The success of modern hotel brands is often directly correlated with the technology and procedures put in place to support their staff and operational structure. Favoring legacy systems over newer, more innovative platforms can negate a hotel’s ability to provide the hyper-personalized and seamless experience guests now expect. Unfortunately, this is an all-to-common crux within the hospitality industry. Simply put, without the right tools and infrastructure in place, hotel staff won’t have access to the resources they need to provide a guest experience that leaves a lasting impression.
This discussion becomes especially important when we look to the heart of any hotel’s operational structure – the PMS system. However, today’s PMS is noticeably different than in the past – and it has never been more important for hotels to keep ahead of the technological curve. After all, technology is key to managing every stage of the guest journey.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a comprehensive breakdown of the seven primary warning signs of an outdated hotel PMS system. Hoteliers, beware – these shortcomings could be standing in the way of your property’s true potential!
1. Your Lobby is Filled with Lines, Rather than Happy Guests
Long queues to the front desk were once a frustrating staple of the hospitality industry 一 but fortunately, those days are behind us.
With the help of modern PMS systems, your property can offer guests complete autonomy over their on (and off) property experience with a choice between high-touch service, mobile check-in/out, keyless entry and self-service kiosks. Not only do guests appreciate being able to choose their preferred service model, but this ensures there are no unnecessary delays or complications derived from front desk lines and over-extended staff. If you’re still using a legacy PMS without a mobile component, your guests will certainly notice…while they’re waiting in line to your front desk.
2. Updates are Never Automatic – But Always Costly
Perhaps one of the most notorious traits of legacy PMS platforms is their lack of automated updates. Systems that are not cloud-based or easily integrated will constantly require costly manual updates and upgrades, that often require a technician to install. And Every time you add a new app or features change, your legacy system will require a new update or configuration.
Fortunately, mobile PMS systems can future-proof their hotels’ business, through automatic upgrades and open APIs. Even better? No surprise, or hidden costs due to manual upgrades down the line – that’s all taken care of, automatically and without interrupting your regular operations. Your property will be empowered to grow with unlimited interfaces while staying ahead of market trends.
3. Getting to Know Your Guests is Hard, if Not Impossible
When registering a guest, does your front desk staff spend more time typing than engaging in warm and welcoming conversation? If so, it’s time for a PMS upgrade.
In this age of hyper-personalization, empowering your staff to connect with guests in a meaningful way has never been more important. A mobile PMS lets your staff attend to guest needs no matter where they are on the property, creating a more natural and personalized experience. Not only that, but a mobile PMS can also aggregate guest data collected through each stage of the guest journey, and use it to tailor marketing initiatives, and create actionable insights for staff.
4. Your PMS is Connected… Physically, not Digitally
If the only ‘connection’ offered by your PMS is its physical connection to your front desk, your system is lagging (far) behind your competitors.
Cloud-based PMSs can ensure 24/7 service by instantly connecting guests and staff through their smartphones and tablets. Data is updated in real-time and shared across platforms with seamless cross-department communication to increase staff efficiency and ensure guest satisfaction.
5. Your Staff Struggles to Effectively Upsell to Guests
Your PMS platform should do more than help you manage your property 一 it should also help your staff drive revenue. Traditional face-to-face upselling at the front desk was never very effective: Guests would often feel like the conversation was “forced,” and staff wouldn’t have the ability to demonstrate the value of the amenities or upgrades that they were offering. Consequently, hotels miss out on significant amounts of ancillary revenue.
Fortunately, a mobile PMS transforms your software from a cost center to a revenue generator, with automated (and insight-driven) upsells at every relevant touchpoint. And because mobile conveys the value of upgrades with vibrant pictures and descriptions 一 not pushy “sales pitches” 一 it will lead to greater conversions and guest enjoyment.
6. You Spend Hours Training Staff, Without the Productivity Return
If your existing PMS requires extensive training and is often cited by staff as being overly complex or unreliable, are you benefitting from that platform? After all, your staff should be focused on enhancing your guests’ experience, not grappling with an outdated PMS.
Fortunately, thanks to the user-friendly and intuitive nature of mobile PMS technology, hoteliers can finally minimize the need for training. All that time previously dedicated to training and re-training staff and working around outdated technology can finally be spent perfecting the guest experience.
7. Departments are Working Against Each Other, Rather than With Each Other
The guest experience undoubtedly suffers when a hotel’s departments are siloed in isolation of one another. When housekeeping or revenue departments can’t instantly connect with the front desk, mistakes accrue that can harm the guest experience and lead to negative reviews.
By investing in a cloud-based, mobile PMS solution, hoteliers are empowering their staff to work together in a more connected, transparent manner. Each member of your team can instantly and remotely update the PMS to keep other staff members and departments informed. This also lends to a more responsive service model, ensuring guest queries and complaints are always quickly addressed by a more connected and collaborative staff.
Today’s hyper-connected hospitality environment will not forgive substandard guest experiences. With the right technology in place, hotels can empower their offering with enhanced personalization, revenue potential, meaningful interactions and increased productivity and efficiency. This will allow hoteliers to reduce costs, maximize revenue, streamline their operations, and most importantly, enhance their guests’ experience.
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About the Author
Ryan King is a former hotelier with almost 20 years of experience that has spanned just about every department through the course of his hotel career. He worked at TravelClick where he spent a good amount of time consulting with individual properties and large management groups helping them find technology to improve RevPAR and increase profitability. He has a love of technology that helps him discover new methods enabling hoteliers to better engage their guests and thereby increase revenues through better service & marketing. He now spends his time working with other hospitality tech companies to help strengthen the StayNTouch eco-system in order to provide a world-class offering to all of the StayNTouch’s clients.
StayNTouch is a “Software as a Service” hotel property management systems (PMS) company focused on developing solutions that help hotels raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately change the way hotels can captivate their guests. Developed with mobility in mind, the pioneering platform enables hotels to create long lasting relationships with their guests by delivering personalized service levels that today’s guests require. StayNTouch operates on tablets and smartphones, empowering hotel employees to go above and beyond in exceeding guest expectations at every touch point.
Powering over 85,000 rooms globally, our game-changing solution frees hotels from the constraints of legacy or premise systems, dramatically streamlines operations, increases margins, and revolutionizes how front-line staff connect with guests. StayNTouch is a trusted partner to many of the most forward thinking hotels, resorts, casinos and chains in the industry, including Yotel, Zoku Amsterdam, Valencia Hotels, The Freehand Hotels, First Hotels, Modus hotels and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.