Hotel management software should emphasize on the guest experience

For decades, hotels have used hotel software to manage their work and automate tasks. With the time, the systems have evolved significantly. However, the time has come to replace evolution with true revolution in hotel management software so that it can support modern hoteliers in solving their new challenges.

Everything in one place

Gone are the days when hotel management systems were used only to manage reservations, inventory and guest check-in/out. With the new demand coming from a new generation of travellers and completely new business environment, hotel systems need a complete makeover. OTA channel management, web booking engine, guest engagement and loyalty - a myriad of new tasks have to be managed simultaneously. At the same time, it is crucial to relieve the complexity of hotel IT management that forces hoteliers to be (or hire) proficient IT managers.

A plenitude of independent hotel apps have come to solve the new challenges for hotels. True, employing third-party applications could be a solution but it only adds to the complexity of IT management. Adding more software pieces and interfaces makes the whole hotel IT system vulnerable and fragile, dependent on too many external factors. One software update by a single provider can lead to miscommunication between two or several apps, which, on its turn leads to worse service and lost revenue. This takes too much time and efforts to have everything up and working again. Time and efforts that should be generally put on more hotelier-ish tasks like providing memorable guest services. And it takes money, sometimes, that is better spent on a digital marketer instead of a system administrator.

Even without critical events like this, fragmented management systems are hard to operate with. The hotel management systems of the future are end-to-end platforms where everything is integrated, synchronised in real time and fully automated. This means to free hoteliers from the burden of becoming IT managers, or hire such, and let them focus on their core duties and skills. Here is an example - an integrated guest-mailing feature that can automatically send guests expiring guarantee reminders, self check-in invitations before arrival, thank-you letters after departure and so on. Personalized and automated - it is only possible when everything is run on the same platform and the guest-mailing functionality takes all booking details from the hotel PMS system.

Having fewer, or even better - one single hotel system in place that offers an array of features and capabilities, is the better choice. It makes your life easier and your work more productive at the same time.

Mobile, not just cloud

A lot has been said about cloud hotel management systems. It seems that the idea of hotel software delivered as SaaS has been already accepted by the majority of hotel managers and migration to the cloud is on their near-future to-do list. Major concerns have remained in the past and the advantages of this modern concept have become evident - no long term investment (i.e. free resources for amenity and service improvements), no maintenance, automated updates, mobility, easy access from everywhere, no hardware and OS requirements, just to name a few.

Mobile access to the hotel PMS for staff and guests alike is one of the most distinguishing features of cloud hotel software. Service delivery on smartphones has become mainstream in many other industries and hospitality businesses are already late in joining in. Busy hotel staff is way more efficient when able to move away from the reception desk and provide services from every spot in and out of the property. Mobile housekeeping, mobile check-in, mobile service in the restaurant - from order taking to charge transfer to the room folio. Mobility means convenience and availability on any non-expensive standard device.

Focused on the guest

Internet, smartphones and all sort of wearables have changed our lives forever. The way we communicate with people and brands alike has changed drastically. The new generation of travellers want services delivered to their smartphones - easy to find, easy to buy, easy to consume. The quality of their digital experience directly affects their overall impression of staying at your hotel. Both hoteliers and PMS suppliers need to take this new challenge. A modern property management system must be capable of delivering the mobile services to be offered to the savvy hotel customers.

The ability to control the entire stay from a mobile phone is the level of experience travellers expect these days.

They want easy online booking process, self check-in, to order room service or book a table in the restaurant without leaving the comfort of their favourite device. Customer satisfaction which has become so important since online review websites exist, strongly depends on the hotel's ability to provide personalized digital services. This is why a smart hotelier should never be satisfied with a system that does not offer them. Never before have hotel PMS systems provided guest-facing features but the time has come for this to change. Bookings, rates or housekeeping remain important functionalities, of course, but digital guest services are now the killer app in a PMS software system.

In other words, where Mobile is King and Online is the Queen, Digital guest experience is Fairy Godmother.

About Clock Software

Clock Software is a global provider of cloud-based hotel 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 60 countries.