I have a counterpoint for Seth regarding his recent post and respective comment, “Use an ATM system instead of the front desk at the hotel. Use an automated wake up call system. But then put the money you save into wonderful people at the concierge desk.”
Get rid of the automation AND hire wonderful people!
As I pointed out in my own rants here and here, do away with the front desk, the ATM and the wake-up system. I haven’t talked with anyone yet who likes them (guest or staff). They were designed either in the dark ages (in the case of the front desk) or to save money (reduce staff and improve efficiency which is so old school) and they alienate most of us who come into contact with them. So, if you’re in the people business, wake-up (no pun intended) and ditch the “barriers” to service and hire more people to take care of your customer. If you want to invest in electronics, buy stuff that enhances the guest experience like iPods, WiFi, etc.
The best hotels in the world (those with the most customer raves about fanatic levels of service) do not have more systems than people. I believe that’s the point Seth makes about the concierge desk.