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  • Meet Minneapolis: Travel to the Twin Cities this Summer for HITEC 2019

    We all know that travel can be a real hassle. So, what about a trip makes it worth packing up your suitcase, saying goodbye to your family for the next few days, fighting the airport and staying in a.

  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • A Series of Must-Read Articles on Cybersecurity Produced by the HFTP Research Centers

    Data security remains a pressing concern and top priority for the hospitality industry. The HFTP Research Centers are dedicated to producing findings that can significantly aid hospitality businesses in their efforts to protect their guests’ privacy and personal information against potential cyber threats and attacks.

  • HITEC Special: Does EU GDPR Affect U.S. Hospitality Companies?

    By Alvaro Hidalgo. The EU General Data Protection Regulation has set a path towards protecting personal data which many other countries will follow. In a global industry such as hospitality, it should be a primary objective to take the steps towards compliance.

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Technology Love Match: Choosing the Right Technology for your Hotel

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·19 March 2019
In today’s hospitality landscape, technology is a driving influence in a hotel’s appeal to guests, as they consciously seek out more tech-forward, mobile-centric and personalized travel experiences. And with an ever more sophisticated and expectant consumer on all our minds, it’s easy to fall prey to the growing pressure to stay at the forefront of the latest, innovative technology trends. However, there is a vast amount of hotel technology saturating the market, and not all of it will be right for you.

Hotel 2020: Welcoming Tomorrow's Guests

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·13 March 2019
A recent infographic asks, “Who is the Hotel Guest of 2020,” and how will evolving technological advances most likely shape their expectations. While 2020 once seemed far away, in reality it’s only a few short months away. Reminiscing back to the 1980’s, when anyone predicted what life would be like now, it always seems so futuristic, from flying cards, to hoverboards, automatic jacket driers and everything in between.

How Technology is Shaping the Hotel Guest Experience

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·11 March 2019
Hands up who remembers the last time they didn’t use their smartphone for a whole day? – Probably very few! It is sometimes hard to believe that little over 10 years ago there weren’t any smartphones but since then a lot of things have changed. Today, we are living in an era of advanced technology, in a world where we are constantly connected and where more people now own cell phones than toothbrushes.

The Hyperconnected Guest - Is Your Hotel Ready?>>?

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·26 February 2019
Consumers today are becoming not just more connected, but hyperconnected. We are increasingly connected to the internet and the objects around us are also becoming ‘smarter’ and more connected. In the next the number of connected devices around the globe is expected to hit anywhere from 50 billion to a staggering one trillion in the next five years alone.

How Hotels Can Tap into The Experience Economy

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·19 February 2019
The experience economy – a term that has been around for a while. In fact, it was first mentioned in 1998 by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore in a Harvard Business Review article of the same name stating “as goods and services become commoditized, the customer experiences that companies create will matter most”.

Hotel of the future: How mobile devices are redefining the hospitality industry

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·12 February 2019
A mobile device has become a vital phantom-like limb for most of us. We have come to rely on our smartphones for everything, from staying in touch with family and friends to delegating errands, managing our home, working, ordering food, buying groceries, paying bills, acquiring and streaming movies and music, booking a taxi, storing loyalty cards, using it as a wallet, opening doors, making payments… the list is endless. They have come to change the very nature of how we interact with the world around us.

Tips to Increase Hotel Occupancy During a Slow Season

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 7 February 2019
Low seasons can make or break a property, particularly if budgets are already tight. If your hotel is already operating on threadbare profit margins, any significant dip in bookings and revenue can spell disaster. That goes double if the lull comes along with parts of the year that require significant upkeep and maintenance like harsh winter months.

5 Innovative Ways to Induce Productivity and Scale Hotel Revenue

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 5 February 2019
Running a hotel is like playing the stock market. You’re constantly making investments in new strategies, new team members and new technology to see if they pay dividends in the long-term. One of the hardest places to measure a return on investment is productivity. When methods become set, it’s difficult to know what you’re not doing right and what changes could help increase revenue.

