For an industry that is build upon bed-hopping, we hostellers are exceptionally loyal when it comes to our tech providers. We shouldn’t be. We’re not saying you should be switching contracts every year, but you should always have a possible switch on the horizon. The tech providers, those making software as a service helping you solve your problems such as channel managers, property management systems, central reservation systems, keycard systems, guest experience systems, marketing solutions, etc. bank on your unwillingness to change once they’re nested into. So don’t give it to them.
Here you can take a tip from millennials who have a reputation for job-hopping. According to a Careerbuilder survey, 55% of them will be with another employer within 2 years. This gets them salary increases and professional growth that annual performances reviews and raises do not. The cost of turnover could be up to 20% of their salary, and it is becoming increasingly more difficult for companies to retain good talent. However, some companies, mostly in the technology sector, excel in employee retention. They listen to their employees and provide a system for them to grow, change, and overcome their challenges.
That retention is something technology providers in the hostels industry should be focusing on with their customers, but they aren’t. Are they listening to you? Developing new products and features to keep up with your challenges? Working hard to retain you as a customer? Perhaps. There are some great options out there, but there is also many legacy systems out there too. There are many technologies in the space that have gone stale, yet the industry has changed at an ever increasing pace. Well it is your best interest to put some fire under them, or quit receiving their inadequate services.
We’re not saying you have to bounce in between providers around every two years, but you should get some offers. You should see what else is out there and how their competitors are solving your current and future problems. You can even go as far as to get some quotes and then use them as leverage. You can take this info to your current provider and ask them to match it. Tell them what you are willing to spend for this solution, and if you do not have this solution within a certain amount of time, you will terminate your contract.
So get out there and play the field a bit. Check out some demos, and familiarize yourself with what’s all out there. Sure it will be difficult changing a system that is so integral to your daily operations, but see it as an investment and in the end it will be all worth it. The ultimate goal is to find the perfect fit, a company that is growing and staying on top of the trends and fighting hard to keep you happy. Just keep in mind companies can change over time and this perfect-fit might not last forever. At this stage, you start the process.
We’ll leave you with the Soviet saying “If it is not broken, do not fix it.” This saying was deeply entwined into their space program, and just ook at what happened to that program over time. One could argue the Soviet Space program became a legacy because it relied upon a legacy technology. Don’t let the same thing happen to your hostel.