Top priorities for hotel CEOs in a post-Covid world - Insights
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Top priorities for hotel CEOs in a post-Covid world

Hotel CEO prioritiesEven before Covid-19 came along, hoteliers around the world were facing multiple challenges. Of course, things are even tougher now, with intense competition between those brands that survived the pandemic. The hospitality landscape continues to evolve at an alarming rate – and unless hotel CEOs take action to identify and implement the right changes, their hotels are unlikely to make the cut.

In this article, dailypoint™ looks at five of the top priorities that CEOs need to be considering right now. We’ll also examine how deploying the right technology can help to solve problems, manage issues and enable hotels to gain and maintain a competitive advantage.

2. Centralized profiles for a guest-centric experience

Customer satisfaction has always been at the heart of the hospitality industry. But what does this actually look like nowadays? CEOs need to understand the needs, motivations and desires of each guest group they need to cater for – whether they’re travelling for business, leisure or to attend an event. Only then can their hotels deliver a truly personalized experience that meets the needs of each individual.

Unfortunately, the typical hotel tech stack, which tends to revolve around the Property Management System (PMS), Service Bus or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can make this difficult if not impossible. Why? Because all these approaches result in multiple guest profiles being created, instead of a single, central, profile.

The result is that numerous processes essential to offering a first-class guest experience at every point of contact simply won’t work properly. These include targeted sales and marketing, complaint management, guest recognition and service, attributed pricing, analytics…the list goes on.

However, a tech stack built around Central Data Management (CDM) and a single guest profile can eliminate these problems – and bring a wealth of benefits at the same time. To give just one example, a study of 4.5 million hotel stays conducted in 2018 found that, where the hotel had consolidated guest profiles, there were 9.5 times as many stays[1].

A Covid-safe environment

Technology can play a big role in maintaining a Covid-safe environment in hotels. Contactless solutions such as mobile check-in, keyless room entry and dedicated apps for ordering room service have been around for some time. With 64% of guests citing digital services as ‘Very important or decisive’ when choosing a hotel[2], sites that still rely on manual systems such as paper check-in forms and handwritten bills won’t be popular.

However, CEOs need to look beyond contactless and think what else they can do to give their hotel a unique appeal to their target audience. For example, setting up automated pre-arrival emails to offer room upgrades, transport options and information about attractions in the local area. Options to book facilities in advance, such as meeting rooms, spa days or a day on the golf course are also possible.

These kinds of communications not only offer a highly personalized service that inspires loyalty, but also minimize face to face interactions when guests arrive at the hotel. And after check-in, services such as online chat with front desk staff and digital guest service directories keep the lines of communication open, but with social distancing firmly in place.

3. GDPR compliance

With traditional hotel tech stacks leading to up to 30 profiles being created, it’s impossible to action information, data transfer, deletion and correction requests accurately. Maintaining data privacy and preventing breaches should be a priority for the CEO of any type of business, and hospitality is no exception.

The only viable option here is to centralize the guest profile, so that a single version exists and the data for each individual remains clean. CDM-driven systems such as the dailypoint™ platform can make this happen, keeping your hotels GDPR-compliant and your guests reassured.

4. Staffing and resources

Covid-19 has changed the face of hotel staffing forever. People left the sector in droves or were furloughed. Recruitment has picked up in 2021, with 40,000 jobs added in March 2021 alone[3]. But many hotel CEOs don’t want to return to pre-pandemic staffing levels– and automating guest-facing or operational services can help achieve this. It’s potentially so important to the industry that 75% of hoteliers surveyed by ReviewPro said automation was ‘Very important’ to their hotel’s recovery[4].

There’s a myriad of ways in which a CDM-focused hotel tech environment can enable automation, making life easier for the remaining staff, conserving costs and still enabling a great guest experience. A few examples are hotel task management that automatically categorizes and prioritizes work; automated guest feedback management; and automated communications for common questions using chatbots.

5. Big Data

Put simply, access to Big Data and the multiple benefits and advantages it brings isn’t possible without a CDM (Central Data Management) system built around centralized guest profiles. A traditional hotel tech stack might be seen as a ‘spaghetti system,’ with a tangle of technologies collecting and storing information in different places.

This prevents hotels accessing Big Data, which over time can collect amazing amounts of information about each guest – from their preferred menu items to the social media platforms they use. In turn, this enables hotels to offer an unrivalled level of personalized service, not to mention highly-targeted sales and marketing initiatives, that are almost guaranteed to resonate.

Download the latest dailypoint White Paper: “How technology can support changes in hotel guest expectations”.

[1] Source: “Who takes over the role of the PMS?”. dailypoint. September 2021.

[2] Source: “Wachstumstrends im Deutschen Hotelmarkt”. IMWF & Scandic Hotels. February 2019.

[3] Source: Rebuilding hospitality. Trends in demand, data and technology that are driving recovery.” Amadeus. 2021.

[4] Source: Why hotel automation is the next big thing in the hotel industry”. ReviewPro. June 2021.

 

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