The New Era of Personalization: The Hyperconnected Guest Experience

StayNTouch Inc. · 5 February 2019
With the onset of 2019, we've stumbled upon a rather interesting (albeit, integral) crossroads in the hospitality realm. As consumer technology continues to expand its influence and popular adoption across industries, brands are realizing mounting pressure to adapt to this new age of technological personalization and hyper-connectivity. Why? Because with heightened technology and uninhibited connection across platforms, comes higher stakes and those companies who fail to keep up are, simply put, at risk of being left behind. And rest assured, hotels are no different. Welcome, hoteliers, to the new era of personalization; better known as the hyperconnected guest experience. What Does Hyper-Connectivity Look Like? Consider this -- If the ideal hospitality environment is one which cultivates a "home away from home" experience, how can hotels expect to remain competitive if their guests have more advanced technology and/or enhanced comforts in their own home? Industry leaders agree-- "Personalization of the guest experience is the next frontier". Those hotels which find the most success in today's digital-savvy climate will be those which offer an experience that is equal parts high-touch service and high-tech offerings. Guest engagement and communications should be personalized and convenient, upgrades and upsells should be targeted and insight-driven, and technology should empower a seamless and hyper-connected guest experience. In fact, Aberdeen Group claims that companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omni-channel strategies. The digital realm has evolved at a rapid pace, from being a segment of the guest journey which hotels could choose to navigate for potential growth, to one which they absolutely have to occupy and utilize for effective guest connection. In fact, reports show that by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Further, the number of connected devices around the globe is expected to hit anywhere from 50 billion to a staggering one trillion in the next five years alone. With this in mind, hotels today have to find a way to connect with each individual guest (and their unique set of preferences) while communicating and engaging with said guest across various new channels and devices. Ultimately, embracing hyper-connectivity isn't a choice -- it is now a necessity. After all, the modern consumer interacts with brands from multiple devices, platforms and touch-points (desktop computers, mobile devices, iPads, smart watches, social media etc.) at any given time. In the case of hotels, this expectation remains the same -- hoteliers must remain privy to the increasing influence of non-traditional, virtual channels (while maintaining a high-level experience across traditional channels as well). If the modern guest transitions from physical to digital touch-points seamlessly in their day-to-day life, it's no surprise that they expect that same experience on hotel properties as well. Hoteliers must utilize modern technology to effectively anticipate, manage and, better yet, understand guest needs and expectations for each and every stay, and across every touch-point. The True Value of Exceptional Guest Service Studies show that a moderate improvement in customer experience (CX) would impact the revenue of a typical $1 billion company an average of $775 million over three years. Further, 67% of consumers say they will pay more for a great experience, while loyal customers are seven times as likely to test an offering, five times as likely to buy again and four times as likely to refer. Not only that, but 81% of consumers want brands to understand them better and know when and when not to approach them. Curating a personalized guest experience not only drives revenue, but it enhances guest loyalty and brand reputation. Ultimately, by offering a more personalized travel experience, hoteliers are able to establish a value-driven, long-term connection with each and every guest -- who are then far more likely to become advocates for their hotel. With travel and hospitality representing one of the most competitive industries on the planet, it becomes ever-important to capture (and maintain) guest attention and loyalty, all while increasing revenue, decreasing costs and streamlining operations. Leverage Technology The evolving demand for technology across hotel properties goes beyond satisfying guests by demonstrating an understanding of modern trends and convenience. What becomes more important is the opportunity which technology offers hoteliers in the way of a more personalized service offering. Emerging technological solutions open the door to data-backed insights and behavior, which help hoteliers generate a 360 degree view of each guest. In this sense, investing in technology allows hoteliers to better invest in their current and prospective guests. With the help of integrated, digital-savvy platforms (think mobile PMS and CRM software), hoteliers can access a dashboard with organized data from all channels, that not only curates a personalized view of each guest but also helps to offset operational load. With certain communications and touch-points going digital, guests are treated to a more efficient experience and staff are empowered to connect with guests on a more personal, memorable level. Further, these platforms can help to monitor social behavior and influence the lifetime value of current and prospective guests, collect data on industry trends, track purchase behavior, identify targeted upsell opportunities, measure performance, and ensure messages reach the right guests at the right time (and through the right channel). Embracing the Mobile Experience Embracing the demands of a hyper-connected world means embracing the demand for a mobile-centric experience. By the end of the year, mobile search will generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop search and by 2020 it's predicted that a customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without ever interacting with a human. When it comes to convenience and self-service, the mobile experience simply reigns supreme. Still not convinced?Consider this:83% of travelers find social media a top source of inspiration when browsing online70% of travelers who own smartphones use them to research travel60% of travelers won't go on holiday without their smartphones76% of travelers say their mobile devices are their number one travel accessories75% of Americans say that a week without Wi-Fi would leave them grumpier than a week without coffee84% of travelers want to be able to access information from anywhere in the world while they travelModern guests expect (and rather, need) an uninhibited travel experience that is largely defined by digital accessibility. Creating a mobile-centric booking experience, offering keyless entry through a mobile device, text-based communications, mobile concierge and more, hoteliers can curate a more connected and convenient stay for their guests. About Jos Schaap With a 20+ year track record in hotel software technology, Jos Schaap is a leading authority on how it can help to enhance the guest experience.Jos began StayNTouch with the vision of re-inventing hotel PMS technology; making it simple, mobile and transitioning the software to the cloud. StayNTouch was successfully sold to Shiji Group in September 2018 and Jos currently manages several business units for the Shiji Group while remaining CEO of StayNTouch.

