“All the world's a stage,” Shakespeare famously wrote, “and all the men and women merely players”. In many respects, Guest Experience Management is strikingly similar to a stage production. To bring each scene to life, the cast and crew — and, also, the set design and technology — need to come together in a highly-orchestrated manner.
Today, upwards of 95 per cent of people look to online review sites when making travel plans and before booking their hotel stays. Those who don't read the reviews are apt to rely on the ratings systems to make their selections. According to estimates, a one-star increase in a hotel’s rating can translate into a 10 per cent increase in bookings and revenue.
Leading hotels have always sought to handle the deluge of guest requests in a satisfactory and time-sensitive manner. The challenge today lies in the fact that guests expect ever-faster responses and ever-better service quality. They also expect a vast array of options for communicating their requests. Hoteliers, in turn, need to meet these expectations. And because the frontier on guest experience management continues to advance, they also need to ensure that they are driving optimal performance improvement on an ongoing basis.
What considerations should hoteliers keep in mind when researching technology solutions in the context of guest experience management? The most important buying consideration may be, simply, the degree to which the hotel can automate the core functions that impact the quality of the guest experience, which, in reality, is practically all of them.
Most hoteliers view revenue management as a strategic imperative, given the opportunity to improve the financial performance. That said, it is important to note that revenue management can take many different forms, some of which are far more sophisticated — and effective — than others.
A celebrated physicist once famously remarked that prediction can be very difficult, especially when it's about the future. That certainly applies to forecasting demand for hotel guest rooms. With the advent of next-generation revenue management capabilities, however, predicting the future has become a lot easier, more accurate and more profitable.
Property management solutions (PMS) account for the largest portion of the budget for hotel technology investments, according to The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems. It’s no surprise, then, that PMS solution providers are continuously enhancing their platform capabilities.
To the extent that it enables multiple guest-facing activities while capturing and storing guest profile data every step of the way, a next-generation property management system (PMS) can play a critical role in enhancing the guest experience.
The scope of the platform capabilities has expanded beyond core functions like guest registration, room inventory maintenance, financial accounting and housekeeping assignment to encompassing virtually all aspects of hotel operations.
As they have a profound impact on hotel operations, guest satisfaction, revenue growth and overall profitability, here are some of the questions that hoteliers should explore with POS solution providers before they invest.