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How to choose the right hospitality software for your tech stack

Last Updated: March 29, 2024|Categories: Blog|Tags: |12.7 min read|

Guests checking in and out. Rooms being prepared by capable hotel staff. Special requests and room service orders coming in from guests via text and phone calls. A reservations team chatting with potential customers to secure new bookings.

This is the picture of a thriving property.

In order for everything to run like clockwork, however, specialized hospitality software systems come into play. The right solutions accurately manage room allocations, help call center staff promptly handle bookings and inquiries, and put guest information at employees’ fingertips so they can personalize experiences and enhance satisfaction.

Research reveals the overwhelming majority (93%) of hoteliers recognize the vital role hospitality software plays in driving efficiency, and over 80% of you want to learn more about how to use it to benefit your business.

One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a hotelier is which technology vendors you want to partner with to meet your business needs. And we’re here to help. Before we delve into the specifics though, let’s take a closer look at what exactly hospitality software is.

What you will see here

What is hospitality software?

Hospitality software comprises a suite of digital tools designed to streamline and enhance the operations of hospitality industry businesses, including hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other accommodation providers. It includes an array of software applications such as Property Management Systems (PMSs), Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), Revenue Management Systems (RMSs), and more.

Types of hospitality software (and examples)

Read on to understand the diverse categories of hospitality software available, including top technology providers and the distinct functionalities each type of solution offers to help you improve operations and grow your business.

Property Management System (PMS)

A PMS is the backbone of smooth property operations. A 2021 survey of hotel executives shows that most respondents expect the PMS to retain or increase its importance as part of the hospitality tech stack. It acts as a comprehensive hub for a property, facilitating everything from room reservations to guest check-ins and check-outs. PMS platforms empower hoteliers to efficiently manage room allocations, monitor occupancy rates, and ensure coordination among departments.

Cloudbeds offers a unified, flexible platform for diverse property types, allowing you to maintain complete visibility of your entire business in real time. With its integration of reservations, distribution, marketing, operations, and guest experience solutions, Cloudbeds provides unrivaled visibility into business performance in real time. Its intuitive interface reduces staff training time and automates manual tasks, allowing team members to focus more on delivering exceptional service to guests.

Mews delivers powerful automation, simplifying processes while maximizing revenue opportunities. Designed by former hoteliers, Mews isn’t just a PMS, it’s a comprehensive solution offering online check-in, concierge capability, direct messaging, and a marketplace of 300+ integrations. Mews maintains a guest-centric focus and user friendliness, delivering lightning-fast customer support and allowing you to enhance hospitality while streamlining operations.

Oracle’s OPERA Cloud Property Management system delivers a solution that streamlines hotel operations and enhances the guest experience. Its web-based platform ensures accessibility from anywhere, while its mobile capabilities empower team members to serve guests efficiently on property. Built with open architecture and APIs, it fosters innovation and scalability, elevating guest experiences and meeting the diverse needs of properties of all sizes and complexities.

Customer Data Platform and Customer Relationship Management software

In the realm of hospitality, Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are indispensable tools. A CDP acts as a central repository, gathering data from multiple sources to create unified guest profiles. And 65% of marketing leaders recognize CDPs will become more important than ever over the next couple of years.

A CDP incorporates a CRM but goes a step beyond. Where CRM’s focus on managing customer relationships and interactions, CDP’s provide deeper insights into guest preferences, behaviors, and interactions across touchpoints. It enables property managers to personalize guest experiences and customize marketing campaigns based on comprehensive guest insights. Together, they empower hoteliers to boost guest satisfaction and cultivate lasting relationships by helping make certain every guest feels seen, valued, and understood.

Revinate Marketing stands out as the go-to CDP and email marketing solution for the hospitality industry. With its intuitive platform, you can entice guests with personalized email campaigns, ensuring your messages stand out in crowded inboxes. Revinate’s CDP drives incremental revenue by allowing you to offer tailored upsells and room upgrades, while simultaneously allowing you to create unforgettable experiences for your guests.

With comprehensive guest profiles that consolidate loyalty data and spending habits, you gain valuable information to enhance customer satisfaction. And automated segmentation tools streamline your email strategy, making certain each message resonates with its intended audience.

StayWell Holding used Revinate Marketing to leverage guest data and drove $10M in direct revenue.

