Hotel management software, 4 tips for your hotel

Slope Software Gestionale Albergo

The management software for hotels is undoubtedly the fundamental tool for the management of a small or large accommodation facility.
However, during the selection and evaluation phase of a management software, we often limit ourselves to considering and evaluating only some aspects, when in reality the basic functionalities for the hotel owner and his team are many.

In this article we try to explain what are the aspects, functionalities and features that can not be missed in a hotel management.

1. The hotel management must help you increase the revenue of your hotel

A common mistake made by many hoteliers is to see the management as a necessary tool for the sole purpose of entering reservations, registering check-in, managing billing … and little else.

This is simplistic and wrong, especially because a modern management system must offer the basic metrics and functionalities on which to base the hotel’s business strategy.
The management system should not therefore be seen as an instrument that is acquired and that can remain unchanged without evolving. This is because the hospitality market is constantly changing and staying anchored in a static system means staying behind and losing competitiveness in a very fierce market.
It is evident that in recent years the tasks that must be able to carry out the management have increased and the line of demarcation between what is the task of management and what is instead the task of marketing, promotion or revenue tools becomes less and less clear.

Hoteliers are looking for integrated software solutions that can process data, create email marketing campaigns, define promotions and send quotes from a single point.

A management PMS must help those working in the hotel to propose their customers offers and after-sales solutions that can be purchased after their booking. We refer to revenue strategies such as cross sell (sale of additional services after the stay) and upsell (ie the sale of higher level rooms).

Example of automated upselling

Mario Rossi decides to book a double for the New Year’s weekend.
A week before his arrival an email is sent to him in which he is informed about the possibility of using the Junior Suite with a 20% addition.

Mario Rossi simply has to accept the upgrade and the reservation will be updated automatically.

2. The PMS must make the work in the hotel easier!

What good is a PMS if some hoteliers continue to use paper support or external spreadsheets as excel to carry out some operations?

A PMS must simplify some tasks such as:

  • automatic generation of files for the reporting of tickets lodged with the state police;
  • generation of ISTAT documents;
  • management of the tourist tax, specifying age ranges and category of exemptions;
  • management of the state of cleanliness of the lodgings;
  • and much more!

Another fundamental requirement is the “dynamism“.
A dynamic and versatile pms allows you to enter group or individual bookings quickly and easily.
Just think about who runs a structure near railway stations or airports and receives calls from business customers who want to know availability and prices in less than a minute. A pms therefore must make this data accessible in a few clicks and in an intuitive way, because this is one of those cases in which “time is money“.

In addition, when we have to register bookings, it must be possible to choose whether to apply discounts, surcharges, add extra services, discount codes.

3. Reputation is at stake every day with every guest

A complete and cloud-based management system allows you to monitor customer satisfaction and reviews, which nowadays play a key role in brand reputation.

The management PMS can help the hotel in managing the reviews by connecting with the manager of a channel, allowing you to stay more updated on what guests say about the accommodation on some sites such as TripAdvisor or Booking.com.

Being proactive in managing reviews, managing to seize weaknesses and strengths, will help the hotel gain more credibility and, possibly, more guests!

4. The management PMS of the hotel must be all of a piece with the Channel Manager

How can the management be able to help the hotel staff manage the OTAs?

The channel manager whose purpose is to make the hotelier forget the manual synchronization of rates and availability on the various portals such as Booking.com, Expedia or Hotels.com, allows to work effectively only if this is integrated with the PMS management, allowing you to manage everything from a single interface.

This option tends to eliminate overbooking, but above all it allows a transparent and centralized management of the reservation flow.

What do we want to say?

If the customer Mario Rossi makes a reservation on an OTA portal, this is sent to the channel manager who will then send it to the management that will show all the details and data of the case.
If instead a customer calls into the hotel and book a room, the management software PMS will inform the channel manager (and consequently the OTA portals) that the number of rooms for sale has been reduced by 1 unit, thus avoiding the overbooking.

How can the Slope management software help your hotel?

Slope is a complete, cloud and “all-in-one” hotel management software.
So the hotelier and his staff will find in a single platform all the software tools that he needs both for the purely managerial aspects and for those more oriented to marketing and revenue.

A hotel that uses outdated management software loses money every day for two reasons:

  1. significantly reduces its earnings;
  2. increases the costs of management.

