Once upon a time, there was a renowned Lodging Services Corporation.
It lost its customers’ credit or debit cards, card numbers and their security codes to a data breach!
What you just read might sound like a story but it’s not!
Hospitality Industry has been a constant target to the cybercriminals for its vast potential for revenue.
It’s just “mo’ money, mo’ problems”.
So, before deciding on adapting to the tremendously benefiting IT trends you must be aware of the challenges to be tackled rather cleverly.
Here comes the list of top 6 IT challenges in hospitality industry, to give you a heads up:
1. Implementation of Technology
One of the major challenges in hotel industry is the blend of humans and technology in an effort to provide good customer service.
A wise an astute business owner knows the real value of being able to render an exceptional customer service!
The robust penetration of Information tech into the walls of hospitality business has opened up many gates for the benefits as well as the frauds.
So, who doesn’t want to give their customers the luxury of self-check-ins, contactless service, online ordering and payment via apps in this tech-driven era?!
It does look like a double-edged sword, doesn’t it?
But it is not always downtime with implementing the new technology in your hospitality business.
Backups have got your back!
Organizations now a days prefer having the best back-up plans like server backup in place to be prepared for any issue thrown at them with the plethora of technology around them.
Because, if you look at the other side, if the technology system is not in place at all or is down it can stop the whole production system.
Now, you cannot risk THAT, can you?
2. Reputation Management
“Online platforms” have become a cliché now a days.
With the monstrously increased usage of these online platforms, hospitality business has also taken a swift shift towards them.
With customers giving companies online reviews, through comments, ratings and photos you can actually give a brawny boost to your ROI.
Hospitality businesses out there are racking their brains over getting the hang of the reputation management which helps in rooting them deep.
It is more crucial than you think due to its potential to increase your occupancy rate to a great height on a long run.
Information Technology has made it more challenging because of the plethora of options that it provides for customers to choose from.
Hence, increasing the competition five folds.
3. Retaining and Attracting Customers
If you are an owner cum manager of a hotel business and still doesn’t care about customer retention, then (mark my words!) you are at a complete loss.
People are coming up with a lot of updated strategies to give a push to the customer retention as the other end of it holds more grave dangers.
Loss of customers equals loss of market.
So, adapting the liable customer retention strategies is more crucial to stay in competition in the course of time.
You must be able to identify and anchor your frequent customers through your standardised services and amiable hospitality.
Making your customers feel safe and special should be your top priority!
Retention of employees to the rescue!
Experts claim that being able to attract and retain extraordinary employees directly impacts the retention of customers.
Of course, employee expectations are always changing and growing, organisations need to keep up with the latest trends for attracting and retaining employees
Information technology has also made it possible with its various tools to capture the attention of good employees.
Going an extra mile to put a smile on the most precious talented employees can do wonders.
Nothing works as effectively as showing your employees that you really care!
“Motivate them, train them, care about them, and make winners out of them… they’ll treat the customers right. And if customers are treated right, they’ll come back.”
– Willard Marriott, founder of the Marriott Corporation
4. Environmentally Friendly Practices
Environmental pressures influencing the trends and practises of Hospitality Industry is not exactly new.
Over the past years, it has been a key focus for all organisations to invest in.
If you aim to stand out from the rest, then implementing sustainable practices is the key.
Knowing that the businesses they purchase from follow environmentally, socially and culturally sound practices gives the consumers a transcendent satisfaction.
Especially if your target is on the Millennials and Gen Z’ers, then you should know that they will give anything and everything to get an environmental friendly experience.
A complete overhaul of practices and products will cost you an arm and a leg, though it’s completely worth it taking small steps is advisable.
Evidently, socially responsible guidelines will have a lasting effect on your customers and the environment, increasing the company’s reputation.
IT - The O2 of Gen Z
Information Technology which plays a crucial role in informing the Gen Z about the sustainable business practices has also paved the way for adapting them easily.
Technology greatly impacts these practices as this sustainability cannot survive without taking a stand on the platforms the former promises to render.
And the promise has always been kept.
5. Personalising Customers Experience
Providing an excellent customer service has adorned a new kind of challenge these days.
Customers who are exposed to the advanced tech-enriched practices are highly prone to flinch their faces at even a slight down in the IT services.
No wonder that they expect personalisation in everything including their experience as customers.
But the real catch is that businesses still struggle to translate data and insights into actions.
Because it has become more important than ever to be able to tailor the offers and promotions to specific customers for the hospitality industry to pick up pace in the ever-evolving market.
Customization has taken the customer service of hospitality industry to the next level and hotels are expected to keep up with it.
As already mentioned, hospitality industry is the most vulnerable when it comes to cybercrimes.
Establishing an advanced bulwark cybersecurity is one of the life threatening challenges in hospitality industry, even today.
As the role of the Information Technology has found a numerous outlets for itself in this industry, it never failed to open up the gates for Demogorgon’s to enter.
Identity theft and ransomware attacks have become the clichéd terms in hospitality industry these days.
Running frequent tests for cybercrime vulnerability has never proven to be of much use in hospitality industry either.
But the losses that are faced as a consequence of such cyber-attacks can shake the entire empire built out of blood and sweat in this industry.
VDI and VM
The cloud based storage facilities such as VDI and VM can help in establishing a convincing shield against the various cybercrimes.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is known for creating a centralized storage as well as security facilities which give the authorities more control over the stored content.
But revamping the traditional storage facilities still remains a big nightmare to most business owners as it might demand more time and resources.
Even that can be earned again over time, but training the personnel and recruiting an army of the well-informed ones is one of the serious issues to be considered!
Comparatively, leaders now prefer outsourcing such complexities.
They choose to go for IT Help Desk Services where they can skip the tiresome loop of training and recruiting as they can find the experts soaked in the knowledge to tackle the most tangled security issues.
In a nutshell
The above mentioned are not just the challenges in hospitality business but are the warnings to be looked out for before deciding on adapting to the advanced IT trends.
“When owners say, ‘well (online reviews are) not important, people lie about them,’ I guarantee you, everybody, you’re all going out of business.”
– Anthony Melchiorri, host of Travel Channel’s “Hotel Impossible”
But this listing out of challenges is only to make you aware of the world where you have to run your business, never to threaten you.
Yup! Adapting to the advanced tech is highly crucial in the business world.
So, clear your head, pick the right IT practices and shine in your own way!