Personalization & Security: Are you keeping your guests' personal data safe

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·31 January 2019
Cybercrime is big business and security breaches of hotel guest data are becoming all too common, if not a fact of life. 2018 was dubbed “the year of the breach,” with hundreds of major brand names falling victim to data thieves including T-Mobile, British Airways, Air Canada and Marriot – the most recent hotel brand to join a very long list of hotel data breach exposures.
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Merging Art & Tech in Spokane: Ruby Hospitality Chooses StayNTouch's Cutting-Edge Mobile PMS

StayNTouch Inc. ·29 January 2019
StayNTouch, a mobile hotel PMS technology provider revolutionizing the guest experience, is partnering with Ruby Hospitality to implement Rover PMS and Zest guest-facing solutions across all five of their Spokane, WA area properties.Ruby properties include the flagship Hotel Ruby, Hotel Ruby2, Ruby Sandpoint, the historic Montvale Hotel, and the newly acquired Ruby River Hotel. Ruby Hospitality's owner, Jerry Dicker, has been in real estate development for over 40 years. When he moved to Spokane, Jerry focused on redeveloping the historic downtown core of the city; an area he refers to as the "arts district". Using his love for art and theater, Jerry began renovating historic buildings including the revival of the famous Bing Crosby Theater. His endeavors soon led him to hotels with each project being meticulously designed to blend his love of art with the distinctive aesthetic of the property's surroundings. Jerry's projects emphasize innovation, smart designs, and most importantly, artistic vision.Dicker's management team chose StayNTouch because it fits closely with the company's mission, which is to deliver a unique high quality product with amazing service at a great value. "When guests arrive, we want them to focus on our hotel's unique decor and beautiful surroundings, not an outdated check-in process," said Patrick McLaughlin, the General Manager at the Ruby River. "StayNTouch's Mobile PMS gives our guests seamless self check-in options, while always keeping us in touch if they need us." Patrick also commented on Rover's back-of-the-house functionality "Organizing housekeeping with a clipboard can feel like spinning plates. But StayNTouch's housekeeping module lets us communicate with staff and check and room status in real time, which means quicker cleanup and fewer awkward interactions with our guests.""StayNTouch shares Ruby Hospitality's commitment to forward-thinking innovation," said Jos Schaap, CEO and Founder of StayNTouch, "Because our PMS operates discreetly on tablets and smartphones, it fits perfectly with the artistic vision Ruby Hospitality wants to inspire. By giving hoteliers the tools to more effectively communicate, and guests a choice in their method of check-in, we let travelers better immerse themselves in a truly one-of-a-kind hotel experience."About Ruby HospitalityLocated in Spokane, Washington Ruby Hospitality represents a regional collection of artfully crafted hotels, restaurants, theaters and event centers. We have a passion for hospitality and preservation, and strive to create unique spaces that offer value, comfort and service to all of our customers. For more information about Ruby Hospitality visit us at www.rubyhospitality.com.

