When operating a hospitality property, the consistent delivery of service standards is everything, making training an important step of the process. Equipping staff with the right competencies, skills, attitudes and tools is necessary to achieve standardization and consistency. For this, many properties set out a series of brand and operational standards and establish a hotel QA process to monitor compliance.
Hotel QA & brand compliance: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”
Hotel QA / Quality Assurance involves systematic monitoring and evaluation to ensure that all services and amenities meet set standards. Through regular audits, checklists, and guest feedback, hotels aim to consistently deliver excellence and guest satisfaction, building long-term loyalty.
Ensuring that the brand standards are met and maintained is only the beginning; continuous managing and measuring is the secret to successful QA programs.
Industry expert Kristin Ingram has spent the last 25 years in leadership roles at hospitality groups including Hilton and LaTour Hotels. On the question of the importance of managing and measuring standards, she says:
“I agree that ‘You can’t manage what you can’t measure’, but I think that this statement is very similar to ‘Inspect what you expect’. If you’re not out there building a solid foundation, training and re-training, taking action and following up, then you’re going to keep getting the same result every single day – which is not a positive one.”
So, how did a professional in the field like Kristin, who now manages vacation properties with equally important brand standards, handle this challenge? “Performing 30 quality assurance audits each year”, which was no small feat.
As she explains, “At LaTour Hotels I was on the road quite a bit, performing Quality Assurance audits. One of the “interesting” things was all the manual work afterwards. I enjoyed discussions with General Managers and their teams, but at the end of the day you have to put all that information together. At that time I was using an Excel spreadsheet with 15 different tabs, lots of items and tasks on each tab. I was also taking photos, later having to remember where each photo was taken etc.”
It was with the transition to digital technology that Kristin found a more efficient and effective way to manage the brand and operational standards in the various properties she was auditing.
Using digital technology to manage & improve hotel brand standards
One of the tools that Kristin relies on for efficient and effective hotel QA management and measurement of standards is the GoAudits hotel inspection app, an all-in-one web and mobile platform to simplify and streamline quality and brand standards.
“I was looking for a software that would be more efficient for calculating and documenting the 30 hotel QA inspections I performed each year in various parts of the U.S. and Caribbean. Prior to finding GoAudits, I utilized my cell phone camera to take images of deficiencies and/or good observations to reference, and a 12-page/tab Excel spreadsheet to document and calculate an overall quality assurance audit inspection.”
Not only did this digital tool enable Kristin to save time in compiling her reports, but it also provided the parent hotel company with essential information to enable decision making.
As she explains:
“We created 20+ digital inspection forms that are now used daily to operate more efficiently. This digital process assisted our management company in becoming better at document retention, also saves on ink, paper, time.“
“GoAudits provides us with digital trending reports that assist us in our annual budgeting processes – we now know at each property the top 5 issues and can reserve funds to correct these issues, as well as trends as a whole throughout our entire portfolio.”
As Kristin has experienced, scheduling regular site inspections to assess each hotel’s operations was an important step in managing standards. Using an auditing solution like GoAudits most definitely made this process easier. But it also allowed for more in-depth information gathered through the automatically generated reports that were shared with the management company. In addition to this, she mentioned additional financial benefits:
“We probably saved over $8k in the first year by performing digital inspections, digital documentation of daily huddle meetings, by not printing, etc.”
Smart technology is changing everything from the homes we live in to how our cities are managed, and the hospitality industry is no exception.
Learn more about the GoAudits hotel inspection software.