2 Horrors Of Accommodation Houses And How To Avoid Them
Keeping your rooms as full as possible is essential to your bottom line. Customer satisfaction is also a key component to your profit margin.
Yet, you’ll encounter two problems – double bookings and missed reservations – that work against you. Today, we look at two horrors of accommodation houses and how to avoid them.
We’ll look at why double bookings and missed reservations cause problems and how to minimize them. First, let’s look at the horror of double booking.
If you’re the owner of a hotel, inn or bed & breakfast, we bet you’ve spent a few nights worrying about accidental double bookings. Not only a “horror,” the thought of double booking your rooms and not having a room for a customer can be your worst nightmare.
How do double bookings occur? Generally, they happen when you have a faulty booking system. For example, one customer reserves a room, but your system doesn’t automatically update and books the room again.
Other times double bookings can happen when you utilize several reservations sites to sell your rooms. And, let’s face it, some managers purposely double book so they’ll have a full hotel.
The problem with double booking is that it has the potential to create two huge problems – one for you, and one for your customers as well.
You may have the best inn in town, but if customers lose faith in you because you double book rooms, you’ll notice your reservations plummet. (tweet this) Bad customer reviews travel fast these days with the Internet and social media on the scene.
What’s more, you may find yourself having to give customers rooms at a deep discount to keep them happy. Or, you might find yourself having to upgrade customers.
For example, your customer reserved a king room, but you double booked your king rooms. The only room you have left is an executive suite. You move your customer to this room. Shortly after, someone wants to reserve the more expensive suite, and you’re left empty handed.
In the worst case scenario, you have no rooms to offer. This means inconveniences for your customer and bad reviews. You want to avoid this at all costs.
Now let’s discuss how to avoid double booking rooms.
Don’t Use Third-Party Sites
One of the biggest culprits of double booking is the use of third-party sites to book rooms.
Consider the many ways available to customers for making a reservation:
- Over the phone
- On your website
- Through a travel agent
- Through an online travel site
- Through a comparison site
- At your front desk
All of these options leave a lot of room for mistakes. They make double booking incredibly easy, especially when things don’t update in real time.
Avoid using third-party sites and have your customers book directly with you. If you aren’t using a software system to do this, consider using a hotel reservation system right on your website. This helps you avoid the problem of double bookings.
Choose the Right Software
When it comes to choosing software to manage your bookings, you want to look for one that integrates with your website.
When you use a booking system right on your website, you’ll never double book a room again. An online reservation system keeps track of your rooms and availability for you.
As soon as a room is booked, the room becomes immediately unavailable on your website so there is no room for error.
Double bookings are stressful, and with a booking system integrated into your website, you can easily view and manage bookings so you are always up-do-to-date on sold and available rooms.
Another horror of accommodation houses is the missed reservation. You’ve probably lost sleep once or twice about this as well.
Perhaps you’ve even encountered this – the guest who arrives, and you have no room to provide them, even when they think they’ve booked it.
As with the double booking, this is a situation ripe for anger and frustration. You can bet your customer is furious that they booked a room, and you somehow missed it. This can also cost you money and terrible customer reviews.
One way to avoid missing a reservation is to always require a credit card up front and to send an email confirmation to each guest.
There are also many upsides to capturing your guest’s credit card information up front:
- Your process the monetary information up front and have a record of the reservation.
- You are protected against no-shows with your policies in place.
- You are also protected against cancellations assuming you’ve explained the time-frame in writing and guests have agreed to it.
- Getting the credit card info acts as a safety net for both missed reservations and double booking issues.
With nearly 150 million hotel reservations made online each year, you can see how there might be some room for error. When it comes to online booking, let your customers go straight to the source – your hotel website. This eliminates the chance for errors when multiple booking agents are involved.
Take great care to how you manage your bookings. This will not only increase your booking efficiency, but your bottom line and revenue.
When it comes to double booking or missing a reservation, we know these are your worst nightmares. Getting a reservation wrong is bad for your guest and bad for your hotel.
When it comes to booking systems, make sure yours is integrated with your website and is capable of showing you automatically when a room has been booked and is unavailable to avoid the horrors of accommodation houses.
With built-in online booking systems right on your website, you also make it easy for your customers to make a reservation. Offer the best prices and a customer-friendly reservation system. You want to streamline the reservation and payment process for your customers.
When all is said and done, it’s a great feeling to know that you’ve done everything possible to ensure your customer’s stay from booking to departure day is comfortable, straightforward and simple.
Do you have a website with an online booking system? If not, we can help!
At Hotel Propeller, we build functional, beautiful websites. You’ll find everything you need to attract guests to your website, make reservations easy and avoid booking problems. Take a look at our showcase and contact us today.
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