What Are The Key Questions To Ask Before Investing In A Digital Software For Your Hotel?
It seems that every few months a new piece of technology comes out that promises to revolutionise the way business is done, but it’s only one every few years that such a piece of software actually changes the business world. Things like TripAdvisor and Yelp probably count, even if they didn’t spring from nowhere as Uber seems to have done.
If you’re looking at updating your hotel marketing software or your hotel reservation system software, there are a few things you should ask yourself before investing in it. How will it help your hotel? If the answer is ‘not that much’, look again, and make sure you’re not only buying software to look like you’re succeeding in your role.
1. How will this improve my reach?
How do guests find you currently? How will they find you with this hotel marketing software or hotel reservation system software if you do invest? Will it change at all? All hotels would like to be seen by their potential guests. If this new system can make you more visible to online travel agents (OTAs) and global distribution systems (GDSs), it may well be worth it. If the software focuses on something that your hotel is already good at, think about if you need it before taking the plunge and investing.
2. Will it drive up revenue?
The question here is really if this piece of technology offers pooled inventory. That means that all your channels, from OTAs to your own website, are connected, and when one booking is made the others are automatically updated. Pooled inventory can reduce the risk of overbooking, as well as opening your hotel up to all the channels you’re a part of. If you only practice allocated inventory, you could find that you’re missing out on a wide audience who want to book with you but were scared off by overbooking.
3. Will it drive up profit margins?
it’s easy for technology to promise to drive up profit, but before buying it, ask if you’re already doing the right things on your website. If it’s SEO optimised, designed with the user in mind, set up for mobile usage, has a quick load time and a quick, preferably two-step booking procedure, then it may be worth boosting your profit by spending on software. However, if your website load times are the issue then all the software in the world won’t help until you fix your homepage.
4. Will it make guest acquisition easier?
If you were spending hours upon hours inputting guest data before getting the technology and you’re still spending hours doing the same job—or teaching the technology to do the same job—then you might have made an unwise purchase. It’s integral that any technology you get for your hotel makes life easier for you. Whether that means automatically flagging up a guest’s likes and dislikes, giving you reports on room occupancy, and extras that come with the software like package suggestions, it has to have material benefit to your organisation.