Whether you have a small hospitality property or a large chain of hotels, there are some things the entire hospitality industry has in common. Customer service is key, employee retention is important, and hotel management solutions need to address a quickly-changing changing digital world. Having the right hotel property management system is an important way of advancing and satisfying customers. Such a system can also be key to employee retention by taking some of the most difficult burdens off your employees’ shoulders and lowering their stress.
Why Do You Need One?
If you are a small property, your ability to grow is limited by your technology. Using a reservation book, an isolated reservation software program, or even Excel spreadsheets may be enough for now, but it does not allow you to expand and grow. It also increases the amount of time that you spend interacting with online booking agencies and social media accounts and decreases your efficiency across the board.
What Does a Hotel Property Management System Do?
Different systems will have different specific features, but all hospitality software companies are trying to solve very similar problems. Thus most management systems are designed to give a property the tools it needs to be completely organized so that everything runs seamlessly from booking to check out and beyond. The hotel property management system should save you time as well as increase revenue. Here is some of what you can expect:
- Management of all the sales channels Without an organized system, you could end up with double bookings and lost revenue. A hotel property management system should manage all of your channels at one time, including online travel agents, booking websites, and even social media sites. They should all be seamlessly integrated with live availability updates which you can check and manage from one place.
- Manage guest communications. Before your guests arrive, you want to send them emails. After they’ve gone you want to remind them to leave a positive review. You need a way to let guests know that you’re still expecting them that their special requests have been noted. You want to be alerted to any negative reviews so that you can respond immediately. A hotel property management system integrates all of this and automates as much of it is possible. This is key to providing customers with an excellent experience, and research has shown that 96% of consumers who have to expend what they considered to be a high effort with the company are likely to be disloyal. Another study found that 86% of customers stop doing business with a company in 2011 because they had a bad customer experience.
- Provide front desk management. A hotel property management system can let you see all your reservations, add new plans and rates, close out specific rooms as needed, check guests in and out, quickly provide invoices, alert you to the preferences of returning guests, and even take incoming requests from guests and pass it on to your staff. In fact, an excellent automated management system can make it much easier for your staff to know what’s going on, communicate with one another, and satisfy customer needs. This means more satisfied customers as well as more satisfied staff.
- Allow you to measure your progress and improve. When everything is contained in one system you can easily find out how many direct bookings you’re getting, what your occupancy rate is, which of your promotions have worked and not worked, or which booking sites are performing well for you. This and other information allows you to improve your bottom line and use your budget more effectively.
Many of the biggest hotel chains have long been using hotel management software. This year, 75% of travelers are planning at least one weekend getaway for the winter. If you have a smaller property, it’s time you took advantage of the latest trends in hotel industry technology and used them to your advantage. Grab those travelers, provide them with an excellent experience, and increase your revenue.