Internal hotel teams that are focused only on their own revenue streams risk inefficiency, duplicating work and restricting each other’s progress. According to the study done by Salesforce, 86% of the interviewed professionals consider a lack of collaboration to be responsible for workplace failures, while PWC’s 2015 Global Operations Survey found that an astonishing 55% of companies work in silos.
So how do you solve the collaboration issue? Unfortunately putting all your teams in one room and telling them to work together isn’t enough - or realistic, in case of hotel chains.
We invited Oliver Geldner, Revenue & Distribution Expert at Taktikon AB, Patty de Gruiter, VP Revenue & Sales at EHPC, Sebastian Arnshelm, Director of Revenue Management at Nobis, and Sam Riches, Director of Sales & Marketing at The Curtain, to the Direct Booking Summit in Amsterdam to discuss the relationship between Marketing, Digital and Revenue - and how to improve it.
Here are the top tips from our expert panel that you can start implementing with your teams today:
"Bring leadership as close to property as possible", suggested Sam Riches. Leaders that champion collaboration affect the way teams work together. While it seems easier for an independent hotel like The Curtain to execute this strategy, hotel chains should know - just the knowledge that the hotel's leaders believe in collaborative culture has a positive impact on teamwork. Owner or General Manager don’t have to be on site to communicate their ideals to the teams. Instead, they can include the collaborative spirit into the core set of values.
Create one goal to unite your teams - and set the same KPI for all. Get them to strategize together. Sebastian Arnshelm suggested working out the target cost for the whole customer journey and bringing all teams on board to develop a strategy and monitor results. The Marketing team might have insights into how - and via what channel - to approach certain customers, while the Revenue team can shed light on which segments to prioritize to generate demand.
Ensure all teams are represented at your internal meetings. Two heads are better than one - especially when one head sits in Marketing and another in Revenue. At The Curtain, team managers meet up frequently to share common objectives and challenges with each team contributing towards solutions that work for everyone.
Centralize your data. Revenue and Marketing teams need real-time access to information to make the right decisions. Consider visualising data to provide quick and useful insights for everyone. A tool like Looker can help you to analyze and present your data clearly, and Triptease’s Insights Dashboard offers one simple, quick view of everything you need to know about your direct booking trends.
Encourage teams to use technology. Nearly 83% of professionals depend on computers, laptops and smartphones to collaborate. Find the apps, chats and programs that everyone on the team can communicate on. At Triptease, we use Slack to communicate with team members from offices in New York, London and Singapore. Skype or Google Meetups offer great group video calls, while Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides allow staff to collaborate on written work in real time.
Worry less about geographical distance and concentrate on the emotional distance instead. Collaborative team members understand and trust each other. Stop your co-workers from pointing fingers at the ‘other’ teams and start working on resolving problems together. Celebrate success together. Support the sense of community both in and outside the working space. Encourage group sports and activities, fly the teams out to meet each other at one of your hotels or organize board game nights - whatever floats your boat!
Bringing collaboration into your hotel and ways of working takes time, but we’re starting to notice a shift in the way hospitality teams work together.
Take the guesswork out of your teams’ decisions - introduce programs for optimizing information sharing processes and encourage the sharing of knowledge and expertise. Introduce common goals and involve everyone in the decision making processes. Become the champion of collaboration in your hotel!