The current restrictions can provide an insight into your tech provisions and help you prepare for the upturn
We are here to help you get through this and we’ve put together some pointers to help you take stock and demand more!
Many areas are now in lockdown (forcing hotels to close except for the provision of essential services) and many other areas are under strict restrictions. For hoteliers and hospitality owners, this presents an opportunity to review and revise your current tech stack to ensure you are in the best possible shape for when you re-open.
• Is your technology working hard for you?
This may be the time to stand back and take stock of your requirements - how to make your technology sing for you, remove double jobbing, automate tasks, inform your guests, drive direct traffic, reduce OTA commissions, create good working relationships with all your technology partners. Is your technology helping or hindering you in your quest for a streamlined and profitable business?
• Are you demanding enough from your tech?
Get your team together and demand more from your technology and your suppliers. Make sure your budget is working hard for you and ensure all your department’s needs are being met in the most cost-efficient and operationally effective way possible. The cost of ignoring this may provide critical to the long-term bottom line. We’ve put together a Checklist to help here.
Why not create a short list of suppliers you wish to review or find out more about and arrange a meeting online or in person, really see what is on offer?
• Are you being supported during the lockdowns?
Did you feel let down by your technology stack and the support offered during the first lockdown and when you reopened? Business owners have never been so close to their businesses, supporting their teams and their guests. We have heard first-hand from owners how frustrated they’ve been with their processes and how remote suppliers have been. Make sure everything is working for you and your suppliers are there for you during the best and worst of times.
• Utilise Social Media to be heard!
Long gone are the days where hotels could only rely on the travel agents to fill their rooms. Social media used correctly can be a powerful tool in the drive for direct bookings. A few hints and tips to try:
- First things first, if you have not already set up your own channels, don’t rush in! Have a think about how much resource you have, can you manage 8 different accounts? Quality over quantity here, if this is the beginning of your social media journey, we recommend starting with 1 channel – Facebook is as good as any.
- Guest generated content is gold dust, Mr & Mrs Smith sharing their experience publicly for all to see on your Facebook page will reassure potential bookers that they are making the right choice. If you are stuck for content ideas, sharing latest reviews is a good place to start.
- All small businesses are in the same boat here, and everyone could do with a helping hand. Join forces with your local community, your target audience are the same! Offer to promote the local hairdresser/butcher/toy shop in return for them promoting you to their followers. Maybe you have a special offer they could share on their page?
- Of course if you are just starting out, no matter how good your content, without an audience, you won’t see results. Use lockdown to build on your presence, create an audience, ask your guests to follow you, and be heard.
• Are your suppliers with you?
This is the time to get more out of your suppliers. Existing suppliers would love to make sure you are getting the best from their services; many would be delighted to do some training or review your needs. They’d not only demonstrate their own product, they'd also show how well it integrates with the other products you are using.
• Financial support
We’re all in this together and you shouldn’t worry about how you are going to pay for new tech - when you review what you are already paying for non-performing systems you will probably find there is money there to spend on more efficient solutions. Plus, most suppliers are offering flexible payment options and terms so make sure you enquire about these.
• Virtual coffee?
We’re always available for a coffee and chat, and we’d be happy to help wherever we can. Drop us a line below and we’ll call you back.
Clio O'Gara, Guestline's Country Manager (Ireland) who is spearheading the campaign for hoteliers, added "This is one of the most challenging periods for any hotelier and we want to support them in getting the most out of their current tech stack - and if not, help them get the right products, services and support that will help them recover and drive business when they re-open. It's a testing time but also an opportune time to review their current systems and ask themselves if they're performing to their needs and if they're getting value for money. We're here for hoteliers and my virtual door is always open if anyone would like to have an informal chat about their current set-up and how/where they might be able to make improvements (from any provider - we work with lots of partners!)"