There is a glut of online booking systems for the hotel industry. Hotel owners are under the impression that they have hundreds of options to choose from, but the reality is there are a few systems that can measure up to their expectations. Here are some features that a good system must have.
Deal with multiple scenarios
The online booking system must be able to deal with flexible rate plan and you should be allowed to set room rate for any given period. Some of the periods could include special occasions like weddings or conferences, festivals like Easter or Christmas, rates based on duration of stay, special add-ons or packages, and discount vouchers or coupons. This feature must be possible without having to duplicate or create rooms, which can cause confusion and overbooking.
The inventory management feature of the software must be up-to-date and accurate. Any wrong booking can have a negative impact on your reputation and business. It should also have features of appointment scheduling software that allows you to schedule appointments for special services like spa and beauty treatment.
Manage Booking Channels
The online booking system must also take into account the booking done on third party websites. If channel bookings are not synchronized with real inventory, it can lead to overbooking.
Internet has opened the hotel industry to worldwide audience and your software must be able to manage this. If you were targeting local market, local language software would do. However, if your hotel caters to international guest, you must get multilingual system.
Manage Multiple Properties
If you have several properties, you would prefer using the same system for all properties. The system should also include online scheduling software, which makes it easy to manage and train staff in different locations. Make sure the booking system uses a single database to manage different locations. This will make the system easier to manage and cheaper to run.
The booking system must be able to handle different types of payments and must be able to offer deals based on method chosen. Some examples of payments you are likely receive are deposit only rates, no cancellation rate, non-refundable rates, and no deposit rates.
Since additional costs are involved when online payments are accepted, your online booking system must take into account this additional cost. Also, the system must comply with all requirements of the credit card company.
Handle Reservation Process
The booking system must be able to handle the entire booking process, which includes sending conformation emails to all guests. The email must be in the language used by the guest to make reservation.
The system you buy must be affordable and include all required features. Also, the system must be easy to manage and you must not be forced to change your pricing strategy or business model for the booking system to work. The system must reduce your workload and must serve you in the best possible manner.
You must avoid buying a system that requires you to pay commission or a fee for each booking. The main objective of booking system is to make the booking process easy, and hence it must not be linked to the revenue stream.