Author Archives: Lisa Livingston

Four Reasons Smart Hotel Automation May Be Right For Your Property 

Four Reasons Smart Hotel Automation May Be Right For Your Property 

As the hospitality industry adapts to changing technology to provide better a better guest experience, they are turning towards automation to keep the technology cutting edge. Technology like automation, and smart technology features are creating quite the buzz around the hotel industry, but they are also making quite the impact on travelers and hoteliers worldwide. According to reports from SmartWorld.com by 2021 smart technology revenue will grow to 18.1 billion: That’s a lot of technology! But, that’s not the most impressive aspect of hotel automation. As hoteliers know, there are many aspects to running a successful property; financial records, resource management, complimentary services offered to guests, overhead costs, operational costs, promotional costs, and so on. However, with as many executable functions as there are at a hotel, there are just as many automation programs to help facilitate process automation. So, why should your property become a smart hotel? Let’s find out: 

Improved Sustainability

Hoteliers are constantly looking for ways to increase their energy savings within their hotel rooms, and this can absolutely be achieved by turning their hotel into a smart hotel. For example, lights can be set to automatically dim or brighten based on the level of light in the room at any given time. Also, air conditioning and heating can be configured to maintain constant temperatures while the room is vacant and then activated once the room has been rented and the guest is ready for check in. Both drastically reduce energy consumption, leading to lower energy bills.  

Guest Personalization

Let’s face it, guests love to be called by name, right?  How do you think they feel when they walk into their rooms and their television is set to refer to them by name when they power it up? When converting your property to a smart hotel, televisions can be set to refer to guests by their name, and guests can access their personal Netflix or Amazon Alexa accounts from their rooms.  

Information Highway

Another major benefit for guests is the ability to gain access to information through the Internet. Guests can connect directly to Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri to ask questions through an Internet connection in their room and receive intelligent (or reasonably intelligent) responses to their questions. However, with an appropriate device, guests can also connect to other hotel services. For instance, guests may be able to use a smart hub to access information about the hotel’s restaurant availability. This smart hub may be connected to the restaurant’s booking system providing up-to-the-minute availability. Other smart hubs allow guests to connect to local activities, providing reviews, directions, and tourist attractions that shouldn’t be missed.  

Anticipated Maintenance

Hoteliers don’t like surprises when it comes to repairs. With smart hotel features, surprise repairs are a thing of the past. Smart hotels provide pre-emptive maintenance warnings through devices in real-time. This allows the hotel’s maintenance staff to act quickly, heading off any potential disaster at the property. Hotel owners are happy because they save money on emergency repairs, and guests are happier because they are not caught in the middle of a less-than-desirable situation.  

Wrapping Up

While flagged properties are mainly utilizing smart hotel features currently, that doesn’t mean that independent hoteliers shouldn’t also consider adding these cost saving features. All hotels should become smart hotels. In fact, smart hotel automation should be a priority as we move into the technology age of the hotel industryNot only is the creation of a smart hotel a trend that is not likely going anywhere, but it can greatly improve the guest experience, make life easier for your staff, and it creates a big win financially for the owners.  

___

InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMSCloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

Is your mobile-unfriendly booking engine costing you bookings?

Is your mobile-unfriendly booking engine costing you bookings?

It’s unrealistic to think that our smartphones actually make us smarter (lol); but isn’t it accurate to say our smartphones make our lives easier? Think of all the things we do from our smartphones: Play games, watch movies, listen to music, book flights, even make hotel reservations. On any given day, you can look around and see people intently staring at their mobile devices; in restaurants, on the train, in traffic, or while sitting at the family dinner table. In fact, mobile technology for hoteliers has advanced so much in the past decade, there is an entire generation that doesn’t even know what a travel agent is. Imagine if you will, how important mobile reservations will be in the future: While we hate to think about it – the future is here! The question then; is your property ready for mobile bookings?