If for the management of your structure:

  • you are not using any software;
    or
  • you are using old software;
    or
  • you’re using software that you can not use because it’s cumbersome or slow.

Call us and find out how Slope can simplify your life and make you earn more!

Social Media Marketing for Hotels: the winning strategies for obtaining direct bookings

In previous articles we have defined what are the pieces of the puzzle that makes up our web marketing strategy, going to explain:

  • the importance of a content marketing strategy to create high quality content;
  • the role of emails to increase direct bookings;

In this article we will list what are the guidelines to be followed to try to attract visitors through social networks using them as an advertising vehicle, both to position and strengthen their brand.

On which social networks should an hotel aim?

Before starting to talk about a latent demand, editorial planning and advanced advertising strategies, we need to understand which social networks we need to focus on in order to increase the visibility of our accommodation.

Some think it is enough to create their own profile on all possible and imaginable social networks (Wikipedia lists 206), publish some content and wait for customers that decide to book. I anticipate that unfortunately that does not work especially because not all platforms are suitable for advertising and launching a hotel.

To give a trivial example, a platform like Twitter is less suitable than Instagram, this not only for the number of users (7 million Twitter against 16 million Instagram) but because Twitter is mainly suitable for “microblogging”, while on Instagram you can share “experiences”, and experiences are the keystone in the travel industry.

Of course if the goal is to use social media as an advertising bill on which to camp their offer, it is clear that what makes available the largest audience is obviously Facebook. Following we can find Instagram , that is the social network of millennials and finally we have to pay attention also to Google+, which even if it is a desert from the point of view of the community is very useful from the SEO viewpoint.

Email marketing strategies for hotels: 4 advantages for hotels

Email Marketing Hotel Albergo Agriturismo

The automation of email marketing in a hotel is a strategy too often underestimated, in fact one of the mistakes that is most frequently committed is to forget the past customers, who are summarily placed in the mailing list after the stay and then be bombarded with email without a clear strategy.

In this article we will explain how important is for a hotel management software to include an email marketing automation system that starts with creating targeted email campaigns. Identify and segment customers based on the information that customers have provided during their stay in the facility.

What does it mean to automate email marketing at the hotel?

The automation of email marketing for your hotel allows you to work smarter and faster, having different data on one platform.
Automating email marketing means creating email campaigns directly from the management PMS in a few clicks, keeping track of openings, undelivered messages and campaign conversions, trying to understand what works and what does not.

The automation of hotel marketing provides the competitive advantage necessary to enter even more in contact with guests, directing them to promotions and offers more suited to them.

4 benefits of marketing automation for your hotel

1) Start email marketing campaign

Guests want to receive quick, accessible and relevant information.
The emails that are provided by customers along with their preferences are included in the CRM, a tool that can track guest data, grouping them with customized tags and filters. Once you know the preferences of the guests and the reason for their stay, it becomes easier to launch email campaigns in which to customize the message and offer targeted promotional packages.

2) Automate cross-selling and up-selling

Using a single tool to manage your hotel allows you to automate up-selling and cross-selling, sales strategies that bring a significant slice of revenue into the cases of your accommodation.

The cross sell makes it possible to automate the sale of additional services such as SPA treatments, catering, entertainment and much more. In this way it offers its customers the opportunity to make their stay even more unique, offering them the purchase of additional services in a professional and elegant way, this will make them happier and more satisfied, thus improving the reputation of the hotel.
For example, at the time of booking or a few days later, the customer may be offered an email to add contingent services to the stay such as: spa package, horseback riding or wine tasting.

Important is also the upsell of the room that is proposed to the customer and purchased even before it arrives in the structure.

3) Analyze reports and data

Analyzes in an analytical way the reports that your management provides you after starting an email marketing campaign, taking into account some important data such as open rate, finished messages in spam and unsubscriptions from the mailing list.
For example, you can monitor which offers or services are more relevant and attractive to certain groups of guests.
Moreover the analysis helps to eliminate from the contact list those who are not really interested in what is offered.

4) Increase leads and keep the brand alive

Sending targeted emails allows you to increase direct bookings and keep your customers’ interest in your hotel alive.
Maybe they have not yet booked their stay and reading the email will decide to play it safe and to book in the same place where they stayed the previous year.

