The hotel industry is in a state of constant change, though these days change feels like it’s happening at an astounding rate. That’s why at SkyTouch Technology they’re looking to not only serve the needs of hoteliers today, but ensuring their system is flexible and adaptable to changes that have yet to be conceived.
One way they keep ahead of the competition is through a strong back and forth relationship with their hotelier partners. This allows them to have a better and more intimate understanding of how their product is used in a live environment and that’s why they communicate with their clients regularly. Earlier this month, SkyTouch convened some of their top customers in Phoenix for a Customer Advisory Board (CAB) meeting. They spent time discussing the latest industry trends, where the industry is headed and how to ensure the SkyTouch platform is always meeting the needs of the hotel property and the companies operating them.
In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why the SkyTouch Hotel Operations Platform has always been cloud-based; it allows hoteliers to make changes quickly as market needs shift into the future. The real trick, however, is introducing the right changes at the right times. That’s why SkyTouch Technology recently gathered some of the industry’s most influential leaders from brands embracing SkyTouch to discuss the current and upcoming trends these professionals see as impacting their hotel portfolios, as well as uncover new ways to mutually grow business profitability through strong partnerships.
The Biggest Challenges Right Now
Rising labor (and other) costs set against a backdrop where it’s become increasingly difficult for hoteliers to keep pushing rates. In fact, STR pegs RevPAR to increase a paltry 1.1% in 2020, down 0.5% from 2019 estimates of 1.5% growth this year. And, STR previously revised 2019 RevPAR estimates downward several times. Fortunately, SkyTouch users are finding great success with simplified training modules that get employees up to speed in less than two shifts.
Technology as a productivity tool was also a conversational center point. Customer Advisory Board (CAB) members all agreed they’re seeing that hotel guests demand freedom of choice through their actions regarding how they want to interact with the hotel stay experience and the people within it. That makes human interaction enabled by technology essential to future success. This means using elements of the SkyTouch Platform such as STEP, the SkyTouch Experience Program, to better understand guest needs by creating the ability to enhance stays (and subsequently drive loyalty) through personalization.
Beyond that, the big tech issue all CAB members have in common is trying to understand what technologies are fads, versus which ones are critical to leveraging long term trends. That’s always the quintessential question and one that lacks the clear clarity of a direct answer. Tech always moves forward, and even the technology we rely on today may very well be thrown into the ashbin of history. Remember in room keyboards to surf the internet on a TV, or banks of VCRs in the basement from which to transmit movies to guestrooms?
Fortunately, SkyTouch recognizes the ever forward marching drum beat of technology and have invested in open API technology to keep the SkyTouch Platform constantly up to date with the latest in productivity tools and guest experience. Some more recent additions to the SkyTouch Property Management System (PMS) include the ability to leverage Whistle’s customer engagement platform that deepens customer connections by adding an extra touchpoint for customer service by creating communication via SMS and mobile messaging pre, during, and post-stay. Hoteliers are finding they’re increasing revenues by using the system to push flash sales at restaurants, for example.
Both STEP, and the relationship with Whistle, illustrate how the SkyTouch Platform when combined with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms can help with direct bookings, which played into some of the other big topics the CAB discussed. Additional topics included the move to considering overall lifetime customer value rather than the rate someone is simply paying for one hotel stay, the move to mobile payment systems that are becoming increasingly common, and additional ways automation helps create efficiencies.
However, the most important part of the CAB experience was the group’s incredible guidance that ensures continued and strong partnerships between leading hotel companies and SkyTouch Technology.
With amazing brand partners and incredible tech partners such as their relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS), SkyTouch is well positioned to continue delivering a core platform that helps their customers drive business to their hotels. And with great partners and a feeling that we’re all in this together, we’re all looking forward to an exciting future.
Written by Glenn Haussman, Industry Expert & President, Rouse Media & No Vacancy Podcast Host
Ready to see how a partner like SkyTouch can impact your operations and your revenue? Contact us today and book a demo of the SkyTouch Hotel Operations Platform.