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Archive for the ‘Hotel Management Software’ Category

The significance of a customer’s journey has, in a way, been diluted in today’s digital age. With the landscape diversifying and the consumers inquisitiveness at its peak, searching for the most beneficial option out of the now more numerous options, boils down to a matter of preference.

Take the hotel industry for example. On the one hand, we have the OTAs which burst into existence for the purpose of having a directory of hotels for customers to sift through and make a well thought out decision. On the other hand, we have hotels pulling in guests from sources like corporate bookings and tour agencies apart from the occasional walk-ins. With the scales tipping in favour of the OTAs more than direct bookings from the hotels, the analysis clearly points out a change in the customer journey.

Let me break it up for you and take a look at the stages a customer goes through before making a purchase decision. Following this journey will surely give you some insights into how you can work towards tipping the scales in your favour instead of losing out to the OTAs.

1. The Awareness stage – I need a Holiday:

Most often what triggers the average consumer is the social realm. Seeing a friend holidaying in Spain or an acquaintance from work visiting Paris. It could also be a weekend getaway. Think about it, the first thing that comes to mind when you’re browsing through your social feeds and you come across something like this. You picture yourself on a vacation, breaking away from routine life. Here are some stats that will cement this statement:

  1. 52% of people reported that the inspiration to travel comes from a friend/acquaintances FB photo
  2. Booking coming from offline travel agents
  3. 52% of people reported that the inspiration to travel comes from a friend/acquaintances FB photo

This is most often the stage where a consumer decides his/her travel destination.

2. The Research Stage – I’m definitely going on Holiday:

So once the bug has bitten, and a holiday is on the calendars, we see the research phase commencing. Most often than not, peer-recommendations play an important role in influencing the decision. Reviews, social media images and prices are all a part of this extensive checklist. A study found that exposure to user generated content has had increased conversion rates for hotels. This is the stage where OTAs tend to provide an edge to the customers and hotels lose out on chances of a direct booking. Having a directory of Hotels simultaneously with the reviews of several travellers and an option to book as you browse is definitely a win-win for a traveler.

  1. 77% of people read reviews before choosing a hotel
  2. 53% of them will not book a hotel without reviews
  3. 50% say that reviews have the greatest influence on their bookings
  4. 125% higher conversion rates have been recorded due to customer reviews

3. The book and stay stage – I’m on vacation:

This is the most anticipated stage for the both the traveller and the hotel. Having travelled through the whole screening process your guest is finally at the Hotel and this is where a lasting impression goes a long way. This stage is crucial as it could determine how active your guest will be at uploading photos and boasting about their vacation. It could also determine how vocal your guest will be about his holiday, be it is singing your praises or complaining about a disappointing experience. As a hotel owner, this is the stage where you’d probably want to engage them with a loyalty program or turn them into one of those peers, who will act as a brand ambassador as long as the experience is fresh in the head.

4. The Post-stay stage – I should probably tell people:

The Holiday is done and your guest is back home. The vacation is fresh in their head and the time is right to sneak in that review form. This usually counts as a follow up stage that has become crucial in today’s time. Who knows, those few words of appreciation and an experience to remember might be what tips the scale in your favour for the future.

These 4 stages are the most prominent stages in a travellers hunt for a hotel. Throw in the OTAs and hotels competing for the rights of attracting a guest and we have a field that’s plagued by mist. Rightly called as the Direct Booking Bermuda Triangle by Kristian Valk the co-founder of Hotelchamp.

If this piques your interest, and you would like to dive deeper into the intricacies of where your customers are getting lost in this journey, keep an eye out for ITB Asia 2018. Kristian Valk will be speaking about ‘Why your guests are lost in the customer Journey’. Stay tuned to our social media handles for a deeper understanding about this intriguing topic.

This article was originally published on Hotelogix Blog.

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Independent hotel owners have a huge set of responsibilities to manage their hotel on a daily basis. Additionally, the increasing levels of competition only add to the worries. There are enormous challenges pertaining to an independent hotel’s digital marketing plan. Reason – travelers are getting tech-savvy and sometimes, hoteliers lack the urgency to adopt technology. Marketing your hotel rooms online is more than merely updating on OTA sites. To promote a hotel online, you require a combination of skills, strategies and of course, the right use of smart technologies.

