Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the hospitality industry you’re bound to eventually reach the limits of your business’ revenue capacity.
Here’s the thing, while OTAs guarantee you a degree of exposure and a steady flow of bookings, in order for you to truly come into your own, and maximise your yield potential, you must do so through your own platform. Here’s how you can achieve this:
Enhance Your Website with a Booking Engine
Terms like “website optimisation” sound vague and financially demanding, but that would only be the case if you didn’t know where to begin. There are in fact only a few major points that you need to adhere to.
First, you need a highly responsive website design, or in layman's terms, your website needs to be easily accessible on all devices. It does not matter if someone is viewing your webpage on their laptop or on their phone, they need to have a seamless experience, allowing them to browse freely and with ease.
The brightly coloured centrepiece of your website is your call-to-action button which can read - Make a Reservation, Check Availability, BOOK A ROOM. This draws the guest’s attention to the idea of sealing the deal. Remember, being digitally approachable is how you turn a visitor into a paying guest.
Which bring us to the second point, making the reservation itself. Your hotel’s booking engine is going to be the driving force behind your entire effort. Keep in mind, the modern client does not feel pressured to act in order to acquire an object of interest. Even if the thing in question fits their needs and their budget, they know that something else will come along shortly fulfilling the same requirements, but demanding less effort.
If a potential guest finds out about your hotel through your Facebook page but needs to click away in order to book a room via either your website or your OTA listings, they will most likely give up on the idea.
Consider installing a free Facebook booking app such as the one developed by Clock Software. This way you can make sure that you’re the first and only choice a guest has to make.
What Should You Look for in a Hotel Booking Engine
When choosing a hotel reservation software you must ask yourself the following questions in order to determine its value to your business.
Is the Hotel Booking Engine Mobile Friendly?
The overwhelming number of online reservations are done on mobile devices. By not having this feature you could easily lose out on the lion’s share of your direct bookings revenue. OTAs engage with their customers by pushing for such bookings, but if the reservation goes through them, they claim a commission which comes out of your potential revenue. By encouraging guests to use your hotel’s booking engine you ensure that you earn the full 100% profit on every room booked.
Does the Hotel Booking Engine Require to Redesign Your Website in Order to Include It?
A proper hotel online booking system would not require any modification on your website’s design. Rather it will seamlessly blend in with your existing theme. The design of the solution itself is intuitive and easy to use so as to best enable your potential client’s needs.
Can the Guest Pay Safely Directly Through the Hotel Booking Engine?
When choosing hotel management software of any kind it’s best to rely on a cloud-based solution in order to ensure the safety of your guests’ information as well as your own. Your booking engine can safely process payments from various credit cards and currencies effectively eliminating the chance of alienating a potential guest by telling them that your device does not accept payments from certain sources.
Can the Hotel Booking Engine Be Used to Sell your Hotel’s Other Services?
You can use your booking engine to offer your guests any host of services. You can set up an online gift voucher shop for your website or maybe you want your clients to be able to book a table at your restaurant or book golf lessons before their arrival. Personalising their experience will go a long way toward gaining their loyalty and driving repeat bookings.
Your Booking Engine - Just One Piece of the Puzzle
Integration is the core of any successful property management system (PMS) . Having solutions which streamline your entire process, everything from managing multiple room listings across various OTAs to booking and checking into, makes for an indispensable tool for the modern hotelier.
Offer ‘Best Rate Guarantee’
Thanks to your property management system you know that your hotel booking engine is always listing the best rate at the given time, which is made uniform with your OTA listings.
Occupancy and cancellations play into determining the rate-per-room which is automatically updated whenever the variables change. You can be certain that any late cancellation or room upgrade will immediately be imported in the booking engine.
Reach out to Past Customers and Engage Your Customers Regularly
A hidden benefit to having your own booking engine is that your customer’s information now goes directly into your database, and not the OTA’s. You can use it to keep in touch and send tasteful offers for a potential future stay via email.
You should also consider expanding your social media presence via engaging posts on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Any guests who have discovered you through those means would feel invited to re-engage and perhaps make plans for another visit.
You may also find interesting:Technologies in the Hospitality Industry: Integrating for Success
5 Significant Ways to Increase Direct Bookings
Hotel Tech Trends: 5 Tips That Will Make Your Hotel Stand Out
About Clock Software
Clock Software is a global provider of cloud-based property management systems (PMS), integrated online distribution, online & kiosk hotel self check-in solutions and mobile & in-room guest engagement systems with customers in more than 65 countries.