Why Users Love Self-Service Technologies

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 21 May

Self-service technology is having a transformative effect on the world around us, particularly on consumer behaviour and the way we interact with bus

Beware the 7 Warning Signs You Have an Outdated Hotel PMS
Beware the 7 Warning Signs You Have an Outdated Hotel PMS — By Ryan King

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 With this in mind, we've compiled a comprehensive breakdown of the seven primary warning signs of an outdated hotel PMS system.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.

Self Service versus Human Touch: Finding the right balance in your hotel

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 14 May

Customer engagement and satisfaction is one area that is continually linked with a shift towards automation, especially as AI and self-serve platform

Self-Service in Hospitality: Can Customer Retention Thrive without a Human Touch?
Self-Service in Hospitality: Can Customer Retention Thrive without a Human Touch?

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 6 May

Technology-based self-service is everywhere these days enabling users to accomplish a wide range of tasks - from banking, to ordering pizza, checking

The Truth Behind Why Guests Want More Tech in Hotels, But With a Human Touch
The Truth Behind Why Guests Want More Tech in Hotels, But With a Human Touch — By Ryan King

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.

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Self Service of the Future: The Autonomous Travel Suite?

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 29 Apr

Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed a widespread consumer shift towards self-service automation. With so many options to access services indepen

Self-Service Sells: The Rise of Self-Service in the Hotel Industry
Self-Service Sells: The Rise of Self-Service in the Hotel Industry — By Ryan King

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.

How Self Service has the Power to Improve the Guest Experience

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 24 Apr

The hospitality industry has historically been bound to its traditions. In the business of making others feel comfortable and welcome – the foundatio

Culture of Convenience: Demand for Self-Service Technologies Continues to Rise

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 17 Apr

If you were to look at your typical day, how many tasks are aided by convenience? With the advent of smartphones, the rapid growth of the Internet an

New York New York: How Innovative Hotels are Offering Rates at Promotional Prices

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 9 Apr

New York, the city that never sleeps. And if you’re a tourist, you probably won’t get to sleep as according to a recent article featured on Skift, a

Rate Parity Issues Continue to be the Root of huge potential losses for hoteliers

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 28 Mar

As we move through 2019, rate parity issues continue to be as big a deal as ever for hoteliers. According to a study by data intelligence platform OT

Technology Love Match: Choosing the Right Technology for your Hotel

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 19 Mar

In today’s hospitality landscape, technology is a driving influence in a hotel’s appeal to guests, as they consciously seek out more tech-forward, mo

Improving Your Hotel Marketing Efforts

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 16 Mar

It’s no secret that a primary focus of every hotelier is to increase their bookings. With the increasing amount of accommodation options available to

Hotel 2020: Welcoming Tomorrow's Guests

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 13 Mar

A recent infographic asks, “Who is the Hotel Guest of 2020,” and how will evolving technological advances most likely shape their expectations. While

How Technology is Shaping the Hotel Guest Experience

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 11 Mar

Hands up who remembers the last time they didn’t use their smartphone for a whole day? – Probably very few! It is sometimes hard to believe that litt

The Hyperconnected Guest - Is Your Hotel Ready?>>?

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 26 Feb

Consumers today are becoming not just more connected, but hyperconnected. We are increasingly connected to the internet and the objects around us are

How Hotels Can Tap into The Experience Economy

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 19 Feb

The experience economy – a term that has been around for a while. In fact, it was first mentioned in 1998 by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore i

Hotel of the future: How mobile devices are redefining the hospitality industry

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 12 Feb

A mobile device has become a vital phantom-like limb for most of us. We have come to rely on our smartphones for everything, from staying in touch wi

Tips to Increase Hotel Occupancy During a Slow Season

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 7 Feb

Low seasons can make or break a property, particularly if budgets are already tight. If your hotel is already operating on threadbare profit margins,

5 Innovative Ways to Induce Productivity and Scale Hotel Revenue

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 5 Feb

Running a hotel is like playing the stock market. You’re constantly making investments in new strategies, new team members and new technology to see

The New Era of Personalization: The Hyperconnected Guest Experience
The New Era of Personalization: The Hyperconnected Guest Experience — By Jos Schaap

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?

Personalization & Security: Are you keeping your guests' personal data safe
Personalization & Security: Are you keeping your guests' personal data safe

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 31 Jan

Cybercrime is big business and security breaches of hotel guest data are becoming all too common, if not a fact of life. 2018 was dubbed “the year of

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

StayNTouch Inc. · 29 Jan

StayNTouch, a mobile hotel PMS technology provider revolutionizing the guest experience, is partnering with Ruby Hospitality to implement Rover PMS a

5 Ways Hotels Can Use Technology to Provide Better Customer Service

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 25 Jan

Technology has changed the way we travel. Travelers today, regardless of which generation they are a part of, carry and use mobile devices, they crav

Your Hospitality New Year's Resolutions - How To Make Your Hotel More Efficient In 2019

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 21 Jan

The new year offers a chance to look at the bigger picture. The calendar beginning anew is a time to take a look back at the year that was and plan f

5 IoT Solutions That Can Enhance Your Guest Experience
5 IoT Solutions That Can Enhance Your Guest Experience

StayNTouch: Hotel Technology Trends Blog · 18 Jan

The Internet of Things, or IoT for short is said to be the “Third Wave of Innovation” following the Industrial Revolution and the Internet Revolution