This is a brave new world we’re living in. Revolutionary technology is at the forefront, along with changing guest demographics and expectations. It’s generating an overall industry reshuffle.
On a recent episode of That Bad Review, I got chatting with Danella Mitchell, an operations manager at FreeSpirit Resorts. She has worked within the park and resort industry for over 20 years, working from the ground up within the family business. She’s witnessed the changes first hand, and so had some very valuable advice that I would like to share with you.
Customer Expectations and Technology
The new technological age certainly hasn’t skipped the hospitality industry. We’re seeing a change in all areas of the industry, from self-service check-ins via your smartphone to online reservation systems and house cleaning services. With such instant, easy access to everything, our customers require their parks and resorts to be up to date and tech savvy. “You’re used to getting your information or what you want now, at your fingertips. You need to be able to back that up in your customer services,” says Danella, who is very familiar with the new wave of technological advances.
This technology boom is something that we need to adapt to if we’re going to meet customer expectations. We have to make sure that we’re keeping the industry up to modern standards, as well as maintaining our policies to include technological changes.
Meeting The Needs Of All Demographics
One thing that many of my peers have noticed over the years is the demographic change from primarily grey nomads to younger families. This switch in who is staying with us means that we need to be looking to adapt to the wants and needs of each generation. “The older generation that is self-sufficient in their caravans, they don’t necessarily want the pool and the jumping pillow,” explains Danella. She’s become acutely aware of the rise in the provision of adventure playgrounds and bowling alleys as a way to appease younger generations.
You just need to be aware of the change in order to begin to prepare and adapt. It’s a change that will help strengthen the industry by ensuring that it’s ready for the future.
Staff Training And Policy Management
Having well-trained staff within your business ensures that your business runs just that little bit smoother. The more your staff knows about proper practices the better. Danella has very concise policies and procedures manual, with over 2,500 procedure documents within it. This manual informs all staff on how to implement proper practices, from check-ins to health and safety measures.
With the 24/7 nature of the industry, I have to admit that sometimes staff training can end up on the back burner, with our focus turning more towards the guest and operations side. Danella has daily checklists of tasks and procedures in place, but in order to know that compliances that are more substantial are adhered to, she ensures that her staff are accessing training programs and are signed off once they’re completed. This helps to keep her staff engaged with the most up to date processes.
Change can be difficult but it is a necessary component if you want to be ready for the future. You just need to stay informed and put measures in place to prepare for what’s ahead.
To hear the full conversation with Danella click here.