Technology exists to make our lives easier. In the hotel industry, one of the best time-saving tools is a reservation management system. These programs simplify everything around bookings and availability, cutting a lot of hassle out of your day-to-day business. In this article, we’ll look at why you should consider making the investment.
As a hospitality professional in the online market, it can be hard to keep on top of all your bookings – not to mention time-consuming.
For every booking that comes in, you’ve got to note down the guest’s name, the number of nights and the price, then assign them a room, update your availability on your various channels, and maybe send them a welcome email.
And what happens when you get a cancellation on one of the OTAs you sell on? More paperwork, more cross-checking – all the while, missing out on sales opportunities.
Good news, though. There’s an easy way to eliminate all of that hassle – along with the risk of overbookings.
Introducing reservation management systems. These clever programs organise your bookings for you, allowing you to sell across more channels, while eliminating a lot of needless paperwork.
They’re not just for big city hotels, either. There are plenty of programs out there that are designed especially to help smaller properties stay on top of their bookings.
What is a reservation management system?
As the name suggests, it’s technology that manages your reservations. It takes all your bookings – from all the websites you sell on – and puts them in one place. From there, it automatically updates your availability on all those websites.
Essentially, it’s a massive time saver, an insurance policy against overbookings – and even a way of creating more business for yourself.
Why should I use one?
1. It’s easy
You may think that this kind of technology is only for experts, but nothing could be further from the truth. Many of these programs are designed with small properties in mind, with very simple, user-friendly systems.
Think of it like this: either way, if you promote your property on OTAs, if you send and receive emails, then you’re already involved in the online world. This technology is just a way of helping you progress in this area while keeping things simple.
2. It saves you time
Think of all the time spent organising your diary, assigning rooms, updating your availability and processing cancellations. When a program helps you do all those things, you cut a huge amount of admin out of your daily life – freeing up more time to focus on your guests.
3. It helps eliminate mistakes
When you organise your availability manually – especially if your property appears on multiple websites – it’s so easy to miss something. Any time you get a booking on one website, you need to update your availability on all the others. If something goes wrong, you could easily get an overbooking. These mistakes don’t happen often. But when they do, it can be problematic, as for each one you have to add on extra admin, stress, relocation of guests, costs – and damage to your reputation.
Reservation management systems automatically update your availability across all channels, so no customer will see your property as available when it isn’t, and vice-versa.
With that peace of mind, you can forget about keeping one of your rooms free to avoid overbookings – you can just put them all up there, safe in the knowledge that the program will handle the updates.
4. It creates more opportunities to sell
There are all sorts of additional benefits that come from using a reservation management system.
For a start, any time you get a cancellation, that newly free room can go straight back online, available to be booked. This not only saves you the hassle of updating all your availability, it also means that you don’t miss out on earnings.
Also, since the complex business of selling on multiple channels is simplified, it’s easier for you to sell on more OTAs. This means more exposure for your property to guests around the world – and more opportunities to increase your revenue.
5. It’s safe
Reservation management systems are usually web-based, rather than being programs that you have saved on one computer. This means that you can manage your bookings from anywhere, by using an app on your phone. It also means you don’t have to worry about viruses, and because of the encryption that comes with most of these programs, your data will be secure.
Working with technology is key to success in today’s marketplace. With a reservation management system, you have all your bookings in one place, and all your availability updated automatically – meaning more business, less stress and more time to dedicate to your guests.
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