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Article by Jos Schaap

The New Era of Personalization: The Hyperconnected Guest Experience

StayNTouch Inc. 5 February 2019
With the onset of 2019, we've stumbled upon a rather interesting (albeit, integral) crossroads in the hospitality realm. As consumer technology continues to expand its influence and popular adoption across industries, brands are realizing mounting pressure to adapt to this new age of technological personalization and hyper-connectivity. Why? Because with heightened technology and uninhibited connection across platforms, comes higher stakes and those companies who fail to keep up are, simply put, at risk of being left behind. And rest assured, hotels are no different. Welcome, hoteliers, to the new era of personalization; better known as the hyperconnected guest experience. What Does Hyper-Connectivity Look Like? Consider this -- If the ideal hospitality environment is one which cultivates a "home away from home" experience, how can hotels expect to remain competitive if their guests have more advanced technology and/or enhanced comforts in their own home? Industry leaders agree-- "Personalization of the guest experience is the next frontier". Those hotels which find the most success in today's digital-savvy climate will be those which offer an experience that is equal parts high-touch service and high-tech offerings. Guest engagement and communications should be personalized and convenient, upgrades and upsells should be targeted and insight-driven, and technology should empower a seamless and hyper-connected guest experience. In fact, Aberdeen Group claims that companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omni-channel strategies. The digital realm has evolved at a rapid pace, from being a segment of the guest journey which hotels could choose to navigate for potential growth, to one which they absolutely have to occupy and utilize for effective guest connection. In fact, reports show that by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Further, the number of connected devices around the globe is expected to hit anywhere from 50 billion to a staggering one trillion in the next five years alone. With this in mind, hotels today have to find a way to connect with each individual guest (and their unique set of preferences) while communicating and engaging with said guest across various new channels and devices. Ultimately, embracing hyper-connectivity isn't a choice -- it is now a necessity. After all, the modern consumer interacts with brands from multiple devices, platforms and touch-points (desktop computers, mobile devices, iPads, smart watches, social media etc.) at any given time. In the case of hotels, this expectation remains the same -- hoteliers must remain privy to the increasing influence of non-traditional, virtual channels (while maintaining a high-level experience across traditional channels as well). If the modern guest transitions from physical to digital touch-points seamlessly in their day-to-day life, it's no surprise that they expect that same experience on hotel properties as well. Hoteliers must utilize modern technology to effectively anticipate, manage and, better yet, understand guest needs and expectations for each and every stay, and across every touch-point. The True Value of Exceptional Guest Service Studies show that a moderate improvement in customer experience (CX) would impact the revenue of a typical $1 billion company an average of $775 million over three years. Further, 67% of consumers say they will pay more for a great experience, while loyal customers are seven times as likely to test an offering, five times as likely to buy again and four times as likely to refer. Not only that, but 81% of consumers want brands to understand them better and know when and when not to approach them. Curating a personalized guest experience not only drives revenue, but it enhances guest loyalty and brand reputation. Ultimately, by offering a more personalized travel experience, hoteliers are able to establish a value-driven, long-term connection with each and every guest -- who are then far more likely to become advocates for their hotel. With travel and hospitality representing one of the most competitive industries on the planet, it becomes ever-important to capture (and maintain) guest attention and loyalty, all while increasing revenue, decreasing costs and streamlining operations. Leverage Technology The evolving demand for technology across hotel properties goes beyond satisfying guests by demonstrating an understanding of modern trends and convenience. What becomes more important is the opportunity which technology offers hoteliers in the way of a more personalized service offering. Emerging technological solutions open the door to data-backed insights and behavior, which help hoteliers generate a 360 degree view of each guest. In this sense, investing in technology allows hoteliers to better invest in their current and prospective guests. With the help of integrated, digital-savvy platforms (think mobile PMS and CRM software), hoteliers can access a dashboard with organized data from all channels, that not only curates a personalized view of each guest but also helps to offset operational load. With certain communications and touch-points going digital, guests are treated to a more efficient experience and staff are empowered to connect with guests on a more personal, memorable level. Further, these platforms can help to monitor social behavior and influence the lifetime value of current and prospective guests, collect data on industry trends, track purchase behavior, identify targeted upsell opportunities, measure performance, and ensure messages reach the right guests at the right time (and through the right channel). Embracing the Mobile Experience Embracing the demands of a hyper-connected world means embracing the demand for a mobile-centric experience. By the end of the year, mobile search will generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop search and by 2020 it's predicted that a customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without ever interacting with a human. When it comes to convenience and self-service, the mobile experience simply reigns supreme. Still not convinced?Consider this:83% of travelers find social media a top source of inspiration when browsing online70% of travelers who own smartphones use them to research travel60% of travelers won't go on holiday without their smartphones76% of travelers say their mobile devices are their number one travel accessories75% of Americans say that a week without Wi-Fi would leave them grumpier than a week without coffee84% of travelers want to be able to access information from anywhere in the world while they travelModern guests expect (and rather, need) an uninhibited travel experience that is largely defined by digital accessibility. Creating a mobile-centric booking experience, offering keyless entry through a mobile device, text-based communications, mobile concierge and more, hoteliers can curate a more connected and convenient stay for their guests. About Jos Schaap With a 20+ year track record in hotel software technology, Jos Schaap is a leading authority on how it can help to enhance the guest experience.Jos began StayNTouch with the vision of re-inventing hotel PMS technology; making it simple, mobile and transitioning the software to the cloud. StayNTouch was successfully sold to Shiji Group in September 2018 and Jos currently manages several business units for the Shiji Group while remaining CEO of StayNTouch.

Merging Art & Tech in Spokane: Ruby Hospitality Chooses StayNTouch's Cutting-Edge Mobile PMS

StayNTouch Inc. 29 January 2019
StayNTouch, a mobile hotel PMS technology provider revolutionizing the guest experience, is partnering with Ruby Hospitality to implement Rover PMS and Zest guest-facing solutions across all five of their Spokane, WA area properties.Ruby properties include the flagship Hotel Ruby, Hotel Ruby2, Ruby Sandpoint, the historic Montvale Hotel, and the newly acquired Ruby River Hotel. Ruby Hospitality's owner, Jerry Dicker, has been in real estate development for over 40 years. When he moved to Spokane, Jerry focused on redeveloping the historic downtown core of the city; an area he refers to as the "arts district". Using his love for art and theater, Jerry began renovating historic buildings including the revival of the famous Bing Crosby Theater. His endeavors soon led him to hotels with each project being meticulously designed to blend his love of art with the distinctive aesthetic of the property's surroundings. Jerry's projects emphasize innovation, smart designs, and most importantly, artistic vision.Dicker's management team chose StayNTouch because it fits closely with the company's mission, which is to deliver a unique high quality product with amazing service at a great value. "When guests arrive, we want them to focus on our hotel's unique decor and beautiful surroundings, not an outdated check-in process," said Patrick McLaughlin, the General Manager at the Ruby River. "StayNTouch's Mobile PMS gives our guests seamless self check-in options, while always keeping us in touch if they need us." Patrick also commented on Rover's back-of-the-house functionality "Organizing housekeeping with a clipboard can feel like spinning plates. But StayNTouch's housekeeping module lets us communicate with staff and check and room status in real time, which means quicker cleanup and fewer awkward interactions with our guests.""StayNTouch shares Ruby Hospitality's commitment to forward-thinking innovation," said Jos Schaap, CEO and Founder of StayNTouch, "Because our PMS operates discreetly on tablets and smartphones, it fits perfectly with the artistic vision Ruby Hospitality wants to inspire. By giving hoteliers the tools to more effectively communicate, and guests a choice in their method of check-in, we let travelers better immerse themselves in a truly one-of-a-kind hotel experience."About Ruby HospitalityLocated in Spokane, Washington Ruby Hospitality represents a regional collection of artfully crafted hotels, restaurants, theaters and event centers. We have a passion for hospitality and preservation, and strive to create unique spaces that offer value, comfort and service to all of our customers. For more information about Ruby Hospitality visit us at
Article by Jos Schaap

Online Ripple Effects: How Digital Tech Changes Guests' Offline/On-Property Expectations

StayNTouch Inc. 10 January 2019
Bill Gates was famously quoted saying "We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten." Over the last decade, we have witnessed a period of rapid technological evolution. Our world is, seemingly, in a constant state of digital advancement and change. Emerging tech has entered our households, changed the way we do business, and the way brands connect with consumers and ultimately altered the way in which we live. This is exciting, in many ways -- but continuous digital innovation comes with its own set of rules. From a business standpoint especially, industry leaders must remain privy to how increased digital opportunity inspires a subsequent increase in consumer expectations. Digital technology provides countless consumer touch-points -- far more than those which existed within the traditional consumer structure. Rather, with the nudge of technology, brands and leaders have forged a direct path to consumers, to connect with consumers in a genuine, effective and targeted manner. This shift becomes especially relevant within the hospitality realm, as our industry is built upon the consistent provision of exceptional experiences and the curation of guest-centric relationships. While digital applications help to effectively offset the operational load on staff (for those tasks which can be streamlined and do not require high-touch treatment), they also open the floodgates to an influx of new guest touch-points and expectations. In fact, studies show that 67% of customers say their standards for good experiences are higher than ever, but 51% of customers say most companies fall short of their expectations for great experiences. Not only are guests hyper-connected to their devices as they travel and engage with hotel properties, but they're spending a more significant portion of their travel experience 'connected' to their social network. So, what does this mean for hoteliers? How can the hospitality industry effectively react and adapt to these large-scale changes in the tech ecosystem and, in turn, meet and exceed evolving guest expectations both online and offline? Online Doesn't Mean Impersonal It's easy to assume that the effective optimization of processes within an online platform, mobile app or device means a blitz of hands-off, impersonal interactions. This isn't the case at all. Or at least, it shouldn't be. While technology helps to streamline processes in an effective, productive manner, the prioritization of a more efficient user experience shouldn't come at the expense of genuine customer service. Guests may prefer the mobile experience for the majority of their travel touch-points, but they are still human and, as such, expect human/personalized engagement delivered through the mobile and on-property journey. Digital technology should be leveraged across all aspects of guest engagement to create a humanized experience and showcase hoteliers' understanding of what guests value. In fact, according to studies, 76% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations and 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. As Kristin Smaby so eloquently states, "In an era when companies see online support as a way to shield themselves from 'costly' interactions with their customers, it's time to consider an entirely different approach: building human-centric customer service through great people and modern technology." If anything, the utilization of digital platforms should inspire heightened responsiveness and instant gratification; catering to this generation of travelers who expect 24/7, uninhibited access and convenience. Ultimately, the real potential of the digital guest journey can only be capitalized on when hoteliers recognize that digital tech should be utilized as a driver/conduit for exceptional and hyper-responsive guest service. So, when considering new technology for your property, ask yourself -- will this enhance my hotel's ability to connect with guests in a real, personalized manner? Will the implementation of this platform enable my staff to curate a more relevant, memorable in-person experience? Using Data Responsibly With big data, comes big responsibility. The demand for personalization has become notably paramount across industries, and especially within the hospitality realm. Recent research shows that 57% of consumers are willing to share personal data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts. However, the 2017 State of Personalization Report also states that just 22% of shoppers are satisfied with the level of personalization they currently receive. This, in itself, embodies the increasing responsibility associated with digital access -- if the use of online technology provides brands with a more direct line to their consumer, those consumers want to be heard and understood. The same concept applies to hotels. If the implementation of a progressive, tech-savvy operational model and/or native apps creates more new touch-points, hotels have increased access to valuable guest data and, as such, should be empowered to curate a more personalized experience. Guests expect a streamlined journey and, more importantly, targeted and relevant engagements with your hotel, before and after every stay, both online and offline. The Hybrid Service Advantage Regardless of available mobile technology, any guests' experience with your property will be comprised of online and offline interactions. Depending on each guests' specific set of unique expectations, they may prefer a high-touch, traditional experience, or appeal more to the low-touch, self-service experience. This represents an integral opportunity to hotels, as their guest service model can expand to cater to each guests' respective needs and preferred interaction model. Those travelers who are in a rush can rely on fast, efficient mobile or self-service experiences while those travelers who crave a more high-touch relationship can benefit from dedicated, genuine staff attention. This ensures that guests receive the care and level of service they expect, while hotel staff is empowered to effectively allocate their energy and resources to those touch-points which need it most. The continued emergence and widespread embrace of digital technological innovation marks an exciting era for hospitality. Hotels across the globe are continuously raising the bar in their adoption and understanding technology and its' impact on the guest experience. Not only is the guest service model changing and reaching new heights, but guests are implored to interact with your property in new ways across social media channels, apps, and on-property with self-service and immersive technology. Those hotels which effectively capitalize on this opportunity for an enhanced connection with modern guests are, undoubtedly, setting themselves up for success in 2019 and beyond.

