Hotel property managers and owners understand better than most that there’s always room for improvement. Every empty room is a missed opportunity, and every less-than-satisfied customer carries the potential to spread negative stories about your property in their pocket. If your hotel isn’t at 100% occupancy every day and your customer service ratings aren’t five stars across the board, it’s high time to find ways to get better.
Even if you didn’t subscribe to the theory that full occupancy is always possible, there’s a simple fact to consider. Any hotel that isn’t working on getting better is stagnating and today’s tech-savvy customers won’t put up with outdated experiences for long.
Any property that isn’t constantly working to bolster their guests’ experience is on the way out. Luckily, it’s never been easier to know what guests want and apply fixes that will take your hotel to the next level.
Modern hotel management software can help to automate processes that would previously need to be handled by a team member. Using advances in property management software in your favor can free up team members to handle questions, concerns, and requirements of guests. A liberated team can respond quickly to any problems that might arise and, while some technological advances might fall under bells, whistles, or other such flash, guests will always notice when their queries are handled quickly.
Your guests are booking and interacting with the hotel through present-day devices. You need a system that comes from the same era if you want to keep up. Updating your hotel property management system to accommodate the instantaneous desires of a connected customer base is more than a way to be future-forward at this point, it’s practically required.
Today’s guests want the freedom to check themselves in, the ability to check on their reservations without having to consult with a desk agent, and even the ability to request housekeeping on their own via their phones and other devices. Guests expect to be able to book, check-in, and contact staff on their smartphones and without mobile-enabled services on the back and front-end, customers are being pushed away before the reservation is even made.
Beyond that, updated software can help manage rates and figure out the rates that will maximize your profits and occupancy rates in equal measure. In a recent report for Software Advice, Scott Sussman of Princeton’s Peacock Inn explained how new software allows hoteliers to move away from last-minute figuring and scratch pad math rates.
“[Software offers] organization not just for today and tomorrow, but for months ahead,” he explains. “It gives you the ability to handle rates and see what’s coming up.”
Today’s guests don’t like feeling like they are part of a depersonalized process, even if they expect every room to be tidy in a way that suggests a larger operational scale. Thankfully, customers are willing to give up more information about themselves than ever before, allowing staff to make minor tweaks in the process to make the customer feel they have been given special treatment.
Meeting the customer on the platforms where they already congregate is an excellent, low- or even no-cost way to make them feel like their needs have been heard and are being addressed. Responding to guest inquiries quickly on social media is a great way to get their stay started on a positive note.
Customized booking forms are another way to invite guests to share information before their stay. This provided information can be leveraged to ensure that everything about their trip goes swimmingly. With the right property management system, return guests likes and dislikes can be properly cataloged for future stays, with the ability to offer them rooms, activities, or other such add-ons that will best fit their taste.
Training your staff is not a one-time thing. While the onboarding process is a key part of any successful property, the training process has to continue regularly. Frequent training allows property managers and team members alike to talk about what is new in the world of hotel management, call out pain points and areas that might need improvement, and work on new and exciting ways to improve the guest experience.
Hotel management strategies and software are constantly evolving, typically about a half-step behind the demands of the most frequent travelers. Training frequently to meet the ever-increasing demands is, therefore, a necessity. Not to mention, the sessions make a great forum for team members to raise ideas about how to better serve future guests. After all, they interact with them on a daily basis and see where guests’ needs aren’t being met. Any property that can ease those concerns first will be well ahead of their competitors in both mindset and bookings.
The line that runs through all of these suggestions is the quintessential one that all successful endeavors have in common: evolution. Successful businesses need to align themselves with vendors, management systems, and team members who are willing to shift with the times. As such, there isn’t a next level for your hotel to reach but rather a summitt your staff should always be climbing.
That might sound like a strain but, trust us: customers notice the extra effort. And it’s considerably easier if you use a PMS that was built with flexibility, growth and ease-of-use in mind.