According to a Walker study, by the year 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Studies validate that dynamic shifts in the hotel industry are taking place in 2018 – with the dominance of digital and mobile.
It is safe to say that hotel success and technology go hand in hand and hotels must step up their “technological game” if they hope to differentiate themselves and engage with guests. Being ahead of the curve will not only increase your profits, doing something new will get you extra exposure, drive loyalty and bring in new guests.
Explore the top 10 must-have technologies below to determine if your hotel technology is leading, competitive or lagging.
Gartner predicts that by 2020 a customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human, so make sure to give your guests the direction and tools they need to accomplish tasks themselves. Topping that list for the hotel industry is mobile and self-service check-in and check-out options (via mobile and lobby stations). Self-service, if done correctly, allows hotels to operate much more efficiently while at the same time providing guests with an experience that they are comfortable with. Look for an advanced cloud-based PMS with useful functions to enable self-service options such as check-in/out, mobile room service requests, late check-out requests, extended bookings, and so on.
2. Cybersecurity & Compliance
Your hotel data may be at risk of cyber-attacks if you rely on unsecured technology. With the rise of the Internet of Things and the increased usage of online tools, cyber-attacks have become more frequent and prevalent. As the enforcement deadline for GDPR looms closer, it is imperative that hotels upgrade their data protection processes, or they face the risk of significant financial penalties. Hotels accepting credit card payments must already be compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Hotels should invest in cybersecurity technology but also provide their staff with appropriate training programs. A cloud-based PMS can be more secure than an on-premise based platform because it takes liability away from the hotel by using tokenization with ongoing updates and latest encryption included as part of the SaaS service agreement.
3. Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
In addition to an explosion of mobile apps to track loyalty points, streamline check-in and open doors, more hotels now offer virtual reality to preview their property. Virtual reality provides an immersive experience that inspires real-world action which translates into real revenue. While big brands may use expensive connected glasses or mounted headsets, many hotels rely on proprietary apps, smartphones and search engines to do the heavy lifting. Virtual reality is rising in popularity, so hotels looking to attract millennials and younger generations in the years to come need to get on board sooner rather than later.
About the Author:
Jos Schaap, CEO – Founder of StayNTouch
Jos has a 20+ year track record in hotel software technology. He began StayNTouch with the vision of re-inventing the hotel PMS technology; making it simple, mobile and transitioning the software to the cloud. Prior to StayNTouch, Jos spent 17 years at MICROS Systems Inc. (Now Oracle Hospitality), as a Senior Vice President in charge of global product development and strategy for the Lodging and eCommerce divisions. During his tenure, MICROS’ hospitality products became the global market leader growing the company’s revenues from less than $300 million to $1.1 billion. Jos was responsible for introducing a number of new products enabling MICROS to enter all hospitality segments from limited to full-service hotels. Connect with Jos on linkedin.com/in/josschaap.
StayNTouch is a “Software as a Service” hotel property management systems (PMS) company focused on developing solutions that help hotels raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately change the way hotels can captivate their guests. Developed with mobility in mind, the pioneering platform enables hotels to create long lasting relationships with their guests by delivering personalized service levels that today’s guests require. StayNTouch operates on tablets and smartphones, empowering hotel employees to go above and beyond in exceeding guest expectations at every touch point.
Powering over 85,000 rooms globally, our game-changing solution frees hotels from the constraints of legacy or premise systems, dramatically streamlines operations, increases margins, and revolutionizes how front-line staff connect with guests. StayNTouch is a trusted partner to many of the most forward thinking hotels, resorts, casinos and chains in the industry, including Yotel, Zoku Amsterdam, Valencia Hotels, The Freehand Hotels, First Hotels, Modus hotels and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
To learn more watch our video “THE NEW WAY… TO HOTEL!”