Amidst constant new tech developments, find out what hoteliers can do to make sure the tech they have and the tech they want are compatible.
For many hoteliers, it can feel like every time they think they are up-to-date on the latest and best hotel tech, something newer and better comes along. And too often, as those new features or devices are added to a property, issues arise because their new tech and existing tech don’t communicate properly. If any aspect of a new system or third party application doesn’t integrate seamlessly with your tech stack, the back-end can become fragmented creating a myriad of frustrating technical issues for staff and guests. This in turn can create a reluctance to adopt new tech altogether—especially if a hotel is still dealing with inter-tech issues based on their last implementation.
Avoid Tech Convolution
To illustrate how a lack of systems interconnectivity plays out practically, let’s say a guest tries to check in to his room on a hotel’s app, but that app isn’t connected or connected properly to the property management system. The hotel’s app will be unable to access the guest’s reservation information, requiring the guest to check in at the front desk. Once checked in, the guest heads to his room and decides to order food via mobile dining. But the app doesn’t communicate accurately with the hotel’s point of sales and the mobile app, causing it to send duplicate food orders to the restaurant. This mix-up confuses the dining staff and causes the guest’s order to be delayed. Instead of improving operation efficiency and providing a good guest experience, the app does just the opposite.
This nightmare scenario has the potential to negatively impact every aspect of the guest’s stay. If mobile service requests aren’t aligned with the hotel’s ticketing system, requests can easily fall through the cracks and guest requests can go unanswered. The lack of inter-tech communication could cause room-key malfunction, payment issues, and other tech failures that can frustrate both the guest and staff.
As consumers demand a more personalized guest experience and hotels adopt more advanced technology, hoteliers will be required to make deeper tech integrations in order to deliver best-in-class guest experience and optimize back of the house operations.
Here’s a little cheat sheet for how to do that:
Before Implementation, Get Your Ducks in a Row
- Before you adopt additional third party applications, make sure you have the network power to support them. Too often properties bite off more than they can chew by trying to implement tech their network setup simply can’t handle. It may not be the app solution that is ineffective, but rather a weak WiFi network that prevents the full use of a new tech application. So before you try to get your new tech up and running, find out if you have suitable bandwidth to handle system traffic and suitable WiFi to handle guests’ needs. You may need to invest in the next generation of network technology, or simply fix a specific problem. If you ensure you have the proper IT infrastructure in place beforehand, the implementation process will go far more smoothly.
- It’s not uncommon for an IT team to get left out of the conversation when it comes to signing new tech deals. To avoid future integration pain points, double check with your IT team to make sure the new tech you’re investing in will be able to work well with your established systems. Including the IT team in tech discussions before purchasing a solution may help prevent future integration roadblocks.
- Find a vendor who’s tech plays well with others. Just like no piece of tech is an island, no vendor should be either. When scoping out a new vendor, here are a few questions to ask: Do they integrate with all of the critical systems your property uses on a regular basis? Are their integrations certified or otherwise validated with other vendors? Your tech stack journey starts here. Each new feature or device you consider from here on out should build off the others. You won’t be sorry for choosing a vendor who prioritizes being a team player. For a more comprehensive list of questions to ask potential vendors, check out our connected vendor one-sheet.
After Implementation, Resist the Temptation to Settle
- Don’t let the guest information you collect be stagnant—invest in integrations that will provide deep customer insights. Being able to integrate customer data from various vendors enables hotels to gain clearer insights into each guest and be able to provide a personalized hotel experience during and after their hotel stay. More often than not, customer data is siloed in a hotel’s various technologies and systems preventing a full view of each customer and a lost opportunity to promote services tailored to a particular customer.
- And finally, don’t forget to tell your guests what they have access to. Too often hotels assume their customers already know that they have an app when in reality guests have no clue. Not only do you need to market your hotel app to your guests but you also need to highlight the app’s features and how to use them. You can promote your hotel app before your guest even reaches the hotel via confirmation emails. You can also link to your app through a welcome email, that can direct your guest straight to the check-in page, home page, or even to an in-app tutorial video.
The real reason integrations are the unsung hero of hotel success is because once you make sure your vendor integrates well with others, and your connected systems are in place, you can get the most out of your hotel’s tech, enhance the guest experience and streamline your back-of-the- house operations.
Interested in upgrading your property’s tech integration? Request a demo today.