News & Analysis

News & analysis driven by the Hotel Tech Report platform and global community.

< HotelTechReport Blog

Trending Hotel Software Articles

Cover image

6 Hotel Website Tips to Help You Convert Traffic Like an OTA

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 hours ago

Are you trying to improve your website’s conversion rate and get more direct bookings? It can be frustrating to know that the majority - up to 99% - of people who look at your website end up booking on expensive third-party channels, while most guests do visit your website at some point during the booking process. Imagine the massive impact on your business if you could increase your conversion rate by just 1%. If your average booking is $1,000 and your website gets 20,000 visitors per month, a 1% boost in conversion would yield $200,000 per month of incremental revenue! But achieving a higher conversion rate on your website isn’t a pipe dream; it’s achievable when you make the booking process as smooth and easy as possible. In this article, we’ll share some actionable tips that will turn your website into a conversion machine and highlight how a next generation payment and booking platform like Selfbook can dramatically improve conversion on your hotel website.  

Cover image

What is a Building Management System?

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 hours ago

Are you searching for a solution to lower your hotel’s energy costs and usage? Building owners need an efficient way to manage HVAC equipment, smart building devices (internet of things / IOT), lighting controls, security, and access control at your hotel as you operate with a leaner team than in the past? A building management system is critical for large hotels and other commercial buildings with complex mechanical and electronic operations that have high energy consumption. Energy efficiency through smart control systems can save large buildings thousands (and sometimes millions) of dollars per year.   BMS systems are at the core of any building operation and preventive maintenance facility management strategy. The benefits of using a building management system aren’t limited to only the engineering team; using a building control system can reduce your utility costs, eliminate hours of manual work, improve sustainability efforts and even boost your guest reviews. In this article, we’ll explain the features and potential benefits of using a building management system so you can decide whether a BMS is right for your hotel.

Cover image

What Does a Night Auditor Do in a Hotel?

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 hours ago

If you’re considering a full time or part time night auditor job - or preparing to hire a night auditor - you’ve come to the right place. While many people are familiar with the job of a hotel front desk agent since it's during the day shift, the night auditor’s responsibilities aren’t as well known despite providing high paying entry-level positions at hotels. In this article, we’ll explain what a night auditor role entails, what skills will set you up for success as a night auditor, and offer advice for landing a night.

Cover image

Self Check-in Kiosks For Hotels: 2022 Hotel Kiosk Guide

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 hours ago

Are you grappling with a tighter budget at your hotel, a staffing shortage, or changing guest preferences toward contactless options? The hospitality industry is more resource constrained than ever and you're not alone. It can be challenging to deliver a high standard of service when faced with constraints like reduced hotel staff due to rising labor costs. However, the guest experience doesn’t need to suffer if you have fewer employees or less face-to-face interaction. Self-service options like check-in kiosks can bring a slew of benefits to guests, employees, and hotel owners and managers. Everyone knows that first impressions determine the majority of our perceptions about brands and people - the check-in experience is no different and it's highly correlated with overall customer satisfaction. In this article, we’ll explain what a self check-in kiosk can do, how it plays into the contactless hotel trend, and we’ll show you how your hotel can achieve better guest satisfaction scores, higher profitability, and greater productivity by implementing self check-in kiosks.

Cover image

Top Hotel Management Software in 2022

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 hours ago

During the HotelTechAwards, hoteliers from the world's leading hotel companies review the top tech products used at their hotels to increase operating efficiency, drive revenue, and improve the guest experience. This data is used to identify the best hotel tech products and organizations.

Cover image

How to Prepare Your Hotel Budget in 8 Steps

by
Hotel Tech Report
3 hours ago

Whether you're a general manager, sales manager, marketer or revenue manager - everyone has felt the pains of budgeting season.  This stressful time of year has become even more stressful in the wake of the pandemic which has rattled the hotel business and made planning for the future an impossible task. Ever wish you could peer into the future and see what your hotel’s occupancy or RevPAR will be a year from now? We don’t have a crystal ball, but preparing a solid budget for your hotel is the next best thing. If you’ve never set a budget, or if the words “budget season” bring back bad memories of hours spent huddled over spreadsheets in a conference room, then you’ve come to the right place. Preparing your hotel budget doesn’t need to be painful; in fact, it can be a valuable exercise to assess the current state of affairs and to brainstorm about your goals for the future. In this article, we’ve distilled the hospitality industry budgeting process into 8 steps. While it might be easier said than done, these steps can help you find synergy with other departments during the process and set a budget that takes into consideration a variety of internal and external factors. Let’s get started!

