Will robot receptionists take our place?

robot receptionist

Robots are already present on a large scale in industrial production. There are advanced machines capable of building and producing complex parts on a large scale with unique efficiency and with almost zero margins of error.

The receptionist robots are appearing in the hospitality sector and some accommodation facilities that we can consider both as avant-garde and niche are already adopting them to welcome their customers.

Is the robot receptionist part of the Hospitality 4.0 revolution?

In our podcast we continuously talk about automation of production processes and we define this trend as “Hospitality 4.0″, therefore it is legitimate to ask whether receptionist robots also have a place within context 4.0.

Before answering this question, however, we must understand where to draw the dividing line between those operations that must be automated because they are intrinsically subject to errors and those operations that necessarily need a human touch.

To give an example we can think of the channel manager; the channel is one of the first software tools that was introduced on a large scale in the hotel in order to automate a process of a long, repetitive and expensive nature in the event of an error.

An error of synchronization of an online distribution portal (OTA) turns out to be expensive because it involves the obligation to reprotect a possible overbooking with all the costs that follow.

If instead we think of other types of operations such as:

  • welcoming a client who arrived tired after a long journey;
  • provide useful recommendations on things to do or see in the city;
  • handle a conflict or problem that arose while staying at the facility.

It is evident that these are operations that only a human being (prepared and competent) is able to manage in the best way. Managing a situation of this type well is not always trivial and the management aspects are almost infinite.

Offer hospitality … don’t just sell rooms

In our blog and in our corporate vision we talk about “hospitality“, a term not taken by chance!

Hospitality is a very specific concept that is profoundly different from the “sale of rooms”.

Offering hospitality means presenting the customer with that something extra; open the doors of your structure to a traveler who, whether he comes to us for pleasure or for work, wants to discover our places for a few days.

For these reasons, thinking that all front desk operations are delegated to a robot is not part of the “hospitality 4.0” vision.

This does not mean that in a future dominated by cyborgs, there will be no robots capable of carrying out acceptance, concierge and booking activities … we cannot know exactly.
But what we can say is that already today we are at the center of a great revolution in the way of doing hospitality, and the boundary between what has to be delegated to machines and what has to be done by hand is still easily understood.

What we need to automate and what we need to do with the (human) heart

The automation of company production processes is in their opinion the cornerstone of good hotel management. So all those cumbersome, boring and “dangerous” operations must necessarily be automated.

Another type of operations that need to be “modernized” are those that require manipulation of data and information. Thinking about having different software that does similar things without passing the data between them makes daily work inefficient and frustrating.

So to summarize, we leave the machines the repetitive and tedious tasks for which they have been designed and we hoteliers keep tight and passionately do those jobs that we know how to do better, that is to interface with the customer to offer a quality experience.

What are Google Hotel Ads

What are google hotel ads

Today we talk about what Google Hotel Ads is and find out how this metasearch can help the hotelier to increase the direct sales and visibility of his hotel.

In this article we will talk about e the Google Hotel Ads theme, an additional weapon in the hands of the hotelier to try to increase the sale of their accommodation and to increase the brand of their hotel.

Google Hotel Ads, beyond the classic metasearch

Google Hotel Ads is a metasearch and as such presents the customer with hotel prices and availability from the various platforms and compares them to each other, offering the traveler the opportunity to compare sales prices on different channels, including the official website of the hotel.

For several years now, one of Google’s main strategies has been to capture and offer the traveler all the information he needs directly in the search engine, without having to go to other sites.

This means that if for example our user like Mario Rossi is organizing a trip to Rome and type the keyword “Hotel Roma” on Google, the screen that will be in front of it will be a set of results consisting of:

  • organic search results
  • paid ads

In addition, there will also be a block dedicated to showing in the form of a grid a list of the main accommodation facilities and a Google Maps map on which the hotels are positioned with the relative best price.

By clicking on one of the hotels, the relative tab will open with even more detailed information on the accommodation and an interesting sales price grid will also be shown.

This grid shows the various sales prices of the same type of accommodation in the various distribution channels on which the hotel sells its rooms.

The novelty introduced therefore by Google Hotel Ads is to give way to the structure to present its booking engine sale price, thus giving the potential customer the opportunity to book directly without going through the OTAs.

How much does Google Hotel Ads cost the hotelier?

There is no fixed price or a fee to be paid, Google Hotel Ads offers two types of models:

  • Cost-per-click (CPC): this is the same method that Google Ads provides where the advertiser goes to pay each time a click on the sponsored ad is made.
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): you pay a commission for the reservation made through the booking engine.

Which model should you choose?

This depends on several factors, including:

  • type of structure (level and cost of rooms)
  • type of customers (business VS leisure)
  • tariff strategies (price uniformity on all channels or discount on the direct booking channel).

In both cases, whether it is a CPC or a CPA, the booking takes place on the booking engine of the accommodation.

In the specific case of the Slope management software, the channel manager integrated into the platform will be responsible for updating Google with the availability and rates of the structure, after which the reservations will be completed directly in Slope’s Booking Engine.

And have you already started to invest the budget in Google Hotel Ads? What do you think of this metasearch?

