Hotels not only need a system, but a good and efficient online booking, channel marketing and property management system!
I say this because of a personal experience that I have never gotten over to this very day.
“I was making a booking at some hotel that I won’t mention. Right from the start, I could sense something was wrong and I should have paid more attention to all the red flags, but since most of the hotels were fully booked due to an event in that part of the city, I was desperate.
It (booking website) started by forcing me to first open an account with them. Why would they want me to go through all that hassle?
I went ahead and eventually made the hotel booking and even paid directly through the system using my credit card.
Being somewhat sure that everything was okay, I got out of the cab and walked up to the reception on the day of check in. Showed the receptionist my confirmation reference and for some reason, she couldn’t find my name in the system. She spent half an hour trying to figure out what was happening and eventually called in her immediate supervisor, who informed me that their booking system must have hanged at the time I was making the booking (as if it was my fault).
He also informed me that the hotel was fully booked and that they were going to offer me a refund and not a room. By then I was getting angry and didn’t care to hide it.
To cut a long story short, I had to go back home and miss the conference.
One of the main reasons that hotels exist is so that they can get more guests. The more happy guests, the higher the profits. This is the reason why they need to have a reservations system in place that is easy to use and can be accessed by customers around the clock. This will be convenient since customers can check the status of the hotel and make, amend, or cancel their bookings.
I don’t think you would want to be in my shoes, which is why I insist that a hotel online booking system should be good. “
From my perspective, what are the advantages of a good online hotel booking system?
It works around the clock and clients can book at their convenience, since it isn’t limited to their working hours. This is convenient to visitors and beneficial to the hotel since the bookings are bound to increase. Imagine being put on hold when booking via a phone call! I personally hate that and would prefer to make the booking to my convenience.
A good system should have analytic and insights tools. These can keep track of every reservation and also understand the behaviors of each individual guest who uses it often. This includes the types of rooms they prefer, their meal plans, and any other special requests. This will endear their guests and make them more likely to book again.
A good online hotel reservation system can be used as a marketing tool when integrated with social media and blogs. Most people spend a lot of time on social media and optimizing campaigns on the platforms is bound to make potential customers notice the hotel. It would be easier for them to book and pay without having to leave the platforms.
You don’t have to hire too many staff to do the job that can be done by the online booking system. This means that you get to save more on salaries and increase your revenues. It will not only save reservation staff man-hours, it could also do some of your accounts by accepting payments and updating them.
When people book rooms themselves through the system, they are more likely to show up since they have paid in advance. The system can automatically release rooms for those that aren’t likely to show up, or those who haven’t paid by the deadline.
Guests feel better when they don’t have to stand by the counter, waiting for their payments to be processed. The online system should have a payment platform integrated into it. it also saves the hotel time and staff. When there are cancellations, you can charge cancellation fees where applicable.
The world is an ever evolving place and right now everyone has gone digital. The internet is the most used resource for everything, including looking for hotel accommodation. This means that having an online presence is bound to increase revenues if the right tools are provided to make life more convenient. This automatically means people are more bound to make bookings online as opposed to calling or going to the property.
The online booking system should have an effective support system to handle all sorts of queries regarding to the services they offer. This personalized customer support will make clients more likely to make bookings. This also means that dealing with customers directly will be greatly minimized.
Online bookings mean that there will be less paperwork when it comes to booking forms and receipts, among other things. This means that less trees will be cut and the world will remain a healthier place to be.
The Lobby Boy is the best booking system you can get, coming with all the advantages we have mentioned above. They have excellent services and customer care, ensuring that the booking system is up to date and won’t hang on you the way another one did for me. your clients will be happy about the ease and convenience, while as a hotel, you’ll offer simplicity when it comes to making reservations, meaning more bookings, and higher revenues.
Tim Osundwa, frequent business traveler 2019.