The pandemic has changed the world in so many ways, including guest behaviors and priorities. In times of crisis, humans tend to move down Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs to prioritize food, security, and safety. But as we enter 2021, we move beyond basic survival to realize a renewed sense of optimism and, perhaps more importantly, a desire to start a new chapter with the new year.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems represent an increasingly important component of a hotel's operational framework. They help hoteliers and their respective teams facilitate high-touch relationships with guests, groups, event planners, and attendees both on and off property. Even during these unprecedented times, CRM platforms have helped hoteliers to establish and maintain relationships with current and prospective guests. However, it's essential to recognize that CRM is a discipline as much as a technology. More than an application or functionality, CRM should be baked into any hotel's operational process, integrated seamlessly into a hotel's technological ecosystem to maximize efficiencies.

In the coming year, customer relationship management (CRM) will play a pivotal role in re-establishing guest trust and, perhaps more importantly, igniting long-term guest loyalty. This will prove especially paramount within the group business/event sector of hospitality, as sales teams are expected to manage an increasingly dynamic workload. Moreover, within the COVID-19 era, specifically, CRM software provides hotels with a means to remain connected to guests, attendees, and event planners while empowering staff with the tools required to prevent tasks and touchpoints from falling through the cracks. With automation, enhanced workflows, and data-driven insights, a CRM should help hotels grow their business anytime, anywhere seamlessly.

The Power of a Fully Integrated CRM

Considering the unique demands of group business and events, especially in the wake of a global pandemic, having an adequate CRM tool is only one piece of the puzzle. The real magic happens when a hotel's CRM platform is fully integrated into its sales and operational processes. Otherwise, the CRM strategy will remain side-lined and limited by other features and functionality, stifled by inefficiencies. Data silos created by applications incapable of collaboration create extra work and inefficiencies that hoteliers simply can't afford in a post-COVID era.

STS Cloud is a complete, next-generation sales and catering system that was created with CRM at the forefront of the application and user experience. We have made it our mission to put relationships at the center of our product while offering easy access to all essential tools required by a hotel's sales team to attract and manage group business. With the accelerated digitization of all industries, including hospitality, our technology empowers collaborative, cloud-based access to real-time information anytime, anywhere.

To be competitive in this new environment, hotels must reimagine many aspects of their engagement strategies, sales, marketing processes, and services to align with emerging guest demands. CRM software is going to play an undeniably fundamental role in this transformational process. To increase its efficiency, the CRM must focus on three fundamental areas: the relationship with guests, technology, and employees. And once the COVID-19 crisis is over, the hospitality industry will look very different, and having the right CRM software solution will be essential for success.