We begin our inquiry by asking, what is driving customer retention in hotels? Answering this question requires that our readers do away with this qua
StayNTouch Inc. · 19 Sep
One of the top priorities for hoteliers, according to a recent travel trends report, is a renewed focus on the "battle for the Phono-sapien." This term was first coined by The Economist to describe the next stage of human evolution, to a mobile-first consumer who looks at their phone every 12 minutes and checks it within five minutes of waking up. In fact, according to a survey by Hotels.com, 81% of travelers say their top travel accessory is their smartphone, which is more than those who said they'd like to bring a camera or even a loved one.
StayNTouch Inc. · 22 Aug
Managing a successful hotel is not easy 一 Hoteliers are tasked with enhancing the guest experience, empowering their staff, and increasing their property's bottom line. As our industry continues to adopt next-generation, guest-centric platforms, hoteliers must frequently vet emerging technology to ensure that it meets their property's evolving needs. While there are many systems that play a critical role in the strategic optimization of a hotel's operational structure, the PMS represents the technological heartbeat of any property. Beyond the necessary capture of reservations and financials, the PMS acts as a centralized hub of vital information relating to revenue, guest engagement, staff efficiencies, and reporting. Hoteliers today need a mobile-friendly platform that not only manages front-line operations, but also streamlines back-of-the-house operations, and consolidates customer data. Ultimately, a hotel property management solution should do more than just "manage" your property, it should optimize your property to increase revenues and enhance the guest experience.
StayNTouch Inc. · 9 Aug
Recent advances in artificial intelligence promise to revolutionize the hospitality industry, dramatically enhancing personalization, connectivity and revenue generation. But some technology experts ask: Will people still be able to make a difference, or are we entering a brave new world where self-service and intelligent communication platforms completely take over?
StayNTouch Inc. · 11 Jul
The landscape of hospitality tech might be changing, but one thing is certain: mobility is far more than a passing fad. Rather, it's the new industry standard that will shape every touchpoint of hotel operations and the guest experience.
StayNTouch Inc. · 27 Jun
The hospitality industry finds itself in a number of technological transformations. From guest-facing solutions to operational platforms, the legacy technology which once ruled our sector is slowly being replaced by modern, more agile solutions. Once slow to adopt new technology, the hospitality industry is now turning to mobile-friendly, cloud-based platforms to provide a more personalized and streamlined guest experience
StayNTouch Inc. · 30 May
Hoteliers, we have news for you. Millennials - that group of individuals born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s - own your future. Understanding millennial consumers has become a significant discussion point across industries over the last few years. Why? Because they are the first truly digital generation with more buying power of any other demographic before them. With $600 billion in annual buying power and notably different purchase motivations and values than baby boomers, the eighty million millennials (in America alone) possess a great deal of influence. In fact, by 2020, researchers predict that millennial spending in the United States will grow to $1.4 trillion annually, representing 30% of total retail sales. Millennials and Loyalty
StayNTouch Inc. · 16 May
The success of modern hotel brands is often directly correlated with the technology and procedures put in place to support their staff and operational structure. Favoring legacy systems over newer, more innovative platforms can negate a hotel's ability to provide the hyper-personalized and seamless experience guests now expect. Unfortunately, this is an all-to-common crux within the hospitality industry. Simply put, without the right tools and infrastructure in place, hotel staff won't have access to the resources they need to provide a guest experience that leaves a lasting impression. This discussion becomes especially important when we look to the heart of any hotel's operational structure - the PMS system. However, today's PMS is noticeably different than in the past - and it has never been more important for hotels to keep ahead of the technological curve. After all, technology is key to managing every stage of the guest journey. With this in mind, we've compiled a comprehensive breakdown of the seven primary warning signs of an outdated hotel PMS system. Hoteliers, beware - these shortcomings could be standing in the way of your property's true potential! 1. Your Lobby is Filled with Lines, Rather than Happy Guests Long queues to the front desk were once a frustrating staple of the hospitality industry 一 but fortunately, those days are behind us. With the help of modern PMS systems, your property can offer guests complete autonomy over their on (and off) property experience with a choice between high-touch service, mobile check-in/out, keyless entry and self-service kiosks. Not only do guests appreciate being able to choose their preferred service model, but this ensures there are no unnecessary delays or complications derived from front desk lines and over-extended staff. If you're still using a legacy PMS without a mobile component, your guests will certainly notice...while they're waiting in line to your front desk. 2. Updates are Never Automatic - But Always Costly Perhaps one of the most notorious traits of legacy PMS platforms is their lack of automated updates. Systems that are not cloud-based or easily integrated will constantly require costly manual updates and upgrades, that often require a technician to install. And Every time you add a new app or features change, your legacy system will require a new update or configuration. Fortunately, mobile PMS systems can future-proof their hotels' business, through automatic upgrades and open APIs. Even better? No surprise, or hidden costs due to manual upgrades down the line - that's all taken care of, automatically and without interrupting your regular operations. Your property will be empowered to grow with unlimited interfaces while staying ahead of market trends.
