and, in some cases, even exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Most hotels and resorts worldwide have now reached or exceeded 100% of 2019 occupancy.
That said, hospitality brands continue to face challenges that impact their ability to consistently deliver a high level of service to their guests, including:
- Labor shortages: Like most industries, hospitality companies struggle to maintain staffing levels to pre-pandemic levels, including customer service and guest service staff.
- Rising service costs: Backend operational costs are forcing the industry to charge more. Yet guests are not getting more in return. Customers may have given hoteliers a pass on the price-versus-experience equation due to the pandemic, supply chain issues, global economic conditions, etc. But this will not last. Guests will begin to demand more for their dollar.
- Digital transformation: In the absence of a complete rip-and-replace approach across their IT infrastructures, hospitality companies must figure out how to modernize their services while maintaining some level of integration with legacy systems.
These challenges have resulted in an urgent need for hospitality brands to invest more in backend systems that provide operational agility and enable them to optimize service delivery without breaking the budget or sacrificing the guest experience.
Rising to the challenge with integrated service management
Overall, the hospitality industry is moving from a period defined by return and resurgence into one that will require rethinking and innovation—especially as brands seek to stay ahead of the competition and win the hearts and loyalty of their guests. And as the hospitality industry continues to recover, behind-the-scenes service management systems will play an increasingly critical role in helping hotels and resorts deliver exceptional service to their guests. These systems are being utilized across a variety of departments for different use cases:
- Staff scheduling and management
- Vendor management
- Facilities management
- Traditional employee experience (employee help desk, ITSM, HR, etc.)
When integrated properly, service management systems can unify the overall experience for your staff, which directly translates to the quality of the service they provide to your guests. Your service staff can stay connected to the business, to each other, and to the guests.
For instance, housekeeping staff can use a mobile app to access past interactions with guests, understand guest preferences, and manage their daily workflow without any unnecessary calls or messages. If a guest makes a request, the backend ticketing system can automatically message the request to the assigned staff member.
As such, service management systems empower your staff to keep up with the changing demands of your customers and to quickly tackle issues that need a fast resolution. They also help ensure that you deliver a consistent guest experience across all destinations within your brand.
Zendesk as an operational backbone
Zendesk can be the heart of your backend service management, helping you orchestrate your operations seamlessly. Our fully integrated ticketing system serves as a central hub for all your guest questions, requests, and concerns—making it easy for your staff to track and resolve issues. And thanks to intelligent automation features, such as ticket routing and AI-powered bots, you can streamline workflows for your service staff so they can perform their daily work efficiently.
Across your hospitality business, tickets can take many forms:
- Service orders: staff-, vendor-, or guest-initiated tickets
- Service recovery: tickets related to incidents or corrective issues, defined as requests that are logged by a guest or by a hotel staff member
- Preventative maintenance: scheduled management tasks that are not generated through a guest request
- Inspections: quality assurance testing
You can further expand on the ticketing capabilities with data integration through Zendesk’s open APIs. This is particularly useful when guest information is spread across disparate systems. For instance, a concierge might receive a service order that not only contains a request from a guest but also all relevant guest information, which is seamlessly pulled from the hotel’s reservation system, the hotel brand’s loyalty program, the in-house spa appointment system, etc. The concierge can then use that information to deliver personalized service to the guest.
Zendesk’s advanced messaging platform, Sunshine Conversations, extends this capability and puts even more power in the hands of your service staff by giving them a complete customer view. The platform also allows you to create embedded, interactive apps that are customized to various staff functions. And you can use features like group messaging to send multiple staff members notifications and updates, so everyone is in the loop on certain tickets.
Additionally, you can deploy AI-powered bots, which pull helpful resources from your company’s Zendesk-powered knowledge base to answer staff questions. This self-service capability gives your service team quick and easy access to support—anytime, anywhere—thereby making every member of your staff more self-sufficient and productive.
For instance, a maintenance engineer can engage a virtual maintenance assistant on his phone to access step-by-step instructions for replacing a swimming pool pump, including a how-to video previously recorded by the chief engineer.
With its powerful set of ticketing features, customization tools, and third-party integrations, Zendesk can meet your specific service management needs and enable you to meet the industry’s current challenges head-on.
Upgrade to 5-star service
Your guests have a wide range of destinations to choose from, and they will usually return to the ones that provide the most memorable experiences. Put your brand at the top of that list. Deliver five-star service consistently with Zendesk, and outpace your competition with innovative service management, faster response and resolution, and a staff that’s empowered to perform at their best.