Is your management software causing your business more problems than it is solving? With business technology evolving at an ever-increasing rate, could it be that your old solution is simply no longer capable of meeting the demands of the modern hotel? Here, we look at the key questions you should be asking to determine whether now is the right time to upgrade your hotel Property Management System.
It’s hardly a secret that exceptional customer service lies at the very heart of your hotel’s success. If your staff deliver anything less than the highest standards of professionalism and efficiency, then it’s fair to say that your guests simply won’t be yours for much longer.
In fairness, obstacles which stand between you and a 100% customer satisfaction record are rarely the sole responsibility of those on the front line of your operation. Indeed, even the very best in the industry can only do so much to compensate for a poorly performing hotel PMS that simply isn’t up to the task it’s being used for.
How do you know if it’s up to the task or not? How do you tell whether your hotel management software is actually causing you more harm than good? Here’s a few things you may want to ask.
When Did You Last Upgrade Your Software?
In late 2016, research carried out as part of work on the Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems revealed that only 27% of hoteliers who upgraded their hotel pms in the past three years plan to do so again in the next twelve months.
On the surface, this almost seems understandable. Three years doesn’t appear to be that long. Indeed, most of us can likely remember what we were doing three years ago and what our hotel was like before our existing software was installed.
However, despite being a relatively short amount of time in most senses, in technology terms, three years is practically a lifetime.
Both systems and the hardware which runs them have evolved dramatically over the last several years, and so too have the demands of your hotel guests.
Since you last upgraded, a whole new generation of property management software has bound on to the market, empowering your employees to do more for your guests, and to do it better than they ever could before.
If your system is slow, sluggish, and simply not cutting the proverbial mustard any more, that may well be your first tell tale sign that an upgrade should be high on your list of priorities this year.
Do You Have to Remain Desk-Bound to Run Your Hotel Efficiently?
Desktop property management solutions may have worked wonders for your hotel in the past, but with so much to do on site, not to mention all those external appointments you need to keep, wouldn’t it be better if you and your staff had access to your PMS on the go?
Today’s next-generation PMS solutions are based in the cloud and offer full mobile access, so that you can run your entire hotel from any location at any time.
A much better alternative to being chained to a desk all day, don’t you think?
Are You Frequently Double-Booked?
A rare, once-in-a-blue-moon booking error -though still bothersome- can be perhaps written off as a freak system error or a minor blip made by an employee. To err, as they say, is most definitely human.
Multiple booking problems attributed to one employee? That’s likely a sign that you’ll need to invest in more training for particular staff members.
But frequent errors being made by a number of employees on an ongoing basis? That’s something more serious; that’s a sign that a fundamental flaw within your management system.
It could be that your existing software is too complicated, leading to employees making mistakes without even knowing it. It could be that your system is simply out-of-date and prone to errors.
Whatever the case may be, these aren’t the kind of errors you can afford if your hotel is to remain successful.
Are Your Customers Complaining About Their Accommodation?
On a similar note, perhaps the easiest way to tell if you need to do something about your hotel PMS is by looking at the type of negative feedback you’re receiving from customers.
Do Mr. & Mrs. Smith pay premium rate for your five star, luxury bridal suite only to be lumbered into one of your standard rooms? Are the Joneses expecting a modest, budget accomodation for their quick overnight stay, only to be accidently charged the price of your penthouse apartment?
Again, if this sort of thing is happening regularly, ihe blame is unlikely to fall squarely at the feet of your employees. Rather, such situations highlight a serious weakness with your existing PMS, and provide proof that yes, it really is time to upgrade.