Frictionless. Definition? “Achieve with little difficulty.” One simple word that inspires new goals and ultimately, vast improvements in every facet of your hospitality operation. This is not the trend of the future — it’s the necessity of doing business today, and it’s at the core of what we do at RMS (and have been doing for over 30 years). Adding these types of tools in collaboration with frictionless-focused apps can transform the way your entire hospitality business functions. The payoff is priceless for your staff, your operation and the guest experience, which let’s face it, is your gauge for success.
Over the last several years, the scope of expectations for hotels and resorts has widened. A lot. Sure, providing excellent accommodations and solid customer service are still central to your guest experience — but discerning travelers, particularly in the luxury market, anticipate something more…the perks of partnerships. By collaborating with recognizable brands and innovative products, hotels across the world have taken the guest experience to enviable new heights and set an example that others are scrambling to follow. Take a look at four of the most memorable hospitality partnerships we’ve seen and get inspired. This is where you can set your business apart.
When it comes to communicating with your guests, there’s one strategy that is hands-down the most effective — mobile (SMS) messaging. The reason why is simple. People are more connected to their devices than ever before, and when a text message is sent — ding! —they’re going to see it. And moreover, they’ll likely even read it. But here’s the thing. There’s a fine line between making the most of this tool and making it a nuisance. Obviously, you’re going for the former. How can you be sure you’re doing it right? We can help! Take a look at six best practice tips that will keep you on the welcomed side of your guests.
Most hotels and resorts have a myriad of tried-and-true amenities and services that guests have come to expect. Blow dryers, coffee machines, toiletries, continental breakfast — these are all typically par for the course. But many hospitality businesses are kicking their amenity game up a notch and offering complimentary services that get people talking (which is exactly what you want). A prime example in the ultra-luxury market is the complimentary Porsche Test Drive Program at Rancho Valencia in Southern California. The 5-star resort partnered up with Porsche of San Diego so guests can speed down the coast in style, with 2017 models like the 718 Boxster convertible on-site. The result? Snaps and shares on social media and plenty of kudos from guests.
In early March of this year, Facebook released its newest attraction — “City Guide,” a review and travel feature that your business just may find useful. The overall theme of Facebook’s City Guide is similar to the popular Four Square app; however, it feels more personalized for the user and more practical for businesses like yours. And once it’s fully rolled out to all users… and extends beyond just the largest metropolitan cities… it could be a nice boon to your marketing efforts. Here’s what makes it different and potentially awesome.
The outdoors is calling, and millions upon millions of U.S. households are heeding the call by camping. In fact, according to the latest North American Camping Report, more than a million new households have started camping every year since 2014. The reasons for this surge aren’t surprising — people are finding they need more balance in their lives and camping provides it. Especially when campgrounds offer the features, attention and care that campers expect. And if a campground is everything they hoped it would be — you can bet those visitors will let people know. In the same spirit, if someone finds issues with a property, that’s going to get out, as well. In an age where reputation is everything, campground owners (and managers) obviously want to go for the former over the latter. Because when those millions of campers are looking for their next camping adventure, you better believe they’ll be asking for recommendations — and poring over reviews.
If there’s one rule of business we can all count on, it’s this — experience matters. Your experience and ours. For over 30 years, we’ve been trailblazing new hospitality solutions world-wide with one goal: to help clients succeed. Why? Because we genuinely care about their businesses. When they succeed, that shows us that we’re succeeding — or to put it more succinctly, success breeds success. Our client-partners are ambitious and savvy, and they turn to us because we’re truly vested in their achievements. Plus, they’re confident that our customized platform reflects an intense understanding of the industry and, it’s technologically smarter and more user-friendly than any other solution out there. With all that said, what is the one end-goal for the technology we deliver?
Augmented Reality (AR) technology is one of the hotel industry’s coolest, most-wanted attractions. It’s similar to virtual reality — used to bring digital enrichments to a real-world environment. Remember the Pokémon Go hysteria? Niantic Labs developed that masterpiece — and ultimately, it was the world’s first widespread, hugely popular platform for AR.
