Buyers of hotel management software reveal what they want most

A majority of small to medium properties that are in the market for new hotel management software are seeking reservation and online booking capabilities in the new tools, according to a survey of 385 hotel management software shoppers that was done by Software Advice.

Online booking capabilities is a feature that buyers want. About 11 percent of mentions are for guest management features, which can help properties maintain information about guests to gain a better perspective of customer preferences and deliver a more personalized service experience. Since most of the buyers in our sample represent smaller, independent hotels, which commonly target niche guest segments, it follows that guest management features would be a popular request.

The reasons buyers gave for replacing an existing HMS are diverse. About 18 percent mention the need to update an older system that doesn’t operate quickly enough, or doesn’t function with newer hardware. Other common reasons include that their current software is missing necessary features (16 percent), such as online bookings or sales channel management, or that they simply need to improve efficiency (15 percent).

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Other reasons current users are seeking to replace their software include bad experiences with customer support, dissatisfaction with the user interface or technical issues, such as glitches or program crashes. Finally, about 6 percent mention the desire to find a cheaper system, while a small minority cite the growth of their business.

While not a scientifically representative survey, the results are substantial enough to suggest trends in independent hotels looking for specific tools, such as real-time reservation data, online bookings, and guest management capabilities, reports Tnooz.

The survey found that very few (1 percent) are looking for software for a large hotel chain such as Hilton or Four Seasons, as these brands typically use corporate-mandated or proprietary software. Instead, one-quarter of the software buyers represent independent hotels (25 percent), with inns (15 percent) and resorts (14 percent) following close behind.

 

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