A Tale of Two Technologies

How the Seamless Merger of Hotel Systems Leads to Better Results

The travel and hospitality business might have started small, with people lending a space in exchange for a certain tribute, but it has now reached a point in history when it is completely reliant on technology. Between a multitude of hotel systems and software that have become absolute necessities in the 21st century, many hoteliers might feel somewhat lost or overwhelmed. So many options, so much to do, so little time.

In a time like this, the integration between technologies is not only welcomed by both hoteliers and travelers, but it is also deeply needed by the industry itself. In an effort to save time and increase efficiency, as well as strive for a wider, global exposure, hospitality technology providers are partnering up and creating intelligent connections like never before.

In 2016, eRevMax and TrustYou, two leading companies in the hospitality field, started a collaboration that, to this day, results in benefits not only for them but for a high number of hotels from all over the world. By merging TrustYou’s guest feedback platform with eRevMax’s hospitality operating platform, hotel managers can oversee and manage various hotel operations like revenue management, online distribution, as well as their hotel’s online reputation among various other segments.

eRevMax’s platform, LiveOS, works around the “Profits in Unity” concept, which means that it gathers dozens of technology providers and partners in one place, for easy access and increased efficiency to “Make Life Simple” for Hotels. From PMSs, RMSs, OTAs, to ORMs like the TrustYou platform, LiveOS has currently more than 50 technology partners integrated.

So why is it so important to merge systems and software and how exactly does it pay off? It’s not a secret anymore that we live in a fast-paced world and that modern hoteliers and consumers are in a constant rush. While having so many technologies to rely on, signing into different platforms multiple times a day can be an unnecessary and time-consuming process.

eRevMax’s vision is to enable hoteliers to have access to a more complex and intuitive tool, in order to manage a multitude of hotel operations from a single sign-on platform. Users can select and use their preferred technologies, even ones that are not owned by eRevMax, therefore enjoying a customizable and personalized experience. The platform provides real-time updates and it also flags any arising issues, to bring immediate attention to them.

In the last two years, TrustYou’s guest feedback platform was used by eRevMax customers, through the LiveOS platform. Hoteliers can keep track of their hotel’s overall score and reputation while getting real-time updates about guest reviews. Receiving valuable insights into the guest journey is for many hoteliers the first step towards adjusting future strategies and services, in an effort to exceed expectations and improve the reputation – which, in the long run, leads to more booking and a higher revenue.

LiveOS users have free access to features integrated into the TrustYou feedback platform. Moreover, when accessing the TrustYou data inside LiveOS, users get an overview of their hotel’s overall score, along with the exact number of verified reviews that determined it.

The incoming reviews are displayed in the TrustYou dashboard and highlighted, in order to create a thorough examination of the best services provided and the ones that need improvement. This way, certain features, such as the location, the breakfast, the pool area, get their own score and guest sentiments. The feedback is also structured by language and by traveler type, such as business travelers, families, couples, etc.

Beyond the analytical part of the feedback platform, LiveOS users can also opt to use the TrustYou Stars Lite feature, which enables the use of a customizable guest survey. Hoteliers can encourage guest feedback by asking for reviews and opinions, through a quick and efficient survey – which TrustYou’s latest study revealed to be the best way of getting positive feedback.

Only one year after LiveOS users started to utilize the TrustYou survey tool, the overall number of collected reviews had almost tripled: from 1878 reviews in 2016 to 6990 in 2017. This comes as a confirmation of the necessity and utility of a guest survey, as a tool to get valuable guest feedback.

This seamless integration between two leading hospitality technologies has proven to be most beneficial for both eRevMax and TrustYou, as well as hoteliers from all over the world, who use and rely on LiveOS and the TrustYou feedback platform. eRevMax has enabled a way for users to make the most out of their software and have every single technology necessary available with one sign-in. Their portfolio provides every technology that impacts the guest journey, as TrustYou’s latest eBook described it.

TrustYou’s leading guest feedback solution gets more exposure through LiveOS and reaches a larger number of hoteliers, interested in managing, overseeing and improving their online reputation.

