Is it time to upgrade your hotel’s technology? Take a moment to think about your day-to-day operations, guest interactions, and services. While there is are always opportunities for improvement, how can you determine where to prioritize your tech budget? From streamlining staff scheduling and cleaning schedules with automation to offering features like contactless check-in with mobile keys, hotel technology touches nearly every aspect of your business. It can aid or hinder your guest experience, operational efficiency, and your bottom line. As you determine whether it’s time to invest in new tools and applications to improve your hotel, consider a few key areas:
- Workforce management and overtime costs
- Performance tracking
- Guest experience
If you’re experiencing challenges in any of these areas, it could be time to upgrade your hotel’s technology. Through a few small changes, you may have the opportunity to make significant improvements with a high return on investment.
Sign 1: You don’t have easy access to key performance indicators (KPIs)
How easily can you pull reports and get measurable KPIs for your marketing and sales efforts? If you don’t have streamlined access to the performance data on things like hotel occupancy, revenue per available room, and average length of stay, you could be missing out on significant opportunities for your hotel. You could also be allocating too much of your budget to low-ROI campaigns and specials instead of using marketing revenue in highly effective, targeted efforts. Whether through your CRM, your PMS, or an integration of both, you should be able to track guest activity trends. And those trends should tell you if your happy hour special is helping attract more guests to your restaurant, or if your loyalty program is really bringing more return guests back to your hotel.
Sign 2: Your guests continuously request features that you can’t provide
Guests often search for and book hotels based on specific amenities and value-adds, such as contactless check-ins, late check-out options, spas, gyms, and other features. According to Lodging Magazine, more than half of hospitality consumers don’t want robots replacing staff interactions, but they do want improved in-room technology. And, according to Hospitality Technology, in today’s post-COVID world, 80% of hotel guests would download an app on their phones if it would allow them to take advantage of hotel keyless entry and contactless check-in services.
If you aren’t sure which area to upgrade first, try polling your guests. Taking a survey of what your guests would most like to see you implement in your hotel (e.g., contactless check-ins, upgraded in-room tech, texting capabilities, etc.). By researching some of today’s most popular amenities and getting direct feedback from your guests, you should have a good place to start for a few high-ROI tech investments for your hotel.
Sign 3: Staff scheduling and overtime are a nightmare
Attracting and retaining quality staff members can be a struggle. According to a recent study from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), 97% of hotels currently report staffing shortages, and nearly half report severe shortages. This can lead to challenges around filling shifts, which can result in increased stress and costly overtime expenses. Hospitality technology can help alleviate these issues in a few different ways.
With the right technology, you can unburden front desk staff by facilitating contactless check-ins and check-outs with Digital Key technology. This will free up employees during their shifts to address other duties. Reducing the burden on front desk staff can improve employee morale, and increase staff retention. And, at the same time, it can remove the need to schedule multiple employees during busy check-in times, thereby reducing the potential for overtime expenses.
Hotel technology can also help with staff scheduling and timekeeping through automation. Many hotels have opted for time clock systems that work through their employees’ smartphones instead of a physical timeclock. This eliminates potential bottlenecks when staff are clocking in and out, and reduces instances of errors when clocking in or out.
Sign 4: Competing hotels have upgraded their technology
Along with getting a feel for what guests want to see from your hotel, check out the competition. What are competing hotels in your area doing that you’re not? A simple upgrade like adding mobile key technology or updating how your guests interact with the front desk (e.g., via text instead of calling) could make a big difference for your occupancy rate and your guest experience.
What do you think? Is it time to upgrade your hotel’s technology? If you’ve noticed any of the telltale signs we’ve discussed in this article, it’s time for an update. While overhauling your PMS or CRM may be high-investment challenges, you can start unburdening staff and doing more for your guests with relatively little investment .
Want more info on how your hotel can benefit from Digital Key technology? Schedule a demo today.