Times are undoubtedly tough. But if you’re hoping for sustenance in the short term and a bounce back later, focus on your technology.
COVID-19 has quickly brought the hospitality industry to a grinding halt. As hoteliers grapple with closures and layoffs, technology remains a steadfast partner. In this article we look at some ways your technology choices can help – or is already helping you – at this time of crisis.
When every enquiry matters…
We’ve all familiar with the “lookers not bookers” syndrome on our sites. In the time of crisis, where every website visitor could be a potential enquiry, it is important to ensure your
website booking engine is performant and able to convert. It is time to turn on the bells and whistles your booking engine comes with – promo codes, add-on services, upgrades and cross-promotions.
Ride the #supportlocal wave
As economies around the world crumble, the desire to support the community and local businesses is stronger than ever.
You can ride this emotion by leveraging your gift voucher engine. Encourage your locally based loyal guests and communities to buy a voucher for a friend or family member for future redemption. It is a great way to get the cash flowing again.
Your OTA listings are like a billboard. While it may seem that no one is viewing this billboard now, maintaining its presence is critical. Why? Because if you remove your billboard, someone else will take the spot – and getting it back from them when you need to be seen is tough. OTAs work on a ranking system. The higher you rank, greater your visibility and thus chances to get booked. If you remove your listing, you are putting this online visibility at risk.
Destinations Marketing Organisations (DMOs) around the world are continuing campaigns to keep the preference for their destinations high – getting people (domestic and international) to consider and plan for a holiday, but book later.
Your online presence via reviews, listings, website, etc form a key part of this planning phase. So, remain visible. You can even incentivise getting forward bookings now with flexible cancellation policies. Without your tech stack, including channel manager and PMS, your ability to manage this visibility and take forward bookings is greatly reduced.
Cloud – the saviour
Washing our hands for 20 seconds is not the only behavioural trend that has popped up during the pandemic; working remotely has been adopted en masse. Your cloud-based technology is supporting this switch without a glitch as revenue managers and teams connect from homes to manage elements that are crucial to operations. Make sure you are leveraging all features your PMS and channel manager that allow for collaborative working.
Efficiencies in working
Every dollar saved is a dollar earned. Your tech stack brings operational efficiencies and automation that are crucial to your
business such as time spent in rates management, real time intelligence, etc.
When the dark clouds pass
This will be over. When it is, we will bounce back – creative and bursting to make the most of pent-up demand. Setting up complex technology or restarting technology you may have paused could be an ordeal. Being ready from Day 0 to stay ahead of the pack is important to make the most of the “rush hour demand”.
Are you using your technology to be your crisis support partner? Is your team skilled to make the most of your tech stack? Now maybe the time to upskill. Connect with your technology suppliers to make a headway – it’s all about being ready for the bounce back.