Understanding hospitality trends and having the ability to utilise them in the day-to-day operations of your establishment is a determining skill of the successful hotel manager.
It can be challenging to tell what is useful and how it would be best suited to your business’ needs. Let's walk through the basics of what hotel software solutions have to offer so that you can decide for yourself how you can benefit from the technology.
Where to Begin
- Property Management System
A cloud-based property management system (PMS) is the embodiment of hospitality technological advancement. It is an all-in-one solution which encompasses the full array of duties you’re charged with.
Some of the features of a hotel property management system involve keeping track of room availability, smart rate management across all distribution channels, a central reservation system, as well as aiding your front-desk staff with check-ins and check-outs.
With a cloud PMS, you do not need to worry about how your business and your guest's information is stored. Everything is directly uploaded into the cloud where your staff can use it freely without having to rely on a single device.
If you’re running a group of hotels, the central reservation feature of your PMS can make managing room availability and rate updates across all chains an incredibly intuitive experience. Now your staff can share all the information from each of your locations, creating an even working environment for your staff and establishing a wide-reaching standard to be enjoyed by guests regardless of which of your locations they choose to visit.
Integrated hotel solutions allow your staff access all the tools and information they need exactly when they need it which helps them to provide your guests with an experience customised to their requirements. As such an integrated PMS would be an invaluable addition to your business.
Online Hotel Marketing
Branding has never been more vulnerable than it is in the internet age. A bad review can spiral and cause unforeseen damage to a hotel’s reputation while at the same time it takes stacks upon stacks of great reviews to make a dent in your business’ rating. This environment is only difficult and troubling if you have no strategy on how to handle your hotel’s online presence.
You must begin by gaining online visibility, this means investing time in creating an up-to-date mobile-friendly website, setting up social media profiles for your business, and of course creating profiles across various online travel agencies.
You must keep in mind that the character of internet consumerism is heavily involved in comparing your business to that of your competitors. Metasearching is the new norm for choosing products and businesses which is why investing time and effort into building the right profile for your OTA listings is incredibly important for your business.
- Hotel Website
But while many hoteliers take this part of their marketing quite seriously they can often neglect to do the same for their own website. Don’t forget that if a guest books a room with you through another distribution channel they will likely visit your website for further details. If they find an outdated and inaccurate description of your services which might not match with your OTA profiles, they could be swayed to cancel their reservation.
Revenue Management Through Booking Optimisation
Going mobile is key to pleasing the majority of your guests. While your business may not get as many walk-ins as it used to, it should come to no surprise to you and your staff if you see an increase in last-minute reservations, especially if you have a mobile-friendly hotel booking engine at your disposal.
- Booking Engine
Your hotel booking engine is the best source of room revenue for your business, as unlike your OTA listings, if guest books a room directly through your website you do not need to set aside commission for the travel agency and get to keep the full profits.
By having your guests book directly through your website you have the opportunity to upsell with offers of additional services or room upgrades.
You may wish to encourage as many direct bookings as possible but the best way to ensure that guests actually go through with it is to have a mobile-adaptive solution.
Even with your own hotel booking engine in place, listing your business across different distribution channels is still undeniably good marketing. But managing rates and bookings across all channels for maximum revenue potential can be a challenge which is why you should consider an integrated channel manager to aid you in maximising rate-per-room capacity.
- Channel Manager
The channel manager can aid you in deducing the best possible rates for your rooms at any given time and can automatically update them across all distribution channels, while also automatically listing for sale all late cancellations giving you the best possible opportunity for revenue optimisation.
Guests Rely on Hotel Technology
The main reason why technology has taken over hospitality by such a storm is that the guests wish for it. Inadvertently they have done hospitality a huge favour.
With travel becoming more open and frequent than ever and with the increase of competition in hospitality, the resources expanded into acquiring guest loyalty would have been tremendous, but the guests have decided that all they need to be more than pleased with their experience is convenience.
Leaving a complimentary champagne bottle for a valued guest truly is a beautiful personal touch to their stay, but if your wifi is poor, or they need to wait in line to check-in then they might not be loyal for long.
Investing in self-service technology such as a self-check-in kiosk can make any guests feel welcome at any time of the day, with the added bonus of your business no longer needing to maintain front desk personnel at all hours of the day.
To further add to their experience you can allow them to download your self-service app which has taken the place of traditional over the phone room service.
When you add it up, while technological advancements require a constant vigilance on your part it pays off in the end as you are now granted the means and opportunity to drive your hotel into success.
You may also find interesting:Five Ways Hotels Can Use Technology For a Better Guest Experience
Property Management System - Investing in the Future
How Self-Service Technology Improves Guest Experience
About Clock Software
Clock Software is a global provider of cloud-based property management systems (PMS), integrated online distribution, online & kiosk hotel self check-in solutions and mobile & in-room guest engagement systems with customers in more than 65 countries.