Like every other industry, the hospitality industry is improving with the help of technology, and it’s up to professionals to keep up with these changes. To run a successful hospitality operation, one has to hire and manage staff, tend to customers, develop marketing strategies, supervise on-site activities, and more. Although this looks humongous, it becomes easier with the right kind of technology and tools. These tools reduce the workload, increase marketing capacity, and make work more comfortable and more organized. To make it easier, here are the most essential seven tools that every hospitality industry professional needs.
Following Are the Best Tools for Hospitality Industry Professional Needs
1. Official Website
First and foremost, every professional needs an official website for their hospitality operation. Whether you’re running a hotel, vacation rental, or travel agency, you need a website to reach your desired target audience. Having a website makes coming up with marketing strategies easier and improves the effectiveness of your advertisements. It also allows you to expand your market, increase local reach, and provides easy access to new customers.
With a website, you can easily relate to your customers by educating them and receiving feedback from them on your services. You can also save money on distribution and printing costs since everything is done online. If you have the skills to create a website, you can do so yourself as they are easy to use and update. If not, it’s best to seek help from those who provide hotel, travel agency, or vacation rental website design services. Once your website is up and running, the business operations get way more efficient and effective. Besides, there’s no other way to be hospitable than with a user-friendly website.
2. Analytical Tools
With a website comes essential analytical tools. If you want to keep checking how well your website is working to benefit the business, you can use analytical tools. It also shows you how customers are using and engaging themselves on your website. One of these tools is Google Analytics, which is offered for free. You can use the tool to check how much traffic the content on your business website is generating. It’s essential for tracking the progress and monitoring the quality of your website.
If customers can make direct bookings on your website, you can also use this analytical tool to check how visitors found your site and which other website directed them to it. It also shows how long they stayed on the website and their geographical location. You can use this information to target your paid advertising to the website that often directs traffic to yours, and also the geographical location where most of your visitors are from. With this information, you know where to improve and how to attract more customers to your services. Analytical tools make marketing and advertisement easier for any hospitality professional. It also makes it easy to use the business website. Another analytical tools to use is IBM Planning Analytics.
3. Task Management Tools
Managing a hospitality business, or your duties as a professional can be tricky, especially when you have more tasks than you can remember. It’s essential to properly manage your workload by being organized so that you don’t forget critical appointments or duties. As a rescue, there are many task management tools present. Some prefer to use project management software instead. These tools make it easy to prioritize and organize your tasks every day, as well as track your progress of daily goals.Task management tools are not helpful only for you but can be used by your entire team for improved productivity.
For example, when your team is taking on a new project, you can use a task management tool to distribute duties to all team members. You can also use it to set priorities, guidelines, and deadlines. Some tools allow you to add comments that others can see and attach essential files. Then, there is the tracking feature, which shows how much work you’ve done and what’s left. Task management tools are vital for any hospitality professional, as forgetting one important duty can upset customers and disrupt the business flow. Some great task management tools include Trello, Asana, and SmartTask.
4. Email Tracking Tools
If you work with a lot of emails, especially in areas of customer service and receiving bookings for hotels, travel agencies, vacation rentals, and other hospitality businesses, you will need an email tracking tool to make it easier. Hoteliers have to send hundreds of emails every week, and travel agencies receive bookings through emails. Customers hate it when they aren’t responded to early because their message was lost in hundreds of other mails. An email tracking tool will make you more competent and responsible for reading and replying to all emails.
Apart from checking incoming mails, your outgoing mails are also important. Whether you’re replying to customers, making orders, asking for investments, or more, you need to know that your email was successfully delivered and read. An email tracking tool will show you if your mail was sent to the spam or if it was left unopened. If you’re into marketing for your hospitality business, an email tracking tool will give you an idea of how many messages you sent were considered. With email tracking tools, you can be well organized with your messages and be more mindful of your recipients. Many email services come with their dedicated tracking tool. You can use tools like HubSpot CRM, Streak Email Tracking, and Yesware for email tracking.
Looking for Hotel Management Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best Hotel Management Software solutions.
5. Survey Tools
Customer satisfaction is the core of any hospitality profession. Any professional knows that they must take the feedback and thoughts of the customer into consideration, and do their best to ensure that their clients are happy with the service. As a hospitality professional, you need survey tools. These tools are the best way to get honest customer feedback on your services. The tools make it easier and quicker, not to mention way more organized than knocking on doors and getting questionnaires. The use of survey tools can be optimized with analytical tools.
Additionally, survey tools make it easy to conduct market research on particular target audiences for your travel agency, hotel or vacation rental. With these tools, you can know what people want to see more from your services, what kind of promotions you should hold to increase traffic and customers, what people like about your services and what you need to improve on. When you know all these little things, it would not only improve your marketing strategy but make it easier for you and your team to provide satisfying services to new and old customers. You can use companies like Google Forms, Snap Surveys and SoGoSurvey for your business surveys.
6. Special Tools
Depending on the part of the hospitality industry you work in, there are special tools that you might need to improve the quality of the services that you’re providing. For example, no hotelier can run a business without an Online Travel Aggregator (OTA) which focuses on hotels, flights, car rentals, and activity packages. With an OTA, you can show customers all the offers available in the city they are coming to, especially the activities that they can enjoy close to your hotel. It allows you to target those that are currently travelling and creates more traffic for your hotel.
Another unique tool that hospitality professionals need is the Global Distribution System, which acts as the intermediary between the travel agent and airline or hotel reservation system. The tool is especially useful for travel agents, making it easy for them to book hotels, flights, tours, rental cars, rail tickets, cruises and more for their customers. With the GDS, you can provide high quality and excellent services to all your customers. With these specialized tools, providing friendly services to customers becomes more manageable and quicker. They also add more value to your business and work as a professional.
7. Social Media Tools
Like all other industries even the hospitality industry cannot escape the wave of social media. These tools are critical in getting attention from your followers and target audience as they enable you to track and follow what people are saying about your business and be alerted whenever your brand is mentioned. Social media tools can monitor conversations on social media platforms by selecting specific hashtags, keywords, and mentions.
With these tools, you can provide better and more hospitable services to your customers. Whenever you see a positive mention, you can reply with a message of gratitude and keep in mind what people like about your business. If you see a complaint on any social media platform, you can immediately apologize and mention that you have solved the problem or decide the future course of action to improve. This will show that you are focused on providing top services to your customers, and it helps you enhance your brand. You can do these with social media tools. Some of these tools include Tweetreach and Mention.
With these seven tools, you definitely can do a better job at balancing all your duties as a hospitality professional in this industry. You can reach and relate better with your customers, enhance the quality of your services, expand your scope, and way more with tools. Then why not make the most of what technology has given you?