Essential Software That Every Hotel Should Have

The hotel business is a tough market to compete in. With the high-quality hotels popping up, it’s hard for small and mid-sized chains to gain any ground on their competitors. But there are some things you can do to stay competitive and increase your revenue. One of those things is investing in quality software that will help you manage every part of your organization, from online reservations to housekeeping updates. This article will cover what essential software every hotel should have and why they’re important for your business success!

Cloud-based management software

One of the best ways to increase your efficiencies and take some stress off your staff is by investing in cloud-based management software. There are many products out there that do all the things necessary for running a hotel, and Oracle OPERA is one of them. These types of software are very useful for anyone running a hotel, and they have tools that include:

Full guest management capabilities, including reservations and check-in/check-out

Built-in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) for guest interactions and loyalty programs

Point of sale functionality with inventory management, online ordering, and payment processing integration

Housekeeping and maintenance tracking, guest feedback, and P2P messaging

Real-time reports for all departments to monitor performance

​It’s important to get software that is easy to use, so the learning curve isn’t too steep. You don’t want your staff getting frustrated using it or trying to avoid it. And you want to make sure that it will be able to grow with your business, both in size and features. Cloud-based software companies usually have software for every budget, so you can find something that works for your chain.

Branded online booking websites

As more consumers are doing their shopping online, it’s important for smaller chains to have their own branded online booking websites. That way your guests can find your hotel, check rates and availability, and even book the room right then and there! This cuts out the need for them to find another site or call you to speak with a reservationist. It should be noted that online booking sites do not replace the need for a call center. You still want to have your staff available to assist guests with any questions or problems they may have during their stay. Plus, you’ll want to make sure you are tracking all online bookings to ensure you are collecting revenue from them.

When someone books through your branded website, you know where the person is coming from and how much revenue it brings in. You also have the ability to collect guest information before they arrive, allowing you to use that information when they check-in. This is an advantage to your guests, too, because they can log in and see their reservation history. There are many other features in these types of systems, so be sure to do your research before deciding which one is right for you.

Use software for improving your website

There are many other types of software out there that can help improve your hotel’s website. The best software allows you to add content and pictures without having to pay a developer to upload them for you, which is important in today’s fast-moving world. But make sure the software you choose has all the features your site needs–such as online booking capabilities and easy-to-post paperwork–and that it’s user-friendly. You need to be able to update your site quickly in order to keep up with your guests’ needs.

A big mistake some hotels make is not keeping their software updated. Think about all the things you can accomplish today on a smartphone or tablet versus just five years ago. Your software needs to follow the latest trends throughout the industry, so you can stay competitive in your market.

Automated email marketing campaigns

Once you have the website set up for your hotel, it’s important to be sending out emails to everyone who books a reservation. The email marketing software will allow you to automatically send out pre-arrival and arrival emails with information about the hotel and things for guests to do in the area. It also allows you to send special offers and discounts that can encourage people to come back and book with you again. The more times somebody stays at your hotel, the more valuable they become to your brand throughout the years.

The best software for this is built right into your online booking website or can be added as an extra feature. Sending automated emails may not seem like a big deal, but many of today’s consumers are using email marketing to find the best price at the best hotel for them.

Software for guest loyalty programs

Another big advantage of using software to manage your hotel is being able to use it for loyalty programs. Many hotels are creating their own customer reward programs, like Hilton HHonors and Marriott Rewards, but it also helps to use a system that makes it easy for your staff and customers.

If you’re going to be offering an in-house program, then you need software that tracks all levels of member activity. Your loyalty program should have the same basic features as any other customer tracking system, so you can get information on your guests, such as:

How many nights they stayed

What types of rooms do they book, and for how long each time?

The number of times they checked out and checked in

You’ll also want to have a program that rewards members based on their activity, not just the amount that’s spent. This will keep your customers coming back again and again because they know their membership will be giving them added benefits.

Loyalty programs can help increase your guest count and your revenue, but only if you’re using the right software to manage it all. That’s why finding a loyalty program that works for you is essential, whether it’s a third-party program or one you make up yourself. You can’t afford to have a system that isn’t compatible or doesn’t work. When you’re looking for software, consider ease of use, the number of features it has, and who the customer base is. This will ensure that your loyalty program runs smoothly and helps you stay competitive in your market.

Hotels need to be sure that the software they select for their website and other business functions is up-to-date and user-friendly. Additionally, using a loyalty program management system is essential in order to track customer behavior and offer rewards accordingly. Finally, inventory management tools can save time and money by automating tedious tasks. By following these best practices, hotels can stay competitive in an ever-changing industry.

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