Top 5 tech tips for hotels

shutterstock_194171585Hospitality owners looking to meet with customers’ expectations are advised to stay on top of the latest trending technologies that are used when booking or staying in hotels. The top five most recommended are: personal devices, virtual bookings, online travel agency websites, wifi and social media.

In the words of eRevMax, a provider of software solutions to the hospitality industry that delivered an info-graphic on the subject, “As consumers become more sophisticated about technology, they expect more from hotels when they travel. Therefore a hotel’s technology offerings are an important factor when choosing a hotel”.

Tip 1: Can guests stay connected?
According to eRevMax’s info-graphic 45% of hotel guests travel with two technology devices, and 40% travel with three or more. Likely contenders are smart phones, tablets, laptops and music players. As a result hoteliers are advised to cover the likelihood of a visitor having such technology on them by ensuring rooms and public areas have adequate and easy to reach plugs and bandwidth capability, along with any seating or table requirements that might be useful to operate the devices.

Tip 2: Can you take virtual bookings?
57% of travel reservations are made via the internet and 65% of same day bookings are done using a smart phone. Armed with this knowledge hoteliers are advised to invest in a cloud-based EPoS and Property Management System which offer easy access to bookings and works in real time. In addition, hoteliers need to consider their website and how user friendly it is, particularly when viewed via a mobile device, and whether it can indeed accept online bookings. It may also be worth investing in an app that can be downloaded and used for repeat bookings plus hotel information, and requesting email and mobile phone numbers when bookings are taken so that you can follow up with useful information after booking.

Tip 3: Reach more potential customers
14% of hospitality providers increase their direct bookings when listed on an online travel agency website such as Expedia or eBookers. Additionally the average daily rate they can receive for a room is increased by 1.5%. Hoteliers should take advantage of this additional revenue opportunity by ensuring that they are listed on relevant websites that can market their business effectively this also includes email and catalogue placements.

Tip 4: Free wifi is a must
38% of hotel guests list wifi as a priority when booking and 85% travellers want this wifi access to be free of charge. With this information it is a no-brainer that hospitality venues would do well to provide and advertise free, unlimited wifi within the hotel and bedrooms especially, in order to enhance the guest’s stay and hotel experience should they need to get online to work or just during rest periods.

Tip 5: Be social using social media
78% of consumers are influenced by posts that are made by hospitality owners on social media websites, when they are looking to make a booking. A further 72% of potential guests trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This information suggests that hoteliers should certainly ensure that they have an active Facebook page or Twitter profile that is kept up to date with marketing campaigns, hotel news, photos and customer interactions. Crucially, businesses must also follow up on reviews and see that any potentially negative customer responses are professionally dealt with so not to put off other customers or stop guests from returning after a less than satisfactory stay.