The Potential for a New Beginning
Now is the time of year when people look at the past year and take stock of where they are relative to where they planned to be. It is a time to take an honest look at yourself, your flaws, and make a commitment to be a better version of yourself. A version ready to take on the future.
One of the most evident flaws in the hospitality industry is an aversion to fully incorporating technology into a property’s operations. This reluctance is based on the notion that because the industry is about face-to-face human connections, technology is antithetical to this goal. Like most flaws, it is based on preconceived ideas, an unwillingness to change, or uncertainty of what needs to be done to change.
To illustrate how technology can strengthen hospitality for your guests, here are three technology-based resolutions for your property for the new year.
Resolution 1: Resolve to Eliminate Excess and Strengthen Relationships – Streamlining Operations with an Integrated Hospitality Solution
Too much food, too much shopping, and too much TV can adversely affect our relationships with others. In hospitality, too many software solutions on the back-end of your property can hurt your relationship with guests.
Many resolutions made at the beginning of the year revolve around removing excesses from our lives and strengthening relationships. In hospitality, the excess of software solutions on the back-end of your property hurts your relationships with your guests.
Consolidating the many software solutions and creating an integrated hospitality solution allows for the seamless transfer of information and a single guest profile to be used across the property. A single guest profile:
- means guest information only needs to be entered once, reducing the cost of labor and risk of mistypes
- allows for bookings across a property to be synched so that one employee can book a guest anywhere, and the chance of a guest being double-booked is eliminated
- ensures notes on a guest (allergies, food preferences, sports injuries, etc.) are visible in every area of the property, allowing staff to provide more personalized service to the guest
- allows guests booking themselves to be possible/done easier
Resolution 2: Resolve to Go Out of Your Way to Help Others – Empowering Guests to Enhance their Experiences
This time of year, people often look at how fortunate they are and resolve to help improve the lives of others in the coming year. Hospitality professionals are known for going above and beyond, giving of themselves for the benefit of their guests. That used to mean going above and beyond to plan every aspect of a guest’s stay, booking everything from dining reservations and tee times to spa treatments and activities to ensure they had a memorable stay. Now, guests want the ability to make those bookings themselves to create a custom experience. If your property wants to go above and beyond to help your guests, you need to provide them with the ability to book everything your property has to offer themselves.
The primary tool for allowing guests to book their stay is an online booking engine. While the online booking engine is necessary so guests can customize their stay, it is also a tool you can use to help the guest enjoy their stay more. While your guest may know what they want to book, you can use the booking engine to suggest add-ons that will help enhance their stay. When a guest books a room, you can recommend a fruit or wine tray for their room when they arrive. When your guest books a golf tee time, you can suggest a lesson with a golf pro to help with an area of their game. These simple suggestions help a guest personalize their experience.
On your property, a property-branded mobile app gives a guest even more of the control they desire. Your app lets a guest manage their own check-in, fill out health forms, view their itinerary, access their room with a digital key, and book spa, dining, golf, and activities, and the ability to shake your phone to generate a barcode. An app also provides guests the ability to shake their phone to generate a barcode that can be scanned to charge to their room, member account, or on file credit card (shake-to-pay). By giving your guest more control with your app, you also free staff from administrative tasks so they can focus more on the guest and the quality of their stay.
“IF YOUR PROPERTY WANTS TO GO ABOVE AND BEYOND TO HELP YOUR GUESTS, YOU NEED TO PROVIDE THEM WITH THE ABILITY TO BOOK EVERYTHING YOUR PROPERTY HAS TO OFFER THEMSELVES. “
Resolution 3: Resolve to Celebrate Your Strengths – Accentuating What Makes You Exceptional
With so much focus on fixing our flaws and weaknesses, we often forget to celebrate our strengths. With pressure to retain guests, your property may be more focused on offering something new each year than on reminding guests what you do better than others. Technology helps you stay top of mind with your guests after a visit, reminding them what attracted them to your property.
Marketing software, integrated with your hospitality software, allows you to stay in contact with guests by emailing them quality, targeted content specific to what makes your property exceptional. If your guests visit because of the quality of your wellness program, send them tips on healthy living and videos on mindfulness. If your property is known for its breathtaking hiking trails, send your guests exercises for staying in shape and reviews on hiking gear. You can also send guests targeted offers based on how they use your property. Not all this content needs to be created from scratch, but it should represent your brand and what makes you exceptional.
Resolving to Change
While people have no problem making resolutions, they have trouble keeping them. Most New Year’s resolutions fail in the first month. If you are serious about keeping your (technology) resolution, you need a solid plan, be prepared to stick it out through adversity, and have a support network to help you succeed. Your hospitality solutions provider can support you in keeping your 2022 resolutions. Reach out to learn how they can help you eliminate excess, help you help your guests, and accentuate what makes your property exceptional.
About the author
Frank brings a wealth of professional and personal experience to his role as Vice President, Strategy at Agilysys. Previously the Founder & CEO of ResortSuite, he has advised Fortune 1000 companies regarding the strategic use of technology to help them achieve organizational objectives, and has worked at top international management consulting firms including, Ernst & Young, USoft (Unisys), and MERANT.
Combining his knowledge of the hospitality field with his background in enterprise technology, Frank founded ResortSuite, establishing a position as a leading provider of true integrated, guest-centric, hospitality and leisure management technologies including hotel/resort, club, golf and spa software. Frank has served the past 13 years on the ISPA Board of Directors and currently serves as Chairman of the ISPA Foundation. Frank is an enthusiastic speaker and presents regularly at prominent industry events and forums. For more information on ResortSuite and property-branded apps, www.agilysys.com