The Dominant Hotel IT Manager – Customers Who Dominate


The Dominant Hotel IT Manager has two customers: The Guest and the Internal Staff Members. Their customers are the lifeblood of the hospitality IT industry. The customers that keep the Hotel IT Manager in their position but are a larger part of what makes their endeavors a success or a failure. To understand them, is to understand the Dominant Hotel IT Manager’s work.

The Guest

The Guests are the paying customers. The patrons who determine the profitability and success of a hotel. They, in my opinion, should dominate the first line of support for the IT Department within the hotel. However, limiting them to the hotel environment only, would be to the detriment of a Hotel IT Manager.

Guests are the Dominant Hotel IT Manager’s customers as and when they decide to think about coming in to visit the hotel or even indeed when they are thinking about visiting the city in which the hotel is in. And even long after they have left, they are still the Dominant Hotel IT Manager’s customers to support and entice back.

When a technical service is provided, Guests predominantly want it for free and always working, without the hassle of registering or a problem. If there is a problem, then it is to be solved swiftly by giving many solutions to the guests to solve it. Be it via the telephone, online chat, a “how to” guide (on TV or desk) or physically someone helping them.

Nowadays, most people are tech savvy and issues arising can instantly have a negative impact on the technology service that a hotel provides. Especially when it comes to providing the most basic of services such as Internet.

Guests are not interested in what goes on behind the scenes. They can make unfair comparisons between the hotel and what McDonalds or Starbucks provide. They are not interested in such things as to how much it costs the hotel and the number of simultaneous connections that it can handle, or that the ISP has a cut cable. They just want it to work and on all their devices.

It is important to understand this thinking on behalf of the guest. Some can be forgiving but others can be very unforgiving. And this can hurt the business of the hotel. Put yourself in their position to understand their journey and the issues that one may expect to have, can go along way in having empathy for the guest journey which, goes a long way in trying to identify the perfect solution for guests.

At the end of the day, the Dominant Hotel IT Manager wants Guests to be able to use technologies of their choice. To have a great experience, with no issues. The Dominant Hotel IT Manager should be an “enabler” of the Guests technologies. Giving them a choice and “seamless” and “blameless” help. I believe it is never the guests fault. If they cannot use a service properly then there is a problem with the system. It’s simple.

The Internal Staff Members

Internal Staff Members are the ones that allow the hotel to run in an efficient manner in which to allow the guest to be a patron of the hotel. Their experience, mirrors, quite often, the experience a guest would have.

In this day and age, these internal staff members are not necessarily in offices but can be outside of the hotel environment, on a business trip or even indeed in their homes. Suffice as it is to say, whenever and wherever they are working, they are the Dominant Hotel IT Manager’s customers.

These, internal staff members, are “most needy” and “most dissatisfied”. They will constantly complain about the outdated technology and software and more specifically, the “speed”. The Hotel IT Manager will get some internal staff members that are understanding and these are the ones that the Dominant Hotel IT Manager would want on their side, to be the first line of defense to help resolve any problem. These are, what I like to call, “IT Champions” and these staff members can also be the Dominant Hotel IT Manager’s staunchest advocates in their endeavors of resolving issues, implementing new systems and performing upgrades.

In my experience, many are frustrated with the bureaucratic processes relating to how they connect to the network, how much security is applied and sometimes, this can have a detrimental impact on the tools the Hotel provides staff members to do their work. And as a consequence, this can affect the first customer, the guest.

However, there is one key aspect that can alleviate most challenges with this type of customer. Principle Seven. Communication. Communication should allow the Dominant Hotel IT Manager to set an expectation and alleviate the dissatisfaction as well as the needy (well, the needy, in most cases).

  • This communication can come in various forms:
  • Email
  • Talking to them face to face
  • Calling them on the phone
  • Setting an expectation as to when their tasks will be done
  • Taking their opinion in to account
  • Showing them what you are doing when resolving a problem (if they are interested)
  • Communicating delays and setting another date for the resolution
  • Training – be that in a class, one to one or handouts
  • Providing them with alternative resources for help in the Hotel IT Manager’s absence

These are just a few communication forms that I’ve used but, it can be measures, that will aid in the success or failure of the Dominant Hotel IT Manager’s endeavors in the long run.

Neglect, lack of communication, and a dictatorial leadership style will be at the Hotel IT Manager’s peril and certainly won’t allow any dominance.

In Conclusion

For Guests – Technology is an influencer on their decision to stay. They use that service while they stay at the hotel and want it seamlessly with support when the need arises. It can be something that can bind them with loyalty to a brand or hotel. Understanding them is key and preempting their needs is key.

For Internal Staff members – Technology is a tool to allow them to succeed at work. Supporting these tools is what they need. If there are any superior tools available, they should and would want to be part of that discussion, implementation and propagation. Neglecting them would mean losing great talent and hurting the bottom line of the business, the guests and revenue. Ultimately, ceding dominance to chance.

Next week – The IT Partners Who Dominate | © 2019

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