StayNTouch Expands Globally Leveraging Local Shiji Offices In Munich, Singapore and Sydney

StayNTouch Inc. 15 November 2018
One of the fastest growing cloud-based PMS companies in the United States, StayNTouch was recently acquired by global hospitality software leader, Shiji Group. StayNTouch is growing its service and sales teams in line with Shiji's strategy to have a global infrastructure with strong local sales and support for all the Shiji products. The StayNTouch expansion will focus on continuing to support existing international brands such as First Hotels and independents such as Zoku, while growing their customer base exponentially."We recognize that the PMS is at the heart of a hotel's business," said Jos Schaap CEO of StayNTouch , "Leveraging Shiji's global support structure is an important step forward in bringing us closer to our customers in the EU and APac and bolstering our promise to exceptional service. When we provide exceptional service to hotels, it enhances the level of service they provide to their guests."To learn more about StayNTouch's product and service offerings, visit
Article by Jos Schaap

On-Demand Service and the Culture of Convenience: What Are Guests Really Looking For?

StayNTouch Inc. 8 November 2018
We aren't just living in a mobile age -- we are living in an 'on-demand' economy, and it is revolutionizing business models and the corresponding consumer experience across every industry. With digital platforms and apps empowering instant gratification, paired with efficient and intuitive technological properties to cater to a personalized and data-driven experience, the supply which meets the demand of customers is readily available, 24/7. The modern consumer has become accustomed to the ease of uninhibited access to messaging, e-mail, social media, e-commerce, and general online functionality through the use of their mobile device, tablet, laptops and more. Of course, with this access comes a learned preference for fast and convenient service. In fact, reports studying consumer behavior surrounding the adoption of online grocery shopping noted "convenience of delivery" as the primary motivator. Studies also show that 58% of consumers consider 'the ability to find what I want quickly and easily' as the most important factor that determined which brands win their business. Further, Harvard Business Review Centre notes that the number one factor in delivering a great customer experience is not delighting customers, but reducing their efforts. Consider this the 'culture of convenience.' This becomes especially apparent within the hospitality industry, as we witness the ways in which guest expectations are rapidly evolving with convenience and personalization as paramount factors to success. With this in mind, it's more important than ever before for hoteliers to focus on yielding to guest demands and desires for convenience and control, across every touch-point of service. Is Your Online Experience Accountable? According to Forrester, 66% of customers think that valuing their time is the most important element to consider to provide a good online customer service. Further, 53% of customers will abandon a mobile site that takes over 3 seconds to load, and for every second delay in mobile page load, conversions can fall by up to 20%. While digital platforms (PMS, CRM, apps, self-service kiosks and more) open a world of opportunity to connect with both current/prospective guests and provide immediate access, this can only be effective if the tools are virtually foolproof. Essentially, getting on board with the digital trend doesn't just mean buying into technology that almost or sometimes meets demand -- it needs to offer the complete experience to every guest, every time. If your property offers self-service kiosks, for example, is the platform user-friendly? Does it offer seamless load times and effective communications and prompts? Does your mobile check-in system work most of the time or all of the time? Does your PMS effectively empower your staff to offer guests the best possible experience? Ultimately, it is every hotelier's responsibility to effectively vet digital solutions and ensure they are investing in technology vendors that not only offer robust and tested platforms but on-going support and scalability. So, as a hotelier, ask yourself -- can you rely on the technology you have in place? And if not, what's missing? Because the ongoing curation of a reliable, seamless online guest experience will undoubtedly be integral to a hotel's success both now and in the future. Empower Your Guests With Choices No two guests are the same -- whether they are traveling for work or leisure, with family, on a wellness vacation or in town for an event --guest preferences and corresponding service expectations vary. As such, it's ever-important to offer guests a choice in service to ensure your service offering is entirely accountable to each individual guests' needs and expectations. While many guests may prefer the traditional, high-touch interaction with hotel staff at each touch-point of their stay, others may opt for a more low-touch, digital-forward experience. In fact, reports predict that by 2020, customers will manage 87% of their customer relationships without interacting with humans. So, while in-person engagement will never cease to be an integral part of the hospitality experience, the curation of a truly efficient and intuitive digital guest experience is equally paramount in the modern landscape. Find New Ways to Enhance Guest Experience s You can thank the likes of Uber, Lyft, and Amazon Prime for inspiring the on-demand economy. People expect not just information now, but the actual products and services too. Hotels must cater to how guests' demands are evolving to design fast, frictionless, mobile-centric experiences that engage today's increasingly impatient travelers. Considering that 80% of businesses believe they provide excellent customer service, but only 8% of customers agree, there is a significant disconnect between brands and their customers, and a missed opportunity to establish long-term loyalty. By increasing customer retention rates by just 5%, hotels can increase profits from 25% to 95%. Bottom line; guest service translates to revenue, and utilizing the power of intuitive digital platforms will enhance a hotels' ability to maximize that revenue opportunity. Leverage Technology That Drives HospitalityThe solution? Invest in a mobile hotel management system that offers mobile access and cross-departmental communications to enhance productivity, seamless interfaces to centralize guest data from all touchpoints, revenue-enhancing features like rate management, channel management, group management, and marketing capabilities like automated up-sells, integrated booking engine to drive direct bookings, and more. With data-backed insights making personalization easy and frictionless interactions while on the property, guests can trust in your hotel for a unique and memorable experience -- one that keeps them coming back time and time again.A recent study by H2C revealed that only 38% of respondents plan on staying with their current PMS strategy, with cloud solutions and integration (e.g., with CRM technology) as driving factors for a strategy shift. When asked about their biggest concerns with their existing PMS, 30% of respondents say lack of support from their PMS vendor, with more than half (57%) of hotel chains rating their PMS vendor as average or poor for their support services. When it comes to guests, only one-third (38%) said they could use the PMS in a 'guest-facing' way, be that managing bookings or letting them access hotel services.So how do you provide guests with what they want in the emerging era of on-demand service and the culture of convenience? Ultimately, by giving your staff the tools and technology they need to optimize services, which includes an innovative, modern PMS backed by a responsive support partnership, they can better provide your guests with everything they want, every stay, to keep them coming back! To learn more watch this complete mobile guest journey "THE NEW WAY... TO HOTEL!"
Article by Jos Schaap

How Technological Accountability Can Boost Guest Service

StayNTouch Inc. 24 October 2018
Ask any leader -- regardless of industry -- what they believe is the key to driving customer experience and exceeding consumer demands, and their answer will likely detail some form of technological transformation. We have long since entered the age of the customer, which means customer experience can now be earmarked as the defining factor in the creation of brand longevity and customer loyalty. In fact, according to recent studies, 74% of respondents believe that digital is reinventing the overall experience that they deliver to customers and improving digital channels is the top action being taken to improve customer experience. Amping up digital efforts allows companies to keep pace with modern consumers -- a realization which has settled across the hospitality industry with increasing weight. Guests, whether traveling for leisure or business, expect an easy, frictionless and ultimately personalized experience as they move from point A to point B. With this in mind, hotels have quickly begun to leverage innovative technology platforms to build out their operational ecosystem and advance their technological offerings to guests. Basically, hoteliers finally realize the importance of technological accountability; which can be divided into three primary pillars: 1. Technological Accountability: API's and Interfaces 2. Service & Support Accountability: Ensuring that technology providers work together and don't point fingers when interfaces drop and offer responsive support and service for their solutions 3. Guest Service Accountability: If the technology breaks, the guest service ecosystem breaks downIs Your Hotel Accountable? Ultimately, all technological accountability, whether derived from the actual product not working (an interface not functioning, Wi-Fi speeds too slow or check-in/check-out systems failing), can and will affect guest service. This is where the notion of guest service accountability comes from. In order to provide exceptional guest service, hoteliers have to account for their everyday business actions and decisions. These are what make up and support their brand promise to each guest. Are wait times minimized and check-in/out processes streamlined? Are staff members engaged and creating unique, personalized experiences? Is the hotel mobile app working seamlessly? Are guests receiving relevant offers on their preferred devices based on their purchase history? If the technology breaks, guest service accountability will undoubtedly feel the effect of that disruption.However, when all parts of the technological ecosystem are well supported and working together at optimal levels, hotel staff can focus solely on guest service and not worry about any of the technology that surrounds them. They can trust in the digital ecosystem to back them in the way they need, without interruption, to empower them in their role as guest service providers.The Benefit of Seamless Integration and Shared Data Streams Every hotels' technological architecture can be viewed as a spider web with a myriad of different systems connected to each other internally and externally. Further, these new data streams provide hotels with the unique opportunity to better define their guests through buying behaviors, social media activity, app engagement, interests, travel type and more. With more user-centric data gathered from various sources, hotels can begin to truly personalize the guest experience. Despite this, recent studies found that only about 60% of companies are using a variety of tools and tactics to gather and act on customer insights. Considering guest personalization has become paramount in the success of modern hotels, this is a concerning gap. With the help of intuitive operational technology, hotels can finally view, understand and apply guest insights in a truly actionable manner. Of course, as our industry continues to add new and innovative solutions to enhance the guest experience, the likelihood of tech service interruptions increases. With this in mind, it becomes increasingly important for technology providers to offer seamless integrations and open APIs that can work with other platforms and data streams in cohesion. After all, service technology accountability cannot be achieved if systems are working against each other, rather than with each other, when interfaces drop, or something goes amiss. Rather, with the focus of providers on enhancing guest service while moving in lockstep with various complimentary platforms, hoteliers can ensure they are always in position to provide great guest service. It is within this discussion that we are reminded the importance of picking technology partners rather than vendors. Unlike transactional vendors, trusted partners will understand the importance of and welcome the accountability of adding value to your property while co-creating strategy, driving innovation, providing excellent support and scaling execution.Supporting Staff to Support Your Guests Even better, aligning with platforms that support unlimited interfaces on a cloud-based platform will allow your hotel to stay ahead of market trends and connect to best-of-breed solutions. This freedom of integration and access ensures your staff always has access to the best in support technology, while improving productivity and reducing training time. This keeps hotels accountable not only in their promise to provide a certain level of guest experience, but also maintains accountability with their staff. The creation of a seamlessly, supported environment for staff translates to an equally positive environment for guests and a promising future for your hotel property as a result. Meeting Your Guests Where They Are While modern guests may have differing views of what, specifically, makes a great guest experience, offering 24/7 connectivity and tailored communications is an excellent place to start. By utilizing mobile, self-service technology, your hotel provides guests with the opportunity to choose the way in which they interact with your property. They may elect to engage with staff directly, or to check-in or order room service via an app or self-service kiosk, but either way they know they have access to 24/7 support, on their terms. Giving guests complete control over their interactions and level of service helps to empower their experience, provide instant gratification and increase seamless automation where manual processes once lacked efficiency. There's no sense denying it -- to support the demands of guests, hotels require the support of systems and technology providers that are entirely accountable and reliable, in order for guests (and hoteliers alike) to reap the benefits. Partnering with the right technology providers and solutions will allow your hotel to build speed and agility into your operational model to better stay ahead of guest-centric trends and scale accordingly. Ultimately, the time is now to invest in technology that will not only transform your offerings in the eyes of the modern traveler - but will offer your property and staff uninhibited operational support both now and in the future.
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Key Takeaways From h2c's Global PMS Study That Every Hotelier Should Know

