Hotels have many areas in which a guest can have a negative experience. From the lobby to common areas but none is more important than the actual hotel room. A poorly maintained hotel room can result in a very unhappy guest who will refuse to return and at worst, have them checkout before their stay is up bad mouthing the hotel to everyone who will listen.
Common guest complaints about their room include:
- A bad smell either from smokers or mildew.
- Filthy air vents covered in dust or rust.
- Stained carpets
- Broken fixtures or power outlets that don't work
- Cracked wallpaper, obvious water damage or stained ceilings
- Plumbing issues
Other hotel rooms problems include a lack of temperature controls, windows that do not open, dirty glasses, poor room service, moldy bathrooms, a lack of pillows and so on. The point is, the hotel room is the place that if anything go wrong, guests are likely to share their experiences with others. Word of mouth reviews can cause hotels not to be able to fill their rooms. Given the cost of attracting new guests compared to the cost of having a guest return you would think that hotels would take better maintenance care of rooms. Unfortunately, maintenance management often takes a back seat to general property cosmetic appearances.
Room maintenance is the task of the entire hotel staff and maintenance teams. Housekeeping cannot be expected to look for signs of wear and tear, check amenities and fixtures by themselves. Rooms need to be inspected on a regular basis and preventive maintenance performed before items require major repairs or refurbishment. This is not as hard as it seems and only requires a little organization of tasks and a commitment from hotel management to be proactive in addressing problems.
There are a number of tools that hotel maintenance management can make use of. One such tool is a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) that will enable hotel management to take back control of operations and be proactive in maintenance. Proactive maintenance means that rooms are inspected on a regularly scheduled basis. Inspections enable the early identification of problems such as faulty fixtures or buildup around vents etc.
By addressing problems early on, management can avoid angry clients and also save the hotel money from major repairs, a room makeover and liability issues. For example, the early identification of a worn carpet may warrant a spot patch as a maintenance work order. However, if left unaddressed the worn spot can fray, tear and possibly cause a client to trip. The result is surely to be a complete carpet replacement and a lawsuit. The same principal applies to water spots, air ventilation and plumbing.
A hotel CMMS has other advantages too. The biggest advantage is that they pay for themselves by lowering labor costs, reducing major repairs and lengthening the useful lifecycle of an asset. This is done by automating the work order process giving maintenance management greater flexibility in scheduling repair work. In addition, when properly implemented a CMMS solution will give hotel management the ability to know where all their assets are, what condition they are in and a complete record of their maintenance history.Don't let your guests have a negative experience because maintenance management is not a priority. Attracting new guests costs 5-10 times more than making a client happy. A CMMS for better maintenance management is not an option it is a competitive requirement.