Whether it is manually updating your room available on Meta tourist engines, answering countless emails to potential customers who want to book a room with you or the issue of overbooking. Channel management in hospitality brings a number of challenges. However, tackling these very areas on a daily basis is necessary for hotels to remain in the competition.
With the unstoppable advances in technology, Revenue Managers have a great opportunity to not only manage many of these relevant domains, but also save costs and generate more revenue.
In the past, we have also discussed the common challenges in Channel Management. In this article, we will further outline some unusual and mostly ignored aspects of hotel management channel management. These areas may not affect your distribution directly, but will certainly affect your channel management in an indirect way.
If these are taken care of, stock distribution will be a smoother task and effective too.
Rate parity is a hugely difficult area in hospitality and requires maintaining the consistency of prices across various distribution channels, such as the brand website, OTAs, etc. Hotels often claim the ‘best price guarantee’ on their site to get their customers to to feel confident that they do not have to look for a better price elsewhere.
The problem here, however, is that no site can claim to offer the lowest possible price, no matter how many hotels advertise the ‘best price guarantee’ on their own sites. Customers will definitely find another site with a better price. This breeds frustration and lack of satisfaction and trust in the hotel among customers.
One solution to this problem would be to gain customer confidence by maintaining rate parity to meet the price expectations of different customer segments and those who reach you when they have made their interest rate comparison on different platforms. Ensuring this would preserve interest rate integrity, ensure transparency and curb price discrimination. To guarantee speed stability and accuracy, efficient and cost effective management of various distribution channels requires to secure high volume bookings every night. That’s when a comprehensive Rate Parity tool and an advanced online channel distribution tool come in handy.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Online Reputation Management (ORM)
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is another very important aspect of the hospitality sector and therefore needs the utmost attention. Hotels today primarily handle CRM online and therefore coincide with the term Online Reputation Management.
When it comes to online reputation, any wise mind will swear by the crucial role of social media. The sites used in electronic distribution with regard to social media work in tandem as they allow the travel community to interact and build on each other’s thoughts, especially in terms of reviews.
This process has basically four main stages. The first phase is the stage of absolute non-acceptance by the customer. The second phase is the indifference / consideration phase, where a customer has doubts about the level of service satisfaction of a hotel. The third stage is the “joy” scene. Here the customer is completely satisfied with your services. The fourth phase is when customers become your advocates and actively bring business to you with the help of promotion and referrals. ORM aims to bring customers from the first phase to the fourth phase.
ORM can help hotels keep their guests in the loop with important information such as inventory, prices and discounts regularly. Poor channel management equals poor customer relationship management, which is why a solid information system that helps efficient channel management is one of the potential solutions to the key challenges of electronic distribution of challenge challenges. Some other factors that influence your CRM strategy are:
The way a hotel communicates with its site visitors
The method of obtaining customer information and using it to develop strategies
Behavior after staying with customers who choose to write reviews on metaturism sites
As long as your hotel manager takes care of the above factors, you can win visitors’ trust in your property.
Any service deficit in any of the distribution channels is reflected in the reviews written by consumers. Your hotel’s serving functions are therefore open to the world with just one click. Negative reviews often become an obstacle to the new visitor’s purchase decision. To meet this challenge, hotels need a strong mechanism to monitor feedback from various booking channels and analyze the performance of that channel from there.
We can see that all of the above issues happen to be quite complicated and yet face almost every hotel, especially the growing ones. The good news, however, is that there is a simple solution to these problems.
How a Channel Manager Can Help Your Channel Management
A channel manager is an online tool that lets you integrate information from all your distribution management and use it for a variety of purposes – monitor your channel’s performance over time, add or delete channels, change cross-channel prices, name it! Look at some of its tremendous benefits that you can get.
Increase online bookings
A Shift report indicates a 7% increase in online bookings and the same will only increase now. A channel manager allows you to focus on your channel selection funnel sales from.
A Channel Manager helps you update rates and room availability across different channels with just a few clicks, allowing you to accept more bookings faster. You may also have different rates on different channels according to the dominant market segment in each of your channels to generate increasing revenue.
Without a channel manager, you are forced to share your inventory among channels and invite the risk of double bookings or lower booking volume. Combined inventory and automated real-time room updates mean that guests can only ever book a room that is actually available.
Improve brand recognition
Channel managers help you integrate your data with many popular OTAs, helping your property to be listed in as many places as possible and gaining popularity.
Increase direct bookings
OTAs may make up the majority of your sales channel, but a channel manager will help you offer your audience alternatives, such as your own site, which will eliminate commission from your bookings going to that OTA for each transaction.
Remove manual processes
Having a channel manager means no manual update on Meta tourist sites or answering countless questions from guests. This way, you keep both your staff and guests fully informed of the important information about your bookings and availability.
Today, we have the technology to be able to control the most dynamic area of a hotel operation, channel management, at your fingertips. Therefore, it would be unwise to use these tools to tap into the unexplored revenue-maximizing and cost-saving potential of your hotel.