Cover image

5 Techniques to Collect More Feedback and Reviews from Your Guests

by
Andrew Gogus
3 hours ago

With most of the world population having access to the internet, it has widely changed how consumers shop for virtually everything. Being able to surf the web and find out information about products/services, has become the common practice before taking any kind of action. This research helps the consumers feel comfortable and confident in the decision they are about to make. The fact is, 90% of consumers read online reviews before choosing a business and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.   Online presence and reputation are among the key factors in providing a constant revenue stream for your property. Online reviews have greatly increased in power while shaping a consumer’s behavior. They provide credibility to the hotel and help the guests make their decisions easier. The more reviews, the better - even the not-so-positive ones because it will give you a definite signal of what needs to be done in order to enhance your guest’s experience. This is one of the reasons that reviews are not only important to guests but to hoteliers. Sometimes it is hard to notice the little mistakes or improvements that need to be done, and that's why when a guest leaves a review on how the hotel can better itself, this can only be beneficial. Good reviews are important to hoteliers also because they provide free marketing. More reviews will boost your online visibility and will help your accommodation show up on higher rankings. That is why you should focus on collecting as many reviews as you can from your guests. This will help keep your reviews up-to-date and establish a deeper sense of trust.  In this article, you will find the latest techniques and some traditional methods to collect reviews from your guests.   Train Your Staff to Interact with Guests No matter how digital the world gets, real-life personal relationships are still and will always be the strongest form of bond between any two people. Train your staff in guest relationships and tell them not to be shy to interact with guests. At the end of the day, this is the hospitality industry. The most important factor is timing - do not try to engage with the guests if they are rushing, busy with something else, or just seem like they’re in a bad mood. The guest relationship is a very important factor especially in the hospitality industry, increasing your positive guest experience will boost your chances of them leaving a review.   Call or Text Guests During Their Stay Just to Check In Carrying out calls to your guests is an important part of your guest’s experience and in collecting more feedback and reviews. Implementing a system where your staff call the guests during their stay and check if everything is ok and if there is anything they need, will make them feel important and will show that you care about them. Along with in-stay calls, placing a follow-up call after the guest has left your property, to reaffirm that everything was satisfactory during their stay, is a good strategy to build your guest relationships and collect additional reviews.   Leverage Low Tech Comment Cards Sometimes old school tactics can be effective, but they are also more time-consuming and costly. Before the internet, this was one of the best ways to get honest feedback from your guests. Trying to design creative and funny cards that will encourage your guests to leave their feedback online and place them in strategic places at your property. You want your cards to be seen after all.   Master Automated Email Marketing Although some people may undervalue the power of emails, it is still the online communication channel that produces the highest ROI and having the right hotel CRM is critical. This is why it is very important for you to have your guests’ email addresses (with their permission of course) and to stay in contact even after they have stayed at your property. Emails save time, money, and are convenient for both the sender and receiver. This is the most efficient way to collect the most reviews. With a guest relationship management product, like the one HotelRunner offers, you can keep in touch with your guests 24/7 and provide immediate solutions to their problems and also send automated emails to your guests post-booking, pre-arrival, in-house, and post-stay. Thus, you can improve the guest experience and ask them to review your property after their stay.   Tap Software with Direct Integrations to Popular Platforms like Google Google is the leading metasearch engine, and with the most searches being done on their website, it is crucial your property has a positive presence. Review count and quality will help your accommodation’s visibility and allow it to show up on a higher ranking. Especially if guests are searching for local hotels, reviews will boost your property’s visibility so it shows up over others. Also, when potential guests search for your hotel on Google or Google Maps, having positive reviews and a high star rating will increase their chance of choosing your property. You can easily increase the revenues of your property by converting all the positive comments and ratings you have collected over time into bookings. The only thing you need for this is an integration that allows you to receive direct bookings via Google and Google Maps. With Google Hotel Ads integration, which you can start with a single click via HotelRunner, you can turn lookers who already have a good impression of your property into bookers.   Using these techniques and collecting more reviews will increase the quality and credibility of your property. As mentioned, not all negative reviews are bad too. It's important to keep an open mind, and understand where your guests are coming from. Learning, understanding, and improving on the negative will greatly improve your future guests’ experience. The key is to highlight your positive guest experiences while taking action on the negative feedback, which will eventually maximize revenue opportunities.  

Cover image

Get Smart: Are You Running an Intelligent Hotel?

