Many small accommodation providers already use online booking technologies to increase sales, and many today may not even be aware of how much they are losing because they are not using them. Are you among the latter? Below you can check out the signs that eloquently warn you that you urgently need an online booking system for your accommodation.
There is no booking mechanism on your website to make a booking
Your website offers an inquiry form under online reservations, which you will respond to as soon as possible. Of course, it is at this time that your guest can be diverted elsewhere. However, by persuading a guest to write you an email or call you to check availability, you are requiring unnecessary effort and simply wasting your and the guest's time. Online reservations on your website or on other hotel portals allow the guest to check the availability of the hotel in real time. In addition, they can make a reservation and a payment that includes personal and other sensitive information, in a secure way that you cannot provide by phone or email. The fact is that more and more hotel guests prefer to book online and that this trend is only increasing.
Double bookings and lost revenue
If a hotel does not have a comprehensive online booking mechanism, and in doing so sells on different sales channels, problems can quickly arise. The biggest effort of your sales department is in editing and updating data in various applications and distribution channels, which means double the work load and cost. You also run the risk of double bookings or overbooking of your hotel, due to data entry errors and late personnel response. There's a big risk of loosing a hotel revenue by not optimizing it's booking channels, as allocating a certain number of rooms to a single channel does not fill all available rooms. Consequence can also be dissatisfied guest because he unknowingly booked an already overbooked hotel.
Poor and inconsistent communication with the guest
Upon booking, the guest should receive a booking confirmation, which contains all the necessary information about the reservation, general conditions, etc. Without the use of an online booking system, small hotels do not have much opportunity to send booking confirmations automatically. At best, they can use templates in word documents that they prepare manually and send each time separately, hopefully they are accurate and unmistakable. An online booking system supports instant sending of confirmation letters, the guest can immediately print or save a confirmation letter with all the necessary information about the reservation.
Dependence on the sale of intermediaries
To increase hotel sales, you distribute rooms to various global distribution channels, which, among other things, dictate your sales prices and charge high commission fee. There are more and more of these global distribution portals and less and less profit. In general, the costs associated with promoting and gaining new guests through distribution channels have grown two to three times faster than hotel revenue alone. With an online booking system on its website, the hotel has more control over room prices, increases profitability and becomes less dependent on broker sales.
No idea what really works
Small hotels have a limited budget, so they must spend their resources very thoughtfully. Without statistical data from the past and booking forecast projections, they do not have adequate information which investments are really profitable. Guessing and planning without the right information brings unnecessary costs and loss of income. With an online booking system that integrates with Property Management System (PMS) like Hotelinco, hotelier gets overall insights into past, present and future production of all online and offline booking channels, which provides the most necessary information for next marketing strategies.