5 Ways for Hotels to Counter Growing Pressure from Review Sites, the Sharing Economy and the Expanding Technology Stack
September 28, 2016 2:13pm
Hotels are under increasing pressure to evolve. Review sites, the sharing economy, and even the rise of dedicated hotel technology are making adaptability a hotel’s most valuable asset. Here’s five ways hotels can respond.
With TripAdvisor’s growing impact on bookings, hotels are under a microscope like never before
Guests are evaluating and sharing service observations publicly, divulging insights that previously lived anonymously in the hotel’s review systems and on paper rating cards. Because some 80% of guests consult 6-12 TripAdvisor reviews before booking, these ratings now have a direct bearing on ADR.
Previously, a hotel’s marketing department might focus on distribution and content that supported a brand’s image, without concerning themselves with the day-to-day operations of each individual property. As reviews were an internal toolset, the marketing department controlled the messaging and online opinion of the brand. In today’s environment, however, guest-generated content on blogs and review sites is driving bookings without the supervision of the marketing department
If you think about the last time you gave or read a review on TripAdvisor, you’ll recall one of the main evaluation parameter is service, which means the content of the review is heavily focused on the in-stay experience. This means that looking at the booking experience as the end of the customer journey is not enough. Hotels are under more pressure than ever before to align the brand’s image with its actual experience and service delivery at the property level. Yet the foundation to achieving operational excellence is too often an afterthought.
Additionally, competitive pressures on hotels are rising. The sharing economy has birthed giants like Airbnb, which continues to take an ever growing chunk of the global lodging business. Each year the piece of the market taken by Airbnb becomes more meaningful, forcing many of the economics in running a hotel to be questioned.
And, while Airbnb has been able to run a “hotel business” without the inherent costs of running an actual hotel, hotels are getting even more expensive to run. CBRE data points out that U.S. hotel operating expenses rose 4.7% in 2015, a year in which inflation was just 0.1%.
But pressures are also mounting for hotels in subtler ways. The rise of dedicated hotel technologies aimed at alleviating some of these more obvious pressures can in fact create logistical challenges and uncertainties for hotel decision makers, due to limited IT budgets, questions about measurement of ROI, and worries about how systems actually impact the guest experience. So too, changes in consumer behavior and ever-rising guest expectations in technology are making the task of identifying the best hotel technology stack challenging.
The answer then is to find ways to leverage technology to improve the guest experience without needing to bet the farm. Here are five ways to do just that:
ALICE is a hotel operations system and single platform to connect concierge, front desk, maintenance and housekeeping, while also giving guests an entirely new way to engage with their hotel through a mobile application and SMS. ALICE Suite brings together the ALICE Staff, ALICE Concierge, ALICE Guest and ALICE API modules into a unified platform, which allows hotels to connect guests, staff and hotel operations teams quickly and easily. The platform is fully integratable with PMS, POS, and all other third party management systems.
Contact: Lola Feiger
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