Hotel channel management software helps in the smooth distribution of rates and inventory on different OTAs (Online Travel Agencies). The process involved in the software aids a hotel to maximize bookings and increase the revenues. If you run a hotel and get to diversify your hotel’s reservation sources, you have a greater chance of getting full occupancy, and channel managers help you cater to exactly that.
Not only does the hotel channel management software help in bringing a lot of bookings, it also helps in solving the problem of overbooking or double bookings. So, to get the maximum benefits out of a channel manager, you must keep certain features in consideration. Finding the correct channel manager is important so that you do not face any hiccups in the day-to-day running of your hotel. Here is a list of features that you must be looking for in choosing a channel manager for your hotel:
The channels are the numerous websites from which travellers can book rooms at your hotel. It is a direct channel if it is done from your hotel’s website or an indirect channel if it is through OTAs. There are many OTAs that you can find on the internet these days, such as airbnb.com, Expedia.com, booking.com, etc. Therefore, it is better to select a channel manager that helps you connect with more than 100 channels. Also, make sure that the channel manager connects you with the OTAs you need to connect with.
- Automatic Pooled Inventory
This is a functionality that helps you share all your rooms across each one of your channels (your website and various other websites) at the exact time. When someone makes a booking on a website, the channel manager gets the booking and in turn communicates the same to other channels that the particular room is now unavailable. Such an action decreases inventory across every online booking site, thereby removing any risk of overbooking.
Hence, the channel manager you choose must have a real-time data sync that makes sure that your hotel booking chart and OTAs are updated that very second.
- Revenue management
The channel manager you choose should allow you to conveniently update the rates within the system. In addition to this, the channel manager should have the functionality to help you manage rates to implement better revenue strategies. Another feature that the channel manager must have is to maintain same rates across all channels so that you do not lose any potential revenue.
You must check for any and every functionality that will help in boosting the revenue of your hotel. If the choice is right, then revenue management becomes very easy with the help of a correct channel manager.
- Ease of Use
This is an important feature that your channel manager should possess. It should be simple to learn and must offer an easy interface. Additionally, it should also offer training in the language that you and your staff are able to understand. Hence, it is best to use the channel manager that is user-friendly and has a multi-language training library.
- Ability to Handle Last Minute Cancellations
Choose a channel manager that is able to sell last minute cancellations. For this, it should be able to update inventory in real-time.
- Helps you map your Future Rates
A useful channel manager will help you plan and deduce future rates and occupancies keeping in mind the competitor prices. In other words, it enables you to keep tab on what your competitors are up to when it comes to rates.
- Manage Reviews
A channel manager must be such that it helps you to see the online ratings and reviews of your competitors as compared to your hotel. It should also provide you with the feature of examining the problem areas and managing reviews from one interface only. The reputation of your hotel is extremely important, and an appropriate channel manager helps you monitor and act on it (as and when needed).
The channel manager that best suits your hotel will only help your business grow in the long term. Hence, do not rush in making a decision and carefully look for the above-mentioned features to make an informed choice.