Within the hospitality industry, technology continues to play an important role for hoteliers. Without a doubt, hotel management software has made transformative impacts, especially in improving how businesses operate. In hotel software however, there is often a misconception that one-size-fits-all. Different hotels have different needs based on multiple factors such as geography and property size. Due to that, selecting a modern and an appropriate property management system (PMS) can be a daunting task for hoteliers. In addition, nowadays there are a plethora of software options. What hotel management software features should you look at therefore? Well, read on, because this guide provides you with exactly what to look for before narrowing down to your management software of choice.
But what exactly is hotel management software?
Precisely put, a hotel management software is a technological tool that allows hotel owners and operators to smoothen their administrative tasks and improve their overall property management system. It is not only essential for your day-to-day tasks, but also in improving guest experience – from when a guest makes an online booking, to when they complete their say and provide the much needed feedback once home.
A reliable hotel management system offers countless benefits – ranging from saving you time on repetitive administrative tasks, to increasing direct booking, brand visibility, enhancing guest experience, and preventing double bookings among other manual errors
Hotel management software features
For modern hoteliers who want to leverage the benefits of technology, these features and functionalities of a hotel management software are truly a must-have.
1) Personalized guest experience
Guest experience, the interaction between your hotel and guests, is perhaps the most critical aspect for your hotel. An effective hotel management software should therefore, be designed in a way that enhances guests’ stay at your property.
But what does this mean in the real world?
Well, if you are looking to maintain that sweet guest loyalty, one common way is by leveraging a guest profile tool or rather guest profile management. A guest profile stores your guests’ stay history, contact information, and even individual preferences, thereby allowing you to provide a more personalized experience in their subsequent stays. For example, if one of your guests prefers extra towels in their room or is allergic to peanuts, staff members would be keen on that information during your guests’ next stay.
Better yet, since they are returning guests, you can experience a revenue boost from repeated bookings and probably even referrals from satisfied guests.
2) Review management
If you are looking to boost your hotel’s reputation and overall business, another hotel management software feature that would come in handy is review management. Reviews are considered as one of the best marketing tools in the hospitality industry.
In fact, a SiteMinder report found that at least 81% of travelers opt for reading reviews before making a booking, and another 91% equate reviews to personal recommendations from friends and family.
As a hotel manager, what you want to do is encourage guests to leave positive online reviews, not only on other third-party platforms such as your Facebook page, but also on your homepage. Make it a point also, to engage with positive (and negative) reviews by leaving professional replies to them. This will help your business reaffirm its quality of service.
3) OTA integration
Another essential hotel PMS feature is its ability to integrate with online travel agencies (OTAs). OTAs are third-party booking sites in the hospitality industry, like Expedia, Booking.com, and TripAdvisor among many others.
To keep your bookings and reservations organized, integration of the software with such third-party platforms is crucial. Picture a double booking situation, where a potential guest has booked a room through your website’s homepage and another through an OTA you are associated with – say Expedia. A poor review that could tarnish your brand image would be imminent!
A good hotel management software should be able to prevent such scenarios. In this train of thought, you can supercharge your management system using a channel manager when working with third-party channels. A channel manager syncs with your PMS and prevents double or overbookings by automatically turning off the distribution of a room across all platforms when it gets sold out in another.
Start automating tasks and steal back more time to focus on the bigger picture!
More hotel management software features?
As earlier stipulated, different hotels have different goals and preferences. As such, another hotel management software feature we recommend looking at, is a payment processor. Given that long gone are the days where travelers paid in cash or with cheques, consider the importance of PMS in the hotel industry with a payment processor, which would allow you to easily charge credit cards or gain access to other modes of payment such as cryptocurrencies.
Indeed, choosing the right hotel management software can be a tricky affair for hoteliers depending on their short and long-term goals. These three essential hotel management software features should be at the top of your list when choosing a system that will meet your interests. In the end, the goal still remains the same; customer satisfaction and revenue generation.