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The beauty of integrations

Back when I worked in hotels, we never had a chance to try out integrations. To be honest, I didn´t even think about it. But maybe I should have, because one of the reasons I left hospitality was that I was always occupied with too many monotonous tasks.

In other words, I just got tired.

We can easily jump into some of the basic tasks that I had to do every day. First of all was housekeeping.

It was madness to change the status of the rooms every single minute. Sometimes guests would wait in the lobby and I’d run to find one of the cleaning staff to double-check if the room had been cleaned.

It’s hard to imagine this happening today, because housekeeping solutions like Optii give you that sort of information instantly.

The notion of manually filling out a paper form in this day and age seems archaic to most travellers now.

There was a revolutionary moment – when we started using a channel manager. I could finally take some time off!

However, it was not uncommon that when I was jogging, travelling, or doing whatever pleased me and I had to stop all my activities to close availability in every OTA. And trust me – sometimes I was too late!

Perhaps one of the worst examples was when I was holidaying in Spain, and got a call saying the hotel was overbooked. I spent the next 2 hours sorting that out.

(But some say that overbookings are a way to make revenue 😀 A good question for revenue managers??)

In most of my roles, upselling and cross-selling too were tasks required of me.

At one point we had too many coupons and discount codes for services and upgrades to give to every arriving guest.

So, we decided to design an envelope with our own logo. It seemed like a brilliant solution: You give it to the guest and don’t have to explain anything at all. So we waited and waited for our guests to start checking the envelope and buy our services.

Looking back now, none of it was ever going to work effectively.

But as strange as it sounds, we never looked for different solutions, nor considered changing our PMS. It never occurred to me because I was too busy designing envelopes, changes prices, chasing housekeeping, and communicating with guests.

Then, there was guest feedback to deal with.

Here is a business card with TripAdvisor review instructions:

We would give these to these guests who were happy enough that we thought they would leave us a good review. And if one was given to the wrong guest… 🙈

Laughable today, because guests expect a hotel will request their feedback from a post-stay email or SMS.

I think that hospitality has taken huge steps forward and now all that can be managed automatically. We still see similar patterns in some hotels but I am sure that the pandemic will slowly shift these mindsets.

In an ideal world, we should start with the PMS (Property Management System). It is the foundation of the hotel. There are numerous cloud-based solutions that connect with hundreds of supporting and complementary systems.

I remember one of my challenges was selling room upgrades. There was huge earning potential, but we ended up upgrading guests for free. In today’s world, it shouldn’t happen anymore. At GuestJoy, we have built two-way integrations with the most well-known PMS vendors to facilitate the possibility to upgrade rooms automatically.

The process would go something like this: Guests get a pre-stay email with possible upgrade options. When the guest browses them, only see the available room types. The guest can see pictures and what is included in the room, and if they find the offer attractive enough, click Book. This changes the room type in the PMS. It is not only a perfect guest experience but also increases upgrade revenue by 30%. That’s how seamlessly the process takes place!

Another regular question is about the early check-in or late check-out. I think hoteliers are asking too much from their guests by making them request it via email; again, you can create an upsell offer looking something like this and they can request it immediately.

Upselling is not complicated. Just gather all your additional services and add them to Guestjoy and start your digital guest experience.

The popularity of checking in online for hotel stays has dramatically increased over the past 12 months, and with good reason. The very notion of a guest manually filling out a paper form in this day and age seems archaic to most travellers now.

Seamless two-way integration takes care of it all, both providing the guest with a smoother arrival, and freeing up staff from repetitive manual labor. An added benefit is that it’s not only convenient for the guest, but also paperless to keep the environment green.

Times have changed so much and I’m sure will change even more in the coming years. Thanks to innovation it will attract more youngsters to join hospitality and run businesses very effectively. Who knows – I might even return to it myself someday! 😊

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