Hoteliers are constantly faced with decisions that dramatically impact guest satisfaction and overall profitability, so the choices a hotel makes about the company it keeps is increasingly crucial to a property’s reputation and bottom line. This is particularly important when evaluating who to partner with on technology offerings, as top-notch, seamlessly running technology is essential to operational success. To make the right pick, what are the top four things that hoteliers should consider when assessing the many technology vendors in the market vying for their business?
#1 – How attuned is the vendor to consumers’ ever-evolving demands?
The trends of the future might not be known yet, but hotels will be expected to swiftly respond since staying abreast of consumers’ ever-changing habits is fundamental to meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
Opt for a technology vendor who recognizes the value of keeping up with guests’ evolving demands. When determining the right partner to select, ask if the vendor conducts their own research or has access to research on consumer behaviors. Are they able to work with you on choosing the right technology for your guests based on demographics and geographics? Flexibility is key – are the vendor’s solutions adaptable to shifts in consumer behavior? These days, consumers crave customization, contactless solutions, quick and seamless connectivity, access on their own terms, and so much more – how does the vendor rate on these offerings? Ensure that this core component of a vendor’s philosophy matches with the hotel’s viewpoint.
#2 – Is the vendor on the pulse of technology innovation?
Smart technology solutions can powerfully elevate the guest experience. Look for a vendor who is in-the-know about the latest technology innovations and leverages this knowledge to develop cutting-edge solutions that ultimately benefit the guest and keep them coming back time and time again.
Work with a trusted partner that also has a forward-thinking mindset – whether those innovations relate to features that can improve wireless connectivity, contactless interactions, in-room entertainment, mobile remotes, and smart room controls; build/manage/deploy cloud video surveillance; improve functioning of a back-end portal to help better manage properties in real-time with quick data access; and avoid haphazard deployment of a platform or security and privacy flaws.
World Cinema Inc. offers WorldVue™, an in-room entertainment platform featuring innovative hotel technology and entertainment services, which help hotels digitally transform their property and maximize revenue opportunities; through the WorldVue platform, guests have access to in-room concierge services where they can order room service, more towels or even book a spa appointment, a mobile remote feature, and popular streaming apps and casting. WCI also has ImpruviX, which uses existing infrastructure and ubiquitous Wi-Fi coverage to provide guests with secure and high-bandwidth access; ImpruviX builds and deploys environmental monitoring systems to promote smart buying decisions and save the property money.
#3 – How does the vendor handle customer service?
Hospitality is a people-centric business. Seek out a provider who shares that same mindset for the technology vendor-client relationship.
Impeccable customer service is king, so align with a vendor who is extremely responsive and understands the workings of the hospitality business. Exceptional high-touch service is an important attribute of a high-tech vendor, which makes of prime importance how a vendor’s support staff engages with the hotel team. Ask if a hotel will have a dedicated account manager, if the vendor’s support team is comprised of hospitality specialists, and if they provide 24/7 support. Operating a hotel is a round-the-clock business, and the customer support needs to match that clock.
“It’s important for hoteliers to choose a trusted technology partner who will not cut corners, offer inferior products, or employ under-qualified staff,” said Tommy Fatjo, President of World Cinema Inc. “Hoteliers should focus on choosing a partner who has a deep understanding of the industry and always puts the customer’s needs first, which is why WCI has a full-service in-house Customer Care Center based in our Houston headquarters 24/7/365. WCI’s proactive remote monitoring with every property ensures a secure network connection and provides relentless service hotels and guests deserve.”
#4 – Does the vendor offer customizable solutions?
There’s no one size fits all approach – work with a vendor who doesn’t try to fit a hotel into a template. Given that properties comes in all shapes and sizes, the optimum vendor should deliver customized solutions based on a hotel’s individual needs and budget.
Seek out vendors whose solutions are flexible and cost-effective and a company that effectively promotes smart buying decisions personalized to a hotel’s needs. Vendor integrity matters as well when determining capital spending – do a property need to spend on major purchases for the future (aligned with a hotel owner’s investment strategy) or is less spend possible to streamline smooth operations?
The ability of a vendor’s solution to scale accordingly should a hotel’s needs change is also crucial. Investing in technology solutions is a commitment that allows hoteliers to provide unique experiences to their guests and cater to evolving preferences – central to why customized solutions matter.