Future-proofing is an often-neglected endeavour within the hospitality sector. To an extent, this is to be expected: in an industry where costs are a deciding factor, longer-term plans aren’t always high on the agenda. That said, neglecting opportunities to future-proof your property can be costly.
The hotel industry is competitive, and with the rise of private rentals and home-sharing services, having a reputation for being outdated can be a big blow to your business. Ultimately, it’s in every hotel’s best interest to look ahead and ensure they can keep up with the needs and expectations of their guests. With that in mind, here are three ways to prepare your hotel for the future.
1 – Migrate to the cloud
The future is in the cloud, which means your property should be too. The ability to access data from anywhere in the world means cloud-based management systems are becoming increasingly prevalent within the hospitality sector.
With the rise of private rentals and home-sharing services, having a reputation for being outdated can be a big blow to your business
Hotels should seriously consider migrating to the cloud in order to prepare for future growth. Cloud-based systems can expand or contract as a business does, and provide the kind of flexibility that can facilitate changes across multiple locations. Ultimately, having technology like the cloud onside will boost almost every area of your hotel’s operations. In the age of cyberthreats, the increased data security of cloud-based systems will prove a real bonus.
2 – Wi-Fi is key
Wi-Fi is essential for the modern guest. In this day and age, hotels are expected to provide a high-quality internet connection that allows customers to work, stream and browse without interruption.
Wi-Fi is a must-have amenity, which is why investing in a secure and reliable provider is essential. However, its benefits stretch beyond customer happiness: Wi-Fi can be incredibly helpful for marketing efforts and gaining an understanding of guests’ expectations for the future. Making and sharing engaging marketing content is a lot easier with a fast Wi-Fi connection – not just for you, but also for your guests. A quality Wi-Fi connection gives them the chance to generate their own content and use their social platforms to bring attention to your hotel.
The same goes for online reviews. These act as social proof of the quality of your property, and having a strong Wi-Fi connection maximises the chances of good ones being submitted. Furthermore, you can use the convenience of Wi-Fi to send guests review requests during their stay, while the experience is still fresh in their minds.
Ultimately, Wi-Fi will allow you to personalise guest experiences. With email addresses and other personal information being input whenever a guest logs in, this can be used to create personal touches – for instance, sending out special offers on a guest’s birthday. Though small, gestures like these will go a long way in ensuring guests feel valued, making it all the more likely they will return to your hotel in the future.
3 – Embrace automation
Processes are becoming more and more automated, and your hotel shouldn’t be left behind during this shift. Automation doesn’t have to mean cutting back on customer service – rather, it should mean enhancing it.
Guests should be able to do what they want on any one of their devices, including checking in and out. Staff should also benefit from this, using mobile devices to engage in a dialogue with guests and solve problems while undertaking other jobs around the hotel. Not only will this improve efficiency, but it will go a long way in improving customer service. Of course, no one can fully predict the future, but by making the guest experience as seamless as possible, you’ll find your hotel is one step closer to being prepared for the years to come.
This article was written by The Northern Quarters, an aparthotel offering fully equipped serviced apartments in Manchester’s trendy Northern Quarter neighbourhood.