Here are 4 challenges in hotel marketing faced by most independent hotel owners.

Making the move towards a cloud-based property management system will resolve all the challenges in hotel marketing. It’s easy to bring down costs, reduce dependency on manpower, sell rooms faster and do much more with a hotel PMS.

This article originally published on Hotelogix Blog.

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The dawn of the 80’s saw the rise of videos and the slow demise of the radio, which led to one of the greatest hits of that era, “Video killed the radio star”, by the Buggles. The song doesn’t welcome the change that motion pictures brought into the entertainment industry and is, in a sense, a sort of farewell to the radio, that was present in every home at the time. However, the takeaway from this is that some 30 years later, today, video has become the most popular medium of entertainment and information.

A decade ago, Hotelogix set out on mission to revamp the way the hospitality industry used technology. Hotelogix was born on the cloud as a purpose-built system, aimed at assisting hoteliers conquer this ever-changing hospitality landscape. As we’ve seen over the last decade, the rivalry that was created between the on-premise systems and Hotelogix cloud has been a major topic of discussion. Most frequently, the debate ends in a deadlock which translates to a difference in opinion and a matter of an individual’s perception.

To avoid falling into this monotonous tone of comparison and barely doing justice to the article, I’ll attempt to illustrate the real power of Hotelogix.

What sets Hotelogix apart from other PMS systems is the seamless flow of data. Cloud enables collecting data from multiple sources in real-time, giving you the ability to analyse this data in the moment. Let me start by showcasing the power of a cloud system and then tie it to how Hotelogix shows its strength.

Speed boat racing, as a sport, takes place simultaneously in several different geographic locations and involves broadcasting data to the team, with a video feed for the spectators. Add to that, the commentary required for broadcasting the event on television. The cloud funnels upwards of a 100 contrasting datasets at once, for analytical purposes.

Now, Hotelogix is built on primarily the same platform we are talking about here. Think of it as a machine that’s constantly pulling in and interpreting data, tirelessly. The data could be from your channel manager, POS outlets, website and any other systems that your PMS may be connected to. Hotelogix has around 200K system users currently and this single platform supports all of these users without breaking a sweat. This not only speaks about the storage capabilities but the quality of engineering that goes into building a system like Hotelogix.

Hotelogix supports an average of 16K concurrent users, at any given time. These 16k users suffer no loss of performance with a desktop application-like experience. An on-premise PMS was not built to cater to more than 50 concurrent users.
So, no, it hasn’t been built keeping in mind smaller hotels or properties. In fact, it is an enterprise-grade system, built to withstand much more than what we are handing out to it. But that’s not to say that smaller hotels and accommodations cannot run their daily operations on it, or use it as a part of their expansion strategy.

Another facet of Hotelogix cloud PMS is its ability to access data in real time. Take a look at on-premise systems and you’ll see that they enable the access of data in batches and barely close to real-time.

Now, you might wonder how a cloud system is capable of achieving such feats? The answer is that the cloud replicates data. And how does that help? Well, Hotelogix system is constantly pushing data back and forth from the cloud and also simultaneously saving this data in several locations. What this translates to is that, irrespective of hardware maintenance or software upgrades, Hotelogix’s systems don’t see any downtime. This lets us boast of an uptime of 99.98%. What’s more is that even if any of the data centres should collapse or cease functioning, your data will still remain safe. That’s definitely something an on-premise system can’t boast of.

Hotelogix backs up data on a daily basis and depending on the number of customers, more than 1600 backups take place every single day. Even with the most effective IT environments within hotels, you will see that the data is only backed up once a month.

Here’s something I’ve been told a lot about cloud systems – that they’re just not safe enough. Well, I beg to differ. And no, my opinion doesn’t emerge from the fact that I work with Hotelogix. I have research backing me up. It is true that an on-premise system gives the user more control when it comes to the security measures being set up. Any mishaps that happen will probably land the hotel’s IT team in a soup.

Hotelogix, however, has a different approach towards security. Unlike the on-premise system, it is not a reactionary one. Let me elaborate. Unlike most systems that focus their security measures on the entry points, cloud focuses on the overall application. This is possible due to the visibility that cloud enables on every level, which ensures that the IT manager can view exactly who is accessing the data, at what time and the purpose of doing so. Thereby, regulating access based on the role of the personnel. What’s more is that one can also analyse patterns of attackers and provide more proactive measures to reduce instances of data phishing and phone fraud. Overall, it acts as a deterrent for attackers.

