Now more than ever, hotel owners are realising just how important technology really is to captivating and holding the attention of their guests. When it comes to that initial pull, a Hotel Reservation System is the key ingredient to creating a positive first impression.
Hotel Reservation Systems help businesses to develop brand appeal and secure online bookings. However, unlike an Online Travel Agent, a Hotel Reservation System won’t cost you any commissions. Because of this, they act as a force to boost profits well into the future. In 2021, an online Hotel Reservation System is not just a luxury for the tech-savvy among us, but an essential resource for the broader hotel industry.
But what is a Hotel Reservation System?
A Hotel Reservation System is an essential piece of online booking software. Often, you’ll hear the term Hotel Booking Engine being used to describe the same thing. These systems allow guests to place their accommodation bookings via the internet, rather than through a phone call. Guests can select the length of their stay, make their room choices, purchase any booking add-ons, and pay through a secure payment portal. The process is much the same as booking through an Online Travel Agent (like Booking.com), except there are no additional commission fees involved for the property.
Why You Need a Hotel Reservation System
Cloud-based systems are overwhelmingly becoming the drink of choice for hotel owners. Alas, traditional means of placing reservations still exist. The first flaw with pen and paper methods comes with the very real chance for human error. An online system negates this completely by automating processes that would previously have been left up to manual labour.
Secondly, the rise of the Millennial traveller means that an increasing number of holidaymakers are relying on the internet to book their vacations. In fact, more than 700 million people are expected to place their bookings online by 2023. Without the capabilities of a Hotel Booking Engine, you’re guaranteed to fall behind the pack as old-school booking practices inevitably become redundant.
Integrated Hotel Reservation System vs. Third-Party Alternatives
Integrated Hotel Reservation Systems provide more tailored experiences for your guests. They help to deliver insight into your property and brand that’s frankly unattainable through third-party alternatives. The difference is that an integrated Booking Engine seamlessly meshes with your own website. This means that your guests can place their bookings without the need to navigate to an unfamiliar domain. This comes with a few major perks:
1. Superior customisation
With an integrated option, you can customise the booking process to suit your unique business. You won’t be locked into the specifications your provider lays out for you like you would be with a third party or OTA. While there may be a few areas that remain set, integrated options definitely give you more wiggle room when it comes to appearance, adding your photos, and including interactive booking maps.
Having the ability to tailor your Booking Engine is extremely important. If it’s on its A-game and provides all the information your customers need, there won’t be any reason for them to book through a costly OTA.
2. Improved buyer confidence
The ability to customise an integrated Hotel Reservation System also helps to promote consumer trust. This is because you can implement fluid branding throughout the customer booking process. Buyer confidence shrinks once a customer is directed to an unfamiliar URL to complete their payment, so a Booking Engine that reflects your branding and exists within your own, recognisable URL will deliver faster, more functional booking experiences.
3. Streamlined booking admin
Integrated Hotel Reservation Systems allow all of your room availability and reservation info to be updated instantly in your Hotel Property Management System with each booking placed. This means you can access the data and manage all of your reservations seamlessly from start to finish. Third parties just don’t offer the same level of cohesiveness across software. Plus, with your team having constant access to live booking information, they’ll have more time on their hands for other important tasks.
4. Additional automation
Hotel Reservation Software is designed primarily to assist with bookings. However, a secondary incentive is the way a system like this can simplify your hotel’s other admin processes. An integrated Online Booking Engine can equip you with the capability to automate tasks like sending out booking confirmation emails. In turn, this frees up even time for your staff to focus on other areas of your business.
5. More customer insights
Collecting customer data is a must if you need to delve into your customer demographic for marketing purposes. Integrated Hotel Reservation Systems feed stacks of easily gathered and valuable information directly into your PMS system without you having to lift a finger. It then compiles the data into analytics that allow you to use it to tailor your strategies, improve your guest experiences, and boost customer retention rates.
6. Enhanced user experience
Integrated Booking Engines are famously better for mobile user experience than third-party options because they don’t require notoriously glitchy iframes. Studies show that 86% of travellers are disappointed by their experience when booking through Online Travel Agents using a mobile device. That means user-friendly, integrated Booking Engines pose a pretty exciting advantage.
A Hotel Reservation System is a whole lot more than just a tool to take bookings. It’s an essential piece of the hotel management puzzle that can help you to not only increase reservations, but improve productivity, enhance guest experiences, lead to higher customer retention, and ultimately increase revenue.
If you’re looking for a solution to help make running your hotel business a little (or a lot) smoother, look no further! Check out NewBook’s All-In-One Booking Engine, a leading Hotel Reservation System designed to arm you with all the tools you could ever need to ramp up your reservation game.