StayNTouch Inc. 17 October 2018
It is a well-known fact that today's travelers have high expectations of a tech-forward, efficient and ultimately personalized experience throughout their travel journey. In many ways, this marks an exciting era in hospitality and inspires technological advancement within an industry which is often hesitant to keep pace with technological evolution. However, this shift into a more guest-centric hospitality model undeniably places newly realized pressure onto hoteliers to upgrade the tools they have in place to continuously enhance their offering and support their staff. A recent, global PMS study conducted by h2c, titled, The Future of Hotel Management Systems: Identifying the Future Role of the PMS, set out with the lofty aim to shed light on the current (and future) PMS landscape. Through means of an online survey, executive interviews, secondary research, and regional coverage, h2c was able to address the following questions:Which market dynamics call for a PMS strategy change?What level of complexity is acceptable, and where are the pain points today?How do hotels plan to avoid managing different systems of record in the future?Which level of flexibility is needed to overcome system integration issues between PMS/CRS, CRM, Content platforms and others?Which functionalities and business intelligence tools are required to easily generate customized offers?Will hotel chains rely on PMS companies' capabilities for providing competitive front ends (IBE, mobile IBE)?Is increased demand for additional services on the rise? With guest-centric functionalities becoming a driving priority for hoteliers, the subsequent demand for innovative and cloud-based PMS systems continues to grow. This global PMS study highlights lacking integrations, inadequate service, and support as significant drivers for change across the PMS landscape moving forward. By highlighting the key takeaways from this study, we can gain a better understanding of the future of the PMS landscape, and those features which hoteliers value most when considering new technology vendors. Is Your Current PMS Lacking? When asked 'Why do you think another PMS solution will be necessary?' - the majority of respondents stated that their current solution is not in the cloud (i.e., lacks scalability, automated upgrades, etc.). Further to that, lackluster functionalities, insufficient support, costly and time-consuming upgrades were cited as major drivers for change in a PMS system. Not surprisingly, integration was continuously suggested as a pain point, with 17% of respondents identifying integration with third parties as their biggest pain point. Hoteliers expressed a desire for an intuitive, seamlessly integrated system that can better share and sort guest data. But the number one pain point (30%) identified by respondents was the support offered by their current systems being largely inferior to their expectations and needs, explaining "Sometimes the support provides helpful information but most of the time the customer support is not available or provides insufficient support."This creates an increasingly frustrating experience for hoteliers who frequently require vendor support for systems that are in need of updates or to train new staff on existing platforms. With hotel employee turnover being notoriously high (topping 70 percent (Vali Centre) in 2016, while the average turnover rate for all private sector jobs was only 46 percent), this is a major problem. Not just that, but 66% of respondents stated that they do not receive supportive training services regarding planned updates to the PMS, and mobile functionality was cited as the most common missing piece amongst current PMS platforms. We also have to consider the following -- if most hoteliers can contest that their current PMS system is lacking in respect to integration, functionality, and support; how can it even begin to meet demands as an intuitive platform? In an ideal world, your PMS platform should act as the central nervous system of your hotel, offering a comprehensive dashboard of integrated applications to better inform operations, sales, planning, guest engagement and so much more. It should empower your hotel to streamline communications, increase revenue, improve staff productivity, manage operations from anywhere and stay ahead of trends with easy integration. Much like a bike without wheels, if your PMS can't offer the bare minimum requirements of integration and support (the wheels), how do you expect to reap the rewards of the more intricate pieces of a truly intuitive, cloud-based PMS? You can't -- because a bike without wheels can't be expected to move very fast. And guess what? The hospitality industry is rapidly picking up speed -- and hoteliers need to keep up. What Does the Future of PMS Look Like? If we had to summarize the undeniable takeaway from h2c's study, it's this: Investing in a mobile, cloud-based and scalable PMS platform is a vital piece of the stack to ensure optimal communication between core systems while empowering staff and operations. This PMS technology needs to be accessible across the industry, with seamless integration, robust and reliable functionality, intuitive design and superior service levels.Having worked on what became the industry standard in PMS technology I experienced first-hand how excellent service and proximity to the hotel customer is a critical part of building an efficient system. At the time the ideas of cloud based, user-friendly and mobile PMS technology wasn't on the radar. Integrations was the strong point even if it was costly.Now that cloud-based PMS' exist as stable products from multiple companies, integrations costs are reducing dramatically and open APIs that are well documented are slowly becoming the norm. This doesn't mean the problem is solved, as is evidenced in h2c's research. But the solutions exist, and hotels can benefit of them.What has yet to be properly solved is scaling service levels and support globally for the innovative and cloud-based systems. It is the critical part of any new technology. Hotels are 24/7 companies they can't really afford for critical systems to go into maintenance mode for a weekend. Or worse yet to call the startup founder out of bed from the other side of the planet, because something doesn't work anymore.Thus, the issue of integrations in isolation can be checked as solved, but without the right service and support infrastructure is isn't really solved.At StayNTouch, we have long since made this the driving principle of our offering -- however, we feel more equipped than ever before to meet the evolving demands of hotel groups and technology providers across the globe. Since being acquired by Shiji Group, our company has the unique opportunity to join a larger group globally and leverage their local sales and support resources while maintaining our commitment to service first. We believe that this commitment to enhancing service levels and standards with a global network and attentive, consumer-centric support will help facilitate the transition to a fully integrated and intuitive tech ecosystem for hoteliers across the globe. So, what does the future of PMS look like? Well, we think we have a pretty good idea -- and we'd love to share it with you, too. For more information or to request a demo, please click here.
Article by Jos Schaap

Takeaways from the 2018 Guest Experience Assessment Report: Better Alignment of Tech & Value for Guests

StayNTouch Inc. 25 September 2018
The relationship between hospitality and technology is ever-evolving as the demands of the modern guest continue to redefine the industry landscape. With the on-going need for guest personalization and value-driven service, the most successful hotels will be those who allocate more of their budgets for technology that actually aligns with delivering a better guest experience for all types of travelers. This may empower a self-service model for some guests, and high-touch, personalized service for others. To gain a better understanding of current guest assessment trends and technological, guest-centric advancements adopted by industry leaders, StayNTouch, Travel Tripper and TrustYou recently released an extensive study of worldwide hoteliers. The survey provides an overview of key guest experience trends to watch moving forward into 2018 and beyond while highlighting the areas in which some hotels may be lagging behind. Utilizing this information will allow hotels to better adjust their strategy for catering to, and connecting with guests in a way that instills long-term true loyalty, revenue growth and success.Key Findings: - 41.33% of respondents do not offer guests a choice of check-in method, despite this being a popular guest expectation/preference. - Only 30% of respondents felt strongly about their ability and effort to promote upsells and upgrades at check-in, signifying a common trend of missed revenue opportunity. - 74.67% of respondents say that they respond and resolve standard guest requests either quickly or very quickly. - Overwhelmingly, respondents indicated that email and phone were the primary means of communication. This highlights an area for improvement, as in-person interactions are often the ideal environment for establishing more personalized rapport with guests. - 68.46% of respondents recognize that they need to establish or improve their use or adoption of mobile technology. - 48% of respondents acknowledged that they are finding it challenging to capture or utilize guest data to personalize the guest experience. The investment in technology today is much more complicated than it was 20 years ago due to the advancement of our technological world. As we analyze current trends and popular behavioral patterns of the modern guest, it becomes evident that prioritizing the purchase of guest-facing technology should be paramount. After all, sites like Tripadvisor, Yelp, social media channels and more have empowered guests to make their own buying decisions based upon the crowd. Hotels today are in competition for guest loyalty and without the support of guest-centric technology to empower their service offering, empower their employees and ensure guest satisfaction, hotels can expect fall behind the leaders of the pack.[Webinar] How to Adapt Your Hotel's Offerings to Meet Guest's Expectations Give Your Guests the Power of Choice As we've noted before, recent studies show that 70% of guests prefer to use their smartphone to speed up check-in and services, and 67% of travelers are "more likely" to choose a hotel that allows guests to check in and open doors with a smartphone than a hotel that doesn't.To limit your guest to one method of check-in/out is to turn guests away from your hotel entirely in this modern world. Give your guests the power of choice, and ensure they continue to choose your hotel over the competition. Get on Board with Mobile It is more important than ever before to capitalize on the rise of mobile technology and empower guests with the ability to choose their preferred service model (self-service, low touch or high touch). Mobile technology for the hospitality realm includes (but is not limited to) mobile check-in/out, mobile keys, concierge, reservations, alerts, custom hotel apps and more. With 68.46% of respondents to our StayNTouch survey recognizing that they need to establish or improve their use or adoption of mobile technology, this is an ongoing movement that needs to be adopted at a faster pace to keep up with guest demands.Not only does mobile technology appeal to each guests' desire for personalization, but it empowers your staff to serve each guest better the way they truly want to be served. Enhance Your Service Model with the Modern PMSIn the past, PMS systems were never seen -- instead, they were firmly stationed behind the front desk with a server buried in the basement. While these on-premise systems served their purpose, their capacity to truly enhance a hotel's operation and guest engagement were limited in nature. Today's PMS, however, has the capability to do a seemingly unlimited number of things to directly impact guest satisfaction. With mobile-optimized, cloud-based systems that provide comprehensive, actionable insights at a glance to all hotel staff, the modern PMS allows guests to choose how they want to interact with a hotel property while freeing up staff to build relationships with guests one on one.Considering the majority (~52%) of respondents acknowledged that they are finding it challenging to capture or utilize guest data to personalize the guest experience, investing in a modern PMS system should be top of mind. Further to the enhancement of guest engagement, advanced PMS tools will help your staff to better understand and leverage guest data for personalized service. And in terms of capitalizing on revenue opportunity, modern PMS software often offers built-in prompts for upselling and upgrade opportunities.Having these capabilities as an integral part of your operational model by means of an advanced PMS tool is of incredible value to your hotel and should be prioritized accordingly.
Article by Jos Schaap

