Jul 29, 2021 | Hotel Management | Reading Time: 6 minutes
If you are a hotel owner wondering about the advantages of an online hotel reservation system, you have come to the right place. If you still have second thoughts of why a hotel needs a central reservation system, the state of the world we are currently living in can explain it.
The internet and the online world have made everything easier and more accessible, and booking a hotel room can be done from the comfort of your own home, with simple touches on your smartphone.
At the same time, the global pandemic forced us to avoid physical contact, or at least evade it more than before, making people take more care of their health and pay attention to their habits. Put that all together and you will see the necessity of having a good hotel reservation system, capable of organizing and controlling reservations with ease.
The ones that choose not to have a reservation system, are most likely avoided by travelers since they search for the easiest way of booking a room, and this is just one of the reasons why you should consider using an online booking system if you don’t already have one.
In this article, we will discuss the 6 main characteristics of a good hotel reservation system to help you make a decision. Check it out!
1. Online Payment Available
Because most people nowadays prefer to book a hotel room online, the great majority of them are paying online too. This is a very convenient option for many travelers that do not like to carry cash with them. The great majority of hotels already have an online payment option on their website, which makes the entire reservation and payment process smoother.
If you do not have this online payment option available, you may be losing customers to competitors.
Having that option on your website can increase your direct booking if done right. Make sure that your hotel reservation system is secured and integrates with the entire hotel’s website. Not only will give your potential clients assurance, shows the advantages of having an online hotel reservation system.
2. Automatic Emails
One of the main advantages of an online hotel reservation system is that you have all the contact details of the customers in one place. This can prove useful in a variety of ways, especially if you want to implement automatic emails.
When guests book a room in your hotel, they often are asked to sign up for an account on your site. Here they need to fill in personal information, such as name, age, and contact details.
These details can make a huge difference in the hospitality industry. Depending on what you ask when they are creating an account, you can figure out what your future guest likes, hates, and is interested in doing while on your property.
The way you present your hotel once your guest is there will make an impression on them and will surely make them compare it with other accommodations they have been to.
If they enjoy your hotel, they will surely recommend it to friends and even return. But for this to happen, you need to meet the needs and expectations of your customers.
But how to use the information gathered right away? Automatic emails can be the opening door you’ve been expecting.
When guests sign up for an account on your website or when they book a room, you can send automatic confirmation emails and event reminders. Moreover, if you have a blog section or some recommendations for sightseeing in the city, restaurants, and other activities, you can also send an automatic newsletter.
Even though not all of them will open the emails with recommendations, they will surely notice them.
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3. Use a Channel Management System
It’s not uncommon to have your hotel in many distribution channels. Although you may have a website ready with all the tools for booking a room, travelers may also find your property on OTAs such as Booking and Expedia.
This is a wise thing to do, as it offers you more visibility, and increases your brand awareness.
But relying solely on them can be tricky since you need to pay a fee to the OTAs for every reservation made through their platform. That said, you can try to direct customers to your hotel’s website by offering discounts and all sorts of promotions.
Either way, reservations will be coming in and it is important to not lose track of them.
Because you are present on many booking platforms, reservations might overlap. And to avoid going through unpleasant moments and making your customers dissatisfied, you need to use a channel management system.
It collects and organizes all the bookings you have from all the channels you use. This means that you will have a database of bookings made on your website and across many other platforms to make sure your rooms are not overbooked.
👉 Instagram opens API to official integration. Soon, hoteliers will be able to manage all Instagram messaging requests on our platform! Register for our Pre-Launch and be aware of every step of this huge update. The first 100 hotels registered will be awarded an exclusive Instagram Training by Umi Digital:
4. Mobile Technology
As a hotel owner or booking manager, you will always have something to do. But interacting with customers and making sure they are content is one of the main responsibilities under your belt.
Conciliate these responsibilities can be complicated and implementing a good hotel reservation system with mobile technology will allow you to check reservation status when you are on the go and be updated with the latest bookings or cancelations.
You will have time to check and respond to emails, run between meetings, solve any urgent issues, talk with clients, and so on all the while being aware of the reservation status of your hotel.
5. Reporting Options
It doesn’t matter if you have a small or big hotel business, having access to your performance is essential. The data gathered will allow a careful analysis of what is working or not on your property.
And one of the advantages of having an online hotel reservation system is that you can collect and store the data of how many rooms were booked, the best period, the worst period, cancellations, complaints, and pretty much anything you can think of.
If you have reporting options available, you will have access to data about your performance during the last week, month, or year. You can compare the data and find solutions to some of your issues, solving the complaints and aim to improve your hotel business. As we already established, it is essential to have your customers’ needs and expectations satisfied.
6. Guest Review
Because you have a hotel business that depends on customers to be successful, you need to analyze and collect guest reviews. This is a nice way to improve your whole business and meet the expectations of the guests. Asking them for feedback is essential because they might pinpoint some issues you haven’t even been aware of.
At the same time, it is important to deal with all reviews you get online. If you have a social media account where you advertise your promotions and hotel rooms, be aware that customers can leave their feedback there.
It is therefore important to answer them and show that you care. The management of guest reviews can easily be done if you have a good hotel reservation system. It collects data from multiple channels and can store everything in one place.
🎧 In this episode of the Hotel Cast Podcast we’ve talked about online reviews. We chat with Sarah Came, GuestRevu’s Marketing Manager, about how hotels can make the most of their online reputation:
Characteristics of a Good Hotel Reservation System
No matter if you have a small or a big business, it is important to be as organized as possible. Having a good hotel reservation system in place allows you to manage the bookings and feedback easier. This system comes with advantages and disadvantages, but it is not to be dismissed without a thought.
A good hotel reservation system allows for online payment, which is much needed during these times. Do not forget that customers want to be comfortable and book their room at your hotel as easily as possible.
They also allow you to send automatic emails and updates regarding the reservation, and you can add the guest to your newsletter database.
You can manage everything from your mobile phone and also get insights into your monthly or yearly reports. All these are the main characteristics of a good hotel reservation system you need to look for if you want to implement one for your business. They are a huge part of fulfilling your goals and can be what stops travelers of choose your competitors over you.
About the author: Eliza Sadler is a professional journalist with four years of extensive experience. She is fascinated with creating original quality work that meets high standards and achieves her aim. Eliza also works as a freelancer, providing dissertation help and article writing services for blogs and businesses. You can connect with her via email.