Starfleet Research, the leading provider of best practices research and recommendations for the hospitality industry, has released The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Guest Experience Management.
This 45-page Smart Decision Guide offers research findings, analyst insights and unbiased recommendations for enhancing the quality of the guest experience. It serves as a definitive resource for senior executives, general managers, IT directors and other decision makers charged with upgrading their Guest Experience Management (GEM) capabilities.
It is not surprising that hoteliers are turning their attention to technology innovation in areas that can improve the guest experience. The benefits include increased guest satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, all of which have a direct impact on financial performance. Consider: A one-star increase in a hotel’s rating can translate into a 10 percent increase in bookings and revenue.
Improving the guest experience has generally meant offering better guest rooms, facilities and resources – and, also, providing better, friendlier and more personalized service. With the advent of next-generation technology solutions, GEM has reached new levels of efficiency and effectiveness, with personalization a primary focus area for improvement.
The solutions that provide the technology foundation for enabling GEM include next-generation property management systems (PMS), service optimization / guest response management solutions, and department-specific modules or standalone solutions for concierge, spa, golf, housekeeping, etc., depending on the type of property.
Yet technology by itself will invariably fail to deliver optimal outcomes when it comes to a GEM-related initiative. Data integration is critical. So, too, is analytic modeling, to map the guest journey, create actionable segmentation schemes, identify the drivers of guest satisfaction – and, ultimately, to present guests with more personalized and relevant messages, offers and treatments.
“Today, enhancing the guest experience means removing ‘friction’ from guest interactions across all parts of the property, all touchpoints, both physical and digital, and all phases of the guest journey,” said Jeff Zabin, research director at Starfleet Research. “It’s about recognizing guest preferences and enabling relevant and personalized interactions that make them feel special and appreciated. It’s about anticipating and catering to their unique needs. It’s about recognizing their differentiated value and responding immediately to their requests.”
Realizing this vision requires organizational commitment. It also requires technology investment, which hotels are increasingly willing to make.
In fact, according to the research, overall hotel IT budgets, which were approximately 4 percent of revenue last year for small and medium-sized properties and 6 percent for large properties, are growing, with almost two-thirds (62 percent) of hoteliers indicating that their IT budgets have increased by at least 25 percent this year. These technology expenditures are largely focused on GEM-related initiatives.
The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Guest Experience Management was independently produced, providing for unbiased, fact-based information. The underwriters are the following industry leaders: Agilysys, ALICE, Amadeus, Infor and Sabre Hospitality Solutions. It is currently available for complimentary download and can be accessed here.
Starfleet Research recently released several other Smart Decision Guide titles focused on hospitality industry topics. These include The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hospitality Revenue Management (click to access), The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems (click to access) and The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Restaurant Management and POS Systems.