WebRezPro Named FrontRunner for Hotel Management Software

WebRezPro property management system has been named, once again, a FrontRunner for hotel management software by SoftwareAdvice, a leading online service for businesses navigating the software selection process. Our mission at WebRezPro is to make daily hotel operations more efficient and profitable for our clients—and we are very pleased to be recognized as a top solution.

Designed to help small businesses find the best products for their needs, FrontRunners evaluates product data and verified end-user reviews from softwareadvice.com, capterra.com and getapp.com, to highlight the top-rated hotel management software products in North America. Only the highest-scoring products appear in the FrontRunners quadrant.

Positioning in the FrontRunners quadrant is based on a product’s Usability score (which includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use) and Customer Satisfaction score (which includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend, and Value for Money). Reservation management, front desk management and housekeeping management were identified as core functionalities required for eligibility as a FrontRunner.

Published on SoftwareAdvice, FrontRunners for hotel management software is available at https://www.softwareadvice.com/hotel-management/#top-products

Committed to the success of our customers, we are constantly honing our WebRezPro property management system in step with technological innovation and lodging operators’ needs. Our placement in the FrontRunners quadrant, which relied heavily on real user experiences, demonstrates our commitment to our clients—and to providing a top property management solution that keeps our customers ahead of the game.

FrontRunners constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-user reviews, ratings, and data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Software Advice or its affiliates.

7 Simple Ways Independent Hotels Can Personalize the Guest Experience

Personalization is a hot topic in hospitality and it’s important the industry keeps talking about it. The quest to personalize the guest experience not only inspires better customer service, but better hotel technology too; the kind of technology that improves guest satisfaction, operational efficiency and a property’s bottom line. 

As technology empowers travel businesses to target their customers more effectively, travelers have come to expect more personalized service. As always, hotels must strive to meet and exceed guest expectations and, in today’s increasingly competitive landscape, that means personalizing every guest’s stay in order to stand out and build guest loyalty.

Unfortunately, operators of small, independent lodgings can feel left out of the conversation, thinking that personalizing the guest experience is a trend that requires complicated, expensive systems and loyalty programs that the budget won’t accommodate.

But personalization is no longer a trend—it’s an expectation. And it isn’t complicated or expensive to put into practice. In fact, small, independent lodgings are perfectly positioned to personalize the guest experience. Here are seven simple ways to do it.

1. Build Guest Profiles

A truly customized guest experience starts with guest data. If your property uses an automated property management system (PMS)—and most independent properties do these days—all the data you need should already be at your fingertips.

Your PMS should allow you to collect and store guest information, automatically recording stay history and contact details in guest profiles so that you can identify repeat guests and treat them extra special. You should also be able to save additional information to guest profiles, such as birthdays, anniversaries, preferences and interests. Staff learn a lot about guests during interactions throughout the stay cycle and this valuable data should be recorded and used to personalize the guest experience by anticipating needs and surprising and delighting.

2. Send Pre- and Post-Stay Emails

Email is still one of the most effective customer engagement tools, with hotel pre-arrival emails boasting an average open rate of over 50 percent. Modern PMS and CRM systems for independent properties make sending personalized pre- and post-stay emails effortless. By setting up email templates that pull reservation information, personalized emails can be automatically triggered by stay or booking dates and other parameters like room and rate codes.

Pre-arrival emails provide the perfect opportunity to start tailoring the guest experience through pre-stay surveys designed to find out more about guest needs and preferences (for example, dietary and  transportation requirements, reason for travel, etc.). You can also offer ways to enhance the guest’s stay through room upgrades and added extras, giving your guest the opportunity to customize their experience, while your property benefits from the opportunity to boost ancillary revenue. Even a simple invitation for the guest to let you know of any special requirements or how you can make their stay exceptional makes customers feel valued.

After a guest’s stay, post-stay emails can help grow loyalty and provide properties with valuable feedback that can be used to improve and personalize future stays. Send an email to every guest thanking them for their visit and asking for feedback on their stay experience.

Whenever a guest communicates special requests or feedback, be sure to record any relevant notes in their profile.

Down the track, simple, personalized marketing communications can be triggered automatically (by booking or check-in dates) inviting the guest back. Tell them you miss them, ask if they miss you, invite them back with a discount code.

