Bye Bye Spreadsheets and Hello Internet
Everything has moved on to the Net, and hospitality services are no exception. Gone are the days where your customers would have to call up the hotel at allocated times and give you their info to be written down.
The whole world is online today and you would be amiss not to follow this trend. Every worthy business in the hospitality industry has an integrated online booking system, and this could be the deciding factor between yours and others.
It really isn’t a question of whether or not to use an online booking system, but more so which to use. You need a service that takes both you and your customers as its number top priorities.
What is An Online Booking System?
As the name implies, an online booking system is a way for visitors to book and pay for reservations at your property via the internet, either with a website or a mobile app. It boasts of more features than traditional booking systems (the use of spreadsheets and logbooks) like allowing users to get a visual feel of their accommodations and allowing more flexibility in management.
It typically involves them picking a convenient slot and date, and making the payment if satisfied.
Benefits of Online Booking Systems
1. 24/7 Service
Like most things online, this is one of its greatest strengths. Imagine a situation where a potential customer suddenly decides to make a reservation at their favorite hotel in the dead of the night. Well, with an online booking system, there would no need to wait until working hours. They can just hop on to your booking site and make plans.
Typically, people make arrangements when they are off work. But this may coincide with when the hotel staff is off-duty as well. An online booking system helps to circumvent this situation.
Be it dawn, dusk, or midnight, there’s a guarantee that your customers will always be attended to.
2. Less Burden on Your Staff
Let’s be frank. Sitting by the phone all day, waiting to jot down reservations is a joyless experience. With an implemented online system, the tedious task will be covered, allowing your staff to focus more on other areas like better service towards current guests, thus increasing efficiency and productivity.
No more will there be a need to constantly call up and remind clients about their reservations, an online system does this for you.
3. A More Seamless Experience
With an online booking service, customers will no longer have to deal with being kept on hold as the service staff takes a moment for clarification on lodgings details. They have all the information they need at their fingertips.
Clients also don’t need to worry about poor cell reception and disconnected calls. With an A-grade booking system, their progress is saved even when the internet connection is lost and they can always resume the session to meet everything like they never left.
4. Worldwide Access
Now families on vacation from other countries won’t have to worry about international call rates. All they have to do is go online and make a reservation.
Timezone issues across countries also cease to become a problem. With an online booking system, your customers will be guaranteed attendance anywhere, anytime.
5. Increased Number of Customers
As your services have more access to the far corners of the world, it goes without saying that your customer base will see a significant spike. Individuals formerly unable to contact you will easily be able to do so.
6. The Impossibility of Booking Conflicts
With an internet booking service, human error is effectively erased. There would no longer be mix-ups of schedules in the logbook. When a spot is taken, it’s status is automatically updated and this is all handled by the booking system so you don’t have to worry about taking care of it yourself.
You’ll never have to experience the awkwardness and embarrassment that occurs when different visitors arrive, claiming the same room.
7. Secure and Faster Payments
Any internet-based booking system which is worth its salt has an online payment method implemented. There’s no risk of money going missing or invalid credit cards so it’s also way more secure.
Contrary to the traditional booking system which usually requires the presence of the client, online payments are done instantly, saving both the time of the business and customers.
8. Guaranteed Customer Attention
Using an online booking system forces customers to actually follow up on their commitments. Using cell phones, anyone can just call, make plans, and never show up. But an online system forces them to make a deposit whenever a reservation is made. This reduces the probably of no-shows, and the slot is automatically freed up if they ever withdraw, giving someone else a chance.
Challenges of Online Booking Systems
Nothing ever is perfect after all. Even an online booking system has its flaws.
1. A Setup Time is Required
Most online booking systems typically have a setup time of 24 hours. This might seem too much of downtime for activities, but it’s mitigated by the fact that traditional methods are still active during the setup. While waiting for the system to be ready, just let business be business as usual.
2. Initial Learning Curve
Introducing a new system brings along the aspect of training you to properly use it. Thankfully, most online booking systems come packaged with a tutorial on using them.
Once this training period is over, you’ll be sure to see a high increase in performance and productivity.
3. Increased Customer Base
Yes, this can be both a pro and a con. As the popular saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Having more customers could be a double-edged sword. Sure, you get more revenue, but on the other hand, you’ll have to beef up your services if you currently run a small operation. You may not initially be able to handle the influx of clients.
4. Constant Internet Access is Required
An online booking system needs a constantly running server to keep the website. If you decide to forgo third-party services and implement yours, you need to take this into consideration. Maintaining a server is no easy task and could take out a huge chunk of your budget.
Why You Should Choose Booking Ninjas
Booking Ninjas serves as a middleman between you and your customers. We eschew the need to build an online booking system from scratch and let you concentrate on giving your clients the utmost satisfaction they deserve.
With our advanced booking engine which allows you to manage reservations, update your rates, and tailor customer experience according to your whims, among other powerful features, Booking Ninjas is leagues ahead of our competitors in the game.
We also efficiently keep track of and handle all your transactions so you don’t have to stress yourself over them.
With us, your clients will always be left feeling secured, satisfied, and smiling.
For more information, check out Booking Ninjas solutions.