By Sophie Gallet on September 10, 2015 at 9:30 AM
In August, we held the first sessions of our Independent Hotel Academy with three best of breed partners: Revinate, Duetto & TripTease.
It was an exciting opportunity to learn both from experts in online reputation, revenue management, channel and online distribution, and general hotel management, but also from independent hoteliers’ unique experiences and visions.
We’d like to thank all the participants who made the events a success, and convinced us we should host more educational seminars in the States and beyond.
For those of you who couldn't attend the event, get ready as we’ll release the dates for the next events soon. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook (you'll find pictures of the events there too) or subscribe to our blog to get the invitations.
In the meantime, I'd like to share with you some of the key takeaways I gathered from this session of the Independent Hotel Academy:
Key Takeaway #1: Go Cloud
All experts highly recommend to switch to cloud-based systems - i.e. software hosted online, that only require an Internet connection and a browser to run. Why?
- These systems are available anytime, anywhere, from any Internet-connected device.
- Generally there are no upfront costs, updates are free and automatically included into the software.
- Cloud-based systems benefit from the latest innovations and provide a fast and enhanced user experience.
- Integrations with other web-based systems are seamless, quick and affordable.
Key Takeaway #2: Happy Guests = Success
Hoteliers should focus on making their guests happy. Satisfied guests will lead to repeat business, plus an improved online presence and reputation, which in turn will grow demand, ADR and revenues.
There’s several tips to enhance guest experience:
- Spend as much time as possible with guests. This requires fast and powerful systems to back your operations and management, and especially a strong core system, your PMS
Quick recommendations to choose the right PMS:
> An intuitive and flexible interface will unveil new opportunities
(fast checkins/checkouts mean more time with guests, mobile systems call for a new welcoming process, etc.)
> The system should allow departments to work better together.
> Inventory and rate management for all channels should be controlled in one place.
- Engage with guests throughout their entire lifecycle, not just while on property. This can be done leveraging the booking process, using pre-post stay communication, making the most of feedbacks and loyalty marketing.
- Offer your guests what they want before they even ask. You need to know who your guests are, what they like, what is important to them and what isn’t. Technology? Food? Leisure time? Your PMS system, or guest engagement software can help you keep track of that and exceed guests’ expectations.
Key Takeaway #3: Start Growing Revenues Today
There are plenty of opportunities to grow revenues. Here’s a few you can start implementing right now:
- Offer upgrades and promotional packages on your booking engine and pre-arrival communication.
- Build targeted marketing to improve conversion rate and direct revenue.
- Strategize your pricing using minimum stay requirements, room type specific rates, and historical & forecast data.
- Don’t sell out too soon - your goal should be to sell your last room on the last day.
- Increase direct bookings: don’t let your visitors believe OTAs are the best and cheapest way to book. Make sure your booking process is simple, intuitive and short, that you display a lot of good pictures and reassure the visitors they’re getting the best deals.
Frontdesk Anywhere is an award-winning PMS that helps independent hoteliers please their guests by simplifying and speeding up operations and management, and grow revenues by providing a beautiful booking engine, pre/post stay communication, yield management and more...