How real-time reporting can improve customer experience

Article by Mike Day | 15th March 2019

Your team is the heartbeat of your hospitality business. Whether you’re in the hotel sector, the competitive cafe scene, or a restaurant chain, your ability to deliver winning service comes back to your people.

But behind many calm, seemingly efficient customer-facing teams is poor organisation, stressed staff, and strained management. The secret to smoother service? Better communication.

From customer experience and productivity to staff employee morale and turnover, team communication can impact many areas and maintaining it can have a positive effect on your business.


Why it’s important that your hospitality team can communicate effectively

With customer satisfaction so important in the hospitality industry, better communication can contribute significantly to your standard of service as staff employees answer calls, coordinate shift changes, and seek to address customer queries with minimal fuss.

Improving team communication also benefits your customers. Smoother service can create a more relaxed ambience, which we all know feeds into a nicer dining experience.

In addition, team communication can save time and money when it comes to recruitment. With hospitality notoriously having the highest turnover rate of any industry, research has proven that organisations who invest in workplace communication reduce turnover.

We know how good better staff retention sounds. So how can you achieve this?


5 ways to communicate more effectively in hospitality

1. Employee check-ins

Consistent one-to-one meetings with management can do wonders for employee morale. Giving your staff employees time to discuss any issues they may be too reluctant to say in a group can help problem-solving whilst also having time to communicate one-to-one training can improve overall efficiency.

These meetings can take as little as 15 minutes, once a week, but will provide a big difference to your employees’ productivity.

2. Group chats

In 2018, smartphone ownership rose to 87% of the adult population in the UK, so there’s no reason why this communication method wouldn’t work. Apps like WhatsApp or Slack are a great way for your team to communicate ‘behind the scenes’, pushing critical information like absence, queries, organising meetings, and much more.

3. Anonymous feedback

Sometimes employees don’t feel comfortable communicating their issues face-to-face or via email. Therefore, setting up a process whereby the employee can help keep the lines of communication open between themselves and management will aid in solving any issues raised and make the employee feel more comfortable at work.

This can be done through a means of ways, including online or offline form processing, or a ‘pigeon hole’ process by which the employee posts an anonymous ‘letter’.

4. Organise team employee social events

A great way to leverage team communication is to organise social events after working hours. Once more, working in the hospitality industry means you don’t need to go out to spend your money, simply stay in and enjoy your own hotel or restaurant’s atmosphere. This will enable all staff employees to communicate and mix with others from a different department, extending the business bond and getting everyone involved.

5. Implement team communication technology

Introducing innovative communication technology has proved to be an efficient method to enhance team communication. Headsets, Call Points, keypads, and smartphone apps are just some of the technologies being introduced across the hospitality space, and allows staff employees to communicate with each other, from anywhere within the restaurant, at any time, with a touch of a button. This is particularly helpful if checking for free tables, answering customer phone calls from any location, or redirecting customer queries to specific departments e.g. dietary requirements to the kitchen.

The hospitality industry relies heavily on team communication. It can influence productivity, turnover, and most importantly, customer experience, which in turn all impact your revenue.

Implementing just a few of these improvement methods will create a stronger bond between your team, whilst at the same time provide a smoother experience in running the front of house. Remember, your people are the lifeblood of your business; look after them and they will look after business.

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