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 Special Report FM: playing a key role in protecting hotel revenues

Cleanliness is the number one concern for customers as well as a leading global driver of value for the hotel sector accord- ing to research, and facilitiesmanagement can play a strategic role in increasing rev- enues and improving guest retention. In an industry worth around £40 billion a

year in the UK [1] but with occupancy and roomrates expected to fall this year [2], ho- tels need to find ways to focus on enhanc- ing the guest experience and boost online reviews, given that one poor review can lose a hotel around 30 customers - which on av- erage equates to £2500 per bad review. In reality, with cleanliness being such a

deal breaker for hotel guests, there is a strong argument for hotel GMs and FMs to use housekeeping as an effectivemeans of adding value, particularly in the light of in- creased competition and customers be- comingmore cautious as to how and where they spend theirmoney. Figures fromone study [3] show that

roomcleanliness is the leading global driver of value in both Europe and the Americas for hoteliers, ahead of other areas such as bed and furniture comfort, roomlighting, Internet access, and a cus- tomer service focused attitude. Research also shows [4] that 97%of

guests agreed that cleanliness is themost important factor when choosing a hotel, café, bar or restaurant and when guests are unhappy with the standard of cleanli- ness the vastmajority of respondents said they weremore likely to stop going there than to register a complaint.

Research shows that 97% of guests agreed that cleanliness is the most important factor when choosing a hotel, café, bar or restaurant and when guests are unhappy with the standard of cleanliness the vast majority of respondents said they were more likely to stop going there than to register a complaint.

The findings are part of a new white

paper published by Emprise, a support services provider, which offers insights into the importance of a clean environment for hotels and demonstrates the cost of poor reviews on the bottomline. With almost two-thirds of people using

socialmedia tomake travel plans [5], 35% changing their choice of hotel after brows- ing socialmedia [6] and 90%of travellers avoiding booking hotels labelled as ‘dirty’ in online reviews [7], housekeeping is a very real strategic concern for hotels. Add to this a negative review or comment

on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube losing companies asmany as 30 customers [8], in real terms this couldmean a significant loss of revenue as a result of every bad re- view regarding hotel cleanliness. The paper suggests that if a hotel was to

increase its occupancy rate by just 1%on the back of positive reviews, based on a 70%occupancy rate, a 100 roomhotel and £100 per night roomrate, it could generate an additional £25,550 revenue per annum- far in excess of what could be saved by economising on cleaning or lost with poor reviews. One strategy is for hotels to work in part-

nership with an outsourced supplier, who can bring additional expertise as well as delivering value on the cost of housekeep- ing services. Although there can appear to hoteliers to

be a conflict with the need to savemoney, working in partnership with an outsourced supplier can actually reduce overheads and

increase revenues as well as bringmany benefits, including improvedmethods and cleaning techniques, a flexible approach and reducedmanagement burden with re- gards to recruitment and training of staff. There is strong support for working with

a specialist cleaning provider as it delivers additional value on the cost of housekeep- ing services because sickness cover, HR and other personnel costs are absorbed by the supplier.Moreover, standards and con- tinuity of service can be guaranteed. The paper proposes that hotels should

activelymonitor complaints, compliments and comments regarding cleanliness and put processes in place to ensure all activi- ties are carried out to the required stan- dard. Hoteliers should also ensure service

providers have a strong network of clean- ers, are flexible in their approach and that their housekeeping teamis aligned with their brand values, as high cleanliness standards can potentially increase brand loyalty and customer retention due to in- creased satisfaction and trust. An effective cleaning strategy can provide

organisations with added value in terms of repeat business, referrals and positive re- views - and it’s the hotels with strong brands and positive online engagement who will be the onesmost likely to succeed. To download the full white paper, go to:

References to this article can be found on Page 32.

30 l C&M l SEPTEMBER 2013 l

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