How Hotels Can Leverage the Psychology of Impulse Buying to Capture More Revenue and Enhance the Guest Stay

StayNTouch Inc. 12 September 2018
Let's consider a scenario. You're out shopping for a few household items at a local Target or Costco, but while you cross those items off your list, you come across some tempting, unrelated deals. Maybe a great deal on a new TV or electronic, a decorative item for the house, a luxury skincare item, or a gift for a loved one. In the first scenario, you fill up your cart and head for an open check-out lane. In the span of a few short minutes, you're out the door and unloading your haul into the trunk of your car. In the second scenario, you fill up your cart and head for the check-out -- only to be met with a massive line. After 10-15 minutes of standing, elbows perched on the cart while staring at its contents, you start to second guess that impulse item. Do you really need it? Is it worth the additional cost to your total spend when you just came here for a few things? With time still left to spare, you decide to ditch that item and limit your purchase to the products that you came for initially. Sure, this may not be a perfect science, but it's a typical scenario explored as we consider the psychology behind impulse buying. In fact, this is a concept that modern ventures (such as the Amazon GO stores popping up throughout the U.S.) are capitalizing on, by making the check-out process as fast and seamless as possible to ensure customers don't have any time to second guess their buying decisions. When customers don't have to worry about lines, pulling out cash or plugging in their pin numbers, the shopping experience becomes a process of harmonious, instant gratification. Think of it this way -- is an individual more likely to make it from point A to point B if the distance between those points is short, or long? The easier the path to purchase is, the easier purchasing becomes. And it's not just about a seamless purchase process -- it's also about the way items are sold to the consumer. Most of us are, consciously or not, driven by loss aversion and the desire to save. Not only do we not want to miss out on a great product/experience or perceived value that may be fleeting or limited in nature, but we love a good deal. If we see a bottle of shampoo listed for $5, that offer in itself might not peak our interest. However, if we see that same shampoo bundled as 2 for $10 (for a limited time only), that messaging is much more likely to trigger our desire to capitalize on a deal. This is what we like to call "opportunistic purchasing." According to a recent survey of 2,000 people, the average U.S. consumer makes three impulse purchases a week, adding up to $450 a month and $5,400 per year. Of those surveyed, 85% said their impulse purchase involved taking advantage of a deal or discount. Further, the average person (over the course of a lifetime) will reportedly spend over $110,000 on impulsive purchases. Of course, the concept of impulsive buying behaviors isn't solely tied to retail environments; rather, it touches almost every industry -- the hospitality realm included. With the strategic implementation of mobile-centric technology and the prioritization of operational automation, hoteliers can groom the opportunity to use impulse buying to their advantage, but unfortunately, many are still missing out. The StayNTouch, Travel Tripper and TrustYou 2018 Guest Experience Assessment Report Study revealed some surprising findings:41% of respondents do not offer their guests a choice of check-in method70% of respondents never or only sometimes convert upsells or upgrades at check-in68% of respondents recognize the need to improve their use of mobile technology to improve the guest experience.The good news is that the trend for impulse booking has seen a recent surge as consumers search for last-minute deals on flights and hotels. With online booking platforms and the option to view virtual tours, chat with hotel representatives online and book instantly, the hospitality industry has seen a 150% surge in travel-related searches for "today" and "tonight" in the past two years. Not only that, but more than 60% of U.S. travelers would consider an impulse trip based on a good hotel or flight deal, according to a study that Google conducted with Phocuswright.What does this all mean? With technology catered to the needs of impulse-driven consumers, the travel and hospitality industry is in a position to generate more revenue than ever before -- and that opportunity continues far beyond the initial booking.Consider this -- the primary pillars in the creation of a successful and profitable guest experience are the provision of value and personalization, and the ability to provide an experience that is efficient and seamless. The modern, digital-savvy guest expects to engage with platforms and businesses that are, too - digital and catered to quick, efficient service. With the help of modern tools for automation and personalization (machine learning and AI, insight-driven PMS and CRM), hoteliers can simplify and streamline the pre-stay and on-property experience like never before. While legacy PMS systems were often burdened with platform limitations, complicated upgrades and manual processes, modern PMS systems enable hoteliers to effectively automate their operational model. With insight-driven, cloud-based technology acting as the backbone of your hotel's day to day operations, your team can easily offer appealing upgrades, add-ons and upsells at each guest touch point. Hoteliers no longer have to push their staff to sell, because modern PMS technology automatically provides them with the tools to better engage with guests, individualize their experience and drive revenue.Hoteliers need to take advantage of point of sale opportunities like event tickets, spa treatments, happy hour, upgraded room type, breakfast or spa packages, early check-in or check-out later for a nominal fee. For those guests who prefer an efficient, low-touch experience and opt for a self-service kiosk, automated upgrade and offer prompts will become available to them throughout their navigation of that platform. This allows them to consider that purchase opportunity without any pressure from hotel staff, and within a process that is as quick and seamless as the tap of their finger. Why is this so effective? Because the offer is not only incentivized to their experience, but it is entirely convenient and accessible in nature.At the end of the day, upselling/cross-selling isn't just a sales tactic; it's a guest happiness tactic that can help you build deeper relationships with guests by delivering more value. Impulse purchases account for a significant chunk of the consumer spending pie - so hoteliers should invest in tools that encourage merchandising strategies to guests that not only enhance the guest journey - but also boost the hotel's bottom line. Sounds like a real win-win for everyone, doesn't it?

Newly released 2018 Guest Experience Assessment provides valuable insights to hoteliers on guest engagement

StayNTouch Inc. 6 September 2018
StayNTouch, Travel Tripper, and TrustYou have partnered to launch a new report that examines guest experience trends and their adoption in the hotel industry. The report provides key insights and takeaways to empower hoteliers to improve their own guest-driven decisions and gain a better understanding of the market.The study surveyed more than 300 hoteliers in the U.S., Canada, and key hotspots around the globe on questions regarding check-in technology, upsell opportunities, guest communication, and more. Some key findings:41% of respondents do not offer their guests a choice of check-in method;70% of respondents never or only sometimes convert upsells or upgrades at check-in;68% of respondents recognize the need to improve their use of mobile technology to improve the guest experience.In addition, the survey also reveals interesting trends about guest communication and staff responsiveness, mobile booking and check-in, the use of guest data to improve guest stays, and the ability of hotels to capture guest feedback and act upon it.The study allows hotels to see where they stack up in comparison to their peers, as well as offers important takeaways on how hotels can move the needle forward on improving the guest experience through technology and data.Frewoini Golla, Director of Marketing for StayNTouch, noted why these findings are critical for the hotel industry. "By and large, hoteliers understand the importance of offering a unique guest experience, but understanding and evaluating the current state of the guest journey is critical for hoteliers to begin making the necessary strides in their guest engagement strategy," she said. "We are excited to have worked alongside our partners at Travel Tripper and TrustYou to offer hoteliers this comprehensive guest experience assessment report."Nancy Huang, Director of Marketing for Travel Tripper, also commented on the relevance of the study for hotel vendors. "Studies like this not only help hotels to benchmark their own performance, but they also help hospitality suppliers to better understand and adapt their technology to hotels' needs," she said.Valerie Castillo, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for TrustYou, remarked on the different perspectives between hotels and guests. "It was especially interesting for us to see the difference in how hotels and travelers assess the guest experience," she said. "We have made significant strides over the last few years, but the hospitality industry is still a ways away from perfectly mirroring guest's needs."To get your free copy of The Complete Guest Experience: How Does Your Hotel Stack Up?, download it here.About StayNTouchStayNTouch is a "Software as a Service" mobile hotel property management system (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. http://www.stayntouch.comAbout Travel TripperTravel Tripper is a full-service hospitality technology provider and strategic partner in helping hotels worldwide to generate demand, optimize conversions, and maximize revenue. Known in the industry for its constant innovation and exceptional expertise, Travel Tripper provides a comprehensive suite of solutions that empowers hotels from search to stay, including central reservation systems, hotel distribution, website and booking, and digital marketing. Learn more at TrustYouTrustYou is a one-stop-shop guest feedback solution, offering the leading tools for review marketing, online reputation management, guest satisfaction surveys, and guest messaging, all in one, sophisticated product suite. Hotels use our multi-channel guest communication solution to create personalized onsite experiences. Hotels can also manage offers and upgrades for your guests in real-time via their preferred channel of communication conveniently for you from one single location. With happy guests, you can collect more positive reviews and positively influence your rating and review summaries across the web.
Article by Frewoini Golla

StayNTouch CEO Jos Schaap Shares His Vision For The Future Of Hotel Technology

StayNTouch Inc. 29 August 2018
There is no shortage of great ideas -- rather, the bigger challenge can be found in bringing those great ideas to fruition and envisioning the ways in which they can change lives and better businesses. When Jos Schaap first saw a B2B application on an iPad in 2012, he wasn't merely consumed with admiration of that technology in its existing form -- he was already imagining how it could impact hoteliers. What would that look like? How could new and innovative software change the hospitality industry for the better? His determination to cultivate this idea within the hospitality industry lead to the conceptualization of StayNTouch, his company which delivers a truly mobile, cloud-based PMS.Before the realization of developing and delivering mobile solutions to hoteliers, Jos had already discovered his passion for hotel software. While working at Hilton International in the nineties as a Food & Beverage Controller, he was awarded the opportunity to lead the project of implementing a new purchasing software, a role in which he immediately thrived. Following a successful implementation, Jos was asked to travel to other Hilton locations to implement the same software, processes and best practices, which lead to his transition to a Consultant at MICROS (now known as Oracle/Micros). From that point on, Jos knew he had found his calling streamlining and automating processes for hotels with the help of cutting-edge technology combined with a vision of the future. The future is now the implementation of cloud-based PMS systems to streamline operations, drive revenues, mobilize staff and re-define the guest experience. This was where Jos settled into his stride as a hospitality industry leader, by creating a solution that enables hotels to meet and exceed the demands of their guests. "From its inception, the PMS has transformed into a dynamic platform that helps drive day-to-day hotel activities and shape strategic decisions," explains Jos. "It has become the most fundamental tool for hotels to manage and growth their business. It is the heart - streamlining operations, increasing efficiency, enhancing the guest experiences, as well as providing new avenues to boost revenue and maximize profits."A New Way to Hotel Jos believes that experience and instinct are invaluable assets for anyone in the hospitality business. Those attributes have led him to some fascinating conclusions about the present state and the future of the hotel technology industry. Citing mobile PMS as 'the New Way to Hotel' - Jos has made it his mission to ensure every feature offered by the StayNTouch platform empowers hoteliers to maximize their operational model and better connect with guests. The inclusion of mobile, cloud-based software not only provides his clientele with increased security and staff productivity but ensures they can effectively run their operation from anywhere -- and on any device. This is the kind of operational freedom hoteliers were missing for so long; and with the right ideas and process, mobile PMS has since become the driving industry standard. And for any hoteliers who find themselves wary of learning and training new employees on a new, advanced system...don't be. Utilizing user-friendly dashboards, Jos explains that this shift away from traditional, legacy PMS systems empowers staff to easily navigate the platform and access the information they need to deliver personalized guest experiences. New, cloud-based systems have designs that are simpler and created for staff to understand and to become comfortable with quickly. Training is simplified, operational efficiency remains paramount, and costs are reduced. Jos adds, "Cloud technology has enabled hoteliers to invest in powerful, modern, mobile-centric PMS systems that not only help them enhance guest engagement, but also streamline operations, realize new revenue opportunities and boost productivity.So, if mobile PMS is already in the 'now', what does Jos see for the future? When faced with this question, Jos articulated his answer without hesitation: "I think over the next five years more and more processes in hotels will be automated to ensure guests don't have to deal with the administrative part of checking-in and checking out. Hotels will run 100% on cloud systems and services, and guest communications to and from guests will be done more and more via mobile. Guest service will be a holistic combination of personal and digital."Following Your PassionAlong with his love for technology, Jos is a lifelong traveler and adventurer. "You need to be passionate in life," he says. "If you love it you can do it."A passionate CEO leads to a successful and passionate company. Jos adds, "At StayNTouch, we don't see our company as just about innovative technology. We are a brand committed to providing our customers with the very best customer service and experience every day." The future of hospitality is something we are all excited about, and with creative, solution-driven minds like Jos' at the crux of this movement -- we can only expect great things to come.
Article by Jos Schaap