Revenue Management System (RMS)

An RMS helps you maximize your room pricing to optimize revenue. It utilizes data analytics and forecasting techniques to set dynamic pricing based on factors such as demand, seasonality, and competitive rates. By analyzing guest behavior and market trends in real time, an RMS empowers you to make data-driven inventory control decisions, so that your rooms are competitively priced — as well as neither overbooked nor underutilized — increasing occupancy rates and leading to higher revenue across all segments.

IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System is a sophisticated solution driven by revenue science and advanced analytics. With granular forecasting and dynamic pricing optimization, it ensures dependable revenue predictions and swift reactions to market shifts. Powered by SAS® High Performance Analytics, G3 RMS automates pricing decisions to maximize RevPAR, allowing you to focus on enhancing business mix and productivity.

Duetto provides a cloud-native revenue management solution that conveniently integrates with your tech stack, unifying teams and optimizing prices to maximize revenue. Designed by a team of hospitality veterans, the Duetto solution simplifies distribution complexity and boosts profitability through powerful applications that enhance conversion rates, guest loyalty, and operational efficiency. Duetto’s RMS empowers data-driven pricing decisions, forecast accuracy, and group revenue optimization.

Call center software

Hospitality software for call centers facilitates seamless interactions between guests and hotel staff. This is important considering that today 9 out of 10 customers expect an immediate response to customer service inquiries. Call center software allows you to manage reservations, handle inquiries, and provide assistance to potential guests around-the-clock. It offers features like call routing, automatic call distribution, and CDP integration. Essentially, it’s a frontline support system that ensures prompt responses to guests inquiries, boosting customer loyalty.

Revinate’s Reservation Sales is a voice-based lead management solution designed to boost direct bookings for hotels. With up to 43% conversion rates for inbound calls, it empowers reservation agents to capture and convert leads effectively. Agents benefit from outbound selling triggers, smart routing, and coaching tools for enhanced customer service and intelligent selling.

Leveraging proprietary technology, the solution’s campaign performance tracking features provide insights into marketing effectiveness, allowing you to optimize your campaigns and drive revenue growth more effectively.

Josh Connaughy, Reservation Sales Manager for Paradise Point Resort & Spa noted that “With Reservation Sales, we finally have access to critical data that allows us to accurately set goals, audit, and coach the team.”

Specialized software solutions

Specialized hospitality software for managing food-and-beverage (F&B), spa, golf, and other amenities is like having a dedicated team member for each aspect of your property’s operations. These solutions help you create exceptional guest experiences with features like appointment scheduling, inventory management, tracking customer preferences, and real-time reporting. They also help optimize resource allocation, reducing operational bottlenecks and enhancing overall guest satisfaction.

OpenTable provides a powerful suite of tools designed to revolutionize restaurant management for hotels, casinos, and resorts. With OpenTable you understand guest preferences and spending habits — and share guest data across properties for a consistent experience. The solution enables personalized service using guest details and automated emails, helping you transform occasional guests into regulars. Manage feedback and reputation centrally while driving more bookings through targeted digital marketing campaigns. And with APIs, you can integrate your guest database into reporting, marketing, and loyalty systems.

Book4Time is a spa reservation system for the hospitality industry. Through one centralized platform, the software handles tasks from appointment booking to customer relationship management to yield management — as well as inventory tracking and KPI reporting. It smoothly integrates into your operational workflow. And with secure cloud storage powered by Amazon AWS, your data is safe across multiple locations.

Purchase considerations for hospitality software

While there are lots of great technology companies out there servicing the hospitality industry, to choose the right ones to partner with requires doing your due diligence and asking the right questions.

Here are five things to look for in a hospitality software partner to ensure it will help you streamline operations, drive revenue, and enhance the customer experience.

1. Is it built for the hospitality industry?

Using solutions that are industry agnostic may lead to compatibility issues, inefficient processes, and inadequate support. When you partner with providers that understand the unique needs and nuances of the hospitality industry, you get tailored solutions that address the specific types of challenges you face concerning things like managing guest data and increasing revenue.

Choosing a hospitality-specific CDP is particularly important. For example, your property might have its own marketing manager sending out property-level promotions. But your brand may also want access to your guest database for brand-level campaigns. Or, the brand might have goals around database growth that you need to meet. Being able to provide the right people in the hotel with access to the right data and reports is incredibly important, especially given today’s tough data privacy rules.

Another reason you will want to look for a hotel-specific CDP has to do with attribution reporting. Effectively attributing revenue to marketing can be extremely difficult. Using generic tools can leave you blind in determining the success of your email marketing efforts. Hospitality-specific solutions change this by pairing emails with guest reservations to attribute revenue correctly.