By the numbers

According to a study by Medium.com  “91% of all Americans believe that their smart phone is very important, even citing that for 60% of the population, it is more important than daily coffee”. Millennials even believe that their smartphones are 93% more important than using deodorant or a toothbrush daily. Ick! But think about it: We can pretty much avoid any stinky situation with the push of a few buttons.

According to Criteo’s Summer Travel Report, consumers have shifted their last-minute bookings to a mobile platform: up to 70% of last-minute bookings originated from a mobile device last summer. In fact, conversion rates are even higher, with almost 80% of people who are looking at your property from their mobile device also booking there. Kind of makes you wonder: How mobile-friendly is my booking engine? If your booking engine lacks mobile-friendliness, you should consider updating it immediately. Here are some ideas to get you started on your mission to increase mobile bookings.

Website design

Mobile booking engines can be built in two ways: Responsive and Optimized. A responsive booking engine responds to the device used to view it. Responsive booking engine pages load differently depending on the mobile device. Optimized mobile booking engines have a completely different look and feel than that of the property’s desktop booking engine by providing your guests with mobile-friendly images, continuous property branding, and responsive links. If you have the budget, optimizing your booking engine could greatly increase your guests’ experience over what desktop guests see. Neither responsive or optimized is preferred over the other, it is simply dependent on your preference.

Whether you choose a responsive design, or an optimized design for your booking engine, it’s important to remember these key points:

  • Create content that is the correct size to fit on a mobile screen. Smartphone users don’t want to scroll back and forth to experience the beauty of your property.
  • Create links or buttons on your page that function properly, and are spaced equally, allowing guests to maneuver easily without clicking the wrong link.
  • Provide hyperlinks to your property’s phone number so guests can easily dial without memorizing your number.
  • Be sure to display your address, so when guests are driving to your property, they can easily navigate with Waze, Google Maps, or Siri.

InnQuest’s WebBook

InnQuest heavily considered the impact of mobile bookings, when designing the WebBook Booking Engine. The design of WebBook had 3 goals: 1) Help our clients increase conversions 2) The booking engine must be easy to setup and manage [without hiring third party IT Professionals or costly web designers] 3) The booking engine must be mobile ready. WebBook meets these goals! Contact us today to start a conversation on lean how we can help you capture more online bookings.

Wrapping up

Obviously, the goal here is to create a mobile booking engine that guests are driven to, and they want to use. So, don’t be afraid to use call to action buttons everywhere on your booking engine; after all, call to action buttons make it easier to reap big conversion rates. Whether you take advantage of these mobile-friendly booking engine tips or not, one thing is for certain: Travelers are always looking for ways to make their travel arrangements on-the-go, and you don’t want to get left in the trail of smartphone dust.

___

InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMSCloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

How to Turn OTA Lookers into Direct Bookers 

How to Turn OTA Lookers into Direct Bookers 

Let’s face it; OTAs have become a necessary evil in the hotel industry. They help your property become visible to the world and assist you in obtaining more bookings. With the convenience of online booking, most guests view at least one OTA site’s pricing before deciding on a booking platform. However, with OTA fees sometimes as high as 35% of the total booking, how can hoteliers combat this and keep as much revenue as possible? Well, the good news is you can attract many of these same guests to your direct booking engine while saving money in the process and building customer loyalty at the same time.

Read on to find out some easy ways to turn OTA lookers into direct bookers. 

Create a connection with your guests

This should be a no-brainer! The adage the devil is in the details applies so frequently in the hotel industry doesn’t it? Encourage your staff to interact with your guests before, during and after the stay. With programs like Cendyn’s Guestfolio it is easier than ever to automate this process, and it builds a rapport that is long lasting. 

Offer benefits to guests booking directly

Incentives; everybody wants something for nothing, right? Bringing value to guests is easy when you help them see related benefits. Your website should be the best place to receive discounts on spa, bar, and restaurant items for your property. Although the buzz created around a Groupon advertisement can be enticing, the goal is to increase bookings; so use your direct booking engine to offer the best discounts to your potential guests.  

