Bridging the Gap Between Operations and Guest Feedback

By Benjamin Jost Co-Founder & CEO, TrustYou | January 28, 2018

One of the biggest buzzwords in the digital space has been the ‘tech stack’ (or technology stack). While there aren’t too many people talking about it in hospitality, it’s a relevant term to help you choose the right technology in order for you to manage your operations and marketing. Simply put, a hotel technology stack is a description of all the software and programs you use to manage your digital marketing, operations, booking software, revenue management, third-party distribution, guest services and more.

Startups often depict their tech stack like a quadrant or map, where you see all the technology you have in place divided into the different categories of their uses. When laid out visually, you can easily see the gaps in your stack - where there are opportunities to streamline manual processes with technology - and the places you’ve invested your technology so far.  

Tech stacks vary in size and type, of course - a small property will have fewer tools than a larger one, but even “manual” tools can be included as part of your tech stack (that will give you a better picture of where you might want to switch something manual to something automated). Plus, a light tech stack isn’t necessarily a bad thing - the “lighter” it is (i.e. fewer tools), the more likely you’re able to be flexible and adapt to new processes or tools and the less likely it is to hold you back (on the flip side, lighter stacks are not as scalable when you do need extra tools to improve your operations). 

What’s the value in understanding tech stacks and creating one for your hotel? Think of it as the technology blueprint of your property - you need to lay it all out before you start building. By doing so, you can focus on:  

  1. Users of the technology 
  2. Technology gaps
  3. Technology spend
  4. Technology ecosystem

1. Users of the Technology  

How many people at your property actually use the marketing or operations software that you have invested in? Is it 50%? How about 80%? How often do they use it?

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Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.