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 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. 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.