A hotel booking engine or hotel reservation system is an application used on hotel websites to securely process online reservations. New age booking engines have radically altered the way bookings are done and how hotels operate. With the availability of various features at the front-end and back-end level, there has been great growth in direct hotel bookings, improved functioning, and hotel guest experience.
Ideally, hotel booking engines are supposed to work by:
- Allowing bookings directly on your hotel’s website.
- Allowing bookings on third party websites like Make my trip, Yatra, Trivago etc., wherever your hotel is listed.
Nearly 60% of the guest like to book from your website
Whatever may be the size of your hotel, if you have a website and if you want your guests to have ease at booking, you must have a good booking engine in place, so that:
- Your guests can do research on the room by looking at pictures on your website, check for distance from airport and visiting places while self-booking from your website
- Your booking engine must have a secured service from banks so that it can easily accept payments from credit cards, debit cards or other payment wallets.
Buyer’s checklist- Let’s see what you should look for while choosing the right booking engine:
Completely Automated: Your booking engine must be designed in such a way that it can easily fit into your way of working and streamlines all your booking related functions. To achieve more than just booking function, you can go for more elaborate solutions like property management software to manage end-to-end all the processes.
Personalized Look and Feel: Your booking engine must have aesthetics that match your brand identity. Your guests must not feel disconnected when they reach on your booking page, after having a look at other parts of your website. Everything must be in sync with each other.
Responsive Booking Engine: Your booking engine must have a mobile and tab friendly look and feel. It should not feel different from how it looked on your computer.
Cloud-Based: Your booking engine or reservation system must give you and your guests the facility to access it from anywhere and anytime while you are on the go.
Suitable for multiple properties: Your booking engine must hold the capacity to manage bookings from all your properties and bring them together in one place to facilitate ease at managing.
Guest Engagement Management: Apart from handling booking, booking engine must have the functionality to send engaging pre-arrival emails-keeping guests informed about the date of check-in, room type, cab details etc. It must also take care of post-departure activities like-feedbacks, promotions and discounts.
Secured Payment Processing: Your booking engine must make it easy for your guests to book a room online from your website. It must have secured integrations and process. All your guest data must be secured and your booking engine must be secured preferably with PCI DSS certification.
Improved Guest Experience for better Up-selling: Every hotelier knows that the revisiting guest brings in more profits than first-timers. Also, acquiring a new client is ten times more expensive than keeping current customers. Knowing this, it is better to start working towards providing first hand customer delight experience by creating unforgettable stays for your guests so it generates a host of domino effect benefits for your hotel with all the positive feedback on social media, word-of-mouth recommendations to friends and family, and, crucially, it enables you to maintain a relationship with special offers and promotions via email and other channels. There is a reason why people buy clothes from the same brands and why people go for dinner at the same restaurant. It is all a game of successful customer experience. So when your customers are so loyal to you, won’t you make them happy by giving them “loyalty points”? The benefits of these points are that you can have a hold on your already loyal customers but also you can drive in some new loyal customers. A reservation system must build, run and maintain all the operations of your hotel loyalty programs. It brings all your reward program operations at the core and ensures that you get a flawless loyalty program management.
Multi-currency and Multi-lingual support: If you have international guests coming to your hotel, you must have a booking engine that caters to this need of yours.
Google Map Integration: Google map integration helps your guests to easily find you.
Powerful Reporting and Business Analytics: From daily activity and production reports to all financial reports, a reservation system must have you covered. It must be able to create analytical reports of the month on month booking, occupancy, revenue etc.
An efficient booking engine will make it easy for you and your guest to book and receive bookings 24/7, without any hassle of going to other websites.
Buying a good booking engine while keeping in mind all the above-mentioned points will help you get maximum ROI from your investments.