Technology as a Workforce Multiplier

Hospitality needs a “factor”; a force multiplier that amplifies employees’ efforts to maximize revenue. Especially now. Hotels and vacation rental management companies’ survival depends on it. 

Demand continues to ebb and flow with regions opening, closing, and re-opening. The challenges of workforce planning–specifically in Sales and Marketing–won’t diminish in the near or medium terms. This leaves hotels and vacation rental management companies in a bind: Hire ahead and run up expenses? Work with a lean team and miss unseen demand and conversion opportunities? 

Stories of unreturned voicemails, front desk staff manning phones or, worse still, calls that just ring and ring are piling up. The cost of these lost leads and missed bookings is significant. I recently heard a troubling report from one hotel this summer. Of the nearly 6,000 unanswered calls they received in May, only 61 resulted in recorded voicemails – an abandonment rate of 98%. Eventually, the voicemail was turned off. There simply wasn’t enough staff to respond.

This may have seemed prudent. The hotel couldn’t handle any inbound demand as they worked on re-opening. However, these potential guests were leads, and their future stay value was lost. While the guests may not have been able to stay during their desired time frame, consider what information could have been collected for future marketing and nurturing campaigns. 

Where did these prospective guests end up spending their vacation? Probably at a competitor’s property. The hotel didn’t need to hire a group of new agents, they needed a workforce multiplier.

In the military, force multiplication is a factor that gives personnel or weapons the ability to accomplish more than without it. Examples of a force multiplier include: battle tank/s, an aircraft carrier, a helicopter accompanying a platoon–any technology or asset that multiplies the force’s operational abilities. Beyond the battlefield, force multipliers are a tool or technology that amplifies one’s efforts to produce more output. 

For hotels and vacation rentals today, the multiplier is technology. In previous articles, we’ve discussed the importance of aggregating data, gathering insights, and taking action from it. But how do you collect that data with trimmed down teams and no budget to rehire? Leads or booking opportunities are ripe with prospective guest data that can be used for retargeting opportunities. Investing in a technology that capitalizes on this and maximizes more profitable, direct future bookings is worth it. Yes, even if the current market has you afraid to spend. Embrace technology and never miss a lead.