5 Ways Hotels Can Use Technology to Provide Better Customer Service

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·25 January 2019
Technology has changed the way we travel. Travelers today, regardless of which generation they are a part of, carry and use mobile devices, they crave convenience, automation of pretty much everything, oh and an experience built around them. Not much to ask, right?

Your Hospitality New Year's Resolutions - How To Make Your Hotel More Efficient In 2019

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·21 January 2019
The new year offers a chance to look at the bigger picture. The calendar beginning anew is a time to take a look back at the year that was and plan for the year ahead, it’s also the perfect time to figure out what you can do to make your hotel run smoothly.
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5 IoT Solutions That Can Enhance Your Guest Experience

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·18 January 2019
The Internet of Things, or IoT for short is said to be the “Third Wave of Innovation” following the Industrial Revolution and the Internet Revolution. And it’s not hard to see why. The number of smart devices continues to increase, and according to a Statista report, 42.62 billion IoT-enabled devices will be connected to the Internet by 2022 – that is 42.62 billion everyday enabled devices working together to ease our efforts by interacting with each other online.

Online Ripple Effects: How Digital Tech Changes Guests' Offline/On-Property Expectations

StayNTouch Inc. ·10 January 2019
Bill Gates was famously quoted saying "We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten." Over the last decade, we have witnessed a period of rapid technological evolution. Our world is, seemingly, in a constant state of digital advancement and change. Emerging tech has entered our households, changed the way we do business, and the way brands connect with consumers and ultimately altered the way in which we live. This is exciting, in many ways -- but continuous digital innovation comes with its own set of rules. From a business standpoint especially, industry leaders must remain privy to how increased digital opportunity inspires a subsequent increase in consumer expectations. Digital technology provides countless consumer touch-points -- far more than those which existed within the traditional consumer structure. Rather, with the nudge of technology, brands and leaders have forged a direct path to consumers, to connect with consumers in a genuine, effective and targeted manner. This shift becomes especially relevant within the hospitality realm, as our industry is built upon the consistent provision of exceptional experiences and the curation of guest-centric relationships. While digital applications help to effectively offset the operational load on staff (for those tasks which can be streamlined and do not require high-touch treatment), they also open the floodgates to an influx of new guest touch-points and expectations. In fact, studies show that 67% of customers say their standards for good experiences are higher than ever, but 51% of customers say most companies fall short of their expectations for great experiences. Not only are guests hyper-connected to their devices as they travel and engage with hotel properties, but they're spending a more significant portion of their travel experience 'connected' to their social network. So, what does this mean for hoteliers? How can the hospitality industry effectively react and adapt to these large-scale changes in the tech ecosystem and, in turn, meet and exceed evolving guest expectations both online and offline? Online Doesn't Mean Impersonal It's easy to assume that the effective optimization of processes within an online platform, mobile app or device means a blitz of hands-off, impersonal interactions. This isn't the case at all. Or at least, it shouldn't be. While technology helps to streamline processes in an effective, productive manner, the prioritization of a more efficient user experience shouldn't come at the expense of genuine customer service. Guests may prefer the mobile experience for the majority of their travel touch-points, but they are still human and, as such, expect human/personalized engagement delivered through the mobile and on-property journey. Digital technology should be leveraged across all aspects of guest engagement to create a humanized experience and showcase hoteliers' understanding of what guests value. In fact, according to studies, 76% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations and 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. As Kristin Smaby so eloquently states, "In an era when companies see online support as a way to shield themselves from 'costly' interactions with their customers, it's time to consider an entirely different approach: building human-centric customer service through great people and modern technology." If anything, the utilization of digital platforms should inspire heightened responsiveness and instant gratification; catering to this generation of travelers who expect 24/7, uninhibited access and convenience. Ultimately, the real potential of the digital guest journey can only be capitalized on when hoteliers recognize that digital tech should be utilized as a driver/conduit for exceptional and hyper-responsive guest service. So, when considering new technology for your property, ask yourself -- will this enhance my hotel's ability to connect with guests in a real, personalized manner? Will the implementation of this platform enable my staff to curate a more relevant, memorable in-person experience? Using Data Responsibly With big data, comes big responsibility. The demand for personalization has become notably paramount across industries, and especially within the hospitality realm. Recent research shows that 57% of consumers are willing to share personal data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts. However, the 2017 State of Personalization Report also states that just 22% of shoppers are satisfied with the level of personalization they currently receive. This, in itself, embodies the increasing responsibility associated with digital access -- if the use of online technology provides brands with a more direct line to their consumer, those consumers want to be heard and understood. The same concept applies to hotels. If the implementation of a progressive, tech-savvy operational model and/or native apps creates more new touch-points, hotels have increased access to valuable guest data and, as such, should be empowered to curate a more personalized experience. Guests expect a streamlined journey and, more importantly, targeted and relevant engagements with your hotel, before and after every stay, both online and offline. The Hybrid Service Advantage Regardless of available mobile technology, any guests' experience with your property will be comprised of online and offline interactions. Depending on each guests' specific set of unique expectations, they may prefer a high-touch, traditional experience, or appeal more to the low-touch, self-service experience. This represents an integral opportunity to hotels, as their guest service model can expand to cater to each guests' respective needs and preferred interaction model. Those travelers who are in a rush can rely on fast, efficient mobile or self-service experiences while those travelers who crave a more high-touch relationship can benefit from dedicated, genuine staff attention. This ensures that guests receive the care and level of service they expect, while hotel staff is empowered to effectively allocate their energy and resources to those touch-points which need it most. The continued emergence and widespread embrace of digital technological innovation marks an exciting era for hospitality. Hotels across the globe are continuously raising the bar in their adoption and understanding technology and its' impact on the guest experience. Not only is the guest service model changing and reaching new heights, but guests are implored to interact with your property in new ways across social media channels, apps, and on-property with self-service and immersive technology. Those hotels which effectively capitalize on this opportunity for an enhanced connection with modern guests are, undoubtedly, setting themselves up for success in 2019 and beyond.
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2019 Technology Action Plan for Hoteliers