Among CDPs, only Revinate’s CDP gives hoteliers a central system designed for the hospitality industry that identifies loyal guests and delivers other insights across all hotels in the group. Revinate also provides the permissions and controls necessary to guarantee that data is accessible by those that need it but not by those that don’t.

In addition, Revinate’s CDP brings together all hotels’ performance data across guest feedback and guest marketing into one platform. As a result, corporate leaders don’t have to attempt the impossible task of integrating different data from different systems to try to make sense of it. That’s an unwieldy nightmare and a huge suck on resources. But as technologists and data lovers, it’s where we excel.

2. Does it integrate with other hospitality systems?

Many hoteliers consider system integration a top tech challenge. It’s no surprise that most email solutions can’t integrate with your PMS. Hospitality software tends to be closed off and isolated from most of the tech world. But without access to your guest database, PMS fields, or guest journey, it’s impossible to create automated and smartly segmented campaigns that are relevant for hospitality. In addition, without the ability to suppress recipients, like guests with future stays, you will most likely create a few customer service headaches for you and your team.

Furthermore, integration and proper segmentation is critical for hotels to implement successful email campaigns. Without accessing guest profiles and reservation data, it’s impossible to connect with guests on a personal level. Hospitality-specific solutions empower hotel marketers to actively change the way they connect with guests.

The bottom line is that today’s technology platforms need to avoid data silos and work together. This is especially true in the hospitality industry because data is collected by different systems throughout the guest journey. For a CDP to be effective, it must integrate with the PMS and ingest all the data that is available. The more data that your CDP can ingest, the better your segmentation and personalization will be.

Revinate offers extensive PMS integrations. Integrating your PMS and CDP will ensure that you understand your guests, no matter which PMS you use. Revinate currently offers integrations with more than 75 PMSs, allowing a quick and easy set-up and launch.

3. Can the CDP handle legacy data?

The core objective of a CDP system is centralizing your guest data management. To achieve this, the system relies on data feeds from the hotel’s POS, PMS, and other on-property sources. However, many hotels have legacy systems that don’t prioritize integration.

We know that you have been building and managing your guest database for many years. The data might be hard to access or be spread across multiple systems but it’s worth fighting for. We get it. We don’t want you to lose any data in the transition to a new CDP. Revinate treats your existing guest data with respect, because we know it’s a gold mine waiting to be tapped.

We offer a hospitality-focused CDP, and we possess the expertise to collaborate with these legacy systems, ensuring automatic data synchronization with the CDP platform. With Revinate, hotels can keep all their historic data and use it to segment campaigns, drive bookings, and reward loyalty.

4. Does the CDP have identity resolution capabilities?

One of the biggest problems with guest data is data duplication. Having multiple profiles for the same person makes it hard to understand the true make-up of your customer base. Your CDP should be constantly working to eliminate dupes to maintain the cleanest database possible.

Revinate offers identity resolution technology, called Advanced Profile Synthesis, to keep data clean. Advanced Profile Synthesis is a highly sophisticated and effective AI and machine learning-powered process that automatically cleanses, deduplicates, synthesizes, and merges your guest data so that you can finally get a true and accurate view of your guests. As a result, you can more accurately segment your database and personalize messages to drive revenue.

5. What level of customer support is available?

Your hotel operates 24/7. Business hours don’t apply to you. We get that. When you encounter a problem or need help, you need it NOW, not in 48 hours. That’s why Revinate offers 24/7 support with a single point of contact and a robust, online helpdesk. We’ll be there when you need help. Guaranteed. In addition, we also provide guides, email examples, and lots of best practices to help you continue to learn and grow with us.

Great support also means that you’ll be live quickly when you decide to partner with Revinate. Revinate understands the tax of implementing and launching new hospitality software and knows many companies make promises they can’t keep. Revinate is different. We spend extra time and effort to make sure our software, in conjunction with our expert service team, can launch customers quickly. Revinate is easy to deploy and intuitive for any user, meaning that hotels are up and running fast, allowing you to experience the value and returns of our platform as quickly as possible.

Choose the right hospitality software for your tech stack

To sum up, selecting the right hospitality software is pivotal for enhancing guest experiences and optimizing hotel operations. By taking vendor expertise and integration capabilities into account — and prioritizing solutions tailored to the hospitality industry — you’ll set your business up for long-term success in this ever-changing hospitality landscape.

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