Hotel management is one of the toughest industries to work in. Depending on the high and low season times you need a system that supports you through thick and thin. Therefore, it is essential to upgrade to a hotel management system that fulfills your requirements in the best way possible. There are various benefits of hotel management software, such as time management, lesser workload, better service management, reduced cost, and employee growth.
Although there is no ideal hotel management software, a close-to-perfect hotel management software will ensure that all the users involved are satisfied and various hotel services are managed correctly. However, at times management spends most of the time if they need software instead of knowing what they need from the system.
Here are 50 mistakes when buying hotel management software:
50 mistakes when Buying Hotel Management Software
1. No RnD on Requirements
One of the biggest mistakes management makes when purchasing or developing hotel management software is that they don’t understand their requirements. It is important to know what your expectations are and what the most important features are for the hotel management software.
2. No Budgeting
Whether it’s a small hotel or a large hotel chain it is important to decide the budget. Knowing your budget will help to prioritize the features that you need the most. Moreover, it will set the right expectations across all stakeholders.
3. Guest Profiles
Guest profiles are one of the most important features of hotel management software. If you have regular guests, having a feature for a guest profile is a must. Even if you have a small budget, having a guest profile feature can help your hotel business.
4. Ask the Right Questions
When you are thinking about the features to have, determine “why we need this feature”? It will help you know rate the importance of the features listed. Moreover, it will also help you know what features are most important to get started.
5. All in one system
One of the most common mistakes hotel businesses make is that they implement and use different systems for different systems. For instance, they have a different system to maintain guest profiles and another one for usual customers. Make sure, you have a system that gives a seamless experience to everyone.
Usually, decisions regarding which software to use or what features to prioritize are made by the management. However, to have a hotel management system that makes your services efficient is to have surveys and discussions with all the staff involved in the system use.
7. Payment Integration
Instead of an age-old feature of having users submit transaction details, it is much better to have a payment gateway implemented.
8. Cloud or Desktop-based
It is essential to determine whether you need a Desktop based or cloud-based system. Ensure that you go for a system that is easily accessible to both hotel management and customers.
Since hotel management systems have sensitive customer information, make sure the system you opt for, follows standard security protocols. You can ask the service provider directly about the security measures in place.
Accessibility is important for any software you purchase including a hotel management system. Ensure that the system follows accessibility protocols. You can even check in the trial version or demo, whichever is provided by the software provider.
11. Employee Communication
Whether you are upgrading your current hotel management system or purchasing a new one, ensure that you have communicated the need for a new system with your team. At times, the software itself is not the issue, but the employee resistance to moving towards a new system becomes the main hurdle.
12. Email Automation
Hotel management requires continuous communication between guests and various entities within the hotel. You have to ensure that your system sends automated and customized emails to the users. Following a manual process can be tedious.
13. Housekeeping management
Housekeeping management is the most important feature of a hotel management system. A centralized system for all users can help you check room statuses along with reducing time lost in communication.
Instead of having a separate invoicing system, go for a hotel management system. Importing bills to linking with a centralized expense management system can make the overall process a lot smoother.
You don’t need to opt for a system that provides all. Maybe you need to opt for a hotel management system that can be integrated easily with other software you use. Ensure that the hotel management system you go for allows integrations with different software.
16. Rate Management
Every hotel has some rates for different customers. Therefore, opt for a hotel management system that allows you to manage your rates accordingly.
17. Mobile Apps and Responsiveness
Ensure that you opt for a system that supports various devices and browsers. In no way, your use of a hotel management system must be restricted due to limited device or browser support.
18. Easy to use
One of the most common mistakes that hotel management makes is that they just focus on the features and forget the importance of ease of use. If it is hard to use, the learning time will be higher. Therefore, ensure that hotel management software is easier to use.
19. Reporting and Analytics
With all industries progressing faster, there is no denial of the importance of reporting and analytics. Reporting and analytics can help you understand your guests better. It can prepare you and your team better for season time.
20. Channel Manager
With third-party websites like booking.com, you have to ensure that your system is handling bookings from third-party tools efficiently. Therefore, opt for a hotel management software that gives allows you to manage various booking channels.
21. Point of Sales System
A hotel is not only limited to bookings. Spas and resorts are some of the common services offered by hotels. Therefore, make sure such bookings are easily calculated through the system.
22. User Permissions
Not every user needs the same set of permissions. Therefore, ensure that you can assign different roles to different users. Also, make sure you have permission to create exclusive rights if needed.