3. Tailor Packages and Add-ons

Packages and ancillary services that are relevant to your guests add value to their stay and enhance their experience. So design packages and offer special extras that appeal to your property’s guest segments. Consider partnering with local businesses like activity providers to offer your guests memorable experiences.

Think about your guests, the amenities they enjoy and their reasons for visiting. For example, families traveling with young children appreciate options like babysitting, activity bookings and playpens, while couples are partial to romantic touches like chocolate-covered strawberries and wine.

Your PMS should provide flexible rate and package management tools that allow you to set up discounts and package add-ons, sell them online, and limit package access to certain customers.

WebRezPro PMS also includes a Booking Options feature, which allows complimentary or paid products and services to be added to reservations at the time of booking (online or through the front desk). Booking options are a convenient and effective way to allow guests to customize their stay experience, and can also be used to gather more information about a guest’s stay, for example, expected time of arrival, whether they are bringing a pet, or need a child’s cot.

4. Welcome Guests with Paperless Check-in

With a mobile-accessible cloud PMS, independent properties are equipped to deliver a much more personable welcome than the traditional check-in desk experience.

WebRezPro’s paperless check-in feature allows guests to sign check-in receipts electronically on a tablet or smartphone. Imagine greeting your guest at the door, helping them with their bags, inviting them to take a seat, offering them a refreshing beverage, and then continuing to check them in and showing them to their room. Doesn’t that sound like a much more hospitable welcome than across a front desk?

5. Use Guests’ Names

Using the guest’s name (first or last name as appropriate) is the simplest and one of the most effective ways to personalize the guest experience. It shows your guest they are important to your business and are not just a number.

Whether communicating in person, on the phone or by email/text message, use the guest’s name whenever possible. Mobile-optimized PMS make this easier, allowing staff to access guest folios on the go when they might, for example, bump into a guest in the corridor who stops to make a special request.

6. Leave Handwritten Notes

A handwritten note waiting in the guest’s room upon arrival is a small personal touch that can make a big impression on guests. A simple note welcoming a repeat guest back, or inviting a new guest to let you know if they need anything is a genuine gesture that is always appreciated.

Guest profiles can help staff personalize notes at an even higher level. For example, asking a returning guest to let you know if they’d like you to make reservations at that restaurant they liked last time, or letting them know you left extra pool towels in their bathroom.

If your budget allows, complimentary in-room surprises make guests feel extra special. Consider leaving wine for guests celebrating a special occasion, or a welcome-back treat for repeat guests.

7. Share Insider Tips

Recent research from Amadeus and IHG found 70 percent of travelers would like hotels to offer more advice about unique things to do during their stay. Travelers are looking for local experiences beyond the main attractions in town.

Sharing your local knowledge with your guests not only enhances their stay, but it also provides an opportunity for staff to connect with guests on a personal level as they share their own experiences and recommendations and get to know your guests (recording relevant information about guest interests in the PMS, of course). It’s real human interactions like these that enrich the guest experience.

At the core of hospitality, personalized service makes guests feel valued and inspires loyalty, and should be incorporated into every property’s mission statement. It isn’t complicated or expensive to provide personalized guest service; with a modern PMS for independent hotels and lodgings, accommodation providers are already well-equipped to tailor the guest experience in simple, practical ways. And remember, while technology plays an important role in personalizing the guest experience, the human element is still just as important as ever.

Making the Switch: Changing Your Hotel’s PMS Is Easier Than You Think

Ten years ago the thought of changing a property management system (PMS) was a very scary one for lodging operators. Working with on-property, server-based systems made changing hotel technology a complicated and expensive undertaking that was significantly disruptive to daily operations. Without the resources required to upgrade, many properties found themselves stuck with outdated systems that held business back.

The advent of cloud technology helped overcome major obstacles to switching core hotel systems, significantly reducing the cost of investment—in both expenditure and time. Offering pay-as-you-go pricing, intuitive user interfaces, free and seamless updates, professional data security, and compatibility with other hotel technology, cloud PMS make switching faster, affordable and far less disruptive to daily operations today than ever before.

And it’s just as well; as the hospitality industry becomes increasingly reliant on technological innovation to stay relevant and competitive, a smooth changeover is key.