And hoteliers, well, they get best of both the worlds. By being able to make use of multiple must-have hotel technologies in one place, they not only save valuable time, which can be invested in other areas, but they also improve operations, manage and boost the hotel’s reputation and work towards achieving better results, more popularity, bookings, and revenue.

 

Boutique Hotel Summit: Post-Olympic debrief


On Monday 3rd September the Boutique Hotel News held a panel discussion to review the effect of the Olympics and the results for Independent and Boutique hotels during the period. Held at The Hempel, the session looked at what can be learned from the London Olympics and what to expect over the next 12 months.

The panel consisted of:
Gareth Banner, General Manager, The Hempel
Marie Baxter, General Manager, Town Hall Hotel
Chris Foy, Head of 2012 games unit, Visit Britain
Ruth Mortimer, Editor, Marketing Week
Moderator: Jonathan Langston, Managing Director, TRI Hospitality Consulting

The overview
The London Olympics 2012 is about the long game; promoting and reintroducing Britain back to the world, building the profile of the country across the world. The panel noted that it drew the best of Britain through the media, that was replicated across the world. The mass number of volunteers demonstrated the country’s hospitality and the ability to be welcoming hosts.

Ruth Mortimer said it is hard to say yet how the legacy will be fulfilled, “however the immediate success can be seen in the interest in the Paralympics.”

For The Hempel, the hotel sold out to a single booking which helped them meet their revenue needs. While Town Hall Hotel experienced good occupancy and ADR, but “in all honesty conferencing and banqueting took a dip – we had no weddings or other entertainments because of so many events were happening with the Olympics.” However Marie Baxter noted that the hotel could continue to get success “off the back of marketers, who will bring more people into London.”

The panel noted how boutique properties are good for hospitality events with the right amount of space (40-60 rooms) that adds character and history of London through the original building structure that feels historically different.

The underlying theme though was to truly understand what the customer wants from you! With thousands of hotel room nights opening in London that have more luxury capacity and as the Olympic spotlight fades hoteliers need to begin being creative rather than taking everything for granted.

Boutique hotels will need to work hard and be very smart and creative otherwise 2013 will be a difficult year. The UK has had its fair share of international events over the past couple of years with few to come except the Rugby World Cup 2014.  


As hotels in the UK will need to market rates inclusive of VAT, at 20%, the country may start to look expensive, especially to Europeans with the low value of the Euro.

#empty13
The panel talked of the year of 2013 that has little to look forward to. More budgeting, people needing to work harder and hotels to find those hidden gems and stories. The industry will need to look closer at the potential of providing a more personalized experience. By 2014 the country is expecting an additional 4.5 million visitors, a commitment made by VisitBritain.

Distribution
For the hotels, OTA is a dirty word as direct sales are more profitable. However OTAs are needed in January, February and Sunday nights. The Town Hall Hotel works with the Kiwi Collection, Mr and Mrs Smith and other very specific boutique brand agencies, doing the marketing on their behalf. Marie said she works hard to qualify whom they work with and there is a growing understanding with consumers that the best rate is a direct rate with the hotel.
For working with the large OTAs like Expedia and Booking, for them it is a listing, to be on the hotel search engine, but keeping an optimum price on these channels positions them correctly in the market.

Ruth talked about how other industries have lost control over their inventory Insurance for example – where everything is done through price comparison websites. “People’s behavior in how they look has altered and what the hotel suffers from when people are just looking at the big number. It is totally rate driven.”

For the hoteliers in the room being a boutique hotel means they can stand above the rest because they are unique. “We have a unique quality, an independence. We shouldn’t be competing on rate but marketing ourselves on distinct differences. We’re not cheapest out there and this is why we are not being ashamed of it because we give out more than others.

As for Social Media, Ruth believes it is great if using it for the right reasons. Some for specials, some quick enquiries, some as communities. Such an individual aspect for each business it needs to be considered on how it works best.

There’s a lot more to come from the Olympics, if hotels, the country and everyone works hard enough to bleed as much from the international profile gained as possible.


Ryan C Haynes is VP – Marketing Communications at eRevMax and is responsible for driving all PR and Marketing activities for RateTiger and eRevMax brands globally. Ryan is based out of London and can be reached at ryanh@ratetiger.com