With a 20+ year track record in hotel software technology, Jos Schaap is a leading authority on how it can help to enhance the guest experience.
Jos began StayNTouch with the vision of re-inventing hotel PMS technology; making it simple, mobile and transitioning the software to the cloud. StayNTouch was successfully sold to Shiji Group in September 2018 and Jos currently manages several business units for the Shiji Group while remaining CEO of StayNTouch.
We caught up with Jos to discuss how hoteliers can marry hotel technology with a modern traveler’s ever changing needs.
Opportunity 2019: Revenue Management and the Connected Customer
See Jos discuss the growth of the open hotel tech platform on an expert panel at Opportunity 2019: Revenue Management and the Connected Customer on February 12th, 2019. Save 10% on attendance using our special discount code; HOTELSPK10.
Register here: https://www.opportunity2019.co.uk/
Today, hotel guests are always-connected, on-demand, consumers who seek convenience and personalisation. Data fuels this personalisation and of course a key focus of 2018 has been around what data we gather about our guests. How can we encourage guests to share the data we need to provide them with a more personalised and connected experience?
Today’s travelers demand more choice, personalization and convenience, and they will often share data when it is used to enhance their experience. According to MCD partners, 73% of travelers want to use mobile for check-in, while approximately two-thirds would like to receive concierge tips and order room service/ amenities through their mobile phone. All of these activities provide valuable customer data that hotels can use to make their guests’ experience even more memorable.
Events like Opportunity 2019 provide an invaluable platform for hoteliers and industry leaders to explore how emerging technology can use data to enhance the guest experience and drive more revenue growth, including ancillary revenue.
Following on from the first question, do you believe that growing guest awareness of what is and isn’t tracked has led them to have higher expectations from hotels with regard to technology and personalising their stay?
Modern travelers are very technologically savvy. While they are willing to provide personalized information, they want to be assured that the information will actually be used to enhance their stay, and that they won’t be required to give the same information over and over again.
This sentiment is borne out by the data — According to Phocuswright, around half of US travelers are willing to share data on past or current travel plans for increased personalization and convenience. Really, it’s all about using technology to maintain a deeper conversation with your guests. When you note the amenities they request during their stay, the items they use in their rooms, and the type of accommodations they typically prefer, you can use that information to personalize your guests’ experience and help them build a lasting relationship with your hotel.
Of course, it’s not just the guests that benefit from technological innovation. How do you envision it will affect the future roles of revenue management?
The rise of Online Travel Agents (OTAs) has been something of a double-edged sword for hotels. On one hand, they are an invaluable tool to help hotels sell surplus rooms, however, with commissions as high as 30%, they can also impact hotels’ profits. Consequently, hotels need to find a way to compensate for this revenue loss by making more informed decisions on how to set their rates, optimizing their distribution strategy and capitalizing on upsell opportunities during the entirety of their guests’ stay.
Today’s cloud based hotel operating systems can be accessed from anywhere, allowing revenue managers to capitalize on market rate changes whenever they happen — even after business hours. A cloud based PMS can facilitate great sharing of data between your PMS/CRM/RMS which allows hotels to send guests targeted offers, upgrades and enhancements, based on their past requests or self-selected preferences. And all of this data can be compiled within the Cloud PMS to create a complete profile of the guest, both to enhance their stay and increase the likelihood of repeat business.
Finally, as we move from fragmented systems that don’t speak to each other to a much more integrated approach, how can technology providers help expedite this evolutionary shift and ensure that hoteliers compete on a level playing field for the direct booking?
Hotels run on a myriad of technological systems, each with the potential to provide pertinent information about a guest’s stay. A cloud based PMS with an Open API can seamlessly integrate with best of breed CRSs, channel managers, revenue management systems, CRMs and a host of other systems that can help revenue managers maximize profit and capitalize on the complete guest revenue potential, all the while delivering a truly personalized guest experience.
On one level, frictionless integrations create a frictionless guest experience, but more importantly, the data collected from holistic and seamlessly integrated systems enables hotels to send targeted marketing messages to guests before, during and after their stay. Using high-technology to provide a more tailored, high-touch level of service help create the right incentives for guests to book again and book direct.