Another home run for Hotelogix is the possibility of integrations. Think of it as a custom-built ecosystem, tailor-made for a hotel. Be it the budget that’s the decisive factor or the features that you are looking for, you can design the ecosystem based on your priorities. Application Programming Interface or API, as we call it, is what enables the cloud to be so versatile. Take an on-premise system, for example. The features and applications have to be built into the system and is not an add-on that will make life simple. Now, the downside to this is that you pay for a bundle of features, which may or may not be of use to you. Hotelogix, on the other hand, integrates with leaders in the space– For example, a finance tool, a booking engine, a reputation manager and the likes. So not only do you pay for what you choose but also integrate with best tech that will definitely give you an edge over the competition.

Hotelogix uniquely offers APIs for hotel brands to develop their own apps and this has led to the development of an ecosystem around the PMS. Hotelogix receives more than 3 million API calls/day. It gives rise to the possibility of mobile apps centered around the staff-facing aspect in order to smoothen operations. It also enables hotels to plug in Hotelogix into your existing MIS system, exchanging feeds in real time, for brands to take strategic decisions with agility. On-premise systems are built on platforms that are not capable of such feats.

10 years in the game and we’ve watched the landscape change drastically. The interesting thing is that even the on-premise players have started to build their own cloud platforms. I’ll leave it to you on what to decipher out of this, but to me, it seems like the cloud has cemented itself as the future of hospitality technology.

In these 10 years that we’ve been in this space, we’ve seen the market evolve and change immensely. Watched the millennials become a major customer to hotels and have seen the struggles that hoteliers have faced trying to adopt to this new category of customers. Just like video killed the radio star, the cloud will replace these on-premise systems in time. Hotelogix has evolved into this machine that is capable of computing on an enterprise level. We are one system functioning across a 100+ countries, with more than 1600 customers and over 200K system users. 16K concurrent users on the platform and still providing a desktop application like experience with zero down time. Hotelogix has evolved into a stellar product that comes at a great price, without compromising on the quality of the features that it provides.

What’s interesting is the road that lies ahead of us. An ecosystem built for hotels with tools integrated into it, that will make managing hotel operations a breeze. Customizations, based on needs and scalable as per the times to come. We aren’t here to  fix something that’s broken, just around to make things better.

This article was originally published on Hotelogix Blog.

 

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If you are still using Excel sheets to manage your hotel operations, you might want to sit back and take a serious look at all that you stand to lose out on. No, we don’t intend to sound sensational nor is this a hyperbole. But in the age of the cloud, where everything you need as a hotelier is available to you on a cloud based hotel PMS, subscribing to obsolete technology can be detrimental.

Some of the major risks awaiting you are loss of data, breach of data security, wastage of time, etc. And these are not issues you can overlook. So, in the best interest of your hotel operations, it is about time you considered switching to a cloud-based hotel software.

No, don’t blindly take our word for it. You need to be aware of the benefits of a cloud PMS over Excel, so you can take an informed decision and our bet is, you will. Here’s a great article if you want to know more about the advantages of switching to a cloud hotel reservation system.In this article, we will focus on the top five indicators that you need to move from Excel to a cloud-based reservation system.

1. The volume of operations

The volume of your hotel’s operations goes a long way in determining if or not excel is the right option for you. Take into account the number of rooms in your hotel, all the amenities and offerings guests can avail at your hotel, etc. If you are a small-scale B&B or a motel offering no more than a night’s stay for travelers, it is still possible for you to run the show with Excel. But no other type of property can afford to use Excel to run its operations. So, whether you are an independent hotel, a boutique property, a hostel.

2. The number of POSs – resto, gym, spa, activity center

The other important factor that you need to consider if you are still using excel to run your hotel is the number of POS at your property. If your hotel has a restaurant, a gym, a spa, an activity centre, travel desk, or any other source of revenue which is not coming in from your rooms, we strongly urge you to move to a cloud-based Property Management System.

