Are you preparing your technology budget for next year? When considering your options, it's important to understand how hidden costs can drive up the total cost of ownership and whittle away the ROI you expected.
NB This is a guest article by Carolyn Murphy, marketing content manager for Revinate.
Hidden costs come in the form of wasted staff time and the inability to achieve your marketing goals. As you compare vendors, features and pricing, look out for these seven money-wasters:
1) Vendor management
Are the sales reps easy to work with? Do they understand your needs, or must you spend time educating them on your industry, requirements, and workflows? Do they respond to you quickly with the information you need? Is the pricing clear?
If not, you're spending valuable time on educating your vendor instead of running your business. The right vendor already understands your needs and is ready to serve you.
If your vendor charges for every add-on service, such as integration with core systems or email template creation, your actual costs become more difficult to project. It's better to select a solution that includes everything you need.
In today's world, all your technology is mission-critical. When you have a problem with the software, it needs to be fixed as soon as possible. The right vendor will have the support systems in place to resolve problems in a timely fashion.
Members of your team may require different levels of support, and this support may need to be provided in several languages. When a vendor can't deliver this, morale and productivity take a dive. The right vendor will be able to deliver appropriate levels of in-language support for all your users to help them get up to speed quickly.
5)Incompatible data formats
If you can’t easily connect your PMS data to your guest profiles, you’re missing an opportunity to glean insights that increase loyalty and drive revenue. Reports that combine guest stay data and guest survey results should be easy to do whether you’re creating canned reports, custom dashboards, or custom reports.
6)Long lead times
Relying on vendors for marketing to past customers and prospects can significantly impact your business. If you have to wait for your vendor to create marketing templates, or even to create each marketing email, you’re paying unnecessarily for something that should never take days or weeks. You should be able to create a campaign within an hour using a simple drag-and-drop interface.
7) Disruptive software upgrades
If upgrades to your guest feedback or marketing software involve a lot of planning, your team is spending too much precious time on vendor issues. Look for vendors who deliver upgrades seamlessly and take the headache out of managing your technology stack. Your vendor should also support your team with training on new features.
Unfortunately, comparing hotel marketing technology is never apples-to-apples. You can use this checklist to understand the real cost of any solution you're considering.
For more information on comparing guest feedback management or hotel CRM systems, please check out our guide, 5 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying a Hotel CRM solution.
NB1 This is a guest article by Carolyn Murphy, marketing content manager for Revinate. It appears here as part of Tnooz's sponsored content initiative.
NB2 Revinate and Tnooz are hosting a FREE webinar - "Fine-tune your hotel’s guest marketing communications" on September 24. Click here for details about the agenda, panelists and registration.
NB3Image by Shutterstock