There’s no question about it — these days, technology plays a starring role in the way virtually all quality hospitality businesses operate. Not just on the backend where RMS comes into play but throughout your guests’ entire stay — especially at businesses like hotels and resorts. You may think your operation is comfortably on the tech spectrum with large flat screens in every room and (hopefully) wireless connectivity available for a nominal fee. But your target audience today expects more. They’re a tech savvy bunch, and are accustomed to getting what they want, when they want it. And hotels have the capability to deliver on those expectations. Not just through the efficiency of a solid staff — but through new technology that seamlessly provides a path to every convenience (and luxury).
When it comes to your hospitality business’s success, there’s one fundamental guideline you should always abide by — keep your staff happy. If you thought “making guests’ happy” is the more critical goal for your bottom line, you’re not wrong. Guests are your bread and butter. But what you may not be seeing is that your staff is the heart of your business and their satisfaction directly correlates to your guests’ happiness. Their friendliness, proficiency and professionalism impact every aspect of the guest experience, from the moment front desk employees greet visitors to the way the housekeeping staff performs their duties. It all leaves an impression that can make or break your success.
Whether you have a resort, hotel, campground or any other public-facing hospitality business, you know how important word-of-mouth is to your reputation. In the 21st century, that legendary phrase “word-of-mouth” is much more far reaching than it was 20 years ago. The traditional meaning is still very much in play — you want guests to be so enamored with their experience that they shout their praises from the rooftops! (Or at the very least, eagerly recommend your property to friends and family.) But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. To make the most of recommendations and impact your reach, you need to get active online. Particularly through social media and review sites. These are crucial tools that can shape your online image, bolster your reputation and reach a sea of potential guests. Imagine the possibilities when you handle it right.
November has arrived and holiday season planning is well under way at hospitality businesses all over the world. Teams are busying themselves, readying for the annual bookings surge; scrambling to get decorations in order to dazzle upcoming guests; and creating amazing holiday menus to match the glee of the season. But that’s not the only prepping underway. A lot of accommodation businesses across the globe are also preparing to put their Good Deed hats on for the holidays. We’re not talking about the behind-the-scenes philanthropy partnerships that many hospitality chains champion throughout the year (which is worthy of admiration!). Instead, we’re referring to holiday-centric charity efforts that engage your team, your guests, and even area residents. It’s the perfect way to jolly up your place, help the community and boost your public image.
One of the features RMS Cloud offers is “Channel Management” — a way to manage and update all of your Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) details without hiring a third-party manager. We provide this advantage because, whether you love them or not, OTAs like Booking.com, Travelocity and Expedia have carved an important place in the hospitality food chain, and a whole lot of savvy globe trotters zip to those sites the moment travel plans are underway. They definitely fill a niche and offer features that are valuable for travelers, but at the end of the day, the bookings you gain through them cost you — literally. You pay a commission every time someone books a room, campground site, spa appointment and more through those channels, and as the costs add up, it affects your bottom line.
Prime campground season is underway and in case you haven’t heard — 2017 is bringing out the nature lovers in a big way. In the U.S. alone, more than 3.4 million households have become new campers over the last three years, and thanks to younger generations in particular, that trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Millennials and Gen Z teens are taking their free-spirited (but always connected) route back to nature, and that can be a major boon for outdoor hospitality businesses. You just need to make sure your campground/park is up to par and ready to rock when they roll into town.
People love their pets. There’s no doubt about it. Of the 65% of American households that have pets, about 78% of them take their furry little bundles on vacation with them. And hospitality businesses across the nation have recognized that movement for what it is — a major opportunity. More and more are not only welcoming pets, but they’re catering to them. Big time. And it’s paying off through increased bookings, nice word-of-mouth promotion and, if you do things right, a whole lot of social media mentions.
While the needs of the trend-influencing millennial generation seem to be at the top of nearly every hospitality business’s strategy plan, it’s important to remember that a significant portion of your vacationer market falls into another category — namely, Baby Boomers. The force of this generation (typically defined as those born between 1946 and 1964) shouldn’t be trivialized --- they make up a big chunk of your business and the last thing you want to do is cater so much to younger generations that you isolate others.
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