Learning About APIs

A Primer in Hotel Techology

By Benjamin Jost Co-Founder & CEO, TrustYou | April 23, 2017

The technology ecosystem in the hotel space is changing at a rapid pace. In some cases, companies seem to be appearing from nowhere, offering a brand new solution that solves a problem many hotels didn't know that they had. In other cases, companies with extensive track records in other markets are performing pivots, taking everything that they've learned in their history and trying to apply best practices to the travel industry.

While there's often far more noise than signal, there is a swath of companies, startups and incumbents alike, that are finding ways to help hotels improve their customer experiences. The ones that are most effective understand the tech stack in a hotel ecosystem, and are using APIs to seamlessly connect their offerings to the day-to-day operations of their hotel partners.

Introducing APIs

An API (Application Program Interface), is simply a set of rules and protocols that establish how applications should interact with each other. Said differently, APIs are the pipes that connect applications across the internet, allowing secure passage of data between companies. Customers don't see APIs, but APIs are the means by which data is shared. Using an example to crystalize this concept, many hotel websites will incorporate Google Maps into each of the pages dedicated to their properties. This is one basic use of an API. Another common use of APIs has to do with social media. Companies like Hootsuite, which connect various social accounts for organizations, use APIs in order to foster those connections.

Not all API uses are to share data that is customer facing. In many cases, hotels will use APIs to connect the various systems that keep a hotel up and running. For instance, many hotels will connect their data sources, like PMS, CRM or OTA. This can mean collecting data from a guest that booked using an OTA and using that data to remarket to that guest after their stay. We needn't go too deep down the rabbit hole of APIs, since as an executive, you've likely built a quality team of folks who can handle the nitty gritty details; your concern is likely more about whether things work, not necessarily about how they work. The important thing to understand is that if a data sharing process is automated, there's an excellent chance it's using an API.

Using APIs to Improve the Guest Experience

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Soy Williams
Rob Rush
Rani Bhattacharyya
Steve Kiesner
Darrell Schuurman
Rollin Bell
James Bermingham
Ray Chung
Janet Gerhard
Frank Meek
Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. 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.