2021 in review : We can no longer work without technology !
Technology now plays a key role in hospitality
IMPACTS OF COVID-19
The hospitality industry has been severely impacted by the global COVID-19 crisis and while we are preparing for recovery, it will be a long one and it will bring lasting changes in the way we manage and will definitely increase our emphasis on technology.
Today, we see that institutions have been greatly affected by the lack of customers and have had to reinvent themselves in a hurry. In doing so, the majority have seen the inflexibility of their “Hotel Tech Stack” application ecosystem especially the ability to access systems remotely as well as the need for guests also to do everything remotely as well as in the hotel from their mobile device.
Hoteliers were largely unprepared and were caught off guard by a world now driven by data and connected guests who minimally want to find in the hotel what they already have at home. According to McKinsey Canada, the pandemic accelerated digital transformation by 10 years!
TECHNOLOGY AT YOUR SERVICE
Today, hospitality has become a service industry powered by online technologies, mobile, cloud, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and robotics.
Digital applications have made their way into every department: operations, customer service, communications, revenue management, electronic distribution, CRM and marketing, security, payments, loyalty programs, accounting and even human resources!
New “Best-of-breed” open API applications that automate processes and save valuable time are a strong incentive for institutions to invest in technology and begin or accelerate their digital transformation !
INVEST TO RETAIN YOUR CUSTOMERS
Before the pandemic, the average technology investment was about 4% of revenue. But with customers becoming more demanding, it is necessary to increase technology investments in order to remain attractive and competitive. Gone are the days when customers could be offered a nice comfortable bed with home-like technologies. Customers are increasingly looking for a unique “experience” where digital technology is omnipresent.
LACK OF MANPOWER
Another reason to accelerate the adoption of new technologies is the glaring and persistent labor shortage. The scarcity and rising costs of labor are forcing owners to explore renewed business models where employees walk the customer through the experience and all administrative work is automated with powerful digital applications.
Easy to use, new cloud-based applications will allow:
• Hire entry-level staff and train them quickly
• Increase the motivation of experienced employees
• Reduce repetitive data entry work in favor of automation
• Reduce labor costs
• Increase overall productivity
ACCELERATE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
The only long-term solution is to invest in technologies that can solve workforce issues through innovation, automation, mobility, robotization and next generation digital applications. Despite the difficult times we are experiencing, this is a good time to rethink the way things are done and the technologies in place. Subsidies are encouraging establishments in this process and it is interesting to see hoteliers approaching these initiatives with their staff who are now less busy. This allows them to keep their employees motivated and not to lose them.
AREAS TO FOCUS ON
Here are some areas to focus on in the digital transformation to have maximum impact on hotel operations and customer satisfaction :
- The talent challenge : All initiatives that aim to simplify the work of staff, provide them with better tools, make it easier for them to learn and increase productivity will be favored. With the shortage of personnel, employees are more selective and demanding. Making employees more autonomous and facilitating customer service by putting energy where it makes a difference for the customer creates value and everyone wins.
- Contactless transactions : Customers are now demanding to make their contactless transactions from their PC at home or on their mobile device while they are in town. Apps that offer customers this type of functionality will be popular. Whether it’s to pay on the spot or to open the door, to continue watching your favorite TV series or to work remotely, the offer is there and there is a choice!
- The buying cycle : Traditional sales processes will undergo major changes. Self-service” will become the norm, influenced by large corporations like Amazon. Customers will have to be offered advanced transactional sites, allowing them to create their own stay, event or package and make secure payments online, any time of the day or night.
- Customer communication : The customer will want to communicate with your teams not only by phone or email, but with the medium of their choice: SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc. Mobile applications for customers will therefore have to include all available means of communication in order to meet the needs and maximize customer satisfaction. The use of a CRM has become necessary to ensure a return on investment on marketing strategies and the retention of different customer segments.
HOTELUS CAN HELP YOU
HOTELUS offers various services to hotels in relation to digital transformation : diagnosis, evaluation, support in the choice and implementation of digital applications appropriate to your operations.
Contact us for a free evaluation!