When you’re in the process of short listing a property management system for your hospitality business, you’ve got to go much beyond the basic evaluation of the features. While evaluating systems, it is important that you also pay good heed to the quality of support and training provided by vendors. Being sure that the vendor is capable of delivering quality support and training your team requires will help lowering any potential risks for your business. Successfully running a hotel needs 24/7 technical support and being sure that it is available to you anytime you need it has to be one of the most important considerations while selecting a property management system.
Your hospitality business depends heavily on the systems you use every day to take care of your guests and to look after theirs and your own business needs. Therefore, if your team isn’t given the necessary training and support to operate the property management system properly, you’ll run great risk of ending up with dissatisfied customers and staff.
All finer points related to training and support will obviously be there in the vendor’s contract, but one thing that won’t be there and will have to be understood well by you is the extent and quality of training and support. There are several questions you need to answer prior to signing on the dotted line. Some of them are as follows:
– What all options are available for support?
– Will upgrades to system be provided as a part of the support fee or will they be charged separately?
– Will vendor be able to provide 24/7 support if required? If not, what are the regular business hours when support could be asked for?
– What will be the normal turnaround time for support asked via emails or phone calls?
– Does the vendor have some kind of support ticketing system available for effective resolution of issues?
– Does the vendor maintain a history of all resolved inquiries?
– Does the vendor have a self support website available for your employees or operators to raise tickets and inquiries?
– Is there a similar self support portal available for your employees and operators to access a solutions database?
– Will the vendor be able to provide consistent training?
– How will it be delivered – classroom sessions, CBTs, webinars etc.?
– Will vendor provide on-site or off-site training?
– Will you have a say in the method and delivery of training?
– Is vendor ready to provide references of other clients and if yes, what do they have to say about the quality of training and support?
– Will the vendor provide training to new staff as and when they are hired?
– What all documentation will be provided by the vendor?
– Will it be updated on a regular basis as and when system upgrades happen?
– Will the documentation be made available online?
– Will there be any form of learning videos that could be viewed online?
Once you’ve obtained answers to all these questions, you must cross check their validity by speaking to the references provided by the vendor.