You are about to leave on your journey. You are getting a reminder from the airline to check in online and save some time. When you log on to their website or app, you don’t just check in, you can also add more luggage, upgrade or select your seat, select your flight snack, rent a car or an airport transfer and even order a text notification about which gate your flight takes off from.
Likeable and comfortable, you think. Lucrative for the airline, too, as it saves operational costs, upsells services and, most of all, makes their clients feel they control the experience. This is not just a single time transactional process, but rather an engagement throughout the traveller’s journey.
So you’d then like something similar from your hotel. Here comes what disrupts your entire, so far smooth, journey preparation. More often than not, any form of digital guest engagement is not possible with hotels. The entire hotel-related digital interaction ends with the online booking engine and you are only given one choice further – traditional service. Worse even, that single choice is only available when you arrive at the hotel.
As you compare experiences, how likely is it that you find this likeable?
But it’s not only guests who miss opportunities, it’s hoteliers, too. Instead of using the entire time between booking and arrival to set the stage for a better relationship, to upsell services, rooms or check-in options and eventually make some extra cash, they are simply waiting for the arrival.
Some believe this way they retain a more human touch with guests, but how true is that given the short time they have in order to keep the service swift with formalities such as pre-authorisation of credit cards and filling registration cards on check-in?
It’s the worst hidden secret that today’s mainstream hotel PMS – property management systems – remain locked between the walls of the property and are not relevant to modern-day guests’ lifestyles. They are focused on managing rooms and probably most of them are perfect for that purpose, but what needs to be questioned is the purpose itself.
In an industry of hospitality, guests – not rooms – must be the most important asset a hotelier needs to manage and engage with, and at more than one touch point, channel or moment.
Hotels need a new breed of hospitality solutions that are fit for a new purpose to transform in-stay transactions into all-round throughout-journey experiences, engaging guests in more ways from the moment they book, during their stay and even after they leave.
Cloud hotel PMS, such as Clock PMS by Clock Software, are that new hope. Born for the web and mobile, they are congenitally capable of connecting and engaging with guests. Designed for the reality where we manage some of the most important aspects of our lives online or on mobile, they offer a brand new dimension in guest interaction before, during and after stay.
Good experiences will inevitably transform to revenue, loyalty and excellent reviews
Features include online check-in, credit card pre-authorisation, pre-arrival option to select your room or upgrade it, digital room service, mobile check-in and many more.
And we are not only speaking about digital interaction. They edge into the personal, too, by being truly mobile PMS solutions that allow hotel staff to unlink from the reception desk and mix with the guests as formal transactions have already been completed online in advance.
Whether to switch to such new technology then is not the question. Good experiences will inevitably transform to revenue, loyalty and excellent reviews. The question is why haven’t hotels adopted it yet?