Exorbitant booking commissions, sleek distribution partners, unfair competition.Almost every hotel, or other accommodation business, has had some sort of bitter experience of this kind. Interacting directly with clients to avoid intermediaries is becoming more and more important.
Most of our clients are using the integrated online reservation system in the cloud hotel system Clock PMS to step away from the whirlwind and take online distribution in their own hands. Everybody agrees that it is good to have your own booking engine so clients can book directly from your website, especially if it is commission-free. How well you use it is another matter. Here are some ideas how to make the best of what the hotel reservation system Clock PMS offers.
Two words: looksand ease.
First impressions are key. You already have an attractive hotel website. Make the booking engine attractive, too. Select one of the 17 pre-defined themes . They come in a variety of colours to match different colour schemes. If you need a minor tweak or two to a theme, simply modify it with a .cssfile. If you want your reservation system to be completely consistent with the rest of your website, use the full customization options of fonts, colours, etc . to make it blend seamlessly.
Speaking of consistency and looks, make sure you stick to it with the images, too. Make sure you use the same pictures and descriptions of rooms, or other bookable amenities throughout your website, including your booking engine. Nothing is more disconcerting than choosing a room by its picture and then seeing a different one when you actually try to book it.
Booking a room should be done with ease. Let your clients find the offer and the room that suits them best easily and book with no effort. Use deep links to insert Book nowbuttons on every page you want, availability calendarsfor rooms and room types, links from your special offersleading straight to booking, and promo codesfor special prices.
Book from your home page
Let guests know they are welcome to book directly with you from the moment they land on your website.
Book nowbutton on the home page of the Grand hotel, Lytham St Annes
And if there are no free rooms, they have the availability calendar to choose the period and the room type they like.
Hotel availability calendar
Book specific rooms or room types
In the leisure travel sector room features are among the main concerns of clients. Being able to book the room you like easily is important. A Book now button accompanying room descriptions makes it so.
Booking specific rooms at the Grand hotel, Lytham St Annes
A filtered availability calendar showing only the availability of the selected room or type is convenient if a client needs to check more dates.
Room availability calendar
Book special offers directly
Special offers attract guests and it is important not to put them off with convoluted booking procedures. With the deep links of the online reservation system of Clock PMS you can set the booking form for holiday offers and other packages to open with the required conditions filled (dates, length of stay, etc.).
Special offer with fixed dates
Booking a special offer
Book at preferential prices
There are two ways to use promo codesfor special prices.
- They can be entered in the booking noteswhen guests make their reservation.
- Or you can insert them in a deep link, say from your banner on the website of a local event. Then all clients who book from that website will be given a preferential rate automatically. And if the link is written so that it opens the booking form with the dates, number of nights or any other required conditions already filled, all your guests will have to do is click a button to reserve their rooms.
To sum it up
The integration options of the hotel online reservation system of Clock PMS help you sell moreand directlyto your clients. They let you sell from any pageon your hotel website, they let you sell specific rooms or room types, they make selling packageswith complex parameters simple,they make all this happen fastand easy,and they make it look good.
Have other ideas, questions or something to share? Call us, we are always pleased to hear from you.
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All images in this article are screenshots of the website of the Grand Hotel at Lytham St Annes. We would like to thank the management for kindly letting us use them here.