The recent worldwide pandemic has left many industries devastated. The travel and lodging industry was among the ones who bore the brunt of the damage, with most of their businesses being forced closed. As hotels are slowly coming back into the market, with more and more vaccinations and loosened restrictions, hoteliers have adapted to the new way of running a business, focusing on optimization and automatization.
Technology has allowed hoteliers to recover from their losses caused by COVID-19 and the global lockdown, giving them the tools to make accurate business decisions that won’t put them at risk. How exactly is this technology being used? Let’s find out!
Technology allows better property management
One of the most commonly used solutions in the hotel industry is a property management system or a PMS for short. The PMS gives you quick access to all of your hotel’s daily operations, available from most devices and ready to use anywhere there is internet access. A PMS is most often easy to use, with an approachable interface and doesn’t require any specific technical knowledge to use.
A PMS can include a variety of features and may be integrated within a larger hotel management system for smart decision making, combining the utilities of various software.
Besides its obvious advantages, a property management system provides more than you expect. With the right choice of PMS, you can stay on top of your finances as well. In today’s market, it is easy to find software that reports regularly on your business performance – why not give it a try? Click here if you would like to learn even more about PMS systems.
Go commission-free with a booking engine
Instead of paying a commission to online travel agencies for every reservation, you can handle your bookings through your own website, skipping the middleman. This allows you to keep the full profit from every booking but can be difficult to do without the proper know-how. A proper hotel booking engine can be easily embedded into a website, if you already own one, but can also be integrated with your social media channels.
Professional online booking engines offer secure payment handling and a variety of additional functionality, including multi-room booking, multilingual support, online check-in, and more. Using a booking engine will also give you the perfect opportunity to upsell your rooms and generate more revenue, promoting additional services and amenities to your guests.
Let a program handle your payments
Staying ahead of your payments is crucial when running any business, and especially a hotel. In current times, it is extremely important not to let yourself fall into debt or neglect your business, which is exactly why an online payment handling software can be so useful. This type of software can be heavily automated, handling most of the dirty work for you and allowing you to focus on more important matters.
Needless to say, said work is now dirtier than ever. To maintain safety, contactless payments are encouraged everywhere. While this tendency definitely marks a step forward, the fast-increasing demand for digital payment options often leaves smaller hoteliers with the challenge to make a drastic shift from their tried and tested (but highly outdated) payment handling methods.
Our advice is to choose a multi-channel hotel payment system that allows you track physical and online payments on one platform.
Synchronize distribution with a channel manager
Managing a hotel every day can quickly get tiring – and the work never stops. You need to constantly keep a check on your rates and availability, stressing to avoid overbooking. With an automated channel manager, you can easily simplify that. Such software will save you tons of time and will gather insightful data in the process, giving you a detailed analysis of your hotel’s daily workings. With such data, you can easily see what needs to be improved to make your hotel work more smoothly.
A channel manager also gives you an opportunity to expand your sales network. As you don’t have to manage all of the sales yourself, the expansion comes at no additional cost, as the software does all the job for you.
The online experience has never been so important
Make sure you tailor your hotel’s website to be as comfortable and intuitive for the users as possible since a vast majority of guests use their phones or computers to book. COVID-19 has forced many guests to swap online booking from traditional methods, which can be difficult, especially for older guests. Make sure your website is accessible from all of the most popular device types and that the font can be made big enough for people with visual impairment to see.
If you can, make sure your website is translated into as many popular languages as possible. Apart from your local language, make sure to always include English, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese translations.
In 2021, it’s also crucial to have a website that is useable on all kinds of gadgets. Did you know that mobile devices generate nearly half of all web traffic in the world? With that in mind, try to opt for an embeddable booking engine that is also mobile-friendly. If you want to go even further to improve user experience, try out software that can also be integrated into your Facebook page.
Improve your guests’ stay with concierge software
With less opportunity to make use of a concierge service because of COVID-19, online concierge software has been gaining a lot of popularity. With just a simple app, your guests can handle contactless online check-in, look at their booking in detail, make changes, and even receive concierge recommendations on local activities. The app can also be used as a key to the room, and your guests can leave their feedback after their stay.
A dedicated app also allows you to upsell your bookings through additional services. Your guests will be able to order room service, spa tickets, and even airport transfers through their smartphones, simplifying the process and increasing your conversion rate by a significant margin.