Step 1: Make the Decision to Switch

There are many reasons why you might consider changing your PMS. Perhaps your current system is outdated and incompatible with more recent technology implemented at your property. Or maybe it lacks the flexibility you need to do things the way you want. New management coming on board might want to replace the current system just because they are more familiar with another. Or your PMS vendor may have been acquired by another company, or gone out of business.

Remnant fears or concerns over changing systems—mainly to do with cost and service disruption—still hold some businesses back from making a switch, but in the current hospitality technology climate this frame of mind does more harm than good. As the control center of your business, your PMS needs to be in top form to maximize productivity and profitability.

Step 2: Choose the Best Fit for Your Business

Hotel technology is in an exciting phase, continually evolving and innovating to enhance efficiency and the guest experience. To stay competitive, it’s important to find a PMS that meets your property’s current needs and future plans.

This means partnering with a vendor that listens and responds to the needs of its clients, and demonstrates ongoing improvement and innovation of its solutions. Consider following vendors’ blogs and subscribing to their newsletters to get an idea of ongoing product development.

Along with innovation, you’ll want to make sure your new PMS has staying power. An established, tried-and-tested solution with a solid customer base speaks volumes to longevity and reliability. How long has the vendor been in business? When was the system launched? Does their customer base continue to grow?

Do your research to ensure your new PMS will provide the functionality that you need now, and the flexibility to accommodate the way you might do business in the future. Book some free demos to assess how you would conduct daily tasks, how the system will improve productivity at your property, and how it can grow with your business. A guided demo should give you a good idea of how well the software will meet your requirements, from managing rates and reservations to running reports that generate the information you need.

Read our post on essential features to expect from today’s cloud PMS solutions for further guidance on specific functionality you should look for, such as interactive calendars, commission-free direct online bookings, automated guest communications, mobile accessibility, and more.

WebRezPro PMS’ Interactive Availability Calendar makes managing reservations easy

Look for a vendor that has existing partnerships with other reputable hotel technology providers, including online distribution channels, payment gateways, POS and CRM solutions, etc. If the vendor does not already offer integration with technology that you would like to connect to your PMS, find out if an interface is possible. Established cloud PMS providers are always developing new relationships with other hospitality solutions.

It’s also important to check software reviews for solutions you are considering. Pay particular attention to what other lodging operators say about the system’s customer support. Occasional bugs can happen in even the best systems, especially in ones that are continually innovating and improving. What matters most is how the technical support team handles such issues as they come up. Whether your property is big or small, your PMS vendor should always be there for you when you need them.

Step 3: Make the Switch

Your new PMS vendor should work with you to make the transition to their system from your old system as smooth as possible.

For example, when properties switch to WebRezPro PMS, we guide and streamline the process by offering: 

  • The ability to import guest profiles and future reservations from your old PMS.
  • A dedicated launch assistant to guide you through the changeover, every step of the way.
  • Commitment to a going-live date that works with your property’s timeline. Depending on the complexity of hotel operations, you can be fully up and running within a few days.
  • Ongoing customer support at no extra cost.

While switching core hotel systems is much less of an ordeal now than a few years ago, it still pays to plan ahead and be aware of issues that can arise during the changeover period. Switching systems is a much smoother process when you are well prepared.

From choosing a changeover date that will be least disruptive to your operations, to thinking about how to process in-house guests staying through on cut-over day, you’ll need a well thought-out action plan. If you’re in need of some direction, check out our guide to changing your property management system, which includes a handy checklist that covers step-by-step action points for before, on and after cut-over day.

If, for whatever reason, your current PMS is no longer meeting the needs of your property, don’t let unwarranted fears and concerns prevent you from upgrading to a new solution that will increase your property’s productivity and profits. If you would like to learn more about WebRezProPMS, contact us for a free, no-obligation demo.

The Clairestone Inn

Located in Arichat, Nova ScotiaThe Clairestone Inn is a unique hotel/motel offering spacious, well appointed guest rooms in the heart of Cape Breton Island. Amenities include complimentary continental breakfast and an onsite restaurant and bar. The Clairestone Inn has chosen to use our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their operations. Visit their website to see how they’re using WebRezPro to accept online bookings!

WebRezPro Recognized as a Leader in Hotel Management Software

Providing excellence in hotel management technology is our primary focus here at WebRezPro. It’s our mission to provide the powerful products and top-quality support necessary for the success of our clients’ lodging operations. That’s why we are pleased to announce that we have once again been named a Leader in the December 2017 Hotel Management FrontRunners Quadrant.

