Being a top-notch hotelier today requires agility, flexibility, quick 24/7 decision-making and unprecedented levels of responsiveness. As a result, the new reality is that hoteliers can no longer effectively operate their properties from just behind their desks.
Technology has revolutionized how hoteliers can efficiently conduct business whether on-property or off-site – with huge benefits for guests, staff and the bottom line. Easy-to-implement technology tools are significantly improving operations, allowing employees to deliver a near-flawless personalized customer experience. Not embracing the available technology is akin to missing opportunities to grow your business.
The on-the-go operations mindset is here to stay in hospitality. Here are four tips on how hoteliers can adapt to a mobile lifestyle.
Tip #1 – Welcome Property-Wide Automation
A decade ago, it would be hard to imagine the level of automation that could be implemented throughout a hotel. Fast-forward to the present day where hotels offer digital room keys so guests can bypass the front desk, in-room automation and voice-command technology to adjust lighting and thermostats, and much more.
Automation drives convenience and seamless operations. It frees up hotel staff, so they can focus on elevating the guest experience, which helps cultivate valued customer loyalty.
Automation also encourages strategic decision-making. An automated revenue management system (RMS) from an industry leader like IDeaS Revenue Solutions understands the benefits of remote accessibility. From a smartphone, tablet or desktop, RMS-enabled hoteliers can manage pricing changes to optimize rates and availability, identify opportunities to influence purchases at the point of decision-making, and improve market segmentation mix.
Tip #2 – Embrace Cloud-Based Solutions
Achieving operations excellence and bolstering profitability while on the move is at a tipping point in hospitality. Cloud-based PMS and mobile POS solutions are transforming the way modern-day mobile hoteliers conduct business thanks to the technology’s vast functionality, empowering hotel managers and employees to make smart choices and serve guests better.
With a cloud-based PMS, hoteliers can use their smartphones or tablets at any time, from anywhere with an Internet connection, to monitor front-desk and housekeeping operations, swiftly make decisions, and handle guest and labor issues. There’s no more rushing back to the office for every situation that arises. A cloud-based PMS also means hoteliers can enhance revenue management capabilities beyond changing rates – they can leverage data on the go and react quickly to market fluctuations. IDeaS’ advanced revenue management solutions are designed to leverage all that data now in the cloud to increase profits and strengthen a hotel’s competitive advantage.
Continuing to gain ground, mobile POS systems drive extended on-property services – think guests ordering at the pool bar, poolside or from the beach – and the result is an increased number of transactions, yielding higher profitability and guest satisfaction.
Tip #3 – Look to the Potential of AI & IoT
While Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) may seem futuristic, in hospitality they are best viewed as a form of assistance that guests increasingly expect.
Guests can leverage AI-powered technology to get information from an e-concierge via their smartphone, use voice-activated chat apps or messaging apps to order breakfast, book spa services or secure a taxi, and have real-time conversations with staff about problems or requests. Communication can also be two-way – for example, hotels can e-mail guests to inquire about check-in times to ensure accommodations are ready and to provide enhanced personalized service upon arrival.
Hotel companies are exploring the possibilities of IoT-connected rooms (lights, thermostats, televisions and other products) with voice-assistant tools (like Amazon Echo) to bring the technology consumers already use at home into their travel and lodging experiences.
Tip #4 – Encourage Team Members to Be & Use Mobile
Operating on the go is already how many of us manage our personal lives. Adapting to the power of mobility means giving team members the ability to be mobile at work, so they can focus on service delivery.
Staff don’t have to stay in a fixed position, such as behind the front desk, meaning they can interact with guests in a more personal way and ultimately do more for customers. Mobile check-in/check-out, mobile payments and other automated services save employees time, allowing them to focus on the guest experience.
A more-mobile environment encourages better communication between departments. For example, front desk and housekeeping teams can liaise in real-time about guest arrivals and room readiness to optimize department efficiency. Mobile technology tools can even help train staff on their job responsibilities, which can increase team accountability and boost morale, resulting in less employee turnover.
By harnessing the latest technology tools, hoteliers can most effectively manage their properties from anywhere. The depth of this mobile functionality can rejuvenate and strengthen hotel operations and meet customer needs instantly – successfully fueling revenue growth without sacrificing the quality of the hotel stay. Being on the go is a way of life, and hoteliers who embrace the mobile lifestyle are best poised to enrich a property’s performance.