As COVID-19 continues to affect the travel industry globally, it is important to be observant about industry forecasts and trends. As hotels begin to plan for the initial rebound in travel demand it will be important to outline the hotel’s recovery strategy.
But as a hotel owner, are you leveraging the benefits that cutting-edge hospitality technology platforms offer? A channel manager is one of them. If not, it’s time to adopt one and gain a competitive edge over your competition to serve guests better and stay profitable in the long-run.
In this blog, we are going to share top 10 reasons why you should go for a channel manager, especially amid and post COVID.
- Expanding online presence – In order to get a larger share of online guests, it is important to be present on all online channels. Expand your online reach by partnering with all major OTAs relevant for your property. One smart move will be to move on local OTAs if not there already. This is because people are more likely to travel local and national first than international. To carry out this structure, you certainly need a channel manager to enforce this approach.
- Managing multi-channel platforms better – As already mentioned in the point above, expanding online reach is even more important in the current situation. In lines with this approach, you will need a Channel Manager to efficiently help manage these different channels for availability and rates on these platforms.
- Keeping a track on competition – Channel manager enables hoteliers and revenue managers to react to market changes and competition strategy. Keeping a close watch on the competition and market condition regularly will enable you to have a winning strategy and stay ahead of your competition.
- Avoiding bookings errors– Booking errors are common if you do not have a smart technology in place. A smart channel manager helps avoid such errors in making wrong reservations as it provides hotels with a real-time update about room availability and reservations, eliminating the risk of wrong room reservations.
- Preventing double bookings – Double booking is a nightmare for hoteliers. It can negatively impact a hotel’s business and reputation. Channel manager helps hotels with a real-time status of room availability and reservations, thereby eradicating the risk of double booking a room. Hotels can easily manage their bookings from across the globe without a risk of double-booking.
- Aligning your Marketing and Revenue Management Strategy –When creating your recovery plan, it is important to align your revenue management in line with rate strategy and parity across different channels. Apart from this, you should also consider re-looking direct booking perks, any new offers and deals & packages.
- Offering best rates – Amid the COVId-19 there is less demand, besides this the demand that does exist is vividly more price conscious because these guests have less disposable income in the current environment. Travelers are very conscious before spending every penny. They are doing their research for best rates before making a booking. It only makes sense that hoteliers also relook into their inventory and rate management from the point of view of driving more revenue. Channel manager comes in handy to achieve this objective.
The most important application of data in the current marketplace is to make sure your hotel has the most competitive pricing compared to its competitors. A comprehensive Channel Manager will come in handy in this situation.
- Offering flexible cancellation policy – Right now a flexible cancellation policy is something guest’s demand the most. Considering the uncertainty due to COVID-19 outspread, a flexible cancellation policy by hotels for directing booking with them will get them more bookings as compared to OTAs, that often not providing this flexibility. An advanced channel manager helps implement a flexible cancellation policy stress- free and is an important aspect to get direct bookings for hotels.
- Enhancing Guest Satisfaction – Hospitality is a guest oriented industry. Guest satisfaction is very important in the hotel industry. A smart and modern channel manager integrated with hotel PMS makes it very convenient for the hotel staff, especially the front desk staff to manage hotel operations and serve customers better. An advanced channel manager prevents any clerical error in recording reservation data or other customer related information.
- Manage your Online reviews score – You may have direct control over your pricing, but not over your online reputation score or reviews. Having said that you still have indirect control over your reviews and reputation score. Your guests rank their experience of various elements of their stay; comprising cleanliness/hygiene, comfort, location, facilities, staff, free Wi-Fi and value for money; the majority of these factors are directly influenced by your hotel’s service delivery standards. All these are in return controlled by channel manager
Keeping the above benefits in mind, we hope you will be comfortable choosing a channel manager to keep your property not only survive but flourish in this time of dilemma. But, don’t worry we won’t keep you hanging, read on ..to know how to choose the right channel manager for your hotel.
Essentials To Consider Before Selecting A Channel Manager During Covid-19
- Check the number of OTAs, your channel manager is integrated/can connect with. The larger the number, higher are your chances of reaching innumerable markets.
- Ensure that the vendor you choose offers great support and answer your query in a short turnaround time.
- A cloud-based platform manages rates and inventory in real-time. So choose a cloud-based channel manager.
- Try a free trial of the channel manager to check whether it matches your hotel needs or not.
- To avoid recording information manually, choose a channel manager that provides two-way connectivity that can coordinate with a Property Management System ( PMS).
- Pooled inventory is a feature that helps you concurrently have all your rooms viewed across all your platforms (your websites and other websites).
- Check if it is possible to integrate the Channel Manager with various payment gateway and how to handle Credit & Debit Card data.
- Select a channel manager with a simple and easy interface. It has to be user friendly and support your language.
- There are many different models of pricing and probably many hidden costs as well.
- Go in details and find out any hidden cost, various charging costs and when they will charge. Whether you have to pay in installments or at a single time.
In the current situation of global pandemic, hotels are trying their best to keep the guest happy and confident about the service levels they are getting from the hotels. In such a situation, it is vital; to have a comprehensive channel manager so that front desk staff can focus on customer needs better. In case you have any challenges or concerns regarding inventory distribution, rate management, feel free to connect with us at…