Running a small business is a tough job with a myriad of responsibilities. The FrontRunners quadrants—which showcase the top software options available in North America—are generated by Software Advice to help independent businesses find the best products for their needs.

In the hotel category, 185 products were evaluated using verified product data and end-user reviews. For each product, two primary scores were calculated: a Capability score (which includes functionality, ease of use and customer support) and a Value score (which accounts for things such as overall satisfaction and the likelihood of a user to recommend the product). The 24 highest-scoring products were included in the quadrant.

FrontRunners Chart

Strong scores for both capability and value earned WebRezPro placement in the Leader category. As a Leader in hotel management software, WebRezPro is attributed with being an all-around strong product, offering a wide range of functionality for a large range of customers and is considered highly valuable by customers. With client satisfaction being our top priority, that is music to our ears.

Our placement in the Leader category of the FrontRunners Quadrant, which relied heavily on user ratings, attests our commitment to our customers and the hospitality industry. We look forward to the continued endeavor to provide the best PMS and customer service for our clients.

The content for the FrontRunners quadrant is derived from actual end-user reviews and ratings as well as vendor-supplied and publicly available product and company information that gets applied against a documented methodology. The results neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Gartner or any of its affiliates.

Keep it Simple: The Benefits of an All-in-One PMS

Running a successful lodging operation involves staying on top of a lot of moving parts. From taking online bookings to managing reservations to overseeing on-site operations, the responsibilities of hoteliers are both immense and diverse. Hospitality technology has fortunately kept up and offers a variety of solutions for all aspects of hotel management. But it’s important to think critically about the options you choose. While there are a lot of excellent stand-alone systems out there, the inefficiencies and challenges that arise from trying to juggle too many at once can end up adding to your burden, not alleviating it. Avoid the pitfalls of using disparate systems by choosing one property management system that does it all. Here are four benefits you’ll surely reap:

Simplicity

Integrating multiple systems requires a tremendous amount of time and effort. And it’s not a one-off investment. Every time one of the systems is upgraded, there’s potential for new complications to arise. Even the act of troubleshooting these issues is further complicated by the involvement of so many parties. If two (or more) systems aren’t communicating properly you will likely have to deal with multiple support teams to resolve the problem. An all-in-one solution, on the other hand, minimizes the potential for issues and offers a simple, one-stop shop for support—should any complications arise.

Reduce Double/Overbooking

Using disparate systems to take bookings can cause some dangerous lag time when updating inventory. If you manually add a reservation to your PMS, and the inventory on your independent online booking engine hasn’t been updated, it’s incredibly easy to end up with double bookings. Obviously, as an independent property, that’s a tough problem to fix after the fact, and will probably result in some very dissatisfied customers. An all in one system minimizes the potential for these frustrating situations. Whether a reservation is entered manually or through the online booking engine, inventory is automatically updated system-wide.

Easier Reporting/Analysis

Do you want to spend hours compiling data from multiple sources? Do you even have the time? If your property uses a collection of standalone systems, assessing hotel performance can be a frustrating and time-consuming process (involving collating multiple reports and making adjustments for overlapping data). But with an all-in-one system, you can generate holistic reports at the click of a button. This can have huge effects on your property. Easy and accurate analysis means you can make informed decisions and implement changes quickly and with confidence.

Maintain Rate Parity with Ease

In a time where hotel inventory is sold on so many different platforms, rate parity is essential. Not only is it your legal obligation to offer the same rates across all distribution channels (if you’re dealing with OTAs), but it’s a practice that will maintain credibility in the eyes of potential customers. With a separate online booking engine, channel manager, and PMS, this can be a frustrating thing to stay on top of. Consider adopting a system that does all three so you never have to worry.

 

The hospitality technology that is now available for properties (of all size) is terrific. Tools like online booking engines, PMSs, and accounting systems will certainly help your business succeed and grow. But choosing which systems to implement can be incredibly overwhelming. There are a lot of options out there. When shopping for tech solutions remember to consider not just the performance of each system independently, but how they will function in conjunction with every other system you use.

If you’re interested in an all-in-one PMS, contact WebRezPro for a free demo today.