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 7 January 2019
Technology continues to become more and more important in the hotel industry. For consumers, technology means an easy life and their appetite for this lifestyle is insatiable. For hotels, technology can help meet the challenge of growing customer expectations and enable them to drive their business objectives better. However, technology is advancing all the time and is constantly unlocking new opportunities aimed at improving customer satisfaction and boosting internal efficiency. It’s a challenge for the hoteliers to keep up with each new development and innovation.

How Technology Can Streamline Your Team's Productivity

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 3 January 2019
It’s almost certain that you’ve experienced your fair share of operational hiccups. Whether the pain points are obvious or more subtle, a new property management software can iron out the kinks in your day-to-day operations and keep your business running as smoothly as possible. With management technology advancing by the day, an update can do a world of good.

The Hotel Technology Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·17 December 2018
For any hotel to stay relevant to travelers of today, they need to be adopting the latest and greatest hotel technology the world has to offer. However, there is a vast amount of hotel technology saturating the market, competition continues to grow and new digital tools continue to permeate the market – choosing the right solution is no easy feat.

4 Ways Mobile Technology Can Improve the Hotel Guest Experience

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·10 December 2018
Research continually and consistently finds that there is a positive, statistically significant relationship between satisfaction and a host of business outcomes such as customer retention, loyalty, wallet share, referral etc. A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that guests who had extremely pleasant experience spend over 100% more as compared with those who had less-than-desirable encounters. Clearly, happy guests can ensure healthy revenues for hotels.

Hotel technology trends to keep an eye on in 2019

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 7 December 2018
It’s almost the end of another year and the hotel industry continues to grow at a rapid pace. Gartner research predicts that the hospitality industry is projected to be the fastest growing enterprise IT sector between 2018 and 2021.

