4 minutes read
July 30, 2019
Pleasing customers is only one aspect of creating a successful hotel business. You also want operations to run efficiently so you can identify problem areas, reduce mistakes, and make your processes more competitive.
Hotel technology allows you to streamline both customer service and backend tasks by automating simple and redundant processes. That means your staff can concentrate on other more productive areas of your operations. Selecting the right hotel technology includes considerations such as the size of your organization, the existing software that you use, and what types of improvements you are seeking to make.
Building Your Hotel’s “Tech Stack”
Smart technology can be implemented in every function of your hotel. For booking, there is software for reservation confirmations and rate management. You can seek out tech for front desk operations, guest services, and event management. You may want to get technology to better manage staff and point-of-sales systems. In addition, accounting departments can use software to improve invoicing tasks, while maintenance supervisors can monitor mechanical and water systems to address problems before they impact guests.
Some software solutions are all-in-one. They tend to offer a bit of everything (e.g., booking, reservations, front desk management, and invoicing). Others are specialized solutions that perform specific functions really well, such as water management software or POS systems management.
All-in-one solutions are perfect for hotels who are starting from scratch with no present software capabilities or when they want to upgrade from legacy software. You get everything you need in one platform that allows you to access all functions in an integrated dashboard and centralized network system. However, since the software offers a little bit of everything for each department, many solutions won’t go in-depth in their comprehensive offerings because the software would become too big and cumbersome to operate and maintain.
On the other hand, specialized solutions work to make one specific task more efficient. You can leverage the comprehensive functions to automate the process to the fullest. With a specialized solution, you have everything that you could possibly need for that specific task. Specialized software is usually designed to be a holistic, comprehensive solution that yields more data and insights in comparison to all-in-one software packages.
Selecting an all-in-one solution versus a specialized solution will basically come down to what software you already have and what software you need to fill in the gaps.
Qualities of Good Hotel Technology Tools
When it comes to selecting hotel technology, there are some key features to look for based on how your staff operates. Many of your workers don’t sit behind the desk all day taking phone calls or sitting in front of a monitor. They may be in other areas of the hotel providing guest services or addressing maintenance issues. In addition, you need tech that is always available, as guests depend on it directly, such as for booking, or indirectly, such as ensuring they have access to a hot shower in the morning.
When determining what tech solution is right for your hotel, look for:
- Software that can be accessed both via desktop and mobile
“Smartphones and the proliferation of apps give us the power to do so many things from the palm of your hand. The hospitality industry has embraced apps to the point that mobility is an essential part of how hotels communicate with guests and vice versa.”
– Ted Horner, Managing Director, E. Horner & Associates Pty Ltd
- Providers who include 24/7/365 technical and customer support, so that you can get help when needed, no matter when you need it
- Cloud-based technology that provides instant updates so that staff can access accurate information at any time
Best Practices for Selecting Hotel Software
Just purchasing the latest software package won’t do your operations any good if you can’t prove its return on investment. Instead:
- Sit down and figure out your business objective.
- Understand what the problem is that you want to solve, such as decreasing guests’ water complaints and room comps, or better managing room rates across online channels.
- Then, determine if you already have the technology in place that could handle this task.
If you need to purchase an all-in-one solution or specialized software, figure out your initial purchase costs, work that will be required to implement the tech, and staff training costs. Then compare these expenses to your future ROI. You want to ensure that the tech costs will have a positive impact on guest experience, will make your operations more efficient, and will also allow you to increase your revenue.
Has your hotel ever experienced rogue water problems? Have you ever comped a room because a guest complained of a cold shower? Prevent these situations—and protect your revenue—with Symmons Water Management Software, a better way to manage your hotel’s water system.