There are several interactions that take place between the front desk and a POS, in a hotel. Without a PMS in place, keeping track of all the transactions made by a guest can prove to be a task. A PMS helps you stay connected and have a single point of reference as it links POSs and front desk. The moment your guest has a meal at the restaurant, the transaction is recorded in the POS. And if the guest has chosen to transfer the restaurant bill to his room, it gets added to the invoice. And it is the same with every POS. You can simplify so many otherwise complicated tasks, by investing in a cloud hotel PMS.

3. Your target audience

You cannot run a business without defining your target audience. Especially in the hospitality business, every property type caters to a particular segment of the consumer base- for example, do you cater to millenials, business travelers, leisure travelers, families, domestic or foreign travelers, etc. Depending on who your target audience is, you will have to define your online messaging, roll out targeted marketing campaigns, etc. And in the digital world, it is impossible to please everyone. You will have to define your niche.

Simply waiting for the “perfect guest” to choose you amidst an ocean of competitors is a huge mistake. You need to get out there and make sure your target audience finds you effortlessly. This is only possible via the internet. Connect with them on social media, run campaigns on Facebook or Instagram and also make sure your reputation online is impeccable. Negative reviews are never good, but you can acknowledge and respond to the reviewer that you would love to invite them again to prove that you’ve worked on their feedback. This builds confidence in prospective guests.

No. Excel cannot help you with any of these activities, which frankly are very basic ways to attract guests in today’s world. You need a PMS, and a well-rounded one in that. One that allows you to integrate with the best channel manager & a reputation management tool, automates emailers, and so on. You need Hotelogix.

4. Dependency on OTAs

Doing things traditionally and not exploring the benefits of technology isn’t going to help you thrive in this dog-eat-dog world. In order to appeal to the global masses, one cannot function without OTAs. As cumbersome as it may be to pay commissions to them, they also connect you to an audience which you otherwise can never get to by yourself. Find out which OTA caters to which geo and sign up with them, so your hotel is easily visible to your international target audience. Stay relevant to your audiences and be present where they are.

If OTAs make an appearance in your “sources of reservation” list, then relying on Excel is impossible. You need a system that updates your inventory and rate across OTAs in real-time lest you fall prey to overbooking. You need a system which alerts you in real-time when a booking is made on an OTA. This two-way sync has to be extremely efficient and this is only possible when you have a channel manager in place. Without a cloud-based hotel software in place, managing all of this manually can be a nightmare. An easily avoidable nightmare, I should add!

5. Competitor analysis

Let me ask you this. If you are still sticking to Excel sheets to run your hotel business, how do you work on your revenue projections? How do you get your accounting in place and how frequently do you generate reports? How many types of reports do you spend time on? What about competitive pricing and business intelligence? Do you have a dedicated staff for all this or do you do this by yourself? Oh, and what’s your strategy for revenue management?

We also work with some of the best-in-class third party tools which you can integrate with, depending on your requirement- business intelligence, revenue management, reputation management, channel managers, etc. Stop living in the past if you wish to succeed in the long-term as a hotelier. You need a cloud PMS to manage your hotel operations and you need it now.

 

This article was originally published on Hotelogix Blog.

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Hospitality industry is growing with a good pace and so is the competition within the industry. Today’s hoteliers need to have all the critical data on their business at place. It helps them view everything in one dashboard for quick consumption of information. They can save time, analyze current hotel performance, and can take data-driven decisions.

Well, the answer is DATA!, and that too everything in one place!

That’s the reason Hotelogix introduces Management Dashboard on both frontdesk and Mobile Hotel app.

Let’s dig deeper..

What is Management Dashboard?

This is a collection of all critical hotel data in an usable format, needed by a hotel to analyze the past and current hotel performance, predict future and formulate strategies.

This means that the key performance indicators of a hotel can now be tracked from a single dashboard without having to collect reports from multiple sources, and then compiling them.

Here’s the list of reports that can be accessed on Management Dashboard.

1) Before ARR – Average Room Revenue

2) RevPAR- Revenue Per Available Room

3) OCC – Occupancy (%)

4) House Status

5) Revenue Analysis [FTD/MTD/YTD]

6) BOB – Business on Books

7) Occupancy Analysis

8) Top OTA performance

9) Source Analysis

10) Market Segment Analysis

11) Availability Analysis

Here’s what the Management Dashboard looks like:

What else?

  • You can restrict access of Management Dashboard for the users
  • Management Dashboard is print friendly, you can print it using standard browser print function
  • Is available with Mobile Hotel app

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