Technology-based self-service is everywhere these days enabling users to accomplish a wide range of tasks - from banking, to ordering pizza, checking
StayNTouch Inc. · 2 May
Brands today have reached a rather exciting crossroad within this digital age. On the one hand, consumers have expressed an undeniable demand for an increase in their digital experience that perpetuates a culture of convenience and instant gratification. However, on the other hand, there still exists a need for human touch across various touch-points within the consumer experience. So, the modern dilemma becomes, how does the human role fit into the rapidly evolving digital revolution? How can brands effectively utilize new-age technology to empower the consumer experience without losing grasp of certain integral human elements? Does a perfect balance of high-tech and high-touch service exist? If so, how does that look? Hospitality professionals are especially tuned in to this conversation, as we work to piece together a blueprint of the optimal guest experience. After all, in such a tech-driven world, it's hard to beat the convenience and simplicity of one-click, self-service digital connections and touch-points. But as brick and mortar hospitality is rooted in the traditional provision of a high-touch guest experience and accommodations, we can't neglect the timeless desire for an older, vintage tech - humans. A 2017 research report revealed that many companies across industries had placed too much reliance on digital technology in recent years while neglecting the more traditional service model. According to the report, companies need to develop experiences that allow their customers to easily move between digital and human interactions so that they can get the experience and service they want. It was also revealed that 77% of surveyed individuals crave human interaction when they need guidance. In fact, studies indicate that while 62% of consumers are in favor of using self-serve technologies (such as kiosks) to improve the in-store shopping experience, 78% are in favor of giving technology to sales associates to enhance their shopping experience instead. Not only that, but 68% of consumers had not yet used chatbots to get in touch with a brand, largely due to their desire to engage with real people when accessing services. So, what does this all mean? Hoteliers should use technology to enhance, not replace, the human element within the guest experience. When we consider the current, dominant trends shaping the modern guest experience, the topic of hyper-personalization is undeniably top of mind. Studies show that more than 55% of business travelers want customized offers for loyalty program credits and 84% of travelers think that a personalized hotel experience is "somewhat" or "very" important. Fortunately, technology empowers hoteliers to curate a more personalized experience that would otherwise be extremely difficult to achieve. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), machine learning, and new-age platforms driven by actionable data, hoteliers can finally gain access to a more holistic view of each guest and their expectations. Further, with the use of these platforms, hotels can offer self-service options (such as mobile check-in/out, keyless entry, mobile concierge, self-service kiosks and more) to inspire a more efficient and convenient operational model. This all sounds fantastic, wouldn't you say? Of course, this brings us back to the original dilemma. If hotels are implementing new-age PMS and CRM systems that aggregate data to streamline previously manual touch-points, is that technology replacing the human touch? Not at all. While this technology surely inspires a more hands-off (or low-touch) service model for those guests who would prefer to interact with technology rather than staff, it ultimately implores guests to choose their desired service model. The inclusion of self-service, one-click technology that boasts a fast, frictionless experience is not meant to replace the traditional touch-points of interpersonal interaction with staff and high-touch attention - it's meant to complement it. When a hotel's operational structure is no longer overwhelmed with long-established frustrations (front desk lines and unnecessary delays), staff are finally empowered to interact with guests more freely, and in a more personalized and genuine manner. Not only does this pave the way to improved connections with guests, but with the actionable insights, prompts and upsell suggestions from intuitive PMS platforms, staff can truly personalize each