Embracing new and unfamiliar concepts can be hard. In the case of hotel technology though, the rewards are huge. In this article, we’ll look at four simple steps to modernise your business that will lead to a more profitable and efficient operation.
Have you ever moved house from a small place to a bigger one? Did you notice how, within a matter of days, you started to wonder how you ever managed in your old place? How you could relax in a smaller space, how you could store away all your things?
This feeling towards our past limitations is a common one. We adapt so quickly to our new homes, cars and mobile phones that often, we could never imagine going back. Because what we had in the past simply didn’t work as well.
In the hospitality industry, there’s a clear comparison to be made with old hotel management technology like paper check-in diaries, outdated websites and out-of-date payment options.
But modern technology is now helping hoteliers run increasingly efficient operations, leading to greater revenues and better time management – and once you start using it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t take the step before.
Here are a few examples of easy upgrades that can have a huge impact on your business – and will leave you wondering how you managed without them before.
1. Invest in a channel manager
In today’s market, promoting your property online means promoting it on various websites. Unless you’re lucky enough to have full occupancy all year round, it’s just a fact of life.
But what happens every time you get a booking? You take a note of the guest’s name, the date, the room type, the cost – and then proceed to update your availability on all your other channels. And what about cancellations? That’s another administrative task, and before you know it, you’ve spent half an hour crossing things out and writing things down in your diary.
Channel managers are the simple answer, because these systems connect to all the websites you sell through. So whenever a booking comes in, you’ll see it on your screen with all the details, and your availability will be automatically updated everywhere. This will help you cut down on both overbookings and wasted time for you and your staff.
2. Ditch the paper diary
Traditionally, noting down your bookings in a paper diary – or perhaps a blackboard – was the way to keep all the information in one place. But now, there are easy-to-use tools that cut out a lot of that hassle – and provide you with even more information.
These are usually known as property management systems (PMS). These time-saving programs display all your reservation information in an understandable way. And any modifications, cancellations or special requests that come in just update automatically. There’s no need to be writing notes down all day and no need to scramble to update your availability. It’s just an easy way of managing all your bookings.
What’s more, a lot of PMSs also come with an app for your mobile phone – meaning you can check your reservations and contact guests from wherever you are.
3. Show guests you’re professional
Technology moves fast. When it comes to digital technology, that’s doubly true. Although it’s not so long ago that the internet age began, a lot of the early parts of this revolution have already evolved beyond recognition.
This applies to your property website. Nowadays, websites need to be mobile-responsive and designed in an intuitive, user-friendly way. If not, you not only risk guests clicking away from your site, but the bad user experience also risks giving the world a negative impression of your property – no matter how great it is in reality.
4. Make it easy for guests to book
Everyone’s different. Some people like cats, some people like dogs. And some people like to pay while booking a property, others are happy to wait until they arrive.
To cater for guests who prefer up-front payment, it’s important that your website offers payment options. There are a lot of technology solutions on the market that provide easy and secure payment options by plugging straight into your site.
One of the geat advantages of promoting your property online is the access to millions of guests, all around the world. So little details like offering various world currencies can also be a game-changer for your bookings.
While it may seem like a chore, being flexible with your payments can really make the differente to your business – so it’s worth every penny.
You’ll never look back
It’s often said that the hardest part of any process is taking the first step. This is equally true for hotel technology. But it’s also true that once you see the benefits – time saved, profits made – you’ll wonder how it took you so long to embrace it.