3 Things StayNTouch Is Thankful for This Thanksgiving

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·21 November 2018
In this season of thanks, there are so many things to be thankful about – great families, fortunate events, caring friends, amazing communities, and all the gifts of life we’re all lucky to have. At StayNTouch, we’re especially thankful for all the wonderful friends, co-workers, customers, clients, and readers like you! And for the day that is in it, we would like to share with you a little note to all those who we are grateful for here at StayNTouch.

Key characteristics of outstanding customer support

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog ·16 November 2018
Good customer service is different from company to company, but there are some key characteristics of superior customer support.
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StayNTouch Expands Globally Leveraging Local Shiji Offices In Munich, Singapore and Sydney

StayNTouch Inc. ·15 November 2018
One of the fastest growing cloud-based PMS companies in the United States, StayNTouch was recently acquired by global hospitality software leader, Shiji Group. StayNTouch is growing its service and sales teams in line with Shiji's strategy to have a global infrastructure with strong local sales and support for all the Shiji products. The StayNTouch expansion will focus on continuing to support existing international brands such as First Hotels and independents such as Zoku, while growing their customer base exponentially."We recognize that the PMS is at the heart of a hotel's business," said Jos Schaap CEO of StayNTouch , "Leveraging Shiji's global support structure is an important step forward in bringing us closer to our customers in the EU and APac and bolstering our promise to exceptional service. When we provide exceptional service to hotels, it enhances the level of service they provide to their guests."To learn more about StayNTouch's product and service offerings, visit www.stayntouch.com.

On-Demand Service and the Culture of Convenience: What Are Guests Really Looking For?

