As a hotelier, you know how important it is to have a good booking software. But what exactly is a hotel booking software? In this post, we’ll discuss what a hotel booking software is and how it can benefit your business.
What is hotel booking software?
A hotel booking software is an automated booking system that seamlessly integrates with your hotel’s website. Guests can make online reservations quickly and easily, book their room types and length of stay, make online payments safely, and get an immediate confirmation from you. For hoteliers like you, the system allows you to accept bookings and online payments without hassles and manage all your bookings through various channels.
How can hotel booking software benefit your business?
A hotel booking software can automate most of your administration work. So, you have more time on your hands for everything else – talking to your guests, taking a personal interest in their requirements during their stay with you, and relaxing. Here are some more benefits to look forward to:
Manage and monitor room bookings
With a hotel booking software linked to your hotel’s website, you can seamlessly manage and monitor all your room bookings in real-time. So you never have to worry about rooms being double booked or left unoccupied.
Some examples of how a hotel booking software can help you manage your business are:
- Keep track of all your room bookings in real-time, so you never have to worry about rooms being double booked or left unoccupied.
- Easily add, edit, or delete bookings as needed.
- View detailed reports of your bookings, including information on your guests, their length of stay, and their room type.
- Monitor your occupancy rate and adjust your pricing accordingly.
- Upsell or cross-sell additional services to your guests.
- Send automated confirmation and reminder emails to your guests.
- Create custom promotions and packages.
- Accept online payments for bookings.
- Manage all your bookings through various channels, including your hotel’s website, booking engines, and OTAs.
Reduce the chance of overbooking
Even the best managers are prone to making booking errors like overbooking. Overbooking rooms can be disastrous as it directly affects your guests who arrive at your hotel, longing to check in and relax. Instead, they must now search for another establishment – which could be tiresome, worrisome, and expensive. Needless to say, it also tarnishes your hotel’s image.
A hotel booking software monitors the number of rooms in your establishment and the occupancy or availability of each room, so there is no chance of overbooking. So, you can be sure your guests are never left in the lurch.
Your hotel’s staff can quickly and easily check availability
Guests without reservations and those who make phone reservations will need to be booked in manually by your staff. The system gives your team easy access to view the latest status of each room, including the availability of rooms and the vacant rooms, so they can create reservations immediately and accurately. Once a booking is made, your guests get a direct booking confirmation automatically sent to them via SMS or email – and these messages can be customised. For example, you can add a personalised message or give the guests directions to your hotel. They can also check room rates for various dates, so they can offer your guests the best deals. And if a particular room is unavailable on the chosen date, they can suggest suitable alternatives.
Guests have multiple booking options
Today’s hotel guests prefer to book their accommodation reservations on a device they are comfortable using. That could be a laptop, a computer, or even a smartphone. The hotel booking software allows guests to access the platform on any device of their choice, their laptop, desktop, tablet, and even their mobile, as long as it is internet-enabled. And once they have made their booking, they will receive a confirmation message on their preferred device.
A centralised booking system
If your hotel is registered with online travel agencies like Airbnb or Expedia.com to attract local and international guests, many of your guests might find you on these sites. That’s fantastic. But you still must manually manage all your direct and indirect bookings, and the risk of losing track of these bookings could lead to booking errors.
A centralised hotel booking system linked to a channel manager will manage all bookings made through OTAs, social media, direct booking channels – and even last-minute walk-in reservations – without manual intervention. Real-time updates across all these channels ensure your rooms are never double booked or under-booked, so you can focus on giving your guests the best possible experience during their stay with you.
A streamlined booking process for guests and staff
An efficient booking process is easy enough for guests and staff to access and manage. Most hotel booking systems have a user-friendly interface that makes the booking process convenient and easy for your team and guests. Guests can immediately access critical information like room types, prices, packages, inclusions, and add-ons. For walk-in guests or those who book via phone, your staff can access room availability, vacancies, and room types to directly book guests without any hassles.
Offer discounts and promotions across channels
A fantastic way to increase your hotel’s revenue and make your guests happy is by offering exclusive discounts and promotions. Hotel booking systems allow you to create and apply promo codes. You can customise these discounts depending on bookings days, if the guest is a loyal customer, for corporate bookings, and even deals based on events, seasons, and early-bird rates. By displaying these offers on your website and across all connected channels, you will attract new guests and keep existing ones coming back for more.
Track special requests
As a hotelier, you know that guest requests can range from special meals and food allergies to kennel services, wheelchair requirements, babysitting requirements, and more. Catering to each guest’s unique needs right from the moment they step into your establishment is critical for a fantastic guest experience. A hotel booking system keeps track of every guest’s requirement, so you never fail to impress your guests with timely service and a unique experience for each guest.
Get valuable insight into booking habits
Your guests’ booking habits are changing. The better you know your guests and their booking habits, the better you can serve them. Hotel booking software integrated with a reporting system gives you access to data insights to make smarter business choices. You can see which room types are being booked the most, what time of year your hotel is at its busiest, and even where your guests are coming from. This valuable data helps you forecast trends, manage inventory, and make strategic decisions to grow your business.
What’s more, these days, travellers are not just looking for a place to stay. They are looking for a complete experience that meets their needs and expectations. A good hotel booking system will allow you to upsell your services and add-ons, so you can give your guests the complete experience they are looking for.
With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that more and more hotels are making the switch to a centralised hotel booking system.
What features should you look for in a hotel booking system?
There are several booking systems to choose from, each offering a unique set of features. You might not require all the features offered, and the best hotel booking system for your establishment is one that caters to your needs. Here are 10 top features to look for:
- Ease of use: The system should be easy to use for both your staff and your guests.
- Compatibility: The system should be compatible with your existing property management system (PMS) or central reservation system (CRS).
- Reporting and analytics: The system should offer valuable insights into your guests’ booking habits and trends.
- Upselling: The system should allow you to upsell your services and add-ons.
- Security: The system should be secure, so you can protect your guests’ data.
- Payment processing: The system should offer secure payment processing.
- Channel management: The system should allow you to manage your hotel’s listing on multiple channels.
- Guest profiles: The system should allow you to create detailed guest profiles.
- Special requests: The system should allow you to track and manage special requests.
- Multi-language support: The system should offer multi-lingual support, so you can cater to guests from all over the world.
A good hotel booking system will save you time and money, while also providing a better experience for your guests. When choosing a system, make sure to consider your needs and budget. And always test the system before making a commitment.