According to the Deloitte 2018 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 72% of UK HR and business leaders have already seen the benefit from using digitally-connected workplace tools. However, the same report reveals that only 11% of organisations are actively identifying emerging communications channels.
Employee communications are important for the catering industry to consider because maintaining the flow of communication between team members is crucial for providing excellent customer service.
This in turn helps hotels and other establishments like restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars to succeed at getting lots of positive online customer reviews, whilst minimising costly negative customer reviews. Some 93% of consumers read local reviews online to make purchasing decisions, such as deciding which businesses such as catering establishments they want to use. This is as compelling a reason to improve your internal communications now than ever.
Smooth internal communication equals better operations
In the catering industry, your employees must work as a team to provide an excellent guest experience. Seamless internal communication helps all members of your team to work better together, which is critical in hospitality. It helps your team keep track of what your customers want and deliver it to them quickly, so you spend less time resolving client concerns or complaints and more time taking care of business.
For example, hotel guests will interact with a variety of your team members between check-in and check-out. From front desk staff to non-desk based workers who move all around the premises, such as maintenance personnel and housekeeping staff, the success of these interactions is directly correlated with the effectiveness of your communication channels. Improving internal communications allows the whole team to focus more on what customers want, and on how each team member’s role affects customer experience, with the ability to share feedback..
Better communication leads to fewer misunderstandings
A gap in communication between staff members on your team could offer a very poor experience for customers with specific preferences, billing concerns, or exclusive offers. This is particularly likely to happen when your staff are separated by different shift patterns, or different locations within large premises like big hotels. The right internal communications platform – accessible via a mobile phone or computer – can help avoid this with private messaging among team members to instantly note and update guest preferences and details of their stay.
Creating group messages allows each team member to contribute and share relevant and real-time information throughout each shift, while incoming staff can be quickly onboarded. Keeping all staff up-to-date and well-informed about policies, procedures, and specific guest concerns reduces the chances of misunderstandings and improves the customer experience.
Real-time communication allows your team to react more quickly
When all employees can communicate on a single digital platform, your business becomes a modern digital workplace. Sharing information on one single platform is faster than picking up the phone, whilst the ability to share media and attachments means all your vital information is available in one place. Quick communication via a messaging platform, access to crucial communications and information for all team members, and sharing company news empower employees with more information so that they can better engage customers.
A more efficient way to offer custom-tailored services
Confidential messages between your staff can make the difference between an ordinary customer experience and an exceptional one. Centralised information and automated campaigns keep staff up-to-date with critical calendar events, both guest-related and internal. For example, imagine having access to an internal phonebook function that allows front desk staff to connect with the chef. Staff can confirm a menu for an event and even receive a document or photos via a confidential message, rather than waiting for a return phone call or a time-consuming email, fax or having to physically travel from one part of the premises to another.
Consistent confidential communications
Non-desk based workers often rely on radio communication across hotel facilities, but using devices such as walkie talkies can mean customers and staff alike overhear what should be private conversations. Even if your staff use communication methods like this as discreetly as possible, guests probably don’t need (or want) to know about the blocked toilet or a problem with a reservation. Switching to a comprehensive internal communication platform gives employees the ability to constantly communicate without divulging information to those who don’t need to hear it. At the same time, information is easy to access whether an employee is near a computer or not. Having access to a platform via an app on a mobile device or desk-based computer means your team can move beyond the constraints of the company intranet, by accessing the platform wherever they are.
Better communication can lead to less staff turnover
If you embrace a digital workplace your employees are likely to be more productive than if you stick with outdated methods of internal communication. The customer experience depends on your ability to equip staff with the tools necessary to do their jobs effectively, and can reduce the number of extra staff needed during busier periods like holiday seasons.
Preparing your staff to better manage guest expectations will always benefit your organisation’s bottom line.
Ultimately, adopting the right internal communications platform which all team members can access from anywhere at any time will improve your team’s internal communications while giving customers a consistently better experience.
By Cristian Grossmann, CEO and co-founder of employee communication platform, Beekeeper