In the hospitality industry, the level of service you provide your guests sets you apart from the rest of the market. As many of the services you offer are a commodity, the way you execute on delivering value can be the unique differentiator that gives you a competitive advantage.
Technology disruption is affecting every industry in today’s digital economy. In the hospitality business, technical platforms manage every aspect of your guests’ stay.
From the moment they make a reservation until they check out to go home, technology underpins every aspect of their experience.
As your entire operation should be centered around making your guests feel welcome, you should not need to deal with technical issues that distract you from your core focus. Outsourcing the management of your I.T. to a service provider can give you the agility you need.
By handing over the day-to-day control of your technical systems to a professional organization, you can concentrate on driving customer service and maintaining your competitive advantage.
However, with so many potential providers, what qualities should you look for in a great managed I.T. provider that sets them apart from the rest?
Quality #1: Trust
Trust is a critical component in any commercial relationship, but it is vital in the alliance you form with your managed I.T. provider. As technology flows through every part of your guests’ experience, any technology issue can have a detrimental impact on your level of service and reputation.
Handing over your technology to an external third-party requires you to trust them in delivering the seamless service you and your guests demand. It is therefore critical that you partner with a managed I.T. provider that has a proven track record in servicing the hospitality industry.
As hospitality it is a specialized market, having a provider that understands your business drivers is vital.
As a hospitality business interfaces with guests continuously, technology has high visibility. Your managed I.T. partner must take a proactive, preventative approach to ensure your I.T. systems deliver an efficient service.
You, therefore, need to have a partner you can trust. One that can mitigate the risk of technical issues and ensuring your business and reputation stay intact.
Trusting an external third-party with the essence of your business operations can be challenging. However, selecting a partner that has a deep understanding of your industry, and knows what it takes to run a hospitality business, should give you the level of comfort you need.
Quality #2: Communication
In today’s interconnected world where everything involves collaboration and a team effort, communication is vital. When technology is not your core business but is still a crucial part of your operations, having a partner that provides clear communication is a fundamental requirement.
A managed I.T. provider engaged in servicing a hospitality business must continuously provide consistent communication in an understandable and relatable manner.
As the sharing of pertinent information is vital in running an efficient operation, your managed I.T. provider needs to make sure you have the data you need to make business decisions.
Effective communication also builds and enhances transparency. Efficient and timely access to information ensures you have a clear understanding of every aspect of the technology that runs your business.
It also gives you clear insights into every system your I.T. partner manages and builds trust as it ensures you understand every aspect of your managed I.T. service.
Having a clear understanding of every technical solution also mitigates the risk of your business being held “hostage” by an external service provider should you decide to discontinue their services.
As you have insight into every system that runs your operation, you can disengage your existing service provider at any time with little to no impact on your business.
Quality #3: Advice
Synergy in business is a force multiplier. Partnering with vendors that align with your vision and take a vested interest in the success of your business can give you a competitive advantage. Technology is a vital part of your operations and directly influences the level of service you provide your customers.
It is, therefore, crucial you partner with a managed I.T. provider that understands your business and has experience in the hospitality industry.
Ideally, your managed I.T. provider should become a trusted advisor and a seamless extension to your business. As technology is their core competency, they can provide technical advice and implement solutions to improve the productivity and efficiency of your operations.
A leading managed I.T. provider should also be able to advise you on the latest industry trends. Leveraging the latest technical innovations, they should provide you with advice and help you implement business solutions that align with your enterprise strategy.
Quality #4: Activity
A great managed I.T. provider must take a hands-on, active role in running your day-to-day technology infrastructure. Getting involved in your daily operations provides the insight they need to consult, implement, and advise on suitable solutions that align with your business.
In any organization, informal communication is often an untapped and valuable information resource. By interacting with your staff on a daily basis, your managed I.T. provider can gain a unique perspective and understand your operations at every level.
Leveraging this insight, they can then implement technologies and fine-tune their engagement model to ensure it aligns with the needs of every stakeholder in your business.
Understanding the nuances at every level of your hospitality business can also help them provide the strategic advice you need. By taking their knowledge of technology and aligning it with their unique insight into your daily operations, they can ensure your technology provides you with the platform you need to drive service delivery and ensure business growth.
Quality #5: A Partnering Ethos
Ensuring the technology that runs your hospitality business operates flawlessly is vital. As your core focus is delivering exceptional service, it is crucial that the systems that manage every aspect of your organization enhance the guest experience.
Partnering with a managed I.T. provider can give you the freedom you need to concentrate on satisfying your customers. A great managed I.T. provider should be a seamless extension to your business, and every interaction they have with you should embody a partnering ethos.
As their success is directly linked to yours, trust, communication, transparency, and a hands-on approach must be part of their operating model.
Ultimately, your managed I.T. partner should become your trusted advisor and help you leverage technology to improve the productivity, efficiency, and profitability of your hospitality business.
JMARK has been helping hospitality companies of all size nationwide increase their success with the help of innovative I.T. solutions for over thirty years. The driving force behind everything we do is to help our clients leverage technology to save money and achieve their goals. To learn more about how we can help you take your hospitality business to the next level, contact us today.