⚠️ Attention to the sanctions of the Privacy Guarantor

This practice can entail different risks because if a user decides to unsubscribe this data will not be synchronized in the management system, leading the hotel owner to run into the risk of serious fines.
Not complying with the non-cancellation of the newsletter may lead to a claim in the first instance to the Privacy Guarantor and in the second instance to a summons for compensation for damages and the termination of harassment to the Justice of Peace.

These aspects have become even more rigorous and restrictive with the GDPR.

Conclusions

We can therefore say that nowadays managing the marketing processes from a single platform is essential to facilitate the launch of promotional offers and increase the conversion rate in complete safety.

 

Visual Marketing Hotel: when the image is everything

Visual Marketing Hotel Albergo Agriturismo

The old adage “a picture is worth more than 1000 words“, today more than ever it has taken on a fundamental role, seen and considered the rise of visual marketing, a subject that has become even more prevalent with social networks and mobile devices.

For some hotels, visual marketing means uploading beautiful photos of their structure, but in this marketing perspective it is not enough to have beautiful photos, because in the digital age it is necessary to create continuous amazement, trying to keep the attention threshold high.

Images and social media

Facebook, Instagram but also Pinterest play a decisive role in conveying images of their hotel structure.
Precisely for this reason visual communication must be treated in every detail, and if possible, we must always try to tell a story.
Users access social media for different reasons and at a frenetic pace, only the care of every detail will be able to bring out their products and implement a proper visual marketing strategy.

On Facebook there is little to add, except that it is the privileged channel to tell not only the hotel, but all that gravitates around it as events in the vicinity and the history of the territory in which your reality is located.
Instagram is the social network where visual communication dominates, especially among young people, who like to tell their stories through images.
Pinterest, even if in Italy does not seem destined to succeed, allows to build bulletin boards organized according to the interests of images.

Via Condotti and booking engine

There’s the rub!

Many hoteliers believe that it is enough to invest in a good website and social content to close the circle of visual marketing, but in the case of the hotel industry it is not at all like that.

Let’s do a practical EXAMPLE!

You are walking along Via Condotti in Rome, when suddenly you are struck by the wonderful shop window. You decide to enter and remain totally bewitched by the beauty and quality of the clothes, then ask the shop assistant to try a dress, she obviously consents and tells you that to try it you have to go in the alley behind the store, a sort of warehouse to heaven open and dreary place of walking for people with little reassurance.
Then enter the “dressing room“, you look around disgusted and pretend to try the dress in front of a mirror that does not exist and then go out quickly, inventing an excuse to leave as soon as possible and of course without buying anything.

We invented this story to compare the boutique with your hotel and the dressing room to try out the dress at your booking engine. When users are ready to book a stay after browsing the website far and wide, they go to the booking engine that must be intuitive, responsive for each device but above all reassuring (and secure) regarding the transmission of personal data and credit card!!!

So if the customer does not feel comfortable in the delicate flow of booking with good probability will flee and end up booking elsewhere, and the only thing that remains to be hoped is that at least book a stay from you anyway (of course through an intermediary) .

What was needed to make a great site with images and professional content if then the conversions do not arrive?

Beware of quotes!

Similar discourse should be made for quotes of stay, because as you well know you can see all sort of things (literally!)

When a customer sends an email to the hotel to request a quote for a stay, the hotelier or receptionist takes time to:

  • check availability in your own management;
  • check the rate;
  • copy-paste the standard response text and replace the requested room prices;
  • insert a sentence accompanying the offer.
  • send!

This process, as well as being costly in terms of time, requires the personalization of the offer for each customer, is risky in terms of possibility of error, is not captivating in terms of graphical interface and not the ability to measure how many quotes are converted into reservations.

This process is easily remedied using a pms that allows you to create quotes directly from the management, going to select the required offer and providing a series of elegant and professional-looking templates, eliminating the risk of running into email with fonts and sizes different.

Some contents or functionalities here are not available due to your cookie preferences!

This happens because the functionality/content marked as “YouTube” uses cookies that you choosed to keep disabled. In order to view this content or use this functionality, please enable cookies: click here to open your cookie preferences.

If it was not clear enough, today more than ever, the control of visual communication translates into more direct online sales.