Leverage user generated content (UGC)

User generated content helps hoteliers paint a detailed picture of your property and sets your guests expectations.  It is also trusted by 92% of consumers according to SalesforceUGC is not difficult to collect from your guests. In fact, 67% of travelers already post something about their travels on social media. It’s just a matter of finding content about your property online and asking permission to use it. Using a specially designed hashtag for your property can make it easier to find you, as well as encouraging guests to “check-in” on social media also helps.  

Keep guest contact information current

When a guest checks in to your hotel, make sure that you’re getting their contact information and determining whether they want to opt into any future communications. GDPR certainly made this step a little more challenging, but the benefits you may receive outweigh any negativity that surrounds the opting out you may get from your guests. For example, through outbound email campaigns you can offer guests promotions, free room upgrades, or discounts to local events or businesses that you’ve partnered with.  

Provide reviews on your website

Probably the best way to keep guests booking direct is to show them what other guests are saying about your property. Guest reviews play an important role in the decision- making process. According to TripAdvisor, 96% of travel shoppers consider reviews important when researching a hotel, and 79% of those shoppers will read between six to twelve reviews before making a decision. OTAs use reviews all over their sites, so why not use them to your advantage on your direct booking site as well? 

Wrapping up

At the moment, OTA bookings far outweigh direct bookings across the hotel industry. However, as hoteliers, we have the power to change this by implementing these few strategies. Connecting with our guests before, during, and after the stay, keeping our guest contact information current, displaying our reviews on our websites, offering benefits to our guests for booking directly, and leveraging user generated content we can increase our direct bookings exponentially. But, it always helps to have other tools in our toolkit as well. Software programs like Cendyn’s Guestfolio encourages hoteliers to send “win back” email marketing campaigns to OTA bookers, and in addition you can also send newsletters to guests to drive traffic to direct booking engines. Any way you slice it, direct bookings will help to increase your bottom line and create loyal guests, so what are you waiting for; implement some of these strategies today. 

___

InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMSCloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

The Crucial Moments That Can Make or Break Your Guest Experience

The Crucial Moments That Can Make or Break Your Guest Experience

All hoteliers will attest that managing your guests’ expectations is the most rewarding and also most challenging part of their job. After all, each guest who decides to stay at your property is expecting something special from your property; whether that’s something your website promised, something a front desk clerk mentioned or something that a former guest stated in an online review. Each guest experience is unique because each guest is unique, but how can you ensure that each guest interaction creates a positive experience? Out of all the interactions you and your staff will have with the guest throughout their stay, there are three major touch points that have the greatest impact on the guests’ satisfaction and ultimately their overall experience.

Is Your Check-In Sending the Right Message?

The check-in is possibly the most critical point of the guest experience. Guests who have never visited your property before are observing the staff, the décor, and the way the staff is handling the guests. This interaction, which is almost always the first interaction since most reservations are made online, leaves a lasting impression on your guests, so the quality of this interaction must be top notch! In most cases, your property’s check-in process is seamless, but what opinion do you think your guest forms when credit card terminals don’t function properly, or there are overbookings?

These are just a couple of examples of things that could go wrong at the time of check-in, and while it is difficult to anticipate all the issues that could arise, it is imperative to have plans in place to resolve issues quickly. By having back up plans in place, you could create positive guest experiences that leave guests feeling like they made the best choice for their stay instead of regretting their decision to stay with you.

How Does Your Staff Handle Guest Requests?

When guest requests come in, they are typically for small items, or for items that make their visit special; for example- flowers in room for an anniversary surprise, or a welcome basket for a guest that is traveling from out of the country. Obviously when a guest requests, a hotelier’s goal should always be to meet that guest’s need immediately, but how does your staff handle guest requests? To ensure that all guest requests are taken care of, you may want to consider a PMS integration that can handle guest requests like Guestfolio’s Mobile Concierge. This integration allows your staff to quickly approve or propose an alternative to your guests at the time of the request. This frees up your staff to attend to live guest requests. Guestfolio is a great way to ensure that your guest requests are managed without mistakes, creating the perfect guest experience.

How Are You Handling Live Guest Interactions?

