How a modern POS enhances guest experiences

The integration of POS systems with hotel management software is a game-changer, streamlining operations and elevating guest experiences. This synergy ensures a smooth data flow between systems, leading to fewer errors and more efficient operations, according to Laura Calin, global VP of hospitality strategy and solutions management at Oracle Hospitality. Key benefits include:

  • Streamlined operations: Automatic synchronization of data such as guest orders and inventory minimizes manual input and operational hiccups.
  • Enhanced guest experience: Shared information across departments allows for personalized services, such as acknowledging dietary preferences for a customized dining experience.
  • Real-time reporting and analytics: A unified view of sales trends and customer behaviors aids in strategic decision making.
  • Centralized management: A consolidated platform for managing reservations and analyzing performance metrics fosters better control across hotel departments.

"Integration of POS systems with the property-management system is essential for optimizing hotel operations. This seamless integration streamlines the process of managing charges on the property, contributing to an enhanced guest experience," said Gabriella Alverio Albors, marketing manager, Americas, Shiji. "By eliminating billing and reporting inaccuracies, the integration ensures a more efficient and accurate financial transaction process. Moreover, the integrated system empowers operators to analyze guest data and spending patterns more precisely, facilitating informed and analytical decision making."

There are also different types of POS tools, including mobile, kiosk, and terminal or desktop, according to Cloudbeds. The company, which offers integrated hotel tech solutions and systems, advised on what hoteliers should look for from their POS. First, the POS should seamlessly integrate with the property management system. It should also offer inventory management, payment processing, reporting features, data protection and loyalty tools.

Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, are an important part of ensuring data exchange between these systems, she added. "Integrating POS systems with existing hotel management software allows hotels to deliver a more efficient, personalized and streamlined guest experience while optimizing internal operations," Calin said. "This in turn can help improve productivity, enhance guest satisfaction and drive overall business success."

Increasing Loyalty

A modern POS has the power to increase guest loyalty, Calin said. For example, the POS should give diners the ability to enroll in loyalty programs so that they can earn and use points while staying at the hotel and vice versa. "It should be able to integrate with a PMS loyalty engagement platform, so that they can together supercharge a hotel’s customer rewards," she said.

Such a system should enable hoteliers to extend customer relationships beyond the point of transaction. The platform should capture data every time a guest engages with a brand. Then, the system can build out a full 360-degree profile that can be used to personalize offerings. That can then lead to an increase in profitability and help to strengthen guest relationships and customer retention.

"This means that, contrary to older reward systems that may force customers to download specific apps, hotels can now access a guest’s reward profile right in the POS system application to make personalized offers, redeem rewards, and more, in an instant," Calin said.

That immediate access to that data is invaluable, she added. "With the ability to see preferences for a quiet table or acknowledging it is the guest's 20th stay at the hotel, we can stop asking the patron if they are celebrating a special occasion, as staff already has seamless access to those key details that make all the difference."

Centralized Operations

Additionally, a centralized technology platform that includes a POS system empowers the front desk to quickly respond to guest questions and concerns. For example, if a guest dined at the hotel restaurant the night before and has a question about their bill, the team member could instantly pull that bill up and answer questions right there without needing to return to the restaurant.

"These kinds of conveniences can save precious time, and add that extra special touch that keeps guests returning again and again," Calin said.

What's more, a modern cloud POS gives hoteliers real-time access to analytics and reporting data. "A brand's POS system should be integrated with a property management solution and loyalty and engagement platform so that hotel employees can get a 360-degree view of every guest staying in every room," Calin said.

Alverio Albors agreed. "POS systems equipped with advanced analytics tools provide valuable insights into various aspects of the business. A robust data mining tool allows for in-depth exploration of metrics such as product sales, guest spending, day-part patterns, and employee productivity," she said. "The key to effective decision making lies in the ability to swiftly aggregate this data across different revenue outlets and properties."

Once fully integrated, team members will be able to act on these rich data insights. They can then deliver personalized guest experiences, maximize profitability and encourage loyalty. Calin said that this will also give a hotel insight into which rooms are most popular, what upsell opportunities guests are responding to most enthusiastically and more.