The hospitality industry has undergone many changes in the past decade, primarily because of ever-evolving technologies that completely transformed the way we book hotel rooms and enjoy the services that hotels have to offer.
Back in the day, we were thrilled when a member of a hotel staff brought a newspaper to our room and offered to wake us up in the morning, not to mention welcoming us with candy bars on the pillows and a warm and friendly smile. Today, all we want is the Wifi password.
As new technologies emerge, our needs and expectations keep changing, making hotel owners take their customer service to the next level and provide the best possible customer experience. The key to an outstanding hotel service is and always has been personalized experience, but nowadays that means something entirely different than ever before. The future is definitely here, so read on to explore the ways the hospitality industry is embracing that future.
PMS as the Backbone of Effective Hotel Management
Almost every hotel owner these days relies on a cloud PMS (cloud hotel management software) to manage and streamline all of their daily operations and continually improve their business. A PMS has become one of the must-have tools for hotels when it comes to managing day-to-day tasks, especially repetitive ones that require too much time.
Without a reliable hotel software, hotel managers and other staff members would spend most of their time stuck in piles of documents or trying to find their way through in a bunch of Excel sheets. Without a proper hospitality software, they would not have much time to focus on providing their guests with high-quality service, let alone think about personalized service.
However, emerging technologies are opening the doors to plenty more opportunities for efficient and effective hotel management. They are showing that there is quite a lot of potential beyond PMS software.
This definitely doesn't mean that hotel software has become obsolete. Quite the contrary, in order to take full advantage of hospitality software, you need to integrate it with new technologies that are changing the hospitality landscape. If you do that, you will redefine customer service and maximize your revenue, taking your hotel to a whole new level of success.
Integrating PMS with Other Systems and New Technologies
Integrating your hospitality software with other software solutions is a very important step for making your data more usable. When you have huge silos of data, it can be pretty tough to make sense of it all and sort out every bit of information you have at your disposal.
When you integrate your hotel software with other important systems that rely on emerging technologies, you will have access to dynamic dashboards that will enable you to have a clear insight into all your data. You will have a complete view of your customers, knowing exactly what their needs are, and you will effectively manage your pricing, promotions, demand and hotel segmentation, and so much more.
Moreover, you will be able to build strong relationships with your customers and inspire their loyalty, since you can integrate your hotel software with real-time communication tools. Furthermore, you will have access to reports, analytics, and customer reviews and ratings, all of which will help you improve your service and drive more customers to your door.
You can integrate your hospitality software with a POS system, payment gateways, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, CRS (Central Reservation System), accounting software, Revenue Management System, Sales and Catering System, Wi-Fi, Mobile Check-In Check-Out software, electronic locking system, and so many more software solutions.
The Rise of AI and Chatbots
Artificial intelligence is completely revolutionizing the hospitality industry, enabling hoteliers to handle various functions that require quite a lot of time and effort. AI-driven software solutions quickly and effectively complete those functions, providing accurate data analysis and adapting to customer interactions, so that they can provide excellent personalized service and tailor everything to specific customer needs.
Integrating your hotel software with AI solutions will save you lots of time and money, increase your efficiency, eliminate the risk of human error, and result in exceptional customer service.
The most common of AI applications in the hospitality industry has to do with chatbots. Chatbots are remarkable when it comes to customer service, as they can communicate with people in real-time via online chat or direct messaging services, providing them with instant and relevant answers to their questions 24/7.
As such, chatbots are absolutely invaluable to hoteliers, as they free up time for the front desk and provide quick response times that customers expect. Moreover, they provide them with personalized service and significantly enhance their experience, since they are based on artificial intelligence, that is, NLP (Natural Language Processing) and machine learning.
The Power of Mobile
Mobile technologies are vital for the future of hospitality because they immediately engage hotel guests and provide them with a number of options for the high-quality hotel experience. Mobile is especially important to millennials, as they want to use their mobile devices to book a hotel room, pay for the room, check in and check out of a hotel, order room service, browse amenities, and communicate with hotel managers.
Enabling hotel guests to seamlessly use their mobile devices for all available in-room services is what can drastically improve their hotel experience. It can help them form an incredible impression of a hotel that not only would make their stay truly fantastic, but also make them want to come back again and enjoy the hotel's impeccable service.
Mobile integration with your hospitality software opens the door to a lot more possibilities than just booking and checking in and out of your hotel. It enables your guests to browse through the menu on their mobile devices and easily make an order to be delivered to their room.
They can also use their smartphone for all the in-room entertainment (TV, DVR, etc.), as well as to pay for the in-room service and communicate with your hotel staff in real-time. They never have to leave the room to get the service they need, which is exceptionally convenient and precisely what travelers nowadays expect.
Enabling mobile access to your hotel software is important for your staff as well, as they can receive real-time information on their devices and significantly enhance guest experience. They don't need to be tied to the reception desk or any other spot in order to deliver fast and high-quality service. They can access your hotel PMS from anywhere and take orders, charge every in-room service, manage housekeeping, manage hotel restaurant service, and much more.
This is why hotels need to deploy mobile-friendly hotel software solutions, as well as build mobile apps for even more superior experiences. For instance, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has a mobile app that enables their guests to book their stay, make room requests, check out specials, and even unlock the door.
Yet another smart hotel software integration that every hotelier should consider is WhatsApp Business. It is an Android app built for a seamless interaction with customers, and it is perfect for sending greeting messages to every hotel guest, introducing them to all the services you offer, providing them with quick replies 24/7, and providing access to your business profile that showcases your website, address and email. This app goes beyond mobile in that you can send and receive messages on your desktop.
As you can see, new technologies offer incredible opportunities for creating the ultimate guest experience. The future of hospitality definitely goes way beyond a hotel PMS, but hoteliers should not merely look beyond it, but rather connect it with all the remarkable tech options that are rapidly taking the hotel experience to a whole new level.
Nevertheless, the human touch still remains the most important factor for successful hotel management, so finding the right balance between technology and human touch should always be the top priority of every single hotel owner.