It happens every day: As you and your staff make the rounds through the property, you encounter guests wandering about. How you and the staff interact with those guests during these interactions can have a lasting impression on them. A smile, a wave, a hello, or a quick “Are you finding everything satisfactory?’ can go a long way with a guest and potentially build a “forever guest”. In fact, it is possible that you will bump into the same guest repeatedly, so how you handle each of those interactions is crucial to creating an outstanding guest experience. When you make the most of each interaction, you ensure that the guest has the best experience possible. Even the smallest gesture could make a huge impact on future stays.

Putting it all together:

In summary we have learned that there are three main touch points in each guest experience and all are equally important to guest satisfaction. It is important that as hoteliers we are cognizant of each of these touch points and continue to make the most of them so that we can create not only the best guest experience for each of our guests, but so that we can create lifelong guests.

___

InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMS, Channel Manager, Hotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

How to Attract Bleisure Travelers to Your Property and Keep Them Coming Back

How to Attract Bleisure Travelers to Your Property and Keep Them Coming Back

As we know in 2020, many vacations were put on hold, as travel plans were canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work has taken over many industries, but at a certain point, workers have gotten tired of being cooped up in their homes. As a result, the ‘bleisure’ trend, otherwise known as a workation, has only gotten stronger, with many hotels seeing long-term stays for workers simply looking for a change of scenery while staying productive. Revinate recently shared some ways that hotels can appeal to these new workationers, which include providing a reliable, comfortable working environment. With more companies transitioning to remote work, this trend is expected to keep growing in the next few years. First though, let’s go into more detail on what a ‘workation’ or ‘bleisure travel really means.

What is bleisure travel?

Just like the mullet fashion trend of the 70s the bleisure traveler is a business in the front party in the back traveler. You may be wondering, what is bleisure travel? To put it simply, bleisure travel is this: Say your guest has a business meeting Tuesday and Wednesday but they decide to extend their stay through Saturday so they can take advantage of the local scene, and possibly gain a little rest and relaxation at your property. Bleisure travelers don’t plan these vacations months in advance, nor do they meticulously itemize each activity. They just go with the flow after tending to their business.  

Regardless of how these bleisure travelers got started, the fact remains that this growing segment is on the rise with 68% of all travelers mixing business with pleasure. In fact, an article in Travel Agent Central stated that in 2018, 90% of millennials engaged in bleisure travel, compared to 81% of generation Xers, and 80% of Baby Boomers. The reason cited most amongst all age groups for these extended trips was to achieve a better work-life balance.

As hoteliers, it is important to recognize the features bleisure travelers are gravitating towards so that the bleisure segment can continue to grow. Let’s look at a few ways you can encourage your bleisure travelers to extend their stays.  

Business Center:

This probably goes without saying, but how many times have you had a business traveler ask for the closest FedEx/Kinkos location? How often do you have guests pre-ship business materials to your property for onsite meetings? Installing a business center for quick copies, or short email correspondence could go a long way with your guests. Think about it; your property could be considered a mecca for business meetings creating an entirely different type of guest with this one small addition.  

Travel Apps:

Bleisure travelers use on average 3.1 travel apps when traveling for business. Millennials, Generation Xers and Baby Boomers all choose travel brands based on the technology they use, so it is important when deciding on technology for your property to keep this in mind. Should you offer RFID bracelets for your Key lock system? What about chatbots on your booking engine for commonly asked questions? Both are features that could attract bleisure travelers.  

Personalization:

Personalization at the guest level could be a broad category. However, it could be as simple as a smart hotel feature; where your guests could control their temperature or television from their smart phone. Hoteliers often think that these features are costly, but when it comes to pricing your guests’ satisfaction and loyalty, is it possible to put a price on that? 

Targeted Promotions:

When creating rate codes, consider adding a targeted rate code specifically for bleisure travelers. In creating this rate code hoteliers could allow business travelers to take advantage of a special discounted rate for tacking a few days on to their business travel. This strategy not only allows bleisure travelers to experience additional sights and activities around the property, but it boosts your revenue and occupancy.  

