Furthermore, Hotels areusing channel management solutions for the distribution of room rates andavailability on OTAs as a way to maximize revenues and save on commissions.This management system brings maximum value, tracks down commissions, activelymanages a hotel and OTA’s relationship, and builds more business from a widerange of source markets.One thing’s for certain,OTAs are not going anywhere and hotels are unlikely to unlist themselves, so itis in both parties interests to figure out a way to coexist in a way that ismutually beneficial. Fourthly, changes in themacro environment in terms of technology, cultural differences, and economicand political uncertainties have a very high impact on customers’ behavior. Inthe recent years, this behavior has changed dramatically within the hospitalitysector.
Due to the rapid boom of theonline world, tools like mobile applications, social media, and NFCtechnologies formed are having a huge influencing power on consumers. The customers’society has become very demanding, expects quality services and seems to alwayshave the problem of the shortage of time; everybody is in a hurry. Thereforehotels offering fast and effective options with high quality services mean theway to success.
Travelers are interested in any technology offering to dothings that used to be done manually: looking up and booking hotels, waiting ina queue to check in/ check out, sending emails to hotels and waiting for hours-could be days- to get a reply, slow concierge services, etc. Meanwhile, hotels findthemselves under too much pressure to keep up with technologies offeringalternative solutions to traditional ways of handling things, to maximizeoccupancy and fight for every potential client or guest to satisfy them andearn their loyalty. They are expected to provide the kind superior customerservice experiences guests don’t experience in theirday-to-day.To begin with, hospitalitymanagement professionals are starting to notice the importance of communicatingwith website visitors in real time and shift the customers’ experience from atraditional one, where they had to spend hours searching for information, towait, for days sometimes, to get a reply to an email they sent or to make manyphone calls to get answers, to an advanced online ecommerce experience.A modern solution tolead conversion is live chat. It is one of the most favored customer servicechannels with a 73% satisfaction rate with a 44% satisfaction rate with thephone. Another challenge forinstance, in airports, people are no longer forced to stand in a queue to checkin.
Customers are now expecting the same kind of easy check-ins at hotels aswell as other automated services. Hotels are challenged to invest in systemsand technologies that can personalize the experience for guests, offer adigital room-service order system as well as other customer-oriented digitalinteractions. Major hotel chains likeStarwood, Marriott and Hilton will allow members of their loyalty programs whobook through their hotels’ mobile app, web sites or call centers to usesmartphones to unlock their rooms.