Interview with Iain Saxton, SVP Strategist CRS & PMS, Hospitality, Amadeus
How can attribute-based selling enhance revenue and ROI for hotels?
Traditionally, hoteliers have monetized basic features of a room to sell generic room types such as a room with a king bed, a room with a sea view etc. The concept of attribute-based selling (ABS) is to effectively increase the amount of unique, sellable room combinations without listing 40 room types and making the customer choose during the booking process. Historically technology constraints have limited the ability for a guest to tailor this list to their preferences, and therefore hoteliers are missing out on the potential to upsell.
To help tackle this challenge, at Amadeus we have been piloting intelligent filters to help customers select the features they want when making a booking. Initial reports from our customers show this approach has helped to improve conversion and influence the selection of higher room categories, as travelers demonstrate they are willing to pay more for a reservation built to their preferences, therefore assisting to increase revenue and ROI for hotels in the long term.
Given the current workforce challenges, how can technology empower employees and yield better rates of retention?
Technology should be viewed as a tool to help empower your teams to not only do their jobs more efficiently but also to enable them to focus on the areas that matter such as guest interactions. This is critical at this time, with the industry facing labor shortages and struggling with retention. Using cloud-native software, with an intuitive user-friendly design, and enhancing automation all make it easier to onboard staff and streamline their daily activities, reducing stress and improving retention in the long term.
How can hotel technology evolve to meet new guest expectations and preferences? (How are PMS, CRS, and RMS evolving?)
Guest expectations and preferences continue to change at an accelerated pace, and we are in the midst of a wave of innovation in hotel technology to help hoteliers adapt. The demand for a personalized travel experience continues to grow. Some hotels have completely removed the front desk in favor of self-service kiosks, with perhaps a floating employee to greet guests and assist with check-in or services if needed. With mobile check-in, mobile check-out, and a general shift to putting the customer in control of their stay, there is less of a strain on hotel staff, improving team morale while meeting and often exceeding guests’ needs.
With so many channels now coexisting within lodging technology (direct, OTA, social media, apps), how can hoteliers determine the most meaningful metrics and predictive analytics?
Integrated technology solutions are critical to not only centralize data in one place but make it actionable. To gain the most comprehensive insights for the full property and market, it is recommended that hoteliers use all data at their disposal from CRS, CRM, or business intelligence solutions.
That being said, a strong distribution mix is also necessary in today’s hospitality landscape, as travelers search and book on their preferred channels. Typically, hoteliers have prioritized direct bookings as those are the most valuable for the property, but not being present on all available channels would be a mistake since the hotel would lose market share to its competitive set.