interaction. Ultimately, guests are free to choose the path to service that best serves them at any given moment of their travel experience. Wherever a digital or self-service option exists, there also exists the choice to interact with a hotel staff member. It's this seamless transition from online to offline interactions that allows hotels to marry the perfect balance of high-tech and high-touch guest service. Ultimately, the need for technological investment and on-going digital reform is undeniable, but the dedication to a service model that is both accessible and personable remains paramount.. For the modern guest, convenience and choice are synonymous concepts - the more choice you provide each guest grants them access to a more personalized, seamless experience. Your new-age PMS or CRM platform is not the guest experience; instead, it contributes to the overall guest experience. Also, catering to what guests want? That's a value proposition with studies showing that more than half of shoppers are willing to pay a higher price for the customer experiences they value most. When considering your current operational ecosystem and the technology you have in place to capitalize on this blend of high-tech and high-touch service, consider the following: - Is the platform available in the cloud, accessible on any device and does it empower your staff to work from anywhere? - Whether guest-facing or staff-facing, is the platform straightforward and intuitive allowing consistent ease of use and increased efficiency? - Does it empower your guests with 'choice of service' to select the service model that best serves them (i.e., help from staff or a self-service kiosk) - Does it pull data from various sources to provide actionable insights for each guest, and equip your staff with targeted upsell offers to serve guests in a more personalized manner? - Does it enable mobile connectivity (smartphone, tablet, desktop, etc.) to establish instant connections with your guests via their mobile devices? If your current stack of hospitality platforms fails to deliver these primary features and allow you to bridge the gap between high-tech and human touch guest service, it might be time for an upgrade. Click here to learn more.
StayNTouch Inc. · 25 Apr
Customer service is a segment that impacts brands across every industry - and yet, it's always on the move. Despite being a universally understood (and validated) concept, the perceived standard of what defines great customer service is continuously re-inventing itself according to evolving consumer expectations. With the continued influence of new technology, brands are implored to rethink their approach to customer service and stay one step ahead (or at the very least, on pace with) emerging customer expectations.
StayNTouch Inc. · 5 Feb
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?
StayNTouch Inc. · 10 Jan
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 Inc. · 8 Nov
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 Hospitality
StayNTouch Inc. · 24 Oct
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 down
StayNTouch Inc. · 17 Oct
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:
StayNTouch Inc. · 25 Sep
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.
StayNTouch Inc. · 12 Sep
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:
StayNTouch Inc. · 29 Aug
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.
StayNTouch Inc. · 16 Aug
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.
StayNTouch Inc. · 24 Jul
When it comes to hotel technology, are hotels and their system providers on the same page?
StayNTouch Inc. · 5 Jun
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.
StayNTouch Inc. · 2 May
Your hotel property management system (PMS) is the beating heart of your hotel - responsible for streamlining operations, optimizing guest service and maximizing revenue. However, like most technology, it has a limited lifespan. As technology evolves, so will your property's (and guest's) unique needs and goals; resulting in the inevitable necessity to reevaluate your current PMS. Even a once-invaluable PMS can eventually outlive its suitability; at that point, replacing your PMS may be a more effective decision than reworking it. Unfortunately, hoteliers often delay the replacement of this essential technology to the detriment of their productivity and profits.
StayNTouch Inc. · 26 Apr
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.
StayNTouch Inc. · 19 Apr
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.
StayNTouch Inc. · 3 Apr
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.