Starfleet Research, a provider of best practices IT research and recommendations for the hospitality industry, announced the release of The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Guest Experience Management. The Smart Decision Guide can be a resource for senior hotel executives, general managers, IT directors and other decision makers seeking to upgrade their property’s Guest Experience Management (GEM) capabilities.
Increasingly, hoteliers are turning their attention to technology innovation in areas that can improve the guest experience. The fact that a growing number of hoteliers are striving to become guest-centric across all departments, functions and facets of their operations is not surprising. After all, improving the guest experience in ways that drive increased satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy can yield large financial benefits. According to estimates, a one-star increase in a hotel’s rating can translate into a 10 percent increase in bookings and revenue.
Improving the guest experience has generally meant offering better guest rooms, facilities and resources – and, also, providing better, friendlier and more personalized service. With the advent of next-generation technology solutions, GEM has reached new levels of efficiency and effectiveness, with personalization a primary focus area for improvement.
The solutions that provide the technology foundation for enabling GEM include next-generation property management systems (PMS), service optimization / guest response management solutions, and department-specific modules or standalone solutions for concierge, spa, golf, housekeeping, etc., depending on the type of property.
Yet technology by itself will invariably fail to deliver optimal outcomes when it comes to a GEM-related initiative. Data integration is critical. So, too, is analytic modeling, to map the guest journey, create actionable segmentation schemes, identify the drivers of guest satisfaction – and, ultimately, to present guests with more personalized and relevant messages, offers and treatments.
“Today, enhancing the guest experience means removing ‘friction’ from guest interactions across all parts of the property, all touchpoints, both physical and digital, and all phases of the guest journey,” said Jeff Zabin, research director at Starfleet Research. “It’s about recognizing guest preferences and enabling relevant and personalized interactions that make them feel special and appreciated. It’s about anticipating and catering to their unique needs. It’s about recognizing their differentiated value and responding immediately to their requests.”
Realizing this vision for GEM requires organizational commitment. It also requires technology investment, which hotels are increasingly willing to make. According to the research, overall hotel IT budgets, which were approximately 4 percent of revenue last year for small and medium-sized properties and 6 percent for large properties, are growing, with almost two-thirds (62 percent) of hoteliers indicating that their IT budgets have increased by at least 25 percent this year. These technology expenditures are largely focused on GEM-related initiatives.
The 2017 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Guest Experience Management features the latest research findings, insights and recommendations for enhancing the quality of the guest experience and driving continuous performance improvement.
The research is based on data collected from 183 qualified survey respondents. The content was independently produced, providing for unbiased, fact-based information. The underwriters of the new Smart Decision Guide are the following industry leaders: Agilysys, ALICE, Amadeus, Infor and Sabre Hospitality Solutions.