Hospitality technology trends, particularly in reference to frontdesk software and hotel management systems, is largely driven by trends in consumer demands. Here are four big changes in the way that guests search, book, and stay that are driving today’s hospitality technology trends.
- Driving hospitality technology trends: the rise of social media. The average traveler is making time for 17 research sessions before they make a property booking. A growing part of these sessions is checking out what friends, family, and even strangers have to say about a destination based via social media. They’re also interested in how a property or brand presents itself on social media, and a strong social media presence indicates to consumers that the property cares about what people say and think about it. It also communicates that a property is determined to give great customer service and engage with guests to resolve issues quickly. Nothing is worse for a hospitality property than leaving bad reviews unaddressed and unresolved. The newest in hotel software is now able to assist a property in keeping up with social media and coordinating among different media platforms.
- Driving hospitality technology trends: the mobile device. Travelers are using their mobile devices more than ever. Over half of all people use their mobile devices when they’re looking for travel information. In fact, queries from mobile devices in the travel category have recently gone up by more than 50%. Almost half, 46%,of all travelers do their initial research by mobile device, but use another device to make their actual bookings. This means a great hotel pms needs to be able to communicate nimbly via mobile apps and mobile-friendly web pages, and what’s done on a mobile needs to translate seamlessly to a desktop site and to management’s own computer system.
- Driving hospitality technology trends: connectivity. Not only are people using their mobile devices and staying connected to social media; they’re also connected 24/7 and expect those they do business with to be connected, too. Today’s travelers want smooth connections among all their devices, and they want to know that the deal they made via an app will appear when they log in to the main website or pop up on the screen for the person at the property when they call. Again, it is property management systems that are stepping up to make this kind of integration a reality.
- Driving hospitality technology trends: disinterest in face-to-face engagement. Previous generations of travelers valued the chance to talk to people in person. Today’s travelers are accustomed to doing everything online or via an app, with minimal human interaction. While some people will certainly always value face-to-face, increasingly travelers want to make their booking online, check-in via an app before they arrive, go straight to their room and open the door with their phone, make automated orders for room service or amenities, and check-out without having to talk to a single person unless they want to. The best hotel software systems are now designed to make this kind of thing possible for travelers who value the ease and convenience of doing everything via technology.
Everything is changing, and nothing has changed. Hospitality is still about providing the experience the customer wants, in an effort to build loyalty that will translate into referrals and repeat business for years to come. But hospitality in the 21st century is also about living with the reality of reliance on the digital, and smart properties are keeping ahead of the trends with good hotel front desk software and customer service.