StayNTouch Inc. · 8 November 2018
We aren't just living in a mobile age -- we are living in an 'on-demand' economy, and it is revolutionizing business models and the corresponding consumer experience across every industry. With digital platforms and apps empowering instant gratification, paired with efficient and intuitive technological properties to cater to a personalized and data-driven experience, the supply which meets the demand of customers is readily available, 24/7. The modern consumer has become accustomed to the ease of uninhibited access to messaging, e-mail, social media, e-commerce, and general online functionality through the use of their mobile device, tablet, laptops and more. Of course, with this access comes a learned preference for fast and convenient service. In fact, reports studying consumer behavior surrounding the adoption of online grocery shopping noted "convenience of delivery" as the primary motivator. Studies also show that 58% of consumers consider 'the ability to find what I want quickly and easily' as the most important factor that determined which brands win their business. Further, Harvard Business Review Centre notes that the number one factor in delivering a great customer experience is not delighting customers, but reducing their efforts. Consider this the 'culture of convenience.' This becomes especially apparent within the hospitality industry, as we witness the ways in which guest expectations are rapidly evolving with convenience and personalization as paramount factors to success. With this in mind, it's more important than ever before for hoteliers to focus on yielding to guest demands and desires for convenience and control, across every touch-point of service. Is Your Online Experience Accountable? According to Forrester, 66% of customers think that valuing their time is the most important element to consider to provide a good online customer service. Further, 53% of customers will abandon a mobile site that takes over 3 seconds to load, and for every second delay in mobile page load, conversions can fall by up to 20%. While digital platforms (PMS, CRM, apps, self-service kiosks and more) open a world of opportunity to connect with both current/prospective guests and provide immediate access, this can only be effective if the tools are virtually foolproof. Essentially, getting on board with the digital trend doesn't just mean buying into technology that almost or sometimes meets demand -- it needs to offer the complete experience to every guest, every time. If your property offers self-service kiosks, for example, is the platform user-friendly? Does it offer seamless load times and effective communications and prompts? Does your mobile check-in system work most of the time or all of the time? Does your PMS effectively empower your staff to offer guests the best possible experience? Ultimately, it is every hotelier's responsibility to effectively vet digital solutions and ensure they are investing in technology vendors that not only offer robust and tested platforms but on-going support and scalability. So, as a hotelier, ask yourself -- can you rely on the technology you have in place? And if not, what's missing? Because the ongoing curation of a reliable, seamless online guest experience will undoubtedly be integral to a hotel's success both now and in the future. Empower Your Guests With Choices No two guests are the same -- whether they are traveling for work or leisure, with family, on a wellness vacation or in town for an event --guest preferences and corresponding service expectations vary. As such, it's ever-important to offer guests a choice in service to ensure your service offering is entirely accountable to each individual guests' needs and expectations. While many guests may prefer the traditional, high-touch interaction with hotel staff at each touch-point of their stay, others may opt for a more low-touch, digital-forward experience. In fact, reports predict that by 2020, customers will manage 87% of their customer relationships without interacting with humans. So, while in-person engagement will never cease to be an integral part of the hospitality experience, the curation of a truly efficient and intuitive digital guest experience is equally paramount in the modern landscape. Find New Ways to Enhance Guest Experience s You can thank the likes of Uber, Lyft, and Amazon Prime for inspiring the on-demand economy. People expect not just information now, but the actual products and services too. Hotels must cater to how guests' demands are evolving to design fast, frictionless, mobile-centric experiences that engage today's increasingly impatient travelers. Considering that 80% of businesses believe they provide excellent customer service, but only 8% of customers agree, there is a significant disconnect between brands and their customers, and a missed opportunity to establish long-term loyalty. By increasing customer retention rates by just 5%, hotels can increase profits from 25% to 95%. Bottom line; guest service translates to revenue, and utilizing the power of intuitive digital platforms will enhance a hotels' ability to maximize that revenue opportunity. Leverage Technology That Drives HospitalityThe solution? Invest in a mobile hotel management system that offers mobile access and cross-departmental communications to enhance productivity, seamless interfaces to centralize guest data from all touchpoints, revenue-enhancing features like rate management, channel management, group management, and marketing capabilities like automated up-sells, integrated booking engine to drive direct bookings, and more. With data-backed insights making personalization easy and frictionless interactions while on the property, guests can trust in your hotel for a unique and memorable experience -- one that keeps them coming back time and time again.A recent study by H2C revealed that only 38% of respondents plan on staying with their current PMS strategy, with cloud solutions and integration (e.g., with CRM technology) as driving factors for a strategy shift. When asked about their biggest concerns with their existing PMS, 30% of respondents say lack of support from their PMS vendor, with more than half (57%) of hotel chains rating their PMS vendor as average or poor for their support services. When it comes to guests, only one-third (38%) said they could use the PMS in a 'guest-facing' way, be that managing bookings or letting them access hotel services.So how do you provide guests with what they want in the emerging era of on-demand service and the culture of convenience? Ultimately, by giving your staff the tools and technology they need to optimize services, which includes an innovative, modern PMS backed by a responsive support partnership, they can better provide your guests with everything they want, every stay, to keep them coming back! To learn more watch this complete mobile guest journey "THE NEW WAY... TO HOTEL!"
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Holding Providers Accountable is a Critical Part of a Hotel's Success

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 5 November 2018
When it comes to the hotel industry, suppliers and vendors are at the heart of many processes and activities and as such play a key, if not a critical role in your hotel’s success. Hotel operators and suppliers alike agree that forging strong, long-term relationships is critical to success. But like any relationship, it takes work. All relationships require effort to maintain, and accountability is probably the single most important element fuelling truly successful business relationship.
Article by Jos Schaap

