Do you own (or run) an accommodation property? Maybe you are the heir of your dad's family hotel or maybe you've just started your own business such as a city hostel or a brand new campsite. If you are not part of a big hotel chain, chances are you aren't really familiar with the latest technology trends in your industry.
Probably you do have a website and maybe you've even registered your property on Google Business but hey, that's not enough. You know you already have a lot of competitors and you know the market is overcrowded, so why are you putting everything in the hands of luck? These days if you want to succeed in any niche, you have to know your audience, what does it want and what does it need. This guide can help you do just that.
A well-designed hotel management system will effectively boost your hotel in numerous ways. But first, you need to recognize you need one. And no, we are not trying to sell you our product here, we just want to help you make more money and have happier guests. OK, why on Earth do you need hotel management software when the old notebooks and Excel sheets do the trick?
Let's put that simply – when people find you online, they are not able to book a room through your website and this is just poor user experience. Of course, you can always embed a registration form from Booking but then you own Booking tremendous fees. What if we told you there are cloud-based services that allow you to integrate a book-your-room form right on your website? The sweetest thing is, you don't have to pay extra for this handy feature.
Today's customers are not willing to dig deeper for information. They want everything and they want it now. Just like me and you. Let me ask you a question – how often do you call a company to ask them anything? Correct! Almost never. And this is how you lose customers. You don't want to lose customers, do you?
Then you have to make sure they get everything they need when making a decision whether to book your hotel or not. That means that if you don't give them the opportunity to quickly make their reservation online, they are probably already hitting the “back” button in search of something better.
But hey, you don't need a reservation software to do that! Yes, sir, you are right! You can set up a contact form and make it look like a reservation engine. However, the tricky part is, these reservations have to be processed manually. What's worse, they don't give you any insights about your core customers' profile nor do they give you valuable financial data.
On the other hand, fully integrated hotel management software solutions automatically process online reservations so that your staff members have more time doing more important tasks. Imagine a world where you don't have to manually transfer the reservations from your website to a notebook or an Excel sheet. A world where these reservations go to a database you can access from anywhere at any time. A database that gives you the power to control them in an instant.
This is not a utopia but a reality you can afford even if you are on a budget.
By a single data base we mean a platform that keeps all data in one place – financial reports, audience insights, invoices, coming guests, leaving guests, rooms that need cleaning, already cleaned rooms and so on. The chances are you already use different tools to keep your property organized – shared Google Sheets (or worse, Excel files), notebooks, an invoice generator, Word documents where you report your earnings on a monthly basis (if you do that). All of these are scattered around different files on your computer, preventing you from seeing the big picture.
As a result, both you and your staff members jump from one file to another trying to figure out what is going on. Did the family in room 24 arrive? Did the Japanese businessman from apartment 3 leave? Do we have to charge the old lady for the additional perks she used or she has paid already? Hey Mark, did you generate an invoice for the wedding that took place in the restaurant last night? It's one giant mess that costs you too much time and too much money when it would have been way easier if you only used one software for everything.
Look, your guests are on a holiday hoping to have a good time, don't make them wait at the reception for too long or you'll get a big fat negative review. And guess what, they will write it while waiting in the queue.
The problem comes from the fact that when your guests arrive, you have to check their reservation, which one of your colleagues initially worked on. Did he put it in the notebook or an Excel sheet? You start looking for their names everywhere, while the queue only gets longer and longer. People start to feel annoyed. As a result, you get frustrated and finding the exact reservation seems harder than ever. It's a snowball effect and you know it. You've felt it during peak seasons, haven't you?
In contrast, when you have a hotel management software that automatically proceeds online reservations, the only thing you have to do is type your guests' names, find their room and hit “Check-in”. That's it! No more Excels sheets, no more notebooks, no more wasting time on horsesh*t.
I mean, you probably have but do you really analyze your guests after they leave? The trick is to be able to get powerful insights from the data you collect. However, when you collect guests' data on paper it is extremely hard to squeeze any valuable information from it.
Data could be used for statistics and statistics can give you a clue what is really going on. You may think that most of your guests come from Romania when in reality the majority of your visitors are from Italy. You may think your peak season is May-September but the data says it's actually July-September and it's the weekends throughout the year that most of your income comes from.
When you ditch your Excel sheets for real hotel management software you will dig deeper into your audience and realize there is a whole new world to conquer.