Information technology has been changing the hospitality industry for many years. With each year, new technologies become available to make hotels more efficient and enhance the customer’s experience. Already, the way in which hotels function is vastly different than it was 50, or even 15, years ago. Here’s how I.T. is revolutionizing the business:
Easy Reservations, Registration, and Payment
Long ago, customers could only call in to make an advance reservation. Hotel staff checked guests into their accommodations by writing down basic information like their name and license plate number. Hotels request more information now, partly for security purposes and partly to understand their customers’ needs better.
Yet reservations, registration, and payments are easier than ever, thanks to technology. Guests can set up reservations on the go or speed up check-in through mobile devices. Assigning a room, setting up special services, and taking payment takes a very short time, even though more information is gathered for the benefit of guest and hotel alike.
Special Offers and Loyalty Programs
Because hotels usually collect email addresses, they can easily contact past guests with special offers and discount rates. Rather than carrying around a stack of loyalty cards, guests can simply use a mobile app to access their reward points. With their loyalty program information easily available on their smartphones, guests may be much more likely to choose a hotel they if they have what they need with them.
Guests Stay Connected
Nearly all hotel guests these days prefer hotels that offer free wi-fi. In fact, 49% of all business travelers put free wi-fi as their top priority in choosing a hotel room. Some hotel guests want to check their email. Some want to find local attractions or make dinner reservations. Others want to play video games on their laptop or tablet. Still others need to do business while they’re on the road. Information technology gives them all the ability to stay connected and carry on with life as easily as if they’d never left home.
Secure Customer Data
As more information is collected, there is a greater need to keep all that information secure. Allowing guest data to be compromised can be a major threat to the hotel’s reputation. Hotels can now keep names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and credit card numbers more secure than ever. Even customer preferences are kept private but retained for easier registration the next time, as well as better communications between visits.
Scalable Cloud Computing
In most locations, hotel business fluctuates from season to season. With services available on the cloud, hotels can easily ramp up or scale back on I.T. based on how busy they are. They don’t have to buy and maintain all the I.T. infrastructure they’ll ever need throughout the year. Instead, they can rent what they need during the holiday and summer rushes and cut back whenever they need less storage or computing power.
Efficient Back Office Functions
In the hospitality industry, the guest is the most important part of the equation. Yet if the back office isn’t functioning at peak efficiency, it becomes hard to take proper care of customers. With advanced I.T., hotels can deal with a wide range of office functions, such as:
- Accounting and financial management.
- Contracting maintenance and renovation work.
- Hiring and training employees.
- Establishing standards for cleanliness and guest care.
- And more.
I.T. is improving hotel communications through advanced telecommunications systems like VoIP. With all team members connected and working together, the hotel has the ability both to satisfy guests and to run a profitable business.
I.T. Maintenance and Helpdesk Support
In the early days of I.T., hotels faced significant downtime if their networks or servers went down. With a managed I.T. services company available, you always have a team of experts ready to get you back up and running. What’s more, many problems can be solved with a quick call to helpdesk support.
At the same time, trouble happens less often when you have an attentive I.T. team on your side. They pay attention to details and fix risks before they become real issues. If you have a cyber threat or a maintenance issue, your managed services provider can deal with the crisis before it becomes a catastrophe.
Strategic Planning for I.T.
It’s definitely true that I.T. has dramatically changed the scene for the hospitality industry. The changes aren’t over yet, though, and it’s crucial to be prepared for what comes next. The most successful hotels make strategic plans to adapt to new technologies quickly. Staying up to date with technology puts you ahead of the competition and helps you satisfy your customers’ needs and desires.
Biometrics are on the horizon, with their ability to provide the most accurate identification of guests. As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, nearly anything that can be plugged in can be connected within each hotel room. Some hotels are beginning to use augmented reality to provide guests with entertaining experiences at the hotel, making their stay more enjoyable and memorable. The more technology is used, the more I.T. becomes critical to success.
Information technology has certainly revolutionized the hospitality industry in many ways. Providing customer comfort is still the top priority, but now hotels use I.T. to make that happen. Reservations, registration, and payments now take place in a streamlined process. Customer data is protected and retained for future use. The back office runs more efficiently, allowing hotels to maximize profits and build the reputation they want to have. With reliable I.T. maintenance and helpdesk support, all this technology runs smoothly and consistently. As technology advances, I.T. will be more important than ever in the hospitality industry.
Find out more about how I.T. can transform your hotel business. Simply call us at 844-44-JMARK, email us at [email protected], or leave us a quick message through our Contact Us page on this website. We’re happy to help you navigate the changes. JMARK is a managed I.T. services provider based in Springfield, Missouri that caters to businesses in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and beyond.