Buyer Guide: What is the ROI on a Hotel Locking System Upgrade?
Areas to consider before you upgrade
All of the exciting new technology being created for the hospitality space can make it hard to decide what direction you should take when considering to upgrades for your property. RFID, Smart card, magnetic stripe, mobile phones, the list goes on and on. You can hardly check your email without hearing about all of the new and exciting ways hotels can do business and interact with their customers. The hard part is deciding whether or not you want to commit the capital and if the technology upgrade is worth the expense.
Will this work for my hotel, I'm not one of the big guys? Is this going to be a hassle for my staff? Will my customers even use this? These are all questions you should be asking yourself before you make the plunge and commit the money to upgrade.
As we talk with customer considering changing their hotel door access locks, we have identified some recurring questions you should consider when upgrading, to help you think through the process and hopefully make the experience a more manageable one.
Will this improve the guest experience?This is probably one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to upgrading your hotel property technology. Many of the new tech offerings sound great on paper (or screen), but when it comes time for customers to use the product, they fall short. If the technology is not inline with your guest expectations, you may end up with bad experiences and poor reviews from something that you expected to do the opposite. When looking at new technology or upgrading an existing service make sure you take the time to review the product for yourself. Read customer reviews, test the product, and let your team test the product as well. Remember, you know your customers better than anyone else and you will know how they are going to use it. Make sure that the product is going to live up to not only your standards, but to your guest’s standards as well.
What is my ROI? Is this product going to help make you money or save you money in the long run? Answering this question will really help when it comes time to allocate the funds to purchase the new technology. Most companies will have this information for you, but you need to spend the time looking past the stated price to how it will impact your business specifically. Some products out there will be able to save you money. For instance, RFID is a hot topic right now. The money that you will be saving from reducing broken card keys will add up. You may also start to see an increase in bookings because your hotel offers a feature inline with the major players. The money you are saving on keys, plus some increased bookings could make the investment well worth it in the long run. You will also need to consider how this new product or technology will help you to save on staffing. Most new hospitality technology these days is focused on helping you reduce staffing hours.
How quickly will my staff adapt to the changes? We all know that the best employees are the ones that know their jobs like the back of their hands. While this is still an excellent trait, it can also cripple some employees when it comes to learning new technologies or new systems. Make sure you know how complicated the new system will be and evaluate if your team will be able to quickly adapt to the new system. Most of the latest tech is built to be quickly understood, but that is not a blanket guarantee. This leads us back to you needing to test the product and make sure that it is going to be a good fit for your organization. The last thing you want is to install a new system and end up with overpriced deadweight that your team does not use because they don’t understand it.
Will my guests use this technology? Knowing who your guests are and what they will use or will not use is vital information when considering what new technologies to introduce at your property. Knowing this can help you avoid spending money on something that your guests will not use. For Example: If your hotel is in a popular area for retirees to visit or vacation and your guests are primarily over the age of 70, you may not want to invest in a new technology using mobile phones or something that requires a lot of technical knowledge.
Is this new technology reliable? As with any new investment you are probably going to want to know if it works or not. There are many startups out there and they will all claim that their product is 100% effective, but when it comes time for it to debut its riddled with problems and bugs. Make sure that you look into customer reviews, ask the tough questions about what the company is struggling with or has found success with. Understand how the tool works and what options you have if the product fails. You certainly don’t want to be stuck with a piece of technology that doesn’t live up to the hype and leaves you giving away free rooms to make up for its shortfalls.
Upgrading your Technology versus replacing your Tech With some new technology there may be the possibility of simply upgrading vs. replacing or purchasing new technology. Explore what options you have in this area because this could save you a lot of money in the long run. Find a lock that will work with your existing doors.
How long will it be relevant? When considering new technology, you want to make sure that you are investing in something that is going to last and continue to be relevant. You certainly don’t want to purchase a new technology system and find out six-months later that a new version is coming out and you will have to reinvest to get up to speed. Technology is always changing. Make sure that upgrades and/or improvements will be available to you after your purchase and will be included in the price you are paying. Use the technology to ensure your customer experience matching your hotel style.
We are here to help
If you would like one of our advisors and help with your product requirements or answer any open questions, give us a call 1.866.500.5625. We would be happy to assist.