Hotel technology offers infinite ways to run your business more efficiently and create better guest experiences. But sometimes it can be difficult to take that step. If you are still unconvinced about the benefits of technology, we’ve put together five reasons you should start looking into it, along with three things to look out for when you do.
Technology is becoming an indispensable part of our lives. As someone in the hospitality industry, the rise of technology affects you and your business.
But guess what? That’s actually good news. Technology is here to make your life easier.
For hospitality professionals, there’s a whole host of solutions created to save you time and increase your revenue. And you don’t have to be a luxury hotel with 300 rooms, either – a lot of technology is designed to meet the specific needs of small and medium-sized properties who need easy-to-use solutions that get the job done, so you can focus on your guests.
Here are five reasons why you should consider trying out hotel software
1. Your guests are already using it
Twenty years ago, mobile phones were a rarity. But since then, the technology has moved at such a pace that, for many of us, it’s hard to remember a time without them. This affects the hospitality industry, too. We’ve seen the number of bookings made on mobile phones steadily increase across the world over the last few years. In 2018, that number is now over half in the Middle East, and around half in the rest of Asia. In Europe, it’s around a third.
Increasingly, your guests are tech-savvy. A recent study from Oracle revealed that 94% of business travellers and 80% of leisure travellers value the ability to use their smartphones to request services and message hotel staff. So if you don’t follow your guests’ lead soon, you’re likely to get left behind.
2. There’s a solution for you
Hotel technology isn’t just something for big-brand hotels and computing experts. A lot of tools have been designed for smaller properties with smaller budgets. Whether it’s simplified guest management systems or smoother ways to stay in touch with your guests, there will definitely be something out there for you.
3. It could save you a lot of time
Ultimately, hotel technology is there to help you run your business. One of the massive benefits it can bring is saving time. A lot of tools will cut out a lot of your daily pen-and-paper admin, whether it’s putting all your bookings together in one place, or giving you a quick overview of your competitors’ rates. As a result, you’ll be able to dedicate more time to what’s most important at your property: your guests.
4. It gives you more control
You may feel that putting your trust in software could bring a loss of control over your business. In fact, the opposite is true. Technology is there to help you out, to give you greater insight into the details of your business and help you run it more efficiently. For example, if you use rate management software to set your prices, you’ll have a better understanding of your market – and as a result, you’ll be better informed when it comes to making business decisions.
5. It cuts down on errors
While it doesn’t happen that often, sometimes mistakes like overbookings do occur. Human error is a fact of life, whatever industry you work in.
A lot of technology hugely reduces the risk of administrative errors and blind spots. For example, if you’re promoting your property on several different websites, some tools will immediately update your availability across all of them every time you get a booking. So you don’t have to worry about manually updating the system whenever something happens. The result? You can wave goodbye to overbookings.
3 things to look for when exploring hotel technology
1. Value for money
When you run a business, any decision you take will have to factor in price. Sometimes, though, companies aren’t full up-front when it comes to telling you how much their products cost. When looking for a technology solution for your business, it’s important to make sure you’re clear on how much you’ll be charged, when, and for how long.
2. Free trials
There’s nothing worse than committing to something and quickly realising you didn’t need it. Fortunately, a lot of technology providers have the option of a free trial. That way, you can try out a tool and really assess its benefits before committing to any kind of payment. This is a perfect solution if you’re apprehensive about signing up for something you’re unsure about.
And when it comes to trying out a product, nothing beats hands-on experience. Some companies use video tutorials or a demo to showcase their products – while this is better than nothing, of course, we’d always recommend trying out tools yourself before making a decision.
3. Ease of use
It can be tricky to move into unknown territory. Sticking to what you know is understandable – but knowing when to embrace change is also key to business. A lot of the tools designed for smaller properties are specifically made to be as user-friendly as the apps you use every day in your personal life.
With a softer introduction, it becomes much easier to adapt to new systems – and ultimately, get the most out of them. When looking for a new tool, it’s best to choose one with an easy set-up, and ideally with a few good tutorials to help ease you in.
Remember that hotel technology exists to make your life easier. That could mean saving you time, increasing your profits or eliminating mistakes. And if you follow these tips, trying out technology is something that doesn’t have to be costly or overwhelming – there will always be a solution out there for you.