With vaccination efforts ramping up across the U.S. and worldwide, hotels and accommodation providers are patiently awaiting the strong resurgence of leisure travel. Many operators are looking to upgrade or overhaul their existing reservation software to prepare for the surge in demand.
To help brands optimize their internal systems, business management software expert LS Retail is releasing a new eBook, 7 Factors to Consider When Selecting Reservation Software for Your Hotels and Resorts, which highlights just how essential it is for travel brands to synergize their operations with a powerful, unified, and optimized reservation system.
SkiftX unpacks the eBook’s major themes, with a rundown on the key points and offerings.
A CENTRALIZED VIEW
Accommodation facilities offer a range of services, activities, and functions. It’s crucial that all this information is centralized through a single end-to-end system that links everything in one space. Doing so helps create a smooth and seamless customer experience, avoiding delays and confusion, and preventing any doubling up on resources.
“Too many hotels still run their different functions with multiple disconnected systems, which give them a fragmented view of the business. As a result, they can’t track the guest journey effectively, or spot valuable opportunities to grow loyalty and add business value,” said Magnus Norddahl, CEO and president at LS Retail.
An efficient system ought to enable hotels to manage all kinds of reservations from all facilities, including rooms, restaurant and dining, and services and amenities (such as fitness centers and spas). It should also manage online and in-person bookings for all rooms and amenities, including group bookings and corporate bookings, with distinctive detail to unique rates, and reflexive connectivity across every department.
VISIBILITY FOR EMPLOYEES ON ALL DEVICES
The ideal reservation software should empower employees to handle every request through any point of sale (POS), mobile device, or back office computer in the organization.
Any delay, miscommunication, or blockage to real-time actioning of a guest request can be a significant disadvantage — but these are easily avoided with the correct system. Employees, whether at the front desk, hotel bar or restaurant, cleaning services, or amenities, ought to have access to all departments of the business.
PACKAGES AND BUNDLES
Guests who book travel packages tend to bring the most value. These guests book earlier, stay longer, and generally spend more than travelers who only book rooms, according to 2020 research from Expedia Group.
To upscale this valuable market segment, hotels need a reservation system that can fulfill a range of unique requests, including enabling staff to mix and match components as preferred; make the packages as extensive as required; and help keep track of sales, while keeping all parts of the business in sync.
The most desirable luxury experience a travel destination can offer is a truly personalized one. Companies using advanced personalization methods can enjoy up to a $20 return on every $1 invested, which invariably leads to exceptional guest loyalty.
To present each guest with offers and services that match their preferences, it’s crucial to follow and track the guest’s journey, getting to know their needs and habits, all the way to learning their booking patterns. The right reservation software system helps staff not only recognize the guest when they return, but facilitates greater depth and quality of personalization, with precision communication and offers built using intelligent insights. Additionally, it helps identify general trends across market segments to help design more personalized offerings.
STREAMLINED MANAGEMENT OF STAFF AND RESOURCES
The ideal reservation system ought to manage a complex mix of resources across business departments — it should show where skills can be maximized, where vacant appointments can be filled, with up-to-the-minute information on availability, cancellations, staff schedules, and accounting information, all in one easy-to-navigate interface.
ROBUST REPORTING AND INSIGHTS
As the eBook further highlights, centralizing all business and customer data helps drive crucial business insights. As disparate information streams are unified, synthesis becomes effortless, data becomes stronger and more valuable, and time, money, and resources are saved. Ideally, the reservation software would also include or provide analytics and reporting functionality, further strengthening the organization’s speed of action.
ROOM TO GROW
Finally, the right system gives room for business expansion. As well as covering the existing services, the system should be dexterous enough to be built upon — from adding new activities and amenities, to modifying setups, the system should be modular, allowing for enhanced, effortless flow as the business evolves.
“As the industry begins its recovery journey, hotels face extreme competition. To grab a share of their guests’ hearts, they’ll need to offer experiences that go beyond the ordinary. Technology that gives them a holistic overview of the business, enables them to work smarter, and helps them know their guests, while also offering a seamless guest experience on all channels, will provide hotels with a powerful differentiator,” said Norddahl.