How to pick the right POS system for your hotel
High-quality hotel management requires operations rooted in customer service, efficiency, and hospitality at every point in the customer experience. As tourism, travel, and vacations peak in demand, hotel operators will need to ensure that customers can book their stays with as much ease and speed as possible.
One aspect of hotel operations that can streamline various hotel management processes is the introduction of a hotel point of sale (POS) system. Hotel POS systems are user-friendly and enable the customer relationship to be prioritized from start to finish. A POS system that can offer contactless payments, lightspeed bookings, and real-time pricing is a solution that will take your hotel business to the next level.
Automating the guest experience with a POS system allows for hotel businesses to focus on what they do best: providing hospitality experiences that will bring guests back for more. When POS systems are introduced, hotel managers and operators can spend more of their time training their staff to establish a hospitality-based culture instead of completing tasks that have typically been completed manually. POS systems for hotel sites and businesses generate new possibilities for the entire hospitality industry at-large.
What is a hotel POS system?
Hotel POS systems offer versatile functions for hotel businesses, including hotel management software, sales software, marketing campaign features, and customer relationship management (CRM) features. The complexities of these integrations are important to recognize and illuminate the benefit of adding a POS system specifically designed for the hotel and hospitality industry.
POS systems designed specifically for hotels offer full-scale functionality to capture and process the most important data that a hotel restaurant needs. Typically, POS systems in hotels are cloud-based and can operate on a variety of devices. Whether utilizing a mobile app for self-service or working from the back office, users will be able to access data and information about bookings in a no hassle, efficient way.
Generally, hotel POS systems include POS hardware (for example, a terminal to accept credit cards and mobile wallet payments, a receipt printer, and a cash drawer) and POS software (a database of functions to choose from such as transaction records, analytics, inventory, the capability for payment gateways, etc.) For the transaction process, the hotel POS system is able to send money from the guest's bank account to the hotel's linked bank account securely and safely. Typically, POS systems for hotel businesses can also recognize and accept gift cards which can promote a wider market opportunity for guests who wouldn't typically utilize hotel stays as part of their vacation or hospitality experience.
What are the best hotel POS features for businesses?
Why do You need a POS system built specifically for hotels?
In contrast, a more generalized POS system may not include the customizable aspects of hotel POS systems, including check-in processes, room service capabilities, loyalty programs, booking engines, and overall property management software support. Moreover, hotel POS systems can be installed and used at various locations on-site, including at the front desk, lobby, hotel restaurant, hotel shops, and the hotel spa. When it comes to property management software (PMS), POS systems can integrate with PMS systems so that guests can pay their bill in real-time.
Your hotel needs a POS system specifically for hotels for a multitude of reasons; the benefits, the competitive advantage, overall employee management, room inventory management, payment processing management, sales and revenue management, and guest reservation data management.
Benefits of hotel POS software
General POS systems may not have the functionality for hotel businesses that a hotel POS system offers. Hotel POS systems are designed to serve the needs specific to the hospitality business. For example, a hotel POS system may include an entire property management system that can track room availability, housekeeping needs, maintenance requests, and even connect guest bookings with the kitchen staff in case guests want to order room service.
Moreover, POS systems designed for hotels are often designed with the function to work on a smartphone, mobile app, iPad, or other technology-based devices. Many bookings that guests request are done from a mobile device that can connect to the overall hotel POS system. The ease and speed of this opportunity allows for guests to access bookings instantly. Better yet, front desk staff and the guests can bypass some of the check-in processes that have historically taken more time to complete. Instead, guests can make their booking, arrive at the hotel, and even have a contactless check-in process. Automation in the hospitality industry is a unique opportunity to blend the innovation of technology while still providing guests with a highly personalized and unique experience.
Competitive advantages of using a hotel POS software
The primary way your hotel business can stand out from other hotel businesses is through the total integration of operations from room service to housekeeping within one system. Total integration promotes self-service opportunities, minimization of booking errors, guest loyalty, and back office controls for a snapshot into profitability metrics in real-time. Hotels that do not have a hotel POS system may not be able to utilize these features and thus will not be able to offer the same level of service as hotels with hotel POS systems.
In regard to POS system adoption and utilization, POS systems for hotels offer easy-to-learn modules for training. Should an employee need additional help, many POS systems offer customer support and guidance for integration into your hotel business. Additionally, customer service support is usually included in POS system packaging and is often offered 24/7.
Room Inventory Management
Room inventory can also be updated efficiently in real-time due to integrations with housekeeping. Rooms, room blocks, and floors can be sorted and assigned to different teams or shifts of employees. Room inventory can then be updated with available times for check-in as the housekeeping team is able to clean the room and prepare it for the next guest. All of this information is accessible in a hotel POS system with a few simple clicks.
Payment Processing Management
Customers can be assured that payment transactions are safe, easy, and quick. POS systems for hotels can also capture payments tied to customer-identifying information which supports integration with customer loyalty and rewards programs. Rewards points and reservations can be tracked along with payments so that owners and operators have a sense of their key market demographic.
Sales and Revenue Management
Hotel POS systems are able to generate real-time reporting, especially with sales and revenue, so that hotel businesses can review daily, weekly, and monthly performances. Regular access to these metrics allows for managers to track progress toward overall business operational goals. Reporting features enable hotels to compare their performance year to year, on an annual basis, to determine what is working well or not working well with workflows and steps toward profitability.
Guest and Reservation Data Management
When the hotelier receives this information on the back-end, certain customizations or updates can be added to the guest reservation for a more personalized experience. These customizations can include food and service add-on charges, revisions to rates or inclusion in existing offers or hotel packages, and adjusting the rates to be in multiple currencies (especially if your hotel receives a lot of foreign visitors or tourists).
For rewards program members or loyalty members, you can even customize certain hotel policies (for example, cancellations or bookings) to promote the flexibility and benefit of engaging with your hotel brand on a regular basis. With the online booking and gathering of guest reservation information, hotel POS systems can automate offers for guests to join rewards or loyalty programs if they haven't already done so. Therefore, the hotel POS system includes internal marketing strategies to include returning customers even from the start of the booking and reservation process.
Are you ready to take the next step with your hotel business and incorporate a hotel POS system into your operations?
Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind. Learn more at heartland.us.