To gain a better understanding of current guest assessment trends and technological, guest-centric advancements adopted by industry leaders, StayNTouch, Travel Tripper and TrustYou recently released an extensive study of worldwide hoteliers. The survey provides an overview of key guest experience trends to watch moving forward into 2018 and beyond while highlighting the areas in which some hotels may be lagging behind. Utilizing this information will allow hotels to better adjust their strategy for catering to, and connecting with guests in a way that instills long-term true loyalty, revenue growth and success.
- 41.33% of respondents do not offer guests a choice of check-in method, despite this being a popular guest expectation/preference.
- Only 30% of respondents felt strongly about their ability and effort to promote upsells and upgrades at check-in, signifying a common trend of missed revenue opportunity.
- 74.67% of respondents say that they respond and resolve standard guest requests either quickly or very quickly.
- Overwhelmingly, respondents indicated that email and phone were the primary means of communication. This highlights an area for improvement, as in-person interactions are often the ideal environment for establishing more personalized rapport with guests.
- 48% of respondents acknowledged that they are finding it challenging to capture or utilize guest data to personalize the guest experience.
The investment in technology today is much more complicated than it was 20 years ago due to the advancement of our technological world. As we analyze current trends and popular behavioral patterns of the modern guest, it becomes evident that prioritizing the purchase of guest-facing technology should be paramount. After all, sites like Tripadvisor, Yelp, social media channels and more have empowered guests to make their own buying decisions based upon the crowd. Hotels today are in competition for guest loyalty and without the support of guest-centric technology to empower their service offering, empower their employees and ensure guest satisfaction, hotels can expect fall behind the leaders of the pack.
As we've noted before, recent studies show that 70% of guests prefer to use their smartphone to speed up check-in and services, and 67% of travelers are "more likely" to choose a hotel that allows guests to check in and open doors with a smartphone than a hotel that doesn't.
To limit your guest to one method of check-in/out is to turn guests away from your hotel entirely in this modern world. Give your guests the power of choice, and ensure they continue to choose your hotel over the competition.
Get on Board with Mobile
It is more important than ever before to capitalize on the rise of mobile technology and empower guests with the ability to choose their preferred service model (self-service, low touch or high touch). Mobile technology for the hospitality realm includes (but is not limited to) mobile check-in/out, mobile keys, concierge, reservations, alerts, custom hotel apps and more. With 68.46% of respondents to our StayNTouch survey recognizing that they need to establish or improve their use or adoption of mobile technology, this is an ongoing movement that needs to be adopted at a faster pace to keep up with guest demands.
Not only does mobile technology appeal to each guests' desire for personalization, but it empowers your staff to serve each guest better the way they truly want to be served.
Enhance Your Service Model with the Modern PMS
In the past, PMS systems were never seen — instead, they were firmly stationed behind the front desk with a server buried in the basement. While these on-premise systems served their purpose, their capacity to truly enhance a hotel's operation and guest engagement were limited in nature. Today's PMS, however, has the capability to do a seemingly unlimited number of things to directly impact guest satisfaction. With mobile-optimized, cloud-based systems that provide comprehensive, actionable insights at a glance to all hotel staff, the modern PMS allows guests to choose how they want to interact with a hotel property while freeing up staff to build relationships with guests one on one.
Considering the majority (~52%) of respondents acknowledged that they are finding it challenging to capture or utilize guest data to personalize the guest experience, investing in a modern PMS system should be top of mind. Further to the enhancement of guest engagement, advanced PMS tools will help your staff to better understand and leverage guest data for personalized service. And in terms of capitalizing on revenue opportunity, modern PMS software often offers built-in prompts for upselling and upgrade opportunities.
Having these capabilities as an integral part of your operational model by means of an advanced PMS tool is of incredible value to your hotel and should be prioritized accordingly.
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Jos Schaap is a well-known hospitality software executive and entrepreneur, with over 30 years of experience in hotel management and software. He has a passion for hotels, especially staying in them, which has inspired his pioneering ideas for new technologies that have transformed the industry. As a great advocate for change and innovation, he has dedicated his career to developing new things, projects, applications, and companies. Jos founded StayNTouch in 2012 with the vision of re-inventing the hotel PMS technology; making it simple, mobile and transitioning the software to the cloud. With his vision and team, he succeeded. StayNTouch grew year over year with 300% to 700% serving more than 90,000 hotel rooms around the globe. Shiji Group acquired the company in September 2018. Today the company continues to thrive under the Shiji Group flag. Prior to StayNTouch, Jos spent 18 years at MICROS Systems Inc. (now Oracle Hospitality), as a Senior Vice President of in charge of global product development and strategy for the Hotel and eCommerce divisions. During his tenure, MICROS’ hospitality products became the global market leader growing the company’s revenues from less than $300 million to $1.1 billion. He spearheaded multiple new products that enabled MICROS to enter hospitality segments from limited to full- service hotels globally.