The hotel industry is and always will be about providing good old-fashioned hospitality. With an ever-increasing volume of analytics to contend with, however, the need for shiny, new technology systems to improve business performance is also ever increasing. Fifty-two percent of hotels plan to increase their IT investments, and those investments are paying off. According to Starfleet research, hotels that upgrade their revenue management systems see a 7 to 10 percent average lift in RevPAR.
But after investing in a great new system, what if your employees aren’t using it? Instead, they’re falling back on their familiar manual (and time consuming) methods they know and love. Here we explore seven reasons why you may not be getting the most out of your systems.1. It’s Not Intuitive
When evaluating new systems, consider the user experience. You want systems that actually make life easier for your staff. Don’t get dazzled by a lot of bells and whistles that may be making the software more complex than it needs to be to achieve the outcome you wish to attain. The more intuitive a new solution is, the more likely adoption will be.2. Your Team Didn’t Get Proper Training
Make certain you don’t end up with your expensive new system sitting on a digital bookshelf gathering dust simply because nobody on your staff feels comfortable using it. Choose a hotel technology provider who ensures proper training and support throughout deployment and beyond.3. You Didn’t Communicate the Benefits
To expand on a popular line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it up, they will come.” Most people tend to resist change, and your hotel employees are no different. Create buy-in by having regular meetings leading up to the launch to discuss system benefits. Clearly address the “what’s in it for me” question by letting users know how the system will simplify current processes, free them from busy work, and allow them to use their time in more valuable ways.
4. You Didn’t Start Small
Deploy your solution in phases. Launch it first with a small group of people or a department that you know will most likely adopt and be successful with the new system. Choose staff who are influential among their peers. Then when you expand your launch to the rest of the company, you’ll have a built-in support team at the ready.5. You Didn’t Establish a Reevaluation Process
Once your new system is in place, ensure it’s working by establishing baselines against which you can measure your progress. Set up best practices, rules of frequency, and protocols on which reports to use and how often. Regularly meet with your team members to address any problems or questions that may arise concerning how to best utilize the system.6. It Doesn’t Integrate with Your Current Systems
Running your hotel is difficult enough without the challenge of dealing with closed technologies that don’t work together. You need holistic solutions that seamlessly unify your revenue management, property management, and customer reservation systems, bringing together every team member and department. And given that technology is always changing, ensure that upgrades and improvements are readily available, keeping your system relevant over the long term.7. You Forgot to Keep ROI in Mind
The ROI of a system should underpin any decisions regarding its implementation. Has the technology led to growth in bookings or revenue? Has it helped you save time by automating operations, or allowed you to reduce staffing hours? Regular evaluation of your system in terms of ROI can lead to big impacts on your bottom line.
Implementing the right systems, and getting full adoption by your staff, can have a major impact on your hotel’s success in 2019 and beyond. You’ll not only benefit from more efficient operations, but you’ll maximize financial performance, and improve guest experiences in the process.