23. Reviews Management
Ensure that your guest can easily give reviews as it would help you understand your customer needs better. Missing out on feedback can lead to unsatisfied customers and improvements that do not match user expectations.
24. Stakeholder Approval
It’s great that as a team you have decided on the features. However, stakeholder approval is necessary. Make sure you get the features approved by both higher management and users of the system.
25. Know the Software
It is your right to explore and know in detail the hotel management software vendors you have shortlisted. Ask questions and have a detailed understanding of the software and services provided.
Depending on the features you need look for a vendor that allows customization. It is possible that currently, you don’t need a lot of features. Therefore, make sure the software vendor offers customization.
Ensure that the system you opt for is highly compliant with the rules and regulations of your region.
28. Automated Reminders
Managing a hotel is difficult. With large teams and so many guests moving in and out daily, you have to ensure that you get timely reminders for checkouts and other processes. Ensure that the system you opt for allows automated reminders.
29. Employee Training
When half of the team is determining the requirements another half of the team must focus on determining steps for employee training.
30. Customer Support
Customer support is one of the most important aspects you must see when purchasing a hotel management system. It would be great if support is 24/7 as most hotels are operating 24/7.
31. Vendor Management
As hotel management, you need to be in contact with various vendors. Therefore, ensure that your system supports vendor management. Even though this might not seem a significant feature but it is great to have a system that supports all aspects of hotel management under a single roof.
32. Feedback Provision
Ensure that the hotel management software you go for allows both guests and the team to provide feedback. Feedback will help you understand what new features you can go for based on the needs of various user roles.
33. Continuous Updates
Go for a system that is stable but is continuously updating based on user feedback. Such systems are likely to accommodate user feedback and can help you have features that you most need but yet not implemented.
34. Vendor Biasness
Don’t opt for a system just because the trial or demo was great. At times, even though the demo and trial version is great but the overall system does not meet the requirements.
35. Load Management
Every hotel faces a load in high season times. Ensure that your hotel management system can handle the load at all times regardless of season time.
36. Backup Support
Whenever you are in discussion with the vendor, make sure to ask about their system backup process. You really cannot afford your hotel management system to lose data with no backup.
37. Setting the Wrong Expectations
Don’t set up wrong expectations from the system. Make sure you communicate the pros and cons of the hotel management software provider before the stakeholders.
Make sure the hotel management system you go for is usable to everyone regardless of technical background.
39. Multi-Location Support
If you have a hotel chain, ensure that the system you opt for gives you location-based support. Also, make sure it is compliant with the rules of various regions.
40. Calendar Integration
Although it is not a necessary feature, it will help you and your team know dates and reminders of important events.
41. Conference Room Bookings
Make sure the hotel management system lets everyone book a conference room based on the audience they want to cater to. It is not the most important feature but having this feature can make things easier.
42. Value for Money
At times you might have to compromise on the features, therefore, ensure that even if you have to compromise it is worth the money invested.
43. Sms Alerts
Not everyone has an internet connection at all times. Therefore, ensure that there are SMS alerts for critical messages for the users.
44. Evaluate based on Benefits
Evaluate the benefits against the cost. At times benefits are way less than the amount invested. Therefore, make sure you get benefits higher than your expectations.
45. Employee Allocation
A hotel has a lot of staff with each member with different roles and responsibilities. Ensure that you can easily manage your staff from your hotel management software.
46. Loyalty Management
Every hotel has loyal customers. Make sure your hotel management system allows you to manage those loyal customers as they are one of the main assets to hotel success.
47. Design Workflows
There are very few vendors that allow you to design and manage workflows. But if you find a hotel management system that allows you to design workflows, go for it as it allows higher customizations.
48. Marketing Automation
Remember those loyal customers? Marketing automation can help you market your services to the right customers at the right time.
49. Vacation Rentals
If your hotel has condos and suites, ensure that your hotel management system has vacation rental support as it allows customers to book for special occasions easier.
Having an integrated CRM makes hotel management and customer management easier. It makes the movement of data easier. CRM coupled with reporting & analytics can take your hotel management to next level.
Overall, a hotel management system is not a system that just lets you book rooms or manage guests. It’s much more than that. By avoiding these 50 mistakes when selecting hotel management software and knowing the importance of each feature, you can find a system that is the king of all. Don’t go for what’s famous, go for the one that supports your need the best. Most importantly, a system that fits your budget with no compromise on usability.