By Shawn Tartar
Hoteliers worldwide are embracing a significant return of leisure travel through the end of the year while anticipating a massive spike during winter holiday periods. Many are turning to technology to drive revenue while providing a personalized experience to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. The trend towards technological innovation began before COVID-19 but is increasing in acceptance, as hoteliers and customers understand the critical role of technology in managing their stay.
There’s little question that hoteliers are reviewing, updating, and embracing traditional customer-facing services thanks to the more widespread use of technology. This includes mobile check-in, contactless payment, biometrics, and voice control. These trends began before COVID-19 but have been accelerated based on the pandemic, its impact on the economy, as well as staffing issues and guest expectations. Other factors are driving this acceptance. Virtually all travelers now use facial and fingerprint recognition on smartphones and laptops and expect the same level of service and convenience in accessing their hotel rooms and taking advantage of the on-site amenities.
The hotel and resort industry needs to maximize operational efficiency and capture additional revenue as the industry continues to rebound from the havoc COVID-19 has wrecked. Increasingly, the key to winning and keeping customers is personalization, from when they book their trip to when they depart. Many hoteliers offer their guests personalized, easy-to-access services and amenities through a customized software program. Proprietary customized software is being quickly integrated with the hotel’s PMS, POS, and credit card processing systems.
Meeting Customer Demands
Customers today are more demanding than ever and at a time when they have more options. With the industry still rebounding from COVID-19, many public spaces require capacity control in various places, ensuring that they are compliant and guests receive the personalized services they are interested in. Guests want to order everything in advance of their arrival, not just the ability to book their room.
This begs the question of why customers should have to wait to book amenities and experiences, such as a guest cabana, daybeds, spa treatment, food and beverage services, access to a fitness center, and even parking, when they do not have to. Hotel guests will benefit from an easy way to secure such amenities at the time of booking, ensuring they can receive these services and not miss out upon arrival.
Importantly this process is seamless for the guest and the hotel acquires important guest information and preferences in order to execute precise remarketing for future visits.
Benefits to Hoteliers
Improving the guest experience alone would be enough for most hoteliers to justify the expense of integrating a software system, but there are real benefits to the operators as well.
To start, hoteliers can capture ancillary revenues pre-arrival. For many, this has been a lost revenue opportunity that is now easily captured. In addition, this allows the hoteliers to improve inventory management, maximize operational efficiency, and streamline internal operations easily and quickly.
Hoteliers need software that is compliant with all major hotel and resort brands for security and integration. It must allow for integration of other commonly used technology vendors, including Micro Simphony, Elavon, and FreedomPay, to name a few. This lets hotels and resorts use this platform for end-to-end real-time inventory management while tracking transactions from start to finish.
In summary, it is exciting to see the role that technology plays in supporting the hotel and resort industry as it rebounds from the economic impact of COVID-19. For an increasing number of hoteliers, a software solution that provides significant benefits to both the operator and the guest is a must-have in 2022 and beyond.