The Critical Alignment of Systems: The History of Hospitality API

StayNTouch Inc. 16 August 2018
It's no secret -- providing a high-level guest experience requires the support of high-level technology. As we shift into a mobile-centric, hyper-personalized era led by the digital demands of the modern consumer, the pressure for hotels to continuously introduce new technology and advance their existing offering(s) is staggering. While the adoption and timely implementation of new technology is undeniably paramount in a hotel's appeal to the modern consumer -- the success of this new technology relies largely on whether that technology is built on an open API. Think of it this way: imagine there are two great minds sitting in one room, with the knowledge and insight to solve a major problem for a company. The only catch? They speak different languages. Without a translator, they can't work together to solve the problem at hand. An open API acts as that translator, ensuring all systems (with their various purposes) can communicate openly to ensure a seamless operational model.APIs (Application Program Interfaces) act as the integral backbone of a hotel's digital network, connecting hospitality software, applications and programs that keep operations running on any given day. In simpler terms, an API is a way for applications or programs to interface or connect and communicate with each other effectively.Unfortunately, technology integration between systems has always been somewhat of an uphill battle for hoteliers and tech providers. The complexity of connecting two different systems together in order to not only communicate, but to transfer data in an intelligent way, has proven to be an industry-wide challenge. Why? Because different clients often express interest in different data sets or information, and the act of connecting two systems has traditionally been associated with high costs. Rather than paying one fee to ensure seamless integration, the PMS vendor would charge an interface fee as well as the secondary system provider. This likely attributed to the slow pace at which the hospitality industry has traditionally adopted new tech -- it was, at times, simply too expensive a venture. Luckily, we've shifted into a time where open API's are becoming an industry-wide gold standard, with technology providers offering an advanced solution without the hefty fee for connectivity.So, in this world of API and robust technology demands, where did we begin, where are we at now and where are we headed? In the early days, interfaces were hard wired via serial interfaces. High-Speed Serial Interface (HSSI) was a short-distance communications interface that was commonly used to interconnect routing and switching devices on local area networks (LANs) with the higher-speed lines of a wide area network (WAN). Typically, HSSI is used to connect a LAN router to a T-3 line. A great deal of computing power was required and sometimes a little black box was in place to enable the transfer of data. After that came XML and thus API's and the capability to utilize the Internet to complete interfaces and speed up the connective process. While this was a much-needed step in the right direction, it did not come without its challenges. Namely, companies saw this movement as an opportunity to monetize the integration process at the expense (rather than the benefit) of the hoteliers. Combine this with the unavoidable challenges that come with the adoption of new technology, and many hoteliers found themselves rightfully skeptical of the introduction of new systems (PMS, CRM, CRS and more). Sure, connectivity was now possible, but those APIs were far from open -- rather, that kind of access was trapped behind expensive processes. With the shift to an open model (which is finally being embraced by the hospitality industry) developers can freely access API's in order to link systems seamlessly and create a streamlined experience for hoteliers which translates to an enhanced guest experience. With the power of readily-accessible API's, hoteliers can cultivate a data-driven, guest-centric experience utilizing shared data across all applications, therefore curating a unique, personalized offering. This is the future of the hospitality industry, as the modern guest demands a more personalized relationship with the hotels they frequent and demand communications, upgrades, offers and on-property experiences that go that extra mile.In fact, open API's aren't just the progressive 'gold standard' of connectivity-- they are shaping up to be the only way in which hoteliers can truly keep up with the technology demands transforming the hospitality industry. With the constant bombardment of new entrants (apps, data and revenue streams, engagement opportunities) the only way to utilize the data from these new platforms will be through the use of APIs. Of course, there are a number of issues that still stand between the hospitality industry and total hotel system integration, including: security, legacy vs. modern system versions, lack of unified standards between systems, cloud-based vs. on-premise systems and more. But with this shift to an open API infrastructure and reduced implementation costs, in combination with the increased adoption of cloud-based, mobile-friendly software and modern (versus legacy) PMS technology, the hospitality industry is making major strides in the right direction. After all, with so many different hotel systems (by various technology vendors and developers) frequently running at a single property, the need for a fully integrated, cloud-based and data-driven operational experience is paramount now more than ever before.

How Mobile and Self-Service Technology Can Set Your Hotel Apart from the Competition [Guide]

StayNTouch Inc. 2 August 2018
To help hoteliers meet the emerging needs of modern guests, StayNTouch has released their latest guide, titled, How Mobile and Self-Serve Technology Can Set Your Hotel Apart from the Competition. "Most hoteliers are aware that mobile can be a powerful tool to reinforce the guest experience and promote loyalty," explains Jos Schaap, the company's CEO. "But mobile can also be used to address pain points in guest service and interactions, such as long wait times or special requests. In fact, opportunities for hoteliers to harness mobile tools arise throughout the entire guest journey, including booking, pre-arrival, on-property, and post-stay."To derive maximum benefit from mobile, hoteliers will need to select and integrate solutions that encompass not only the guest experience, but that also increase staff efficiency and operations, creating a unique stay that is reflective of their brand promise. This unique guide reveals the actionable tactics that hotels can use to stand out from the crowd and keep guests coming back.To download How Mobile and Self-Serve Technology Can Set Your Hotel Apart from the Competition CLICK HERE.
Article by Jos Schaap

Response to the 2018 Hospitality Technology Study: Hoteliers & Technology Vendors Must Work Together for the Greater Good

StayNTouch Inc. 24 July 2018
The answer to the question can be found in the 2018 Hospitality Technology Study (available for download here) conducted by the leading hospitality technology brands Fuel Travel,, and StayNTouch. Over 358 respondents, responsible for buying or selling hospitality technology were asked to identify common priorities along with potential divides among hoteliers and suppliers.Some of the key takeaways:Guest experience is a top priority; leveraging technology is how we accomplish this.The industry is lacking technology integration; educate, improve, and invest wisely.Hoteliers and vendors are mostly on the same page; can we save time and money?Hotels struggle with data; they're asking for supplier support.Don't believe the hype; the next best shiny tech isn't always the next best shiny tech. Again, take advantage of the tools and the research in order to invest wisely.When asked about their top three hotel technology challenges, it was no surprise to me that both groups agreed that the number one challenge was a lack of integration between products (note that twice as many suppliers chose this). In the number two spot, hoteliers cited increasing costs, while suppliers cited a lack of innovation. Both of these ideas are true and have everything to do with the lack of integration . Finally, both groups agreed that meeting guest expectations was the third largest challenge in terms of new technology.Overwhelmingly, 55.2% of hoteliers were not satisfied with their current PMS provider. My guess is that this is because many hotels are reluctant to move from legacy PMS systems to more modern ones. Other hotel technologies rated a bit higher for the most part. However, based on other questions in the survey related to provider support - it would make sense that hoteliers may feel good about the technology but not as good about the service they're receiving to support the technologies.When considering the most important factors for choosing new solutions, both groups agreed that ROI, integration to current technology, and ease of use were top priorities. Support, price, and mobility were also top priorities. As our industry evolves to the new open architecture environment, the period for transitioning and connecting systems can take less time and should not add recurring expenses. Hotels are now able to transition to a new cloud-based PMS seamlessly, with no large upfront hardware investments as we finally see the trend move away from the old model of proprietary systems and costly integrations.Download the 2018 Hospitality Technology Study Top priorities for booking engine solutions were: integration with PMS and website, ease of use for guests, and mobility. But herein lies another difference. Hotels were focused on ease of use for their systems while suppliers were looking at ease of use for the guest. Still, mobile friendliness held a much higher priority for hoteliers, and in turn for their guests. Ease of use with systems translates to ease of use for guests so in the end, these two priorities are more closely aligned than the survey responses might suggest.The overall shared consensus provides the best starting point for both groups invested in building open solutions that will continue to redefine the technology landscape over the next few years. Further down the list of priorities: chatbots, virtual reality, and blockchain, all of which came in last place. Whether this is because of a failure to deliver on the promise of this technology, or a failure to understand the value of it, no matter: AI is likely an important advancement for both hoteliers and suppliers alike. Voice search was also determined to be another major disruptor on the horizon.To me, the survey results are very encouraging. There should definitely be a continued honest exchange of ideas and dialogue between hotels and technology leaders for the greater good of our industry. As we narrow the gaps and come together toward an even more dynamic and integrated technology future, we look forward to building stronger partnerships with greater communication around creating the most flexible solutions, designed to satisfy guest and hotel business needs today and for years to come.Download the 2018 Hospitality Technology Study

Fuel Travel, StayNTouch and Examine the Alignment Between Hoteliers and Vendors in New 2018 Hospitality Technology Study