How Technological Accountability Can Boost Guest Service

StayNTouch Inc. ·24 October 2018
Ask any leader -- regardless of industry -- what they believe is the key to driving customer experience and exceeding consumer demands, and their answer will likely detail some form of technological transformation. We have long since entered the age of the customer, which means customer experience can now be earmarked as the defining factor in the creation of brand longevity and customer loyalty. In fact, according to recent studies, 74% of respondents believe that digital is reinventing the overall experience that they deliver to customers and improving digital channels is the top action being taken to improve customer experience. Amping up digital efforts allows companies to keep pace with modern consumers -- a realization which has settled across the hospitality industry with increasing weight. Guests, whether traveling for leisure or business, expect an easy, frictionless and ultimately personalized experience as they move from point A to point B. With this in mind, hotels have quickly begun to leverage innovative technology platforms to build out their operational ecosystem and advance their technological offerings to guests. Basically, hoteliers finally realize the importance of technological accountability; which can be divided into three primary pillars: 1. Technological Accountability: API's and Interfaces 2. Service & Support Accountability: Ensuring that technology providers work together and don't point fingers when interfaces drop and offer responsive support and service for their solutions 3. Guest Service Accountability: If the technology breaks, the guest service ecosystem breaks downIs Your Hotel Accountable? Ultimately, all technological accountability, whether derived from the actual product not working (an interface not functioning, Wi-Fi speeds too slow or check-in/check-out systems failing), can and will affect guest service. This is where the notion of guest service accountability comes from. In order to provide exceptional guest service, hoteliers have to account for their everyday business actions and decisions. These are what make up and support their brand promise to each guest. Are wait times minimized and check-in/out processes streamlined? Are staff members engaged and creating unique, personalized experiences? Is the hotel mobile app working seamlessly? Are guests receiving relevant offers on their preferred devices based on their purchase history? If the technology breaks, guest service accountability will undoubtedly feel the effect of that disruption.However, when all parts of the technological ecosystem are well supported and working together at optimal levels, hotel staff can focus solely on guest service and not worry about any of the technology that surrounds them. They can trust in the digital ecosystem to back them in the way they need, without interruption, to empower them in their role as guest service providers.The Benefit of Seamless Integration and Shared Data Streams Every hotels' technological architecture can be viewed as a spider web with a myriad of different systems connected to each other internally and externally. Further, these new data streams provide hotels with the unique opportunity to better define their guests through buying behaviors, social media activity, app engagement, interests, travel type and more. With more user-centric data gathered from various sources, hotels can begin to truly personalize the guest experience. Despite this, recent studies found that only about 60% of companies are using a variety of tools and tactics to gather and act on customer insights. Considering guest personalization has become paramount in the success of modern hotels, this is a concerning gap. With the help of intuitive operational technology, hotels can finally view, understand and apply guest insights in a truly actionable manner. Of course, as our industry continues to add new and innovative solutions to enhance the guest experience, the likelihood of tech service interruptions increases. With this in mind, it becomes increasingly important for technology providers to offer seamless integrations and open APIs that can work with other platforms and data streams in cohesion. After all, service technology accountability cannot be achieved if systems are working against each other, rather than with each other, when interfaces drop, or something goes amiss. Rather, with the focus of providers on enhancing guest service while moving in lockstep with various complimentary platforms, hoteliers can ensure they are always in position to provide great guest service. It is within this discussion that we are reminded the importance of picking technology partners rather than vendors. Unlike transactional vendors, trusted partners will understand the importance of and welcome the accountability of adding value to your property while co-creating strategy, driving innovation, providing excellent support and scaling execution.Supporting Staff to Support Your Guests Even better, aligning with platforms that support unlimited interfaces on a cloud-based platform will allow your hotel to stay ahead of market trends and connect to best-of-breed solutions. This freedom of integration and access ensures your staff always has access to the best in support technology, while improving productivity and reducing training time. This keeps hotels accountable not only in their promise to provide a certain level of guest experience, but also maintains accountability with their staff. The creation of a seamlessly, supported environment for staff translates to an equally positive environment for guests and a promising future for your hotel property as a result. Meeting Your Guests Where They Are While modern guests may have differing views of what, specifically, makes a great guest experience, offering 24/7 connectivity and tailored communications is an excellent place to start. By utilizing mobile, self-service technology, your hotel provides guests with the opportunity to choose the way in which they interact with your property. They may elect to engage with staff directly, or to check-in or order room service via an app or self-service kiosk, but either way they know they have access to 24/7 support, on their terms. Giving guests complete control over their interactions and level of service helps to empower their experience, provide instant gratification and increase seamless automation where manual processes once lacked efficiency. There's no sense denying it -- to support the demands of guests, hotels require the support of systems and technology providers that are entirely accountable and reliable, in order for guests (and hoteliers alike) to reap the benefits. Partnering with the right technology providers and solutions will allow your hotel to build speed and agility into your operational model to better stay ahead of guest-centric trends and scale accordingly. Ultimately, the time is now to invest in technology that will not only transform your offerings in the eyes of the modern traveler - but will offer your property and staff uninhibited operational support both now and in the future.

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