In Five Things for Hotel Revenue Managers’ Checklist in 2017 - PartI; we identified what hotels need to capitalize on for stronger performance in the coming months. Here we present to you the second part of this series – read on!
3. Do invest on seamless booking experience
Online has made people more impatient, more demanding. I posted a query to an Airbnb host, and received a message within an hour. Today’s travellers want quick answers and simple processes – a phenomenon Booking.com calls ‘instant gratification 2.0’. According to an American Express survey, “78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.” Customer friction has a negative impact on the experience, and can lead to an overall negative feeling about the brand. With major OTAs and Airbnb investing hugely on guest experience with personalized trip planning, and easy cancellation features, hotels need to up their game. As booking moves to mobile, hotels can’t afford to not to have a responsive, mobile friendly, content rich and secure website for more conversions.
4. Do implement revenue intelligence
Hotels have been struggling to handle the huge unstructured customer data they gather from online and offline channels. Advanced revenue and reservation analytics like pace, price-per-conversion or optimal position help hotels to accurately estimate occupancy and optimize ADR, based on season, weather and special dates. Platforms like LIVE OS from eRevMax, provides revenue and reservation insights along with actionable strategic inputs to help hotels implement total revenue management.
5. Do open up to platform based technology
Looking at travel trends for the last 15 years, I can safely predict one winner – technology. From Expedia to TripAdvisor to Airbnb – every success story in the last one and half decades has technology at its core. There is an observation by TechTarget's Tom Goodwin making social media rounds which say “The world’s largest taxi firm, Uber, owns no cars. The world’s most popular media company, Facebook, creates no content. The world’s most valuable retailer, Alibaba, carries no stock. And the world’s largest accommodation provider, Airbnb, owns no property. Something big is going on.”
As technology moves towards platform based model, hotel industry needs to look for a platform which can bring all their technology tools in one place. The platform based approach unifies all operation tools like PMS, OTA, Channel Management, Market Intelligence, Review Management etc and allows for the integration of external tools, channels, and vendors - providing an opportunity to leverage technology holistically. Yes, investing in technology comes with a price tag, however that doesn’t mean just not doing anything is an option.