StayNTouch Inc. 18 June 2018
Fuel Travel, and StayNTouch joined forces to conduct an extensive study of hundreds of hoteliers and suppliers to learn where the industry can improve from a technology perspective. Exclusive copies of the comprehensive study will be available at this year's HITEC in Houston at booth's #1003 and #1133. The study addresses technological shifts and trends, highlighting critical issues the industry faces. Moreover, the study identifies where hoteliers and vendors are aligned, and where they differ, in the perceived priorities and challenges the market faces. The results are compiled from 358 respondents, all of whom are involved in the process of purchasing or selling technology within the hospitality industry.The study's insights show that improving the guest experience is a top priority amongst both suppliers and hoteliers, and there was a consensus between hoteliers and suppliers that the need to improve integration between existing products is imperative when selecting a new provider.In addition to the strategic focus, the study also sought to understand what emerging technology and tactics would make an impression in hospitality in the foreseeable future. Artificial Intelligence stood out, with 43.5% of hotels wanting to increase spending on this evolving tool in the next 2 years."This study really gets at the root of how hoteliers and vendors view the state of the market today and where they believe the investment and priorities should lie respectively," said Stuart Butler, Chief Operating Officer of Fuel Travel. "I'm excited to have the opportunity to partner with StayNTouch and and share this vital information to both hoteliers and suppliers."To get an exclusive early copy of the study, stop by booth #1003 or #1133 at the HITEC Houston conference from June 19-21About FuelFuel is a full-service online marketing agency that specializes in providing simple and effective software and digital marketing solutions to the hospitality industry. Our standard is to provide quantifiable results, strategies driven by direct revenue, and exceptional customer service and support.About StayNTouchStayNTouch is a "Software as a Service" mobile hotel property management system (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.About, the advocacy platform for hotels--Reach, inspire and convert an entirely new global audience of travelers every day with lets your guests introduce your hotel to the world, combining trust with massive reach and introducing your hotel to travelers just one degree away--warm leads who are the perfect fit. Start building your ever-growing team of advocates who turn meaningful moments into measurable ROI, and instantly see the unmatched impact when you switch on this entirely new channel. http://flip.toEditorial Contact:Frewoini GollaDirector of Marketing frewoini@stayntouch.com301-799-3280

StayNTouch to Liven Up HITEC with a PMS Technology Showcase and an Exciting Game of Jeopardy-The Hotel Maven Edition! (Booth #1003)

StayNTouch Inc. 6 June 2018
Tuesday, June 19 - Thursday, June 21One-on-one Consultations with our Hospitality technology experts and a game of Jeopardy: The Hotel Maven Edition, George R. Brown Convention Center | Booth #1003Stop by Booth #1003 to see our PMS product suite in full force and learn why Hotels from MGM international to First Hotels have partnered with StayNTouch to enhance their guest experience from end to end, improve operational efficiency and increase incremental revenue. We encourage you to book a meeting time in advance.See our intuitive and fully featured Mobile PMS in real timeTest Drive our Zest-Station Lobby Self-Check-InExperience an intuitive mobile check-in in under 30 secondsLearn how you can reap the benefits: 10%-20% Increase in Revenue; 20%-30% of Cost Savings and More.Plus, for the first time, you can play Jeopardy: The Hotel Maven Edition with your peers at Booth #1003. Test your hospitality knowledge to enter-to-win a prize and the bragging rights that come with victory!Wednesday, June 20 | 8:30 - 9:30 AM | Level 3 Meeting Room 370-ATechnology Showcase: Your Guests are Changing, So Should Your PMSGeorge R. Brown Convention Center | Level 3, Meeting Room 370-A Jos Schaap, CEO, and Founder of StayNTouch will be leading a demonstration that will examine the impact that a Mobile PMS is having on hotel operations, revenue generation and guest satisfaction.Throughout the presentation, attendees will learn why it is essential for hotels to arm their staff and property with a modern PMS that will future-proof their hotel to respond to today's digitally driven consumer. A new guest engagement reality is here and those who stay ahead of technology trends will come out the winners.Jos will be joined by special guest, Area General Manager of Modus Hotels, Washington DC, Marco Burlimann. Modus Hotels is a customer of StayNTouch and have deployed Rover PMS in all of their hotels.Tuesday, June 19th | 7:00 PM Customer Appreciation PartyHotel Alessandra | 1070 Dallas St, Houston, TXAfter the inevitable information overload, you're bound to endure on the HITEC exhibition floor, come and wind down at Hotel Alessandra and enjoy a breathtaking view of Houston."We're excited to host this event for the customers we've come to know as invaluable partners. This is a small token of appreciation for their commitment to building a lasting relationship with StayNTouch"-Jos Schaap, Founder, and CEO.StayNTouch offers hotels the opportunity to integrate multiple cloud-solutions on one platform:Rover PMS: Next generation Hotel PMS, fully cloud, fits on every device, optimizes hotel operations from front desk, to groups, to housekeeping to revenue management. Simple monthly pricing that includes training, integrations, and configuration.Zest Web: Guest mobile check-in and checkout from their smartphone resulting in fewer guests waiting in line. Drive upgrade revenue & monetize early check-in and late check-out requests. Upsell opportunities, Review bill, preferences collected. PMS-integrated. White-labeled for your hotel.Zest Station: Operational efficiency and guest satisfaction delivered in one package, the PMS-integrated Zest Station streamlines the lobby-based check-in, key retrieval, and check-out processes by letting guests skip the line and get on with their stay. Integrates with Manual Key Encoders, Payment Terminals, and printers as required. Provides an opportunity to collect guest e-mails. Branded to your hotel's standardsRover Connect: Build better bespoke products with StayNTouch APIs. Now available, guest service APIs bring StayNTouch guest interface features to any custom development project. Features include Check-In and Check-out, Early Check-in Management, Late Check-out management, Upgrades, Add-ons, Guest Profiles, Availability, Reservations, Sign In / Authentication and more.About StayNTouch Inc.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 connects 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!"Twitter: @StayNTouchIncFacebook: LinkedIn/stayntouch
Article by Jos Schaap

Why Can't We All Just Get Along? The Future of Hotel Technology Integrations & APIs

StayNTouch Inc. 5 June 2018
"A picture is worth a thousand words. An interface is worth a thousand pictures."Ben Shneiderman, Professor Computer Science at the University of MarylandThe capability to have an open platform/solution or software product that is truly agnostic when it comes to integrating with third-party systems in today's hotel technology space is paramount to the success of a well-run hotel. After all, ensuring that each guest enjoys the highest level of guest service available is the primary responsibility of every hotel. Behind the scenes, hotel systems are busily chugging away to support the operational demands of the hotel, including the pre-stay and post-stay experiences that the guest receives.In the past, an "everyone for themselves" mindset seemingly ruled the hospitality landscape. Those technology providers would often nickel and dime every tech weary hotelier they supplied their solutions to, hoping to maximize their profit. Not only could hoteliers expect CAPEX costs associated with a specific integration from both tech providers to connect their systems together; on top of this, each provider would charge a maintenance and support fee per annum for the interface itself. These charges could range from 15% to 25% per annum.We now live in a world of API's (Application Programming Interface) or, back in the day, "interfaces". Some technology providers may focus on integrations. Unfortunately, these integrations can be much more cumbersome and costly due to their legacy nature in which systems need to be tweaked in order to communicate with each other fully. However, in most cases, it is just an interface that needs to be put in place for two systems to communicate. Ideally, hotels require open communication streams between systems to ensure the property management system (the technological backbone of the hotel), can do its job efficiently. These interfaces have become increasingly more complex due to the nature of our industry and what the modern guest expects. New entrants can complicate the interface landscape when they develop their apps/platforms or solutions on architecture that is far ahead of some of the legacy systems that truly run a hotel.There have been a number of associations that have tried to tackle the complex world of integrations. The Open Travel Alliance, HTNG, IATA in the air industry and its New Distribution Capability (NDC) have worked tirelessly to try and deliver an "open" environment, where it is easier for each technology provider to communicate hopefully lowering the costs and barriers of these interfaces. Using mainly the same schema (language) should help with the delivery of seamless integrations, but unfortunately, some providers of technology have a legacy mentality where even though there may be standards available that simplify interfaces and thus making them theoretically cheaper to develop. Unfortunately, these interfaces are still seen as a source of revenue for the hotel technology provider, and the game continues.There is a solution on the horizon regarding this confusing and costly integrations environment that we, as an industry, have established. New entrants into the property management space will push the envelope to ensure that there is a change to this burdensome integration landscape. It starts with offering a property management cloud solution that is surrounded by open API's that allow any application to connect to their platform. In this interface methodology, there is no longer a need for systems to charge excessive, ongoing fees to hoteliers to establish connectivity between platforms. This should, in effect, reduce the chaos of having thousands of available hotel specific systems in the market today.According to David Turnbull, the CEO of Snapshot, a company that is focused on hotel data aggregation and innovation, within the next five years, hotels will only work with vendors that permit interoperability, flexibility, and open access to the data needed to power their guest experience. My take is that interoperability, flexibility, and openness will be the future of our industry. Technology companies can no longer compete within a proprietary, closed ecosystem. Hoteliers do not want to deal with companies that have a myopic viewpoint on the future of our industry and its relevant technologies. Rather, they want to work with companies that understand what the future will bring to our industry. They want to work with companies that understand the financial pressures on today's hotelier and ensure that they are developing great solutions to enhance hotel operations through the delivery of open API's, while also decreasing costs.This is not to say that the delivery of open API's will fix everything -- hoteliers will still hang on to an old, antiquated system that works because in their viewpoint it does not need to be replaced. Until each system is cloud-delivered or developed, we will undoubtedly still face some challenges, but rest assured that the days of proprietary, costly integrations are finally coming to an end.In the case of StayNTouch, we are looking at this problem in a very different manner. We know that connecting systems is difficult, but we also know that this should not be a recurring expense for hotels. With this in mind, not only does StayNTouch have open API's - but we also offer traditional interfaces for free. This enables the hotel to transition at its own pace ensuring a successful implementation of your new cloud property management system.

Next Gen Tech You Shouldn't Miss at This Year's HITEC in Houston [CHECKLIST]

StayNTouch Inc. 10 May 2018
StayNTouch will be at HITEC in full force, and in addition to showcasing our latest innovations at our booth #1003, we've broken down the top things to explore to make your HITEC experience a success. As our excitement builds for another year of incredible innovations and industry expertise, we've rounded up a list of what technologies and events you should look for at HITEC Houston 2018. You won't want to miss these...CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD this free checklist to learn more about:Voice TechnologyMobile InnovationsAI, IOT & VRNext Gen PMS SystemsMust attend eventsAnd much more...Not going to make it down to HITEC this year but want to learn more about our platform? Visit us at to request a demo.
Article by Jos Schaap

