12 simple ways to reduce avoidable cancellations

Cancellations and no-shows are some of the biggest pain points for property owners. When the unexpected happens, cancellations can’t be avoided, but the good news is there’s still plenty you can do to reduce the avoidable ones.

The solutions below are all simple, manageable ways to tackle these avoidable cancellations and no-shows – the type of cancellations that could have been prevented by doing something a little differently.

Tips for reducing the cancellations you can control

Guest messaging

Sometimes guests cancel because of uncertainty. For example, if they don’t hear back from you quickly regarding questions about your property or destination, they might be unsure if your property is the right place for their stay. As a result, this guest could cancel their booking. 

Even if guests aren’t uncertain, communication can help build a relationship with them – and this could be the difference between a stayed booking and a cancellation or no show. 

You can use guest messaging to reduce cancellations by:

  • Being available and responsive to messages before your guests arrive
  • Sending a confirmation message to say you look forward to their stay
  • Sharing your best tips for your destination (including things like what to pack for the weather or what they can do in the area)

Upselling and promotions

Small discounts and extras add up to happy guests, as well as reduced cancellations. If bookers feel like they’re getting a good deal, they’ll be more confident in their decision and less likely to cancel in favour of another property. 

Not only this, but that room upgrade they paid a little bit more for – or the complimentary bottle of wine that’s waiting for them – will keep excitement levels high. 

Use upselling and promotions to reduce cancellations by:

  • Offering promotions at the point of booking, such as a breakfast deal or a spa discount
  • Setting discounted rates for guests who choose to check-in in advance
  • Offering a great value price to upgrade rooms

Online check-in

Thanks to airlines, online check-in is now a normal part of modern travel. Guests are familiar with the concept, and appreciate the stress-free convenience of checking in from their computer, smartphone or tablet. So why not introduce it at your property? 

Allowing guests to virtually check in will not only streamline the process, but also add a layer of commitment – they’ve checked in, so they’ve told you they intend to stay. This will reduce your last-minute cancellation rate as it will make it feel like less of a viable option. 

Reduce cancellations and no-shows with online check-in by:

  • Highlighting online check-in on your website to stand out against competition
  • Offering perks to guests who choose to check-in early online
  • Identifying and contacting bookers who don’t check-in online to understand their situation – and potentially resell their room

Payment technology

The payment process can have a significant effect on cancellations. For a start, if guests have problems paying, they – or you – might be forced to cancel their booking. Secondly, if bookers don’t pay upfront, they’ll take cancelling less seriously as they have nothing to lose.

Allowing your guests to pay in advance can address both of these problems. Guests who have prepaid are financially invested, so they’re less likely to cancel on a whim. Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to sort out any payment issues if anything arises.

You can reduce cancellations with payment technology by:

  • Using an online payment tool with more options. Not only debit or credit cards, but also payment providers like PayPal, iDeal and SOFORT for guests who need to pay differently
  • Providing different currency options – paying in a familiar currency will help guests to feel more comfortable and also minimise confusion
  • Allowing guests to pay in advance so they have one less thing to worry about while travelling

Ready to try out the tips above? Take a look at the BookingSuite App Store, where you’ll find a range of tech solutions designed to help you reduce cancellations and no-shows. 

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