When managing a business that involves handling a number of clients at the same time, like a hotel for instance, you need more than staff. It becomes important to employ the use of software that will enable you to keep track of your clients, as well as the rest of the goings on of your business. This is where hotel reservation systems come into play.
What Is A Hotel Reservation System?
A hotel reservations system is a software that works to secure online bookings that are made through your website. Once the reservations are made on the front end of your site, it sends the information to your hotel’s servers, enabling you to book reservations, manage when reservations can be made and even appeal to your general online audience. You should use a software that blends easily with your infrastructure to make booking automatic, by showing your current situation. This is in terms of current rates, number of rooms available and which types as well as any other information you may need to relay including promos and offers. Not all software is the same. You therefore need to be careful when choosing the software that you invest in.
What To Look For In A Good Hotel Reservation Software
How well a hotel reservation software functions determines the efficiency of your online booking option. You therefore need to invest in a software that delivers on every need you may have for it. These needs include:
- Ability to process bookings through any and all channels
- Ability to manage rates, inventory as well as availability
- Ability to manage client booking details; names, number of and kinds of rooms, amounts paid and so on
- Ability to create different client profiles
- Ability to organize in-house schedules and tasks
- Ability to process payments in the name of deposits as well as refunds
- Ability to handle front office functions like accounting
- Ability to handle and convey client communications
- Ability to generate performance reports
- Ability to generally and completely ease client bookings
In simple terms, you need a software that completely eases the booking process end to end, and also shows you the loopholes that may need to be filled in order to make full profits.
The type of software you use can be determined by two things; the kind of operating system that you are using in your hotel’s main server, and the size of your business. For instance, software like HotelFriend, Little Hotelier, Cloudbeds, and Bookinglayer work best for small to medium sized businesses, and work best with Linux and Windows. On the other hand, software like rGuest Stay, roomMaster, protel Hotel, and inRoad among others can work for businesses of all sizes and they too work with Windows, Mac and Linux.
Reasons Why A Hotel Reservation System Works
In case there is any doubt if these systems work, it is important to clarify that they do, and why.
For starters, all these software are designed for online use. As such, all data is stored in the cloud. This then means that nothing ever gets lost. Even in the case of a computer crash, there is a way of recovering and restoring all the lost data.
Secondly, these systems work in real-time. This then means that a guest can book while countries away and your server will pick it up immediately, and send the details to every relevant channel and update availability details. No matter how hard you try, there is no way you can beat the time it takes to do all this.
Finally, it is one system that does everything so there is no chance of leaving a loophole. It handles booking, manages your selling and advertising channels, builds your website as well as offers you easy payment solutions and recording. At the end of it all, depending on how it is programmed, it also provides you with a report to show how your business is doing.
The Benefits Of Having A Hotel Reservation System
There is a lot that goes into making a booking. As such, on the hotelier’s end, there are a lot of details that need to be taken into account before confirming the reservation. These are the details that the hotel reservation system is meant to handle. With this, it helps in the following ways:
- It eases administrative duties. It saves you and your staff the hustle of responding to every single inquiry, and only leaves the overly detailed special inquiries for you to handle. The simple inquiries are handled by the reservation system.
- You will never be overbooked. All hotel reservation systems are designed to always show when the rooms available are out. As such, you never run the risk of overbooking guests.
- It saves face. By avoiding such embarrassing and stressful situations as overbooking or even overpromising in terms of client experience, the reservation system not only saves you from getting bad feedback, but also promotes guest experience.
- Enables you to acquire a reliable client data base. Because your clients will fill in details of where they are coming from, what interests them in the chosen destination, whether male or female, their age and such, you are able to come up with a reliable database of who likes to visit your hotel and why. This will come in handy when coming up with relevant marketing campaigns that are bound to attract your type of guests.
- It delivers exactly what your guest wants. Hotel reservation systems are designed to allow your guest to choose the type of room they want, in every detail possible. The easier it is to do this on your website, the better the client experience and the more they will want to use it in the future and even recommend it to others.
There is a lot that goes into running a hotel successfully. Since all this depends on the level of guest traffic you get, you need to invest in the best possible hotel reservation systems solutions.