by
Sean Beardmore
3 hours ago

There’s no question that, in these unprecedented times, hotels are facing serious challenges. With the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic impacting so much in the hospitality sector – and these effects varying from season to season and, even, month to month – hoteliers are trying to fulfill the needs and desires of loyal and new guests like never before. To remain open and build the seeds of resurgence for when the coronavirus has receded and, mercifully, the pandemic is behind us, owners are coming to the realisation their hotels must become more intelligently-run enterprises. They need to become hotels run as efficiently and effectively as possible – they need to become ‘intelligent hotels’. But what does this mean in practice? What does an intelligent hotel look like? It comes down to the systems implemented and maintained, on a daily basis. It’s about trying to maximise profit by ensuring a hotel offers direct room-booking and that marketing activity and revenue management blend and work together seamlessly – and then using this symbiotic relationship to increase the revenue-per-available room (RevPar) to drive up bottom-line revenue.   Intelligent Advertising So, if you’re seeking to run your hotel more intelligently, where to start? Well, advertising the property and its available rooms in the smartest way possible, direct to potential guests via pay-per-click (PPC) Google Ads, isn’t a bad place to start. This is because it would ensure your available rooms are advertised not just when they become available, but also to exactly the kind of people most likely to book them. Indeed, to run their property ‘intelligently’, then, a hotelier may well seek out top-of-the-range ‘intelligent ads’ software to complement and enhance their PPC activity. Such a solution would be designed to exploit the hotel’s data insights, in order to drive and improve Google Ads performance, by targeting the most likely bookers and so, in turn, maximise room reservations and increase additional spend on services and amenities. Now, if this kind of digital marketing sounds state-of-the-art, that’s because it is. ‘Intelligent ads’ software solutions like this are at the sharp end of room advertising, ensuring hoteliers can reap the rewards of the latest integrated marketing techniques and digital technology. They seek to drive up revenues at a time when the industry’s facing great instability; when hoteliers are seeking certainties to remain competitive, progress and look to the future with confidence instead of mere hope. ‘Intelligent ads’ solutions tend to be automated; you can set them up as you want and leave them to do their thing – confident they’ll get on and do exactly what they should. For instance, once you’ve set the objectives and the spending limits for your PPC campaigns, you can trust the module to run the campaigns without you having to step in, check on or oversee anything. The software doesn’t just target the right audience but also works out the most profitable target keywords, uses them in ad campaigns and – by scouring past market data drawn from previous campaigns – recommends new keywords for use.   A Great Guest Management Platform All that notwithstanding, any ‘intelligent ads’ solution will be enhanced if it’s capable of connecting and interacting with an outstanding guest management system (GMS). Why? Because if the software is fully integrated with a GMS, it means a hotel owner can maximise their data to convert exactly the guests they desire into bookers. So, what does such a comprehensive management system look like? Well, as a fully-GDPR-compliant, all-in-one platform, it will deliver full guest-data-intelligence to hotel owners. It will be capable, too, of interacting with practically any property management system (PMS) and social media platform to enhance its analysing, quantifying, segmenting and predicting of loyal guest behaviour. In essence, then, an ‘intelligently run’ hotel would be making use of a management system that’s really a GMS/ CRM-plus; being able to harness its AI functionality to not just collate guest data but analyse details of guests’ social attributes, stay behaviour and historical spend. In turn, this would provide a hotelier with invaluable knowledge of their core customers, ensuring the platform can aid intelligent-ads in reaching these customers with pertinent, personalised content and offers – thereby converting them into bookers precisely as and when needed. Moreover, from its single, central dashboard an ‘intelligent’ GMS of this kind would take control of messaging. It would manage marketing emails and social media messages to all the hotel’s followers, as well as analyse these followers. It would create and send out personalised surveys to all or specific guests – before, during and after their stays. Plus, it would enable hoteliers to analyse guest reviews and respond to these reviews – not just on social media accounts/ platforms but also on much-used hotel review sites – thus, making sure they can fully manage their hotel’s online reputation.   A Brilliant Booking Engine Finally, to operate as an ‘intelligent hotel’, a property has to be backed up not just by an outstanding GMS and be able to fire off intelligent ads, but also exploit the advantages offered by a brilliant booking engine. Why? Because a guest’s experience with a hotel doesn’t begin when they walk through the front door and stroll through the lobby to the front desk; it starts far earlier. A guest experience begins as soon as they start to book a room at the hotel – it starts with their experience of that hotel’s booking engine. No hotel can be run intelligently unless it’s using a top-of-the-range booking engine. Such a booking software solution, then, delivers exactly what hotel owners require. Offering exceptional tools and features, it can be customised to fit a hotel’s brand needs. A fully-functional booking engine like this ought, too, to be fast-operating and easy-to-use; designed to provide a consistent experience on hotel websites that appeases customers and makes them far more likely to book direct rather than through an OTA (without redirections or pop-ups). It’s all about building loyalty among guests and, therefore, maximising conversions. Moreover, a state-of-the-art booking engine will enable customers to compare room prices with those offered by online travel agents (OTAs) – when the room price available is cheaper than those offered by OTAs. Plus, being able to integrate with hotel marketing/ management platforms, it should help hoteliers better understand and engage their guests, so they can gain insights to improve overall guest experiences, drive up ancillary revenues and boost direct booking revenues.   Conclusion Without doubt, the world – and, by extension, the hospitality sector – is going through unprecedented changes. Yet, with or without the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re living in the digital age and, with that, comes rapid advancements and opportunities. For hoteliers, that means taking full advantage of the chance to deliver and increase direct hotel bookings and boost revenues, thanks to integrated hotel management platforms, intelligent marketing/ ad campaigns and customisable booking engines. Should they not do so, hotel owners will lose ground to rivals in these uncompromising, unpredictable times. Put simply, every hotelier should join and fully prosper from today’s digital age – by making their hotel an intelligent hotel.