Let's face it; we've become complacent.

If COVID has taught us anything, it's the need to shake up the way we engage and adapt technology in the hospitality industry. We've become accustomed to inherited practices and dated processes, trying to stay ahead of the game by investing in fancy customer-facing touchpoints but without keeping our technology stack in order. I met with a hotel chain recently where they had some sexy tech, but none of their systems collaborated, and their PMS was outdated; the need for hotel teams and manual processes to manage these systems was huge.

With so many PMS, POS, RM and CRM systems available on the market, it can be hard for hoteliers to determine which investments will deliver the greatest return. Since lockdown restrictions have eased in certain regions, we and other PMS providers I speak with have noted a substantial increase in hoteliers engaging with PMS technology. Many are surprised at how much PMS software has evolved with functionalities to assist with operational efficiency, revenue management and guest engagement (to name just a few).

One thing we do well at RMS Cloud is staying ahead of the curve and rapidly responding to industry changes. In anticipation of post-COVID travel, we designed new functionality that focused on creating a seamless and contactless guest experience. In just two weeks, we rolled out an innovative health declaration and contact tracing wizard to clients at no extra charge. With an inbuilt track and trace program, this enabled clients to complete extra checks should any returned declarations require further attention.

The health declaration formed part of our digital pre-check-in process, which was another new function specifically built for mobile. We knew hoteliers and guests would want to limit face-to-face contact post-COVID, so we designed this software to not only adhere to worldwide government regulations but to also reduce over-the-counter interactions. Instilling guest confidence and creating a positive customer journey was a huge focus for us (and our clients), knowing that this would play a crucial role in boosting guest loyalty and encouraging word of mouth referrals.

As we mentioned with going mobile, RMS Cloud proves there is no need for a kiosk on arrival - instead, the kiosk is in your guest's hand. Using the guest portal, guests can check-in, add their arrival time, manage their booking and add any upsells all from their mobile device. With the messaging service, hotels can bridge the communication gap by sending tailored messages that encourage two-way conversation, as well as allowing guests to engage with F&B services contact-free.

With cleanliness at the forefront of everyone's mind, we also enhanced our existing functionality to focus on maintaining guest and staff safety. We'll soon be releasing our interactive staff portal, where housekeepers can view and tick off their daily tasks in real-time, increasing efficiency and allowing managers to pinpoint high-touch areas for extra

attention. This digitalisation approach streamlines enhanced cleaning procedures hoteliers have no doubt adopted, with linen management also inbuilt.

Don't forget about post-stay and rewarding your guests. When researching hotels, many guests (myself included) look at the value for both pre- and post-stay. Rewarding guests with points and perks aren't just for larger corporate chains - at RMS Cloud, we offer a loyalty module that hoteliers of all shapes and sizes can tailor to suit their brand. Having an efficient CRM system and rewarding your guests to return, stay and dine with you is often overlooked. Look out for Cloud PMS vendors who have CRM functionalities inbuilt if you're on a budget.

With staycations and domestic travel on the rise, evaluating your business model will be essential to effectively target the right guests. RMS Cloud allows you full access to all your enhanced data, with inbuilt report writers to target your evolving markets with enhanced intelligence around your reporting.

Now is the time to assess your tech stack and identify if your current solution allows you to operate as efficiently as you could be. If COVID has taught us anything in the industry, it's that adopting the latest trend or hype to stay ahead of the game is fantastic for guests and brands, but it's only through implementing the right technology infrastructure that you will reap the success. Fundamentals such as a cloud-based PMS with an open API will allow you to adapt to the needs of the market - a crucial step for operating and growing your business in a post-COVID world.

About RMS Cloud

RMS delivers scalable, cloud technology trusted by more than 6,000 properties across 70 countries to manage, operate and grow hospitality accommodation businesses. As an innovative market-leader for over 40 years, RMS has unparalleled expertise and insight informing the constant evolution of our robust and fully integrated platform. Our comprehensive suite of native features and broadening product offer enables operators to increase revenue, streamline operations and engage and retain loyal customers.

RMS' innovative approach drives our expanding reach into global markets, and our focus on constant improvement and customer experience positions our product as a key partner with properties of all sizes – including groups looking to optimise multi-national enterprises. We are the world's fastest growing property management software for good reason and our dedicated global teams strive to achieve more for our customers every day.

Visit www.rmscloud.com or follow us @rmscloud on social media.