Bringing Hospitality Out of the Dark Ages
Posted by mdo on July 1, 2019 in Best Practices
A seed has been planted in the hospitality industry that has sprouted into a problematic misconception that hospitality and technology are two opposing forces. The myth that technology creates a barrier to being warm, fuzzy and accommodating is keeping the hotel and travel industries in the dark ages.
The truth is, what has “always worked” in the hospitality industry, may not be the best approach for your specific market. With the continued evolution of technology and its integration into our day-to-day lives, many guests prefer a simplified and streamlined travel experience.
By sticking by your tried-and-true tactics, you could be expanding the gap between what you offer and what guests actually want.
What defines “hospitality” to the modern traveler?
The phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” doesn’t stand the test of time in the case of the hospitality industry. Your hotel’s guest experience could mimic an ancient palace or castle with its luxurious amenities and courteous service and still not meet the needs of today’s traveler.
The fact is, people don’t want to pay for things that they didn’t ask for. If somebody wants luxury, they can find luxury. If you want to offer luxury at your hotel or resort, make sure that it’s specific to each guest. And you certainly don’t want to offer luxury in spite of modern amenities.
Modern travelers are busy and have a million things in their heads at any given time. What would help guests feel more relaxed and excited about their travels is a great initial touchpoint through their online search and booking experience. Unfortunately, what travelers are subjected to is a fragmented standard of CRSs that complicate the buying journey. From price discrepancies to bulky site designs, guests are already frustrated with the whole process before they even step foot in your hotel.
So, while you’re having your latest board meeting to review a 500-page printed report, in person, to reshape your business plan, consider this key point:
“Your business plan does not impress or delight your guests!”
The only way you can stay on top of guest satisfaction trends, is to forget what’s worked in the past and keep a close eye on your recent data. Tools like myPerspective and myData afford real-time access to your property management, marketing, booking and reputation management programs from one convenient API connection.
This keeps you engaged with what guests actually crave while staying in a hotel, like:
- Convenient and ample outlets
- High speed and consistent internet connectivity
- Free WiFi
- A clear, efficient and transparent booking process
- Digital connectivity for anytime access to booking, check-in and check-out details
What is the current standard of technology in the hotel industry?
While there are a number of exceptional CRSs, PMSs and other digital tools accessible for hoteliers, the standard for booking programs and data management is currently individual (proprietary) systems that have been around for one, two or even three decades. This leaves travelers searching multiple websites just to find the best deals and each site presents its own navigation and transparency challenges.
Unless your property management system integrates with an all-in-one analytics and execution solution, you’re going to waste time logging into various accounts just to get a bird’s eye view of your hotel’s performance and key metrics. This prevents you from maximizing your time and could lead to you missing out on significant insights that could inform your marketing, advertising, staffing, pricing, branding, amenities, design, etc.
So, what is the standard of technology in the hotel industry? Well, there isn’t a standard. With each hotel operating their own systems, guests are subjected to a different experience with every trip they take. So, despite the universality in what guests want from a booking platform and hotel stay, the industry continues to undervalue the importance of establishing standardization that effectively meets guests’ needs.
How to bring the hotel industry out of the dark ages?
In order to modernize the hospitality industry, we need to commit to a higher standard of online booking and property management technology. Setting a standard that is more universal across all sizes of hospitality chains, will hold the entire industry accountable for poor guest experiences from start to finish. This can be done by leaning on more flexible, versatile and comprehensive booking and management platforms.
It’s also pivotal that each hotel reviews its offerings in accordance with what recent data is telling them. Regularly surveying your guests can reveal what does, and doesn’t, matter to YOUR guests (rather than what industry “gurus” are saying). This can better inform how you allocate your resources, train your staff and brand your overall operations.
Every hotel is unique. You should know your guests better than anybody. However, there is always room to grow with the ever-evolving tech solutions that are regularly created. Work with the experts at myDigitalOffice as your guiding light for everything hospitality tech and innovation.