Hospitality industry gives the utmost importance to their guest experience. However, the industry has often ignored the simplification of rate intelligence, which drives its revenue management and thereby it’s top line.
In my recent interactions with revenue managers, I noticed that they have to often go through a tedious grind to analyze and process the best rates, in order to stay ahead of their aggressive competitors. They have to look at competition, OTAs, ratings, reviews, local events and holidays to design their pricing strategies and do forecasting. And to do all this, they have to work with multiple applications, tools, and spreadsheets.
But, does it really have to be so complicated? The answer is an absolute ‘no’. While a large number of rate shopping products are available in the market, but very few pay attention to the art and science behind it.
The Art & Science Behind Rate Intelligence
Designing and ensuring a rich User Experience (UX) is a craft; it’s a combination of arts (colors, simplicity, and layout) and science (quick learnability, easy navigations, and responsiveness). Therefore, it is important that revenue managers are enabled with a rate intelligence platform that is not only efficient but also easy to use.
We, at RateGain, have recently refreshed our rate intelligence platform OPTIMA, to make it more user-friendly than ever. To come up with the new user experience, we worked with over 100 revenue manager across continents to co-create a new rate intelligence experience that helps revenue managers access and consume data efficiently. In the past six months, we organized several customer workshops and spent 1,000s of hours to work on their suggestions.
We followed the design-thinking methodology, to discover the problem areas by talking to several revenue managers across the globe. We mapped the findings on the board to drive patterns and feelings. We looked at personas, customer journey maps, information architecture to simplify the interface. Data visualization was very important in providing clear and actionable insights. The outcome went through several iterations before it eventually went live today.
Here is a snapshot of what has changed in the new refreshing version of OPTIMA.
We redesigned the entire dashboard. More space and focus has been given to the calendar view, which now has been color coded to highlight the specific days where your rate is above or below your competition. This will enable the revenue managers to make faster decisions.
On-demand reports, which were hidden deep in the navigation have been put upfront to reduce times spent by 15 minutes.
While a user in a hotel will get trained and will also learn the tool by hit and trial. However, we have provided coach marks, which helps them get started quickly and focus on their key tasks.
In all, on the new interface, revenue managers can now look for ‘competition average rates’, ‘pace charts’, ‘events’, ‘holidays’, ‘visual indicator on how you are doing versus competition’, ‘on-demand reports’, ‘view data as calendar or graph or table’, and ‘filters, which help you to see what you want to see’. And, there’s more to it.
I am really excited about the new version. Do watch OPTIMA Overview video, and let me know what you think.