Reputation Webinar

Let’s see what IDeaS’ partners OTA Insight and TrustYou have to say about how our system integrations are transforming the hospitality industry.

Three hotel technology thought leaders walk into a conference room…

I’m excited to join Valerie Castillo of TrustYou and Dave Collier of OTA Insight for an illuminating conversation on how our companies work together to provide a seamless, connected technology ecosystem and better meet evolving guest expectations. And you, dear reader, are invited to join us for a digital panel webinar on Thursday, March 26 at 10am CDT—right from the comfort of your own desk.

To prime the discussion, I posed a few questions to my co-hosts, and as always, they’ve responded with an abundance of wisdom that I’m eager to share. So consider this a special sneak preview, and don’t forget to tune in for the feature presentation on Thursday the 26th.

What are the critical components of the modern hotel technology ecosystem?

Dave Collier (OTA Insight):

  • Property Management System (PMS) – A modern one. So many hotels operate off antiquated tech-stacks that, while cheap, cost the hotel in operational efficiencies and revenue optimization (via lack of integration support or reporting capabilities).
  • Revenue Management System (RMS) – The man vs. machine argument applies here, but they need to coexist and, most importantly, have accurate, reliable data to make accurate pricing recommendations.
  • Channel Manager (CM) – The online distribution landscape is complicated and evolving every day. A good CM helps manage all of your avenues of distribution.
  • BI/Analytics Tool – Arguably the newest addition to the tech stack, the ability to quickly and accurately draw insights from your PMS and RMS is critical as technology continues to evolve. Your decisions are only as good as the data supporting them, so a robust rate-shopper (with verified, accurate data) coupled with a BI tool is key to eliminating manual spreadsheet exports and calculations.

Valerie Castillo (TrustYou): It’s no secret every hotelier’s ultimate goal is to make money—it’s a business, after all, and we’re in it for profit. However, the fact that hospitality is one of the most people-centric industries is something that should also be top of mind. More often than not, a hotel’s success rate is at the hands of the guest, in their positive experiences, and impressions. And nothing leads to revenue faster than great feedback derived from quality services. In the case of tools and technology, the simple act of interlinking platforms helps make these connections more tangible.

For our readers, can you tell us a bit about our partnership and the capabilities our integration brings to mutual clients?

TrustYou: With TrustYou and IDeaS paired together, hoteliers can truly understand the relationship between their reputation and how much revenue they are bringing in. A previous study of ours showed 76% of travelers are willing to pay more for a hotel with higher review scores. Therefore, as a hotel increases its reputation, they also create more financial gains. When connected, the information stored within the feedback platform is analyzed and broken down into actionable insights that can guide investment decisions.

OTA Insight: The most exciting benefit of our partnership is the 4x daily rate updates into IDeaS G3 RMS, which means hotels can action on the most current rate data available. Secondly, our room-mapping functionality allows DORMs to truly make “apples-to-apples” comparisons with their comp set. No longer is a presidential suite an outlier that could affect the pricing of your standard rooms. Lastly, it’s a frictionless process for our mutual hotel partners with greater peace of mind knowing your rate-shopper and RMS are talking.

Which functions of the hotel business can be best served by our integrations?

OTA Insight: Obviously revenue managers directly benefit from our integration, but there are ripple effects throughout sales and overall hotel operations (e.g., director of sales/groups, better labor forecasting for housekeeping, etc.)

TrustYou: For us, it’s all about bringing marketing and revenue management happily together. Marketers want to increase their reputation to help get more bookings, and revenue managers want to capitalize on increases in bookings with an ROI-positive hotel rate. And a happy marriage will result when the marketer has the tools they need to boost their reputation and revenue managers have the demand they need to strike a higher price point.

Can you provide an example of how guest feedback and online reputation may play a key role in rate-setting?

TrustYou: First, in order to drive up your rate, which is a key goal of rate-setting, you have to create demand for your product. In our research, 88% of travelers would automatically sort out hotels with review scores under three stars, and 33% would sort out hotels under four stars. This means, regardless of the price, one-third of all travelers would only see hotels with higher reputation scores.

Second, reputation management takes into consideration your top competition. When you have a near-identical competitor, the only way you can differentiate yourself is with price and rating. Therefore, rate-setting is dependent on your competition. With online reputation management software, hotels can easily track their hotel’s reputation, and know when they can drive up a rate based on this differentiating factor.

OTA Insight: Online reputation is already a critical aspect of the guest booking journey, and it will only continue to grow. Poor guest reviews will result in lower direct bookings or repeat guests, resulting in higher channel fees and lost revenue to competitors. Your hotel will always be at a disadvantage if your TripAdvisor score is three stars versus a four-star competitor, and dropping rates doesn’t necessarily result in an occupancy bump.

In what ways do you foresee evolving guest expectations to have the greatest impact on the hospitality industry?

OTA Insight: Future-casting—taking into account new data sets can give hoteliers a better forecast of market demand beyond looking at historical reports and a Magic 8-Ball. Travel intent, flights, search indicators, click rates on specific destinations (and from what market) are all in-play. There’s a multidimensional wealth of data to explore which will dramatically impact rate and occupancy forecasting, and we’re in the beginning stages of seeing what the impact will be.

TrustYou: We have definitely felt the waves of change in guest expectations. From the amenities guests value differently over time to the channels they leave feedback on, the only constant we can rely on in feedback is that it will change. One of the more significant shifts we have seen over the past year is the concept of leaving feedback after the guest checks out. Travelers are not as eager to take time after they leave a hotel to then review their stay. Instead, they want to impact their hotel stay while they can still enjoy it. They want to provide feedback and advice on-site, rather than post-stay. Therefore, hotels will need to modernize and automate their communication capabilities with more people wanting to provide feedback in real-time.

And finally, for TrustYou, what’s one of the biggest misconceptions you face regarding hotel reputation management?

TrustYou: That it’s is a “nice-to-have” product and not a “must-have” product. This is because it is often difficult to draw conclusions about the ROI of purchasing such software. This is where revenue management steps in to close the gap. When a hotelier uses IDeaS and TrustYou together, they can easily see how paying close attention to reputation can grow revenues over time.

Blake Madril
Sr. Industry Advisor

Blake Madril joined IDeaS in 2014 with over 10 years of experience in hospitality operations, marketing, sales, distribution and revenue management. Currently, in his most recent role of Sr. Industry Advisor, Blake is responsible for global initiatives that enable IDeaS’ clients to implement, adopt and maximize their return on revenue technology and services ultimately aimed at helping hospitality, and new industries pioneering revenue management, develop the tools and processes to optimize profitability. He is a strong advocate for the discipline of revenue management and the convergence of data solutions and job functions to bring the best possible experiences to businesses and their customers.

Prior to IDeaS Blake worked both for individual hotel properties and as part of a corporate management team. His job roles ranged from operations manager to convention services director to corporate director of revenue management. He has worked with global hotel brands and affiliations such as Hilton Worldwide, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Preferred Hotels & Resorts and Global Hotel Alliance, as well as luxury independent properties.

An avid enthusiast of all things '90s and sitcoms, Blake recently took home second place in a Saved by the Bell trivia contest. Words spoken right after accepting his trophy: "I'm so excited."