Answers to the Top Questions About Switching Hotel Property Management Systems

By Todd Davis Chief Executive Officer, SkyTouch Technology | December 31, 2017

You rely on your property management system (PMS) to help you run your hotel. It is the central nervous system of your property. Most of your hotel's technology runs through your PMS; more reason to have a modern system at your front desk. In fact, many hotels have migrated off premise-based systems for a cloud-based PMS for that very reason. Still, there is a tremendous opportunity to move more properties to the cloud. Nevertheless, there are important questions to ask before making the switch from a premise-based system or from another cloud-based PMS. Here are answers to some of the top questions hoteliers ask before making the switch.

Is it Accessible From a Mobile Device?

Selecting a solution that is cloud-based and is mobile-ready will pay many dividends. Your guest service will improve, staff will be more efficient and you will save on not having to purchase expensive hardware.

Today's top solutions can be operated using a tablet or even a smart phone. This will present the hotel with needed flexibility. For example, you could leave the front desk to greet guests and check them in anywhere in the lobby. Or a housekeeper can view the list of rooms assigned to him or her by logging in to their smartphone, updating the room status or add work orders without having to call the front desk.

For many hotel owners and managers having the ability to log in from anywhere and see how the hotel is doing at any given moment is a powerful feature. Add to that the ability to make rate changes on the go, and you are now adding dollars to the bottom line.

How Easy is it to Use?

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Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.