For many hoteliers, investing in new technology is a risky proposition. And, if you’re afraid of the unknown, it might be tough to take that step. Investing in new technology, such as a hotel management system, might often seem daunting. According to research, 24% of hoteliers aim to use hotel management software and other hotel technology tools to improve the guest experience, 18% to improve profits, 16% to future proof the hotel, and 15% to gain a competitive advantage. And with the right hotel stack, you can do all that and more with the focus on the RIGHT hotel stack. And for that, you must ensure that your hotel technology investment simplifies processes and/or generates income, resulting in a positive return on investment.
In this blog, we will talk about all the things you must take care of before investing in a hotel management solution for it to bring you true benefits. The ultimate goal is to make the best decision for your business—because it’s not always easy to revert once the implementation process starts. That’s why we’ve outlined the top six essential questions you need to ask a hospitality software company before you sign any contract.
1. What kind of infrastructure and bandwidth will your hotel need for the particular technology?
Make sure you have the network architecture and capacity in place before implementing hotel technology solutions. Quite frequently, businesses try to take on more than they can handle by implementing technology that their network can’t handle. It’s possible that faulty network infrastructure, such as the WiFi system, is preventing full usage of a new hotel management system rather than the solutions themselves. So, before you try to set up your new technology, make sure you have enough bandwidth to manage system traffic and enough WiFi to meet your guests’ demands. You could need to upgrade your network equipment, or you might just need to address a specific issue. If you ensure you have the proper IT infrastructure in place beforehand, the implementation process will go far more smoothly. The installation process will go much more easily if you make sure you have the right IT infrastructure in place first. Besides, guests love fast WiFi and well-planned network infrastructure, 90% of millennials connect to the hotel WiFi, so you can never go wrong with this.
2. Integrated technology or Siloed tools?
The greatest method to ensure that your technology isn’t squandered or obsolete in a few years, both short and long term, is to prioritise new technology that interacts with what you currently have. Throwing money at a platform or product that won’t integrate with your existing systems is the quickest (and frequently most prevalent) way to lose money in hotel technology. When it’s time to use a new hotel management system, make sure it’ll work with the technology you already have.
3. Will the hotel technology tool help collect, analyze, and drive insights from guest data?
Understanding where tech trends are headed is essential for ensuring your hotel technology’s success, not just today, but in the long run. Data, especially data on guests’ experiences, is a top priority for the most sophisticated hospitality software company. To stay competitive, it will be vital to track and act on guest preferences to provide a more personalized experience for them and more money for the hotel. As a result, be sure that the hospitality technology you choose for your property is capable of collecting required customer data, analyzing it, and providing you with insights that will help you increase visitor engagement and experience.
4. How user-friendly are the hotel tech tools? Will your staff be able to utilize them easily?
Recruitment is one of the most important aspects of the hospitality industry today. Many jobs have been lost in the business as a result of layoffs or people opting to quit. It will be tough to reclaim some of that knowledge. Keeping that in mind, you’ll waste much more time if you have to teach a new user for weeks or months how to utilize a piece of technology as compared to upskilling an existing employee. The solution you chose should be simple to use so that teams can be up and running fast, which is crucial for transition success.
5. Does the hospitality software company help you with onboarding and offer continued support?
It helps to know that the hospitality software company you’re considering has your back and is quite transparent with its communication. The easiest way to do that is to get reviews from other users and customers. Also, search for a good provider that will assist you with using the tool and exploring the depths of the feature in a way that your entire team understands. A strong IT partner will also always be looking for ways to improve your experience. Make sure to regularly inquire about how the service provider gathers and responds to your comments.
6. Most importantly, will the hotel management system help you enhance the guest experience?
Hotel customers aren’t just seeking a place to stay; they’re also looking for an experience. When it comes to microtransactions and upgrade purchases, the expectations your visitors have when they arrive at your hotel are what sell your property. Hotel management systems with self-service features, such as mobile guest check-in, digital room keys, and the opportunity to pick the amount of access they want with personnel, are what modern travelers and hoteliers love. Your technology should help you achieve this balance by providing a platform that helps your employees feel present and accessible. You may provide this guest experience by allowing your visitors to use a personal or smart-room device to request services, check up on property information, book treatments, order meals, and more through hotel technology.
In your search for new tech, be sure to consider solutions that simplify and automate. As the pandemic continues and travel recovery begins, the difficulties that the hospitality sector is facing today—such as a labor shortage and unexpected demand—will continue to be a headwind. First and foremost, the technology you invest in should function for you and make your job simpler.
Beyond that, you’ll want to work with a hospitality software company that isn’t hesitant to try new things. The finest and brightest will make your life simpler now, but they will also try to remain ahead of the curve tomorrow, resolving difficulties that aren’t yet visible. Seek the providers who never stop innovating.