Keeping up with technology is important for any hotel. Guests are often going to be traveling with the latest gadgets and they are looking for a property that is compatible with their devices. Staying tech current doesn’t stop at guest amenities, there are huge opportunities in keeping your office systems up to date as well. When was the last time your PMS had an update or refresh? Have you looked at the benefits of a new Booking Engine? The newer versions of these tools can dramatically improve your front and back office productivity and help to generate more business.
On any hotel website, the Booking Engine can have the biggest impact on conversion rates. This is your point of sale display and it needs to be enticing, clean and simple to use. But its features don’t end with what your guests can see. A modern hotel’s Booking Engine needs to have connectivity with all your online partners like TripAdvisor and Trivago. These sites offer programs that can help you compete against OTAs on the property level and drive direct bookings. Guests who are checking your reviews on TripAdvisor are being exposed to booking options from the OTAs, and without a connected Booking Engine you can’t compete in this space. TripAdvisor’s TripConnect has the ability to interface with your Booking Engine and can pull real time rates and availability and display them on your profile with the OTA listings. Advertising your rates in this space does incorporate a Pay-Per-Click model for TripAdvisor and require a paid Business Listing. For those not familiar with Trivago yet, it is a MetaSearch engine for Hotel prices. They offer a similar Pay-Per Click model and are quickly growing in popularity in the US.
Between your Booking Engine and all of your various Extranets, there are a lot of inventories and rates to keep in parity and manage. Manually monitoring all of these sites can be very time consuming, and if there are ever any mistakes or oversights, it can end up costing your property quite a bit. No one likes to walk guest, but it happens and often times this is a result of forgetting to close out an OTA after you sold your last room. Thankfully you can consolidate these tasks with programs like Siteminder and ChannelManager. These programs can manage all of your booking channels from a single site, allowing you to adjust rates and inventories and apply them across all of your extranets at once.
If you have a more modern PMS these consolidation programs can be even more useful. They have the ability to integrate directly with your system and pull up-to-date inventory automatically. When your desk agents sell a room, it can be reflected across all of your extranets instantaneously. Better yet, all of your extranet bookings can be input automatically into your PMS, avoiding spelling errors or wrong arrival dates. Reducing reservation errors is a great way to keep guest satisfaction and revenue up.
There is a good chance some of your existing software has this functionality already, it just may need to be activated, or added (for an additional fee). If not, it might be time to switch your Booking Engine and PMS and get everything connected.