5 Revenue-Generating Technologies – Using Hotel Tech to Drive More Profit
Ah, technology and revenue… our inexhaustible sources of discussion and research. When we talk about tech innovations, what normally first pops into mind is the investment that these systems require, both from a financial and time perspective. But the reason why we’re slowly but surely putting a stop to tech-related skepticism is what awaits for us after the finish line: a better guest experience, a significant improvement in reputation, and of course, profit.
Working in a highly competitive industry and in a world dominated by smart technologies, the question that arises in every hotelier’s mind is “What has the most potential for revenue-generation?” After all, it’s only natural to focus on driving the highest profit after making any type of investment. This is exactly why we focused on answering this pressing question and exploring the 5 best revenue-generating hotel technologies.
Although perhaps not the first tech to pop into mind when thinking about revenue, live chat is actually a blessing in disguise. Often perceived as a means of keeping the hotel-guest communication lines open and as a way of providing on-the-spot customer support, Live Chat’s benefits go beyond this and can actually result in revenue when leveraged properly. As we have previously discussed in our Tech Stach eBook and this blog post, live chat can be used as a means to encourage more direct bookings. While travelers are browsing the hotel website, they might be in need of assistance or have extra inquiries, regarding bookings. Through live chat, the hotel staff can encourage and help with a direct booking on the brand website instead of losing touch with the user. Keep in mind that either the lack of relevant information or a valid and quick means of communication can lead travelers to different websites, such as OTAs, in order to complete a booking.
Internet Booking Engine
While on the topic of direct bookings, it’s essential in today’s hospitality business to invest in an efficient internet booking engine (IBE). Every hotelier’s objective is to get as many direct bookings as possible, although, to be completely fair, OTAs have become necessary (up to a certain level). In order to achieve a proper online distribution and visibility, any hotel website needs to be listed on third parties. However, that being said, direct bookings are the ultimate goal. What drives travelers towards a direct booking is, first of all, the ability to easily find the brand website upon a simple web search. This is closely related to the website’s SEO and online visibility. Second of all, the decision-making factor that derives in a direct booking is the efficiency of the hotel’s booking engine. In order to encourage users to book direct, an IBE needs to be properly optimized, easy-to-use, quick, and efficient, making the booking process as simple, if not even easier, than on a third-party. The chances of travelers completing a direct booking are automatically higher when they can find a hotel’s brand website, get valuable info on the spot while browsing it, and are provided with an effective and user-friendly booking engine.
A few years have gone by since artificial intelligence started to overtake a large portion of businesses, including the hospitality industry. What was perceived as a futuristic concept is now part of our day to day lives; and why wouldn't it be, really? Artificial intelligence can be of huge help to any hotel business and in certain ways, it can prove itself to be extremely cost-effective in the long run. We have reached a point in time when immediacy is a key that determines the satisfaction levels of consumers, which makes complete sense come to think of it: we live in a busy world, so we expect our needs and issues to be addressed on the spot. This is where AI and chatbots fall into place since these technologies can take over when humans might sometimes be unable to. Numerous systems are based on artificial intelligence and chatbots, a topic that we have previously discussed, which enable automated processes and communication, around the clock.
Keep in mind that the difference between a gained booking and a missed opportunity lies in being able to quickly and easily request information and receive satisfactory answers on the spot. By making good use of AI and investing in a chatbot for your hotel’s website, you not only show potential guests that you are up to date with technology trends and that you are willing to go the extra mile for them, but that you are also saving money in the long run. Month-after-month and year-after-year, an actual employee that would normally take care of simple requests and even work around the clock, would add up to a high cost. A chatbot, on the other hand, is more of an investment that requires only a one-time set-up and an occasional update.
Not only does this contribute to the revenue of a hotel business by being more cost-effective than a 24/7 staff, but it can also increase satisfaction rates and problem-solving capabilities.
Internet of Things
It’s no secret that travelers have changed and adapted their expectations and behavior around technology. Especially while traveling, we need tech innovations to support our needs and facilitate operations that support our stay at a hotel. Especially younger generations of travelers, like millennials and gen Z, who can easily develop an unsatisfactory impression of a hotel or accommodation if it falls short on the tech front. In hospitality, the Internet of Things (IoT) is one of those relatively newer concepts that has been implemented in order to support the new demands and expectations of tech-savvy travelers. IoT is basically the interconnection between everyday devices which have a computing element embedded, via the internet. This connection allows those devices/objects to send and receive data, basically creating an infrastructure of easily exchangeable information. You can surely already grasp why this technology is useful for the on-site phase of a guest and how it can improve the guest satisfaction rates, as well as the staff operations.
IoT is now enabling travelers to connect their own personal devices to different hotel systems. This entire process comes as a win-win since guests are more likely to be positively impressed and hotels can now invest in a tech solution that, in the long run, will pay off financially. Operations that, until recently, required human effort, are now automated and can run smoother and be less prone to errors. It’s easy to understand that the implementation and use of IoT can lead to fewer manpower investments, more automated processes, and better satisfaction rates.
Feedback Management Platform
The proper management of online feedback has quickly moved from a “nice-to-have” status to being a must-have practice. The world wide web enables millions of opinions, scattered around countless portals - all of them with the potential of growing or harming your business. It’s easy to see why feedback platforms are essential nowadays, in order to properly oversee, gather, manage and market online reviews. But how exactly does a feedback management platform lead to profit?
First of all, consider that an umbrella type of system, that enables multiple different actions from one place, is automatically saving you money; money that would otherwise be divided between various independent technologies. Second of all, the sole most important goal of feedback management is the better guest experience and an improved online reputation. Both of these can be achieved by properly monitoring, analyzing, and managing reviews. A satisfactory guest stay will usually result in a positive review, which has the power to influence the booking decision of hundreds and thousands of future guests, resulting in more revenue. We are basically talking about a circle, each factor influencing the other and leading towards better results: more positive experiences, an excellent reputation, more bookings, hence more financial gain.
You can get even more valuable insights from our eBook: The Hotelier’s Tech Stack Guide - Must-have Technologies That Impact The Guest Journey.