Hoteliers are forever searching for new ways to improve guest loyalty and the quality of the guest experience. These new ways can come in many forms, including technology innovations that provide specific guest features. Mobile keyless room entry is a good example.
Such innovations can deliver significant guest benefits and provide a hotel with a competitive advantage — albeit, one that is generally short-lived.
Long-term, enhancing the guest experience is less about providing the latest guest feature and more about putting structures in place that make guests feel special and appreciated. It’s about anticipating and catering to their unique needs and recognizing their differentiated value.
This speaks to the value of guest data. In fact, according to The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems (click here to access), 92% of hoteliers today believe that using guest profile information to improve the overall guest experience is an "important" or "very important" success factor.
To the extent that it enables multiple guest-facing activities while capturing and storing guest profile data every step of the way, a next-generation hotel property management system (PMS) can play a critical role in enhancing the guest experience. Today, in fact, there may be no better measure of performance than the degree to which the technology helps raise the level of overall guest satisfaction.
Such a system should serve as the lifeblood of any hotel or resort. It should be viewed as the organization’s central nervous system. In that it facilitates a bi-directional flow of information, delivering real-time data and reports, a PMS should be viewed as the command-and-control center from which all mission-critical decisions are made.
The technology should enable hoteliers to centrally manage, track, measure, analyze and optimize the constant flow of information across all parts of the organization, and in a real-time manner. Ultimately, it should ensure that operations throughout the hotel or resort run as efficiently and as effectively as possible.
These operations are largely interconnected. They include all front office, bookings and reservations functions, from assigning guests to rooms and maintaining guest folios to coordinating profile changes, posting room charges and maintaining housekeeping status.
They also generally include functions related to concierge and guest services, banquet and conference management, physical inventory, guestroom devices, room maintenance and security management — and, in many properties, golf, spa and other activities management.
There are plenty of reasons for hoteliers to migrate from a legacy PMS to a state-of-the-art system designed to meet their current and future market needs. In fact, according to research conducted for this Smart Decision Guide, more than one-quarter (27%) of hoteliers who have not upgraded their PMS within the past 3 years indicate that they plan to do so in the next 12 months.
The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems is now available for complimentary download. It can be accessed here.
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