Resort and hotel operators have long understood the importance of meeting or exceeding guest expectations. As these expectations evolve over generations the industry continues to demonstrate its agility and business acumen by proactively keeping up with, and in some cases anticipating, guest demands. Agilysys set out to learn precisely what is most important to these hospitality professionals and discovered some profound insights; some of which are outlined in this three-part blog series, each one revealing important facts from the study.
Regardless of the category and size of the property, by now virtually all decision makers in hospitality have come to view their GEM capabilities and performance as a strategic initiative. GEM, and delivering an exceptional guest experience, is less about providing fancy amenities or cookies at turn down, and more about eliminating friction during all phases of the guest journey - from pre-arrival to post departure. This may sound lofty, but certain brands are already focused on this initiative. In fact, hospitality technology expenditures have been largely centered on improving digital guest engagement. Just how are these brands addressing GEM initiatives? With the execution of guest-centric service that is often tied to - in one form or another - technology.
According to the GEM study, more than half (57%) of hospitality professionals say technology integration is key to delivering best-in-class guest service. Technology interoperability across departments and functions is an important factor when seeking to create a unified and frictionless guest experience. In an ideal environment, guest data resides in the PMS and should be continuously updated with transaction and interaction data. Data that integrates into the PMS includes loyalty, retail purchases, activities such as golf or spa, and F&B preferences. Moreover, many essential back-of-the-house functions, such as housekeeping, valet, in-room dining and others all should be incorporated into the common flow for data dissemination, resulting in information at the point of interaction to help refine the guest experience.