It is, of course, stating the obvious to say reservations are the lifeblood of each and every hotel. What may be less obvious for some hoteliers, though, is exactly how to make best use of the advances offered by digital and online technology to best support and boost their business. Well, one of the smartest moves they can make is to invest in and make use of a booking engine.
If you’re unfamiliar with what a booking engine is, the principle’s simple enough. Fundamentally, it’s a software application that enables reservations to be made online by travellers. The advantage being its implementation into a hotel’s business ensures staff can get on with other tasks and no longer be bogged down in sorting out rooms for visitors by manually inputting booking details.
How so? A booking engine automatically processes reservations, safely storing all hotel guest details. Plus, of course, using a booking engine is more convenient for travellers, as it ensures they can safely make a reservation at their leisure wherever they may be, operating as it does online via their smartphones, tablets or any other Internet-accessing device.
But don’t go away with the idea that an online hotel reservation system
is only the preserve of big hotels with a multitude of rooms to fill. The explosion in popularity of online room bookings means that accommodations of all shapes and sizes have embraced the use of booking engines – not least small to mid-sized independent hotels.
Indeed, with millions of people around the world expecting to be able to seek, find and purchase products and services online on their handheld devices, they’ve realised that using a reliable booking engine for reservations is nowadays fully expected by visitors, thus a make or break component in ensuring a successful visitor experience.
For visitors to a hotel, it’s with the booking engine that the guest experience now begins – not at arrival to the hotel and its outward appearance or even the reception desk. Like it or not, the booking engine is the brand’s first – and expected – test. It’s of paramount importance then not just to put one in place for your hotel but to get it right.
The guest experience starts here – not at reception, so your booking engine is your brand’s first real test. Get it right, and it has untold potential to drive conversion and sales and incremental revenues, as well as boost productivity and efficiency throughout your business. So, if you’re a hotelier, can you really do without a booking engine anymore?