Wrapping Up:

Across all generations bleisure travelers are significantly more likely to be satisfied with their quality of life and their work/life balance while they’re on the road than non-bleisure travelers. So, when adding conveniences to grow your property’s bleisure traveler segment, look for things that are unique to your area and property, but ultimately create the most relaxing environment for your guests.

___

InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMSCloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

Five reasons why a cloud-based PMS is a great investment

Five reasons why a cloud-based PMS is a great investment

The adage “you get out what you put in” couldn’t be more accurate in for hoteliers. In fact, a shift is happening in the hotel industry as hoteliers are quickly making cloud-based PMS systems their top choice. Typically, a cloud-based PMS system is the first choice for new hoteliers. However, small boutique hotels, medium sized properties and large full-service properties are coming to realize the benefits of investing in a cloud PMS.

Easy access is key

Do you often find yourself wondering what’s happening at the property when you get called away to an emergency? The cloud allows you to check on the property from wherever you are. Change rates, updating OTA availability, or checking on your favorites guests to ensure they’ve arrived safely are all possible with a cloud-based PMS. With the ‘working from home’ trend having emerged in 2020, moving to the cloud will help you stay connected and remain productive even if they’re not at the actual property.

Improved data security and reduced PCI burden

A cloud-based PMS allows you to protect your data while reducing your PCI exposure. Hoteliers are concerned these days with all the PCI acronyms. Phrases like PA-DSS/PCI compliance and certification can be scary, but with the cloud you can be sure that you have increased security and reduced PCI audit scope.  In fact, moving your PMS to a cloud-based system ensures the integrity of the database and reduces security breaches.

Compatibility issues are a thing of the past

When you have a cloud-based PMS, there is no longer a concern about what computers are compatible. All updates to cloud-based applications are done by Developers directly in the software.  This means that regardless of the device your staff members use to access the PMS software, they’re good to go! Desktop computers, laptops, or tablets; if there’s an Internet connection, the hardware will work.

Deployment is easy peasy

In regular on-premise PMS installations, it could easily take a month to go live. However, when your property elects the cloud, deployment for your property is a much quicker process. Your property can be up and running in a few days. Quicker and easier deployment times mean that you and your staff have more time to learn the software to better assist your guests.

Operational Expense versus capital expense

One thing is for certain; hoteliers, and IT professionals have only two options when it comes to software purchases. They can purchase the software outright (considered a capital expense), or they can obtain the software on a subscription (considered an operational expense). Cloud-based PMS systems are typically software as a service (or SaaS for short) that require only minimal monthly subscription payments. In addition, a cloud-based PMS only bills for the pieces used. Expenses are therefore scalable and capital budgets aren’t exhausted early in the year.

Final thought

In short, if you’re not using a cloud-based PMS to run your property, you could be saving a lot more than you think.  If you’ve been debating on whether a cloud-based PMS system is right for your property, contact our Sales Team today for your property evaluation.

___

InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMS, Channel Manager, Hotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Why You Need a Cloud PMS Right Now

Why You Need a Cloud PMS Right Now

Hoteliers of all property sizes and locations know the importance of a property management system (PMS). Whether they’re operating a small bed and breakfast, student housing, or a large branded chain, having a modern PMS will put you ahead of the game when it comes to running your property. When your property is utilizing a robust PMS, you are freed up to focus on creating the ultimate guest experience instead of being bogged down in technical hotel operations and paperwork. In fact, with the right PMS your property works for you, instead of you working for your property. Here are just a few reasons why we believe that a cloud PMS can be your biggest ally. 

Time with Your Guests Is Precious

With hoteliers wearing many different hats throughout the day, it can be confusing as to which hat you need to put on at any given time. A Cloud PMS helps streamline that for you. In fact, a robust hotel PMS like roomMaster quickly becomes the superstar of your property while you as the hotelier play the role of a sidekick who keeps the guests happy and calm. Consider the amount of time you and your staff spend on operational duties and how much more time you could be spending creating unforgettable guest experiences.