5 Signs It's Time to Change Your Hotel Property Management System

StayNTouch Inc. 2 May 2018
Sticking with an outdated solution only leads to a drain on resources and the loss of opportunities while making a change to your hotel PMS can reinvigorate your brand, increase revenue, and drive loyalty. Here are five signs that it is time to change your PMS to ensure it remains and/or becomes a profitable investment.1. Your current PMS is showing its ageA common complaint about a PMS is a failure to integrate or fully implement essential new features and communication tools. Systems have gone a long way since they first emerged. Guest engagement functionality and mobility, for example, have become increasingly popular in modern systems, but legacy solutions often don't offer it. Look for a system that is cloud-based and has data accessible to every department in real-time. If your current PMS does not have the mobile, self-serve, automation, or SMS features you need, then it is time to shop for a system whose functionality matches your current requirements.2. Your employees are always frustrated with itThe true value of your PMS is fundamentally defined by the folks who use it on a daily basis. If your employees express frustration because the system is overly complicated and requires extensive onboarding or is unstable, slow and buggy with poor support offered by the vendor, it might be time to look for a new provider whose uptime and user experience is highly rated.3. You need integration with more third-party appsIn theory, any software platform can integrate with another. However, if your periphery systems don't communicate in real-time with your PMS, and data from third-party solutions needs to be entered manually, you are putting a drain on resources, productivity and risking errors. Legacy systems require expensive and time-consuming interface development that could take months (or longer) and need constant updating every time you add a new app or features change. To maximize your scalability and future-proof your operations, look for an open-source, cloud-based PMS with configurable modules like StayNTouch Rover PMS.4. Vendor support and maintenance is costing youYou know it's time for a change when your PMS when service and support is costing you time, money and productivity. On-premise systems entail constant upgrades which can get expensive, and many providers tack on hefty monthly fees for support, performance upgrades, and customizations of their software. If you invest in your own hardware, you have to put forward capital upfront. That is not the case with the cloud. A cloud-based PMS is built for high performance, data backups, reliability, security and turn-key monthly pricing which includes customer support, upgrades, monitoring, hosting and more. The cloud is also more energy-efficient than legacy infrastructures.5. You want a better return on your investmentYour PMS should not only save you time and money but also generate revenue for your business. From automated upsell and marketing to revenue management and analytics, you need a system that delivers a high return on your investment. If your system does not offer marketing automation, integrated booking engine, guest history/stay data, and simple dashboards with KPIs to better understand guests - you are missing out on reduced costs through better staff productivity, and higher revenues via better sales and more satisfied, loyal guests.Replacing your PMS may seem like an extensive undertaking, but, if you are running into one or more of these roadblocks, the decision to delay the change may well cost you more than the investment required to make a strategic update. If your property management system is holding you back and obstructing opportunities for innovation, take a fresh look at what a more modern PMS from StayNTouch can achieve.
Article by Jos Schaap

Shifting Your Hotel Staff from Task-Oriented to Guest-Oriented [Guide]

StayNTouch Inc. 26 April 2018
In the world of hospitality, there exists a crucial difference between simply servicing a guest's demands and providing truly outstanding guest service. Hotels that are able to focus on the latter will reap the rewards with increased guest loyalty and, in turn, an undeniable ROI in their business model. Why? Because great hospitality is about great service, and at the root of that understanding exists the realization that hotels need to be guest-oriented rather than task-oriented. So, the question becomes, how can hoteliers empower their staff to shift their customer service model to one which is personalized, attentive and responsive in nature, rather than reactive and task-focused? How can hotel owners free up their staff to provide their best service and connect with guests on a deeper level?Believe it or not, the answer lies in your hotel PMS system.Much of the frustration experienced by hotel staff as it relates to daily operational duties, can be correlated to limited technology or software that fails to enhance or streamline their day to day duties. This often starts with the PMS system, and whether it is intuitive, user-friendly, full-featured, mobile-centric and comprehensive. After all, technology should enhance operations and productivity, not act as a burden or limitation to your team. You can't expect your staff to step up their game if you don't provide them with the tools to do so. With the right mobile-centric PMS technology in place, your staff can experience the freedom to excel at their jobs with anytime/anywhere access to improved communications, real-time property updates and vital guest information at a glance.To download the free guide, Shifting Your Hotel Staff from Task-Oriented to Guest-Oriented, CLICK HERE or go to
Article by Jos Schaap

Evaluating the Hype Behind Mobile Keyless Entry for Hotels

StayNTouch Inc. 19 April 2018
With the ongoing evolution of technology and consumer preferences, we frequently bear witness to a trend of forced adaptation amongst businesses, both large and small. Across industries, business owners can often recognize the tides of change rapidly approaching their service offering. Hoping not to be left behind, they fervently work to prepare for those impending upsets by adopting responsive, small-scale changes to ride the wave of the bigger vision and more innovative players. Adapt and evolve is the key to survival in a competitive consumer market, after all. The only problem is, in today's marketplace -- with the hospitality industry being no exception -- guests are as smart as they are selective. They know better than to bite at small change, when the more innovative brands are willing to go all in, and offer their guest a more complete, improved experience. They don't just want a piece of the cake - they want the whole cake baked to their exact preferences each and every time. Let's use this understanding to take a closer look at the mobile evolution. Across the hospitality industry, we're seeing the rapid implementation of mobile functionality solutions based on guests' demonstrated preference for mobile engagement and convenience. Within this trend, hotels are investing in apps, improved mobile booking technology, mobile keys, mobile kiosks/concierge and more. Mobile keys have captured the interest of hoteliers and guests across the industry. There are a number of reasons for this, including the environmentally friendly and sustainable nature of an app-generated key in place of a plastic keycard, increased security and front desk by-pass. In fact, a study released in March shows that 73% of guests want to bypass the front desk, and 63% would prefer a mobile key solution. However, it's important to realize that capitalizing on the true power (and ROI) of mobile extends far beyond just installing a mobile key solution, and stopping there. Without the underpinnings of a strong, versatile and mobile PMS, just having a mobile key solution may only fix a small portion of the guest engagement challenge that hoteliers face today. Basically, it might just be a piece of the cake, while your guests are left still hungry for more. Rather, hoteliers need to adopt a holistic approach to mobile and the way in which it can (positively) impact every fact of a hotel's operations. This approach should focus on an intuitive PMS system, seamless mobile check-in/out technology and guest self-service stations, as well as mobile keys. A genuinely intuitive hotel PMS system should effectively enhance the daily workings of your front desk operations, rate management, group management, reservations, housekeeping's and financials, all at a glance. While an upgraded PMS may not be immediately recognizable to a guest, you can trust that they will quickly appreciate the service advantage it provides. Why? Because an empowered, mobile staff removes barriers and services guests where they are, 24/7. By freeing your staff from the limitations of a task-oriented service model, you are enabling them to connect with guests in a valuable way and provide enhanced, personalized service. They can interact with the hotel property and guests in an interactive, responsive way while also increasing revenue opportunity with upsell prompts from the PMS. These upgrade and package prompts can even be built-in to the guest self-service stations, ensuring each guest is in complete control of their experience. With this functionality in place, you can cater to those guests who prefer a low-touch, efficiency-based service model as well as those who prefer a more personalized experience. Further, your mobile check-in/out solution is just as critical (if not more so) than your mobile key. The check-in and check-out process represents each guests' first and last impression of your hotel, after all. A comprehensive and foolproof mobile check-out solution should not only work seamlessly each and every time, but it should empower the guest with choice of service, provide a sense of exclusive connection, differentiate your hotel, offer upgrades and monetize late check-in/out. When it comes to mobile, it's about the whole picture -- not just part of it. Ensure you are setting your hotel up for long-term success with a complete, multi-faceted mobile solution in place. With this approach, you can not only weather the tide of change, but you can continuously get ahead of it to offer a truly innovative experience for your guests.

How Future-Proof is Your Hotel PMS? Download Free 10-Point Checklist Now

StayNTouch Inc. 12 April 2018
In many respects, a hotel can only be as future-ready as it's PMS system. The PMS system acts as the integral framework to a hotel's internal processes, paving the way to a positive experience for staff and guests alike. Of course, as the PMS technology available continues to advance and evolve, hotelier's may find themselves reassessing current platforms and tools in favor of more modern, updated options.So how, exactly, does one go about future-proofing investments in hotel technology when there's no certainty what the future holds? Luckily, we've compiled a 10-point checklist to help you determine the answers to that question.1. Is Your PMS Cloud-Based?On-premise solutions can often be left behind as technology advances. Of course, some updates are available, but many hotels choose not to upgrade because of lack of compatibility with their other systems, as well as fear of loss of data or disruption to routine. Migrating your PMS to the cloud should be top of mind for every hotelier. Cloud-based software doesn't rely on costly hardware upgrades, and automatically installs new updates to maintain security and limit on-going maintenance. And because of the simple subscription-based SaaS pricing of cloud-based PMS, there are no unwelcome surprises - and budgets are predictable year after year.2. Is Your PMS Optimized for Mobile?If your PMS is missing mobile functionality (check-in, upgrades, key encoding and more), it's missing out entirely. The modern hotel guest expects to remain connected 24/7, while also addressing most of their travel needs right from their smartphone. In fact, 60% of guests across all demographics stated that they are "more likely" to choose a hotel that allows guests to check-in with a smartphone than a hotel that doesn't.To download a free copy of the 10-point checklist CLICK HERE or go to
Article by Jos Schaap

How Self-Service Is Replacing Traditional Guest Service In The Ideal Guest Experience

StayNTouch Inc. 3 April 2018
Traditionally, the guest experience with a hotel is defined by their interaction(s) with hotel staff, the upkeep of the property and amenities, and the provision of a room which meets or exceeds expectations. However, as any savvy hotelier knows, the current hospitality landscape has outgrown that tradition to make room for improved technology and an enhanced, personalized guest experience. Where guests previously expected to be greeted with cheerful front desk staff, they now prefer mobile check-in, allowing them to bypass lines and interact with the hotel freely (and immediately). Moreover, guests, today expect customized service with a low-touch flair, allowing them to express complete control over their hotel experience. In fact, self-service is on pace to replace traditional guest service entirely.Convenience is ParamountThe self-service trend is leading the way to a future which prioritizes convenience at every turn. Earlier this year, we saw the debut of Amazon Go's first automated retail store in Seattle which allows customers to enter, shop and check-out their purchases without any interaction or physical cash/card exchange. Instead, when you arrive at the store, you scan your phone, and the store's automated systems track what you grab with 100 cameras before automatically charging you the correct amount upon departure. This proved to be an incredibly exciting retail model for customers who prefer a low-touch, time-efficient shopping process which allows them to get in and out with no time wasted. Large-scale examples such as the Amazon Go store, Uber Eats and purchase kiosks, demonstrate the way in which customers are increasingly embracing this kind of technology and widespread shift to the self-service model.As we turn our sights to the hospitality realm specifically, we see the influx of millennial travelers who prefer to make reservations and check-in by smartphone or kiosk, access a virtual key from their mobile device and communicate with staff via text messaging. In a recent study, participants were asked to estimate how much time they waste standing in line or waiting for service. On average, respondents said they waste about one hour standing in line or waiting for service in a typical week. In fact, according to a recent study by Zebra Global Hospitality, 70% of guests want to use their smartphone to speed up check-in and services. After all, who wants to find themselves stuck in a front desk line cluttered with tired tourists, families and business travelers, waiting for check-in after a long flight or day or travel?The Room of the FutureThe self-service model and the convenience it implements extends to the in-room experience as well. With the constant evolution of in-room technology, we are seeing hotels implement iPad and mobile-based room controls to provide direct control of temperature, lighting, bathroom amenity settings, voice-activated AI devices, streaming services, mobile concierge and more. In today's modern hotel room, guests no longer have to ring down to housekeeping for more towels, to adjust their room temperature, restock the minibar or order room service. Instead, they can tell the in-room iPad to cool or warm the room and send housekeeping or room service requests with a few taps within the app. It's simple, immediate and most importantly, entirely convenient and conducive to the ideal frictionless guest experience.PersonalizationAn increase in self-service technology also translates to an increased opportunity to gather guest data for improved personalization. Within an app on their mobile device, guests are free to engage and make requests or purchases in an uninhibited manner, without any influence or hesitation they may feel within interpersonal interactions. In fact, evidence indicates that investing in technology ups in-room sales revenue by 20%. Hotels can then use this data to create guest profiles and save preferred settings to ensure guests' expectations are immediately met (or better yet, exceeded) every visit. This also helps to remedy guest complaints and ensure those mistakes aren't repeated, as studies note that 89% of customers get frustrated because they need to repeat their issues to multiple representatives. Moreover, 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience.A Different Kind of Engagement While self-service may seem to be a model that decreases engagement with staff, this actually isn't the case. Rather, the self-service approach encourages a different kind of engagement -- allowing staff to be less transactional and focus on establishing genuine connections with guests. By making the requirements of your staff more streamlined and hands-free, you're providing them the freedom to excel in their customer service. With this technology in place, hotel employees will no longer be confined to stationary positions within the lobby or left to guess what guest expectations might be. Mobile and kiosk-based check-in (and more) allows staff to move freely around the hotel, offer entirely responsive service and access guest profiles at a moment's notice. Some hotels are even testing out rooms with sensors that detect body heat so that housekeeping knows not to enter when the room is occupied. Other hotels are experimenting with robots that can do everything from deliver luggage to check guests in and answer questions.As self-service technology continues to evolve and gain popularity, we can expect improved cost efficiency, personalization and a smoother, more seamless experience for both hotels and guests, as traditional service becomes a thing of the past. With this in mind, we are confident that mobile and self-service is the new way to hotel

