Sunday , July 22 2018

Essential technologies for hotels to improve guest experience

If you haven’t done so already, leap into the digital age by embracing these technologies. No longer a nice-to-have, they are absolutely critical to enhance guest experience and improve your revenue.

Mobile friendliness

There are no online and offline customers anymore. Mobile has produced a permanent sense of immediacy in users. It’s changing forever how our guests interact with us and how they expect us to interact with them. From mobile bookings to check-ins and room access, mobiles are being used for everything.

Is your website – your most important marketing tool – geared to address this change?  Is it optimised for mobile – can it easily handle mobile bookings? If not, it’s time to review your site.

Don’t stop at that. Go a step further by developing a mobile app to connect with your guests pre-arrival and keep in touch after they’ve departed. Look into adopting beacon technologya location technology that allows hotels to engage with the guests on a personal level by pushing special offers based on their location, request for special services or connect with the hotel’s social media channels.

Booking engine

We’ve spoken about the importance of the booking engine in our blogs previously. Let’s just reiterate here that without an easy-to-use and secure hotel booking engine, your website is redundant.

If a traveller cannot call, email or book quickly through your website, they’re likely just find another accommodation that offers a seamless online booking experience. For today’s tech savvy travellers, direct online booking isn’t a luxury; it’s a requirement.

Channel manager

Global distribution through OTAs delivers booking and revenue opportunities that are normally challenging for independent property owners to achieve on their own. But to effectively manage them, without double bookings and errors, you need a hotel channel manager that can easily integrate with your current technologies. And one you don’t spend hours mastering as you’d rather spend that time improving your guest experience.

A good channel manager is also one that will provide valuable insights on which you can base your distribution technology.

Property management system

Hoteliers must manage a never-ending list of tasks on an ongoing basis, including inventory, check-in/check-out processes, team member duties, vendor relationships, performance metrics and various other items to ensure their property runs smoothly.

A property management system helps to streamline and automate these labour-intensive tasks, leaving you to focus on your guests’ needs.

Guestroom technology

This is a bit of a grey area and there is no research to directly link increase in revenue to better technology amenities in the room. But having a flat screen TV with access of a number of channels, an iPOD dock, multi-point device chargers etc do have a feel good factor about them. These small touches are appreciated by guests who’re likely to leave those all important online reviews – and these definitely affect the revenue!

Rock solid networks and free wi-fi

Not surprisingly, a wi-fi that works and is free is the number one expectation of most travellers. It is imperative to increase your coverage and update your networks to accommodate this demand. Access to free wi-fi should not be limited to public areas of your property, open it up for guests to use in their rooms.

Social channels

The social influence factor is leading properties, big and small, to invest in technologies that will enable them to effectively and efficiently manage their social channels. These include ‘listening’ tools that enable you to hear the chatter, understand your guests’ needs at a micro and macro level, and make provisions accordingly.  

Online store

Give your guests more by giving them the ability to buy your experiences from your website anytime.

By investing in a gift cards management application such as STAAH’s Gift Voucher Engine, you can wave goodbye to the hassle of documenting the sales and processing of vouchers, while adding much needed additional revenue streams to improve the bottom line. Not to mention enhancing guest experience by adding a new service.

Online reputation management

Whether it’s a five-star service or one-star food, you need to know what people are saying about your property and its services at all times. Tools such as Reviewinder by STAAH centralise your reviews from major websites in one efficient dashboard, sorting and analysing them; even giving you the ability to directly email customers. This powerful application helps you take charge of your brand’s online reputation.

About Edwin Saldanha

STAAH is an innovative NZ company creating the perfect solutions for accommodation operators. We have been helping properties understand, control & grow their businesses since 2008. STAAH currently works with more than 4000 properties in 60 countries.

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