Remote Work Is Possible

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we can be just as productive working remotely if we have the right tools at our disposal. If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t have as many staff members present, a cloud PMS system will allow managers and front desk workers to take reservations, contact guests and stay updated from wherever they are. Being equipped with a cloud PMS allows for far more flexibility and removes many headaches that come with storing data in house.

Everyone Is Busy

We’ve already established that hoteliers are very busy people; but so are the other staff members at your property. The to-do lists are unending and there is always some catastrophic situation that derails an otherwise peaceful day. However, if you had an intuitive cloud PMS that was already capable of predicting oversells and providing you with an all-in-one solution to most all “hotel problems” the life as you know it would be a lot less busy. Think of it this way: A cloud PMS helps you to save time. You save time because you can login from anywhere, you can reduce guest complaints because you’re able to handle guest requests on the fly as opposed to meeting them at the front desk to handle their issue, and you can manage the back office tasks from wherever you are too. 

Your Guests Expect an Experience

In this world of online technology guests expect immediate gratification. They want to be sure that when they make an online reservation that all their preferences carry through to your property. Guests also want to be sure that your advertised pricing is the best they’re going to get, their rooms look like that which is advertised online, and the reviews meet or exceed their expectations. What better way to ensure these items than with a PMS that integrates with a direct booking engine, and a CRM tool that uploads to online review sites like TripAdvisor. 

There’s Always Better Technology Coming Along

The amazing thing about securing a cloud PMS for your property is that technology is always advancing. With cloud PMS systems, there are no complicated hardware options to purchase, but there are plenty of new features available all the time. As more companies develop integrations, it is simple to connect to them via Application Programming Interface (API) and these integrations can be done without any additional licenses to purchase. 

Wrapping Up

As hoteliers look for more ways to connect with their guests to create long-lasting experiences, modern and robust cloud PMS systems are becoming more popular. Because of the ease during the installation process of a cloud PMS, as well as the accessibility from outside the property location and the ever-growing feature list available, cloud PMS systems are rapidly becoming the top choice for hoteliers of any size. So, the only question you must ask yourself is: Why haven’t I switched to a cloud PMS to run my property?

___

InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMSCloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

Top Five Features to Look for in a Channel Manager

Top Five Features to Look for in a Channel Manager

As a hotelier it’s important to stay up to date with hospitality trends. Probably the most complicated trend and topic is that of Channel management. Our hope is that this blog will provide you with the top features to look for when choosing a channel manager, and hopefully debunk the mysteries surrounding this powerful add-on to your property management system (PMS). 

If you’re in the decision-making process to decide whether your property needs a channel manager, let us clear that up for you; Yes! You need a channel manager. Channel Managers are in integral part of your hotel operations because they allow you to distribute your room inventory across multiple online travel agents, tourist resources, and physical travel agents; making sure that your inventory is accessible by everyone who needs to see it. But as this blog implies, not all channel managers are created equal. Here is our list of the most important features of a channel manager:

Two-Way Connections

Optimal connectivity is what you’re looking for, and if a channel manager can receive and transmit your inventory in real-time (or close to real-time) the better off you and your hotel are. Also, if the channel manager integrates directly with your PMS to allow reservations to flow directly into the PMS, that’s also a huge advantage. 

Integration Capabilities

Obviously you’d want your channel manager to integrate with your hotel PMS, central reservation system (CRS) and revenue management system. But finding a channel manager that does this seamlessly is the key. Previously we mentioned that two-way connectivity is best, but full integration is recommended so that you and your property get the maximum benefits of the channel manager.

Pooled Inventory Method

Put simply, this means that your distribution will always show the maximum number of available rooms on all online channels without risking double bookings. This is because your channel manager integrates with your PMS allowing real-time inventory updates. If you’re searching for a channel manager that is not using pooled inventory, you need to keep shopping. 