10 Step Guide to Attracting the New Digital Traveler

StayNTouch Inc. 21 March 2018
Implementing a strategy to nurture the next generation of guests is essential for any property, and the task of winning the hearts and minds of this highly profitable guest is really much easier than it sounds. It comes down to taking care of the details and using trusted tools. As we head towards an ever more tech-centric age to come, hotels that will succeed are those that adopt or continue to actively embrace all that the latest technology offers.With this in mind, StayNTouch has compiled an exclusive 10-step guide to ensure your hotel is best equipped to attract the modern, digital traveler.1. Invest in TechThe digital traveler has their finger on the pulse of the latest and greatest tech trends. Appeal to their penchant for technology by equipping your hotel with advanced offerings such as AI personal assistants, complimentary streaming services, in-room mobile controls, mobile room keys and more.2. Personalized ServiceThe modern guest wants their hotel to anticipate their needs, expectations and values, in order to curate a truly personalized experience. Ensure you have an advanced, insight-focused PMS system in place that allows you to better understand (and engage with) each guest.3. Utilize Machine Learning TechnologyIn order to personalize your guests' booking and on-property experience, your PMS system should utilize machine learning technology to track online navigation patterns, geographical location, and seasonality data. With this data, the software you have in place can strategically tailor content based on each traveler's buying or guest journey, in real time.4. Mobile FunctionalityHelp your digital guest stay connected 24/7, right from the palm of their hand, with mobile-optimized features such as booking, check-in, check-out, concierge and self-service stations. Arm your staff with tablets and a mobile device so that they are free to engage with guests anywhere on-property.5. Make Sure There Is an App For ThatThe digital guest readily embraces any opportunity to increase efficiency while on-the-go. By creating an app for your hotel, you can better connect with your digital-savvy guest, create a central hub for hotel information and offer app-specific perks or exclusive promotions. Ideally, your mobile app should be a one-stop solution for all your travel needs. CLICK HERE to download the full guide or go to
Article by Jos Schaap

If Your Hotel PMS Doesn't Include These 6 Things, Your Competition May Be Winning

StayNTouch Inc. 15 March 2018
The world of hotel property management systems (PMS) has become somewhat confounding lately. There are a myriad of new entrants, and the legacy systems are trying to hang on by wrapping their old solutions in new costumes (a.k.a. putting lipstick on a monkey). One thing is sure - the guest is evolving and becoming more educated, on-demand and needs instant gratification, that's why offering your guests with the latest hotel technology is paramount.Competition for the guest is fierce. Hotels struggle with Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), Airbnb, the review ecosystem that is TripAdvisor and many more elements that affect the hotel PMS decision. These external pressures can sometimes feel daunting, but hoteliers can control one incredibly important aspect of their operations that every hotel has in place. The control can come from the PMS and its capability to amplify the guest experience. So, here are five things that your PMS needs to ensure that you are outperforming your competition.MobilityIn our instant-access world, guests expect quick responses. Gone are the days where hotel staff need to be chained to their desks and your guests are aware of this! The front desk idea is old and antiquated, and it creates a barrier between hotel ambassadors and the guest. The new PMS world should be focused on mobility enabling your staff to roam the lobby - or anywhere for that matter - and help guests upon arrival and even encourage some upselling. Mobility should also place power into the guests' hands by empowering them to book, check-in and out as well as order anything via their mobile device. Mobile hospitality is the future of our industry, and it should be at the top of the list.Design Flexibility & UsabilityOur industry experiences a great deal of turnover when it comes to staffing hotels. Even the best PMS system is useless if your employees don't know how to use it. The hotel PMS technology needs to be easy to use, easy to train and more importantly - be flexible enough to address all the changes that are occurring in the new hotel technology ecosystem. These changes can include new interface requirements, new additions to the application itself, as well as the capability to be open. Older PMS's are closed, and third-party vendors and their hotel clients can wait months, if not years, to get their system integrated. This can be debilitating to your operation, so make sure that your new PMS has this capability and overall philosophy. A good PMS doesn't just fit your hotel's current needs, but also has the potential to grow with you: it should include multiple modules, features and endless possibilities for integration.Cloud & SaaSThere has been a great deal of focus on cloud developed platforms because this delivery method is the future. If your PMS is not cloud-based, then you will be lagging behind. Your PMS of choice should not require you to put in a lot of work upfront. Also, ensure that the PMS company offers a SaaS pricing that includes not only the platform but critical updates as well. When it comes to SaaS from an investment perspective, it makes a great deal of sense as the cost implications to the hotel are much lower than the older, tradition license, maintenance and support model. SaaS service makes administration easier; provides automatic updates and management; ensures compatibility; enhances collaboration and provides access to users from any device capable of accessing the internet.Service & SupportHoteliers need to feel secure that we, their technology providers have their back when it comes to maintaining, supporting and servicing the solutions that they purchase from us. Hoteliers cannot wait on hold. Imagine if hoteliers asked their guests to continually wait for the delivery of extra pillows from housekeeping or a martini at the lobby bar. Hotels are in the service business, and hotel technology providers need to emulate this level of service. Do your homework on possible new PMS companies and make sure that they have a stellar service reputation.Guest EngagementWe hear a great deal about guest engagement these days in the hotel world. Your PMS should enhance guest engagement and improve your guests on and off property experience. If your guests' want to purchase something that they want placed in their room before arrival; they should be able to do so. If they would like to schedule a spa appointment at the same time, the system should enable this to occur. The guest is in charge, and the system that you choose should empower the guest to decide how they want to manage their stay and how they want to interact with the hotel and its employees. True guest engagement is letting the guest do what they want when they want with as much support from the hotel as they need.Data & ReportingThe truth is that every guest you have really is your only guest, at least as far as they are concerned. They expect you to treat them with unsurpassed care as though your entire success depends upon their ongoing satisfaction -- which it does. A PMS should also enable your staff to easily answer guest questions, access and gather data as well as offer relevant services. This way your PMS not only facilitates personalized service, but also positively affects your revenue. Anticipating shifts and trends is much easier when your PMS provides forecasts, past performance levels, guest stay cards and so forth.There are most likely ten to twenty more specific items that a hotelier should be looking at when they are choosing their new PMS to stay ahead of their competition - but these top six areas should be prominent in the decision-making process. If you are not currently using an advanced mobile PMS system, chances are you are giving up an opportunity to further differentiate yourself among your competition. Now may be a good time to consider the many ways your hotel brand would benefit by implementing an innovative new hotel PMS technology.

7 Reasons Hotels Choose StayNTouch Over Other PMS Solutions

StayNTouch Inc. 13 March 2018
If you're in the market for a new property management system and have done any research, you might have begun to feel that you know less than you did before. That's why StayNTouch has put together a helpful guide to help you compare and learn why their Rover PMS has quickly become the preferred PMS solution for both independents and chains alike.Here are just seven of the many reasons why hotels of all sizes and service levels choose StayNTouch Rover PMS over other PMS solutions.1. Full-Featured PMS FunctionalityStayNTouch offers next-generation PMS technology functionality without the restrictions and overhead costs of being tied down to large, complicated legacy systems. Features and capabilities available in Rover PMS include: integrated booking engine, reservations management, rate and revenue management, group management, housekeeping, distribution/channel management, custom dashboards and analytics, reporting, multi-property management, back office/accounting, , payment integrations, mobile check-in and check-out, self-service stations, marketing automation, PCI Compliant, digital signature capture, and much more.2. Ease of UseSavvy hoteliers know that the goal of PMS technology is to provide the executive management team and front-line employees with tools to run the hotel profitably, not to spend their time learning and managing the technology. StayNTouch offers a high-performing, intuitive and easy to use system so that employees can focus on what matters most - guests. Unlike many other hotel systems on the market, StayNTouch PMS requires minimal training and provides a touch/graphic user experience. Moreover, in an industry with such high turnover rates, the StayNTouch PMS doesn't require excessive training and can avoid frustrations, errors, and costs associated with more cumbersome solutions.3. Cost SavingsThere are definitely cost savings when implementing StayNTouch PMS, and the lower total cost of ownership (TCO) allows hoteliers to re-invest in innovative ideas rather than technological infrastructure. StayNTouch Rover is a cloud-based PMS that can be implemented quickly with the least amount of disruption to the workflow. Unlike on-premise solutions, the cost of entry is substantially lower, and when you grow as a hotel - the scalability and flexibility of the StayNTouch PMS makes it the preferred choice of forward-thinking hotels. Because it is offered on a SaaS pricing model, everything is combined into an all-inclusive monthly fee. That means no more maintenance fee surprises or extra support charges. The investment is also highly manageable from a budgetary standpoint due to the predictable nature of the cost structure.4. Mobile & Self-Serve:StayNTouch Rover mobile PMS enables hoteliers to meet emerging expectations while creating more meaningful interactions between hotel guests and employees. Staff can move about the hotel and still have access to the PMS on their tablets. Accessible and fully functional on any tablet device, a mobile PMS eliminates inefficiencies in the guest experience, like waiting in line at the front desk. Beyond front desk services, a mobile PMS can streamline and improve other functional areas of the hotel. Employees can access the PMS from anywhere on property and use the data to make more informed decisions or resolve issues quickly. Guests can also have a choice in the way they interact with the hotel. With Rover, they can self-check-in or engage with a welcoming staff member face-to-face using a tablet. This includes integrated secure mobile credit card swipe and mobile guest room key encoding. Guests can also reach out to for on-property requests using their preferred methods including smartphone, text, and mobile. Management can monitor guest activity and revenue performance on a tablet, even off-site. By providing more self-service options, hotels can create more touch points with the guest - each one an opportunity to capture valuable data that improves the guest experience and drives more revenue.To access the full guide CLICK HERE or go to

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