A constant goal for hotel management is to offer the best customer experience possible. As the industry starts coming out of a slump, it is likely to encounter customers that will seek out quality, a unique experience, and the ability to pay seamlessly. The myriad of ways payments have spawned over the past few years have accelerated quickly, especially over the last year.
In addition to room reservations, hotels offer tours, meeting rooms for corporate clients, bars, restaurants, spas, and gift shops resulting in many guests making numerous transactions. Which makes accurately processed checkouts that much more essential for client satisfaction.
As a result, traditional cash registers have been replaced by point-of-sale (POS) systems. Below we discuss a point-of-sale system, its main types and functionalities, how they are integrated with other hotel management software, and streamlining operations.
What is a POS System?
A POS system allows a hotel to process payments, record interactions, manage and run the business. It consists of three main components: software, hardware, and payment processing.
The hardware is the card terminal used to accept credit and debit cards, mobile wallet payments, the receipt printer, and cash drawer. POS software combines all the operational functions into a single suite. Whether a hotel needs to ring up a sale, view customers’ transaction history, manage inventory, manage employees, or access reporting and analytics, the software brings it all together. Payment processing is integrated into various POS systems to process credit and debit card transactions along with mobile payment transactions.
Why do hotels need POS systems?
With the accelerated adoption of contactless payment and mobile wallets, not all hotels are prepared to accept and process all the various payment methods. Since it is becoming a necessity, management will need to consider upgrades to the existing POS infrastructure.
If hotels have not looked at the latest POS options over the past decade, they’ll be surprised to learn what is currently on the market and the type of efficiency they derive by investing in the latest technology.
There are clear benefits of being able to set up a reservation, see occupancy rates, inventory levels, and staff on-site in real-time at any given moment. However, there are ways to drive sales as well. Hotels can manage loyalty programs from their POS system, offering specifically curated discounts based on client data housed in the integrated CRM, communicated using the accompanying messaging and email tool at the touch of a button.
What kind of integration functionalities do POS Systems offer to Hotels?
The integration features are one of the significant drivers of modernizing existing POS systems hotels have in place. Despite so much that has changed over the years, upgrading existing POS systems can actually offer cost savings.
The right POS let’s hotels accept and process any payment type, whether it’s cash, debit/credit cards, checks, mobile wallets, etc. These Omni-payment transaction functionality lets hotels manage sales, bill-splitting the bill, or adjust orders/reservations if guests depart early or any other anomaly.
The latest POS systems allow payment processing to incorporate the newest security technologies, such as 3-D secure, tokenization, BIN checkers, etc., letting hotels comply with the latest security standards and reduce their interchange fees.
Concurrently, this allows the business never to miss a sale while offering the customer a convenient and optimal experience.
Hotel POS systems can easily manage inventory, keeping an eye on crucial storage levels, set up reorder alerts and facilitate purchasing. Some POS features also allow barcode label creation and automated reordering of products to ensure an uninterrupted supply process.
The POS systems can easily offer employee management tools to manage staffing, scheduling, time tracking, and paid time off. This level of employee management can later be used for performance appraisals. It can be incorporated into the POS as a third-party integrating or even a simple app, which businesses can easily download and install in a matter of minutes.
Reporting & Analytics
Most of the latest POS systems have the basic hardware necessary, but most of the data is housed in the cloud. As a result, reporting can show a real-time depiction of business operations on-site or remotely from numerous devices.
Payroll and Accounting integration
A POS system can easily integrate with third-party accounting software such as QuickBooks. Data from POS regarding sales, various expenditures paid for, and employee time-tracking can help quickly account for revenue, expenses, and payroll.
The business atmosphere has changed significantly over the last few years. The advent of technology has allowed businesses to run much more efficiently with much less human and financial capital. There have been many changes in demographic habits, and consumers demand more unique experiences while expecting their all needs to be met or quickly moving on. The current business environment has created tremendous competitive demand in the hospitality industry to cater to a more demanding clientele. However, technology presents an opportunity to meet the current challenges and excel in sales, marketing, and guest outreach.
One specific area for a technological upgrade is the POS systems hotels use. Often it isn’t used to its fullest capacity or does not have all the tools that are necessary for hotels to compete. Investment in a hotel’s POS system can help customer acquisition, loyalty and referrals, operational efficiency, and an overall improvement in reporting and decision-making. Hotel industry management must consider these areas to stay relevant with their customers and competitive in a fluid business environment.