Industry Update
Opinion Article22 October 2020

The Power of Guest Choice

Advertorial by Don DeMarinis, Senior Vice President Sales, Americas

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DeMarinis

There is a time for everything, and COVID-19 has put technology at center stage, enabling hoteliers to deliver an inviting, satisfying, and safe guest centric experience. In today's environment, if you cannot make guests feel safe, then not much else will matter. The silver lining for hoteliers is that the technologies required to enable a safe guest experience today, will provide long term benefits to guests and operators that extend well beyond the pandemic.

I often hear the phrases "Guest Journey" and "Guest Experience", and here at Agilysys we use those terms dozens of times a day across our company as we discuss our hotel and resort product strategy. Several years ago, we embarked on a journey to modernize existing solutions and create new products that support the guest journey from booking to check-out, and everything in between. Early on, we understood guest-facing technology was going to be a key component in how hoteliers interact with guests. We saw benefits to the guest that largely provide convenience, and benefits to the property in the form of increased guest satisfaction, higher spend, and of course the opportunity to collect more granular customer data. Increased technology touchpoints with the guest provides robust data, which enables greater capability to deliver personalized, guest centric experiences to travelers. We have learned, illuminated by the pandemic, that it is about offering choices. Today, travelers of all kinds want to curate their own traveling experience particularly to ensure they can interact with the hotel in a manner that makes them feel safe. Choice is empowering, provides convenience and creates opportunity.

It is hard to find the right words to describe how difficult these times are for hotel operators. The challenges are unprecedented and some of the solutions require precious resources that are hard to come by. From a technology standpoint, the investments needed to enable guest choices, are transformative in the industry, and in a very good way. Most of the technologies that are being introduced to address social distancing, and guest safety have been around for some time. Lack of adoption however has not been because of the technology itself, it has been the cost of the technology versus the adoption rates by guests. The pandemic is forcing technology adoption, and if you are going to leverage technology to help manage the guest experience, consider how to pull all of those technologies together to maximize the ability to know your customers and to better personalize their stay. With well-integrated solutions, a single guest profile is possible. This means that however I identity myself across the property; by phone number, last name, email address, etc., I can be uniquely identified, and information about me can be made available to hotel staff to make that touchpoint more powerful and beneficial. Imagine I go to reserve a table in the restaurant and the host already knows I have a tee time and offers an 8:15pm reservation knowing that I will not get off the course until 8:00pm. Impressive! This is the power of the guest profile, and natively integrated systems.

So back to the Agilysys journey as a company. Today we have a development organization that nears 1000 people focused on developing solutions for the needs of today and tomorrow. Grounded by the modernization of our Point-Of-Sale, InfoGenesis, and Property Management, Agilysys Stay, LMS, Visual One, systems. The new comers include rGuest Book, commission free, multi-activity booking engine, rGuest Express, a mobile or kiosk solution for check-in, digital keys, upsells and check-out, Agilysys Authorize to enable remote payments, Agilysys OnDemand for mobile F&B ordering on any web enabled device, IG Quick Pay for QR code scan and payment, Agilisys Engage for loyalty and promotions, Agilysys Digital Marketing to provide more robust guest promotions and guest communications, and rGuest Service to manage housekeeping, maintenance and other operational aspects of managing the property, including 2 way communications with guests. It can all come together through Agilysys Analyze which provides powerful reporting and BI capability across our POS and PMS platforms.

Whether you choose an on-premise or cloud native SaaS solution, Agilysys provides all of the uniquely well integrated components that are necessary to enable guests to feel safe, to empower employees to serve guests, and to gather the data necessary to get the guest experience flywheel going.

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Don DeMarinis

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    About Agilysys

    Agilysys has been a leader in hospitality software for more than 40 years, delivering innovative guest-centric technology solutions for gaming, hotels, resorts and cruise, corporate foodservice management, restaurants, universities, healthcare, and sports and entertainment. Agilysys offers the most comprehensive software solutions in the industry, including point-of-sale (POS), property management (PMS), inventory and procurement, payments, and related applications, to manage the entire guest journey. Agilysys is known for its leadership in hospitality, its broad product offerings and its customer-centric service. Some of the largest hospitality companies around the world use Agilysys solutions to help improve guest loyalty, drive revenue growth and increase operational efficiencies. Agilysys operates across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and India with headquarters located in Alpharetta, GA.

    For more information, visit www.agilysys.com.

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