What Reports Are Available

Hoteliers have many jobs, but one of the most challenging is learning where to spend money when they’re trying to acquire guests. Channel manager reports provide you with great insights into where you should be spending your advertising dollars, and what types of marketing campaigns you should be using. Reports such as reservation earnings, booking volume, and detailed data on which online travel agency booked the reservation help you to make informed decisions when marketing to future guests. 

Share Economy Capabilities

In today’s world of thrifty travelers, make sure that your channel manager can connect to share giants like AirBnB. AirBnB is becoming quite the popular site for online bookings with millennials and Gen X’ers alike. So, it’s imperative that your channel manager have a partnership with these types of sharing sites. 

InnQuest developed Stayfull a different kind of channel manager that meets all these criteria and then some.  With the ease of a single location to update rates and inventory, a company that you already trust, and the simplicity of combining your channel manager with roomMaster, now is a great time to try a channel manager.

Contact our Sales Team today to schedule a discussion to see how Stayfull channel manager can boost your sales and your bookings. 

___

InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMSCloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.

Selecting a CRM Solution? Here are some helpful tips

Selecting a CRM Solution? Here are some helpful tips

As customer relationship management software (CRM) is moved to the forefront of technological requirements for hoteliers in 2019, hoteliers are in search of a CRM solution that can accurately measure guest desires, collect guest data, and analyze guest experiences. Plus, the solution must hit all the communication touch points throughout the guest journey. The truth is, if your property doesn’t have a CRM solution, you are missing out on offering your guests frequent stay promotions, and other popular services they may be looking for. As a hotelier you can use the CRM solution to collect data and identify the needs of your guests so you can market to specific groups of people instead of trying to fit all your guests into a “one size fits all” category.

The hotel CRM technology market is highly competitive and there are several solutions out there that range from generic to highly-customized. Selecting a CRM Solution may seem like a daunting task, but here are some tips to help you narrow down your search to find the CRM that’s a good fit for your property and your guests.

Tip 1: Determine the CRM features and if those features are a good fit for your property

CRM features and functionality are what you’re looking for, and it should be the easiest question for the CRM provider to answer for you. Things like data warehouse storage, connection to your property management software, and personalization benefits are some things that you’ll want to have in your CRM. These features vary greatly between CRM systems, so be sure to evaluate the usability of the software, and if it carries enough (or too many) bells and whistles for your marketing goals.

Tip 2: Determine what guest information is available from the CRM

Good CRM programs should organize and capture guest profile data, and they must also know how to present that to you as a hotelier to be useful.  Before contracting with a CRM solution, make sure that you’re able to capture your guests’ history, special requests, and previous engagement with you at the property. After all, using a CRM solution does not replace your need to know the guests. In addition, guest information should be easily interpreted allowing hotel staff the ability to sort specific market segments.

Tip 3: Determine the types of marketing available in the CRM

If you’re trying to increase direct bookings, you want to be certain that the CRM can handle email marketing campaigns that have promotional links for your guests. If you’re looking for automated email campaigns that are sent for the guest’s reservation confirmation, pre-arrival, or post-departure survey then these features would need to be present as well. Will the CRM platform require you as the user to export your data from one system to another, or is it fully integrated into your PMS? Ideally, integrated CRM and PMS systems provide outstanding marketing results.

Tip 4: Determine the quality of the CRM’s intelligence

As you can probably imagine, CRM platforms contain an exorbitant amount of guest data, and in most instances, they can easily extract data and create informative reports for you.  However, you want to also ensure that your CRM platform has a hefty dose of business intelligence. Business intelligence leads to better marketing efforts and helps you to create additional guest offerings which lead to increased revenue. When evaluating a CRM platform be sure to review any data collection, reporting and intelligence features to provide you with the best CRM fit for your property.

Wrapping up

CRM platforms are an invaluable tool for your property. There are so many CRM options available on the market today, you’re sure to find just the right fit.  However, once you settle for a CRM that is ideal for your property’s organizational and guest needs, start using it right away to increase your guests loyalty, feedback and spending.

___

InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMS, Channel Manager, Hotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.

Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at sales@innquest.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.