Era of the Underdog: 4 Ways the Modern Hotel PMS Helps Independents Compete with Big Brands
Travelers are no longer willing to compromise on customer experience – and thanks to modernity Property management system (PMS), they don’t have to. Independent hoteliers today have the ability to create a guest experience that can exceed what major brands currently offer, while improving operational workflow and labor requirements. Access to these features may even be available through a hotel’s existing PMS – and if not, it should be.
Here are four existing PMS hotel capabilities that level the playing field for independent operators:
Robust booking experience
Big brands remain committed to providing a consistent, high-quality booking experience across all digital channels, and now independent hoteliers have the tools to do the same. Independent hoteliers can use PMS integrations to manage the booking process of their property and provide a positive first impression at the time of booking by providing a clear, concise and comprehensive list of bookable amenities at checkout.
Hoteliers want to enable their customers to do more than select a hotel room, they want to create a unified and seamless booking journey. This involves thinking beyond the scope of the bedroom, offering activities, dinner reservations, spa appointments and more. Freelancers with access to a variety of amenities should take advantage of the full breadth of offers available during the booking process to ensure that guests are not only fully informed of their options prior to arrival, but also to ensure that hotels are committed to converting travelers on their first impression. . Ensure your PMS is able to support and deliver these orders either directly through its own online booking engine or through robust third-party partner integration using extensive API connections, so your hotel can focus on efficient operations and maximizing the customer experience.
Not all hotels are able to offer the prospect of spa service when booking, but modern PMS technology can also be used to improve the guest experience by providing a seamless check-in and check-out process. . More guests than ever are opting out of the front desk, and this capability is relatively simple to offer through PMS, but difficult for hotels trying to implement on their own.
Part of this challenge is the scope of what operators need to consider when providing a seamless, high-quality check-in and check-out experience. Hotels should consider pre-registration requirements, interactions with mobile devices, ability to update credit card information, ability to add additional names to a room, how often the maid service is requested, whether or not delivery to and from the airport is needed, and even reminders about possible courier deliveries to the hotel. Each of these elements is becoming increasingly important as more customers choose to work on the road and leisure travel grows in popularity. This process can cover pre-check-in interactions, the check-in process, distribution of a mobile key, and follow-up after guest check-out – all of which can be managed directly through the PMS.
Kiosk or self-check-in integration
Not all technology is right for all hotels, and some properties may struggle to implement features such as mobile check-in, especially at historic or unique independent properties that struggle to upgrade items. physics of the structure. Operators who want to use technology to address work challenges and provide a contactless experience are choosing to install automated kiosks where customers can check in, request additional information, and purchase room upgrades or additional amenities.
The sinews of war is access to a fully integrated PMS capable of managing kiosk operations, sharing data with other hotel departments and enabling operators to take action using up-to-date information. Hoteliers need to be fully aware of every interaction that takes place between travelers and the property, especially digital purchases or impressions that can be difficult to track without a fully integrated PMS that can “talk” to devices from other departments . When the technology ecosystem is set up correctly, kiosks can save operators countless hours of time, which can be refocused on improving the customer experience.
Guests are skipping the front desk by choice, and if hotels want to maintain their close connection to travelers, they must embrace new touchpoints through mobile interactions. Most often conducted via email and SMS, these digital conversations allow independent operators to maintain communications on a scale that was once only possible for major brands.
Additionally, some of the most common customer inquiries through text-based communications can be automated to some degree, redirecting low-level questions away from reception and providing efficient customer support. Guest messages can be automatically flagged as maintenance or housekeeping issues and delivered through internal communications to ensure leaky faucets are tightened and clean towels are delivered on demand.
Technology is not capable of solving all the challenges facing the hospitality industry, but it is capable of helping operators regain control of their business in a constrained labor market. Not all implementations are made for every hotel – contact your technology provider and see which features would benefit your property and start punching your weight.
About the Author
Warren Dehan is the president of Maestro, the preferred cloud and on-premises PMS solution for independent hotels, luxury resorts, conference centers, vacation rentals and multi-ownership groups. Maestro was the first to market with a fully integrated Windows PMS and Sales & Catering solution and continues this trend with cutting-edge web and mobile solutions. Platform and deployment independence presents Maestro as an investment that will continue to grow and adapt as new technologies emerge.
About Maestro PMS
Maestro is the preferred browser-based cloud and on-premises PMS solution for independent hotels, luxury resorts, conference centers, vacation rentals and multi-property groups. Maestro’s PCI-certified and EMV-ready enterprise system offers a full web browser (or Windows) version with over 20 built-in modules on a single database, including mobile and contactless apps to support a digitized customer journey as well as staff operations. Maestro’s sophisticated solutions enable operators to increase profitability, drive direct bookings, centralize operations, and engage customers with a personalized experience from booking to departure and everything in between. For more than 40 years, Maestro’s Diamond Plus service has provided unmatched support and education services in North America, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to keep hotel groups productive and competitive. for more information about Maestro. Click here to get your free PMS buying guide.