The evolution of planning for hotel

Example of a planning for hotel

What has been the technological evolution of hotel planning? What are the reasons that led the paper tableau to become a complex and powerful digital planning? What are the advantages and disadvantages that derive from it?

We will talk about the evolution of a planning for hotel, the key tool of any receptionist.
Then we will try to understand and retrace what has been its evolution over the years.

Whether you call it a tableau, a booking calendar or planning, we are still talking about a tabular interface consisting of rows on which the accommodations are shown and columns where dates are indicated as in the calendar.

Planning is the centerpiece from where the receptionist does their job:

  • inserts new reservations;
  • modify existing reservations;
  • write down the guest’s name;
  • register check-in;
  • inserts any notes;
  • mark the reservation as confirmed, optioned, group and so on.

In the beginning was the paper tableau

It all started with a paper tableau, a billboard where the hotelier wrote down everything that was booked in his facility in pen.

Colored post-it notes, reservations drawn and colored in pen, others in pencil and then erased with eraser and much more.

The tableau gave full freedom to take notes and footnote however with the advent of such a multifaceted and digitized hospitality context, paper and pen have (but in some structures are still present, alas) left space for the first rudimentary spreadsheets such as Excel.

The first digitization of planning for hotel: the spreadsheet

After the paper tableau, hoteliers more in step with the times have started to digitize and use spreadsheets like the versatile excel to record reservations and keep track of any operations.

However, the spreadsheet also has several limitations, including:

  • impossibility of being accessible via the internet;
  • manual and non-automated work to insert reservations from any distribution channel;
  • risk of losing data in case of hard disk breakage, virus, etc;
  • impossibility of synchronizing prices and availability with sales channels such as agencies or OTA channels;
  • zero control in case of overbooking.

And in the end it was the planning!

One of the tools that makes every good PMS cloud available is a digital planning.

The planning of a cloud PMS, as well as being accessible online from any device and from any location, earns the hotelier in several factors.

Safety

Reservation data is stored in the cloud and subject to continuous backups. There is no risk of losing reservations and the data is GDPR compliance.

Speed

When registering guest data on a planning of a pms cloud, several daily tasks such as ISTAT, lodged tickets and tourist tax are automated.

Precision

In the planning it is possible to record notes on guests, extras and other notes that allow you to avoid manual errors and oversights at check-out. In addition, planning, where reservations from other distribution channels such as online agencies or OTA channels are downloaded, protects you from the danger of overbooking.

Sometimes we hear that pen and paper are better tools than management software considered by some hoteliers to be “difficult to learn“.

Our advice is to try a PMS cloud, when you realize the simplicity with which you can control your structure, how many processes are automated and how much time you save, you will never go back!

5 reasons why a cloud software for hotel reservations costs less

Person at the computer that works with software for hotel reservations

Why should a hotel have cloud software for hotel reservations? What are the economic advantages of such a solution? Can cost affect performance?

In this blogpost we will give you 5 reasons why a web based cloud software for hotel reservations is a cheaper solution and probably also more efficient for the management of your hotel.

We will cover several thorny topics such as installation, maintenance, scalability, hardware and data protection costs.

Many hotels, both medium-small and large, cannot help but use a software for hotel reservations to simplify their daily work tasks.

Many hoteliers pay attention to the economic factor when choosing, so here are the reasons why a cloud PMS (Property Management System) costs less and is often more convenient than an on premise solution installed on a local server.

However, we would like to clarify that we are not talking about economic software solutions because of little or limited value, but of software solutions that are affordable in economic terms because they are optimized and scalable.

Thanks to these factors, the management costs of the application platforms are lowered and allow the hotelier to benefit from both economic and quality advantages.

1. Zero server installation costs

The “on premise” management systems are installed on a server computer which physically resides inside the hotel and which must be purchased and maintained by the structure.

When choosing a cloud software you do not need to have a server physically present in the structure, you do not have to buy any infrastructure and there are no installation costs, as it is the service provider that takes care of paying the costs of management.

In addition, with the cloud, software installation times are drastically reduced, this is because there is no need to send any technician to take care of the physical installation of the server.

2. No maintenance costs

With cloud solutions, given that the PMS provider assumes responsibility for the costs related to the server, the manager of the structure does not have to bear the costs to be incurred in case of a physical server.

This is because going to invest an on premise solution installed on a server requires regular maintenance and maintenance that end up taking money and time.

3. Safe from viruses, theft and broken hard drives

One of the biggest fears that owners of accommodation facilities often face is that of sheltering from viruses, thefts and breaking of hard drives.

If these delicate episodes occur, in the case of on premise installations (local server) there is an need for extraordinary intervention in the structure.
With a PMS cloud, data backup is guaranteed and managed by the service provider and offers considerable security that will avoid you losing valuable information and data history.

4. Continuous updates and releases with a cloud software for hotel reservations

One of the biggest advantages of the cloud are the constant updates that are released to improve performance and improve stability.

With an on premise solution, the updating costs must be borne and the hotelier must worry about updating the software version manually, risking not to use the most recent, updated and performing version.
With the web based cloud, all users of the platform use the latest version and the scalability is greater.

5. Full control from any device and from any position

Today moving to mobile is more of a necessity than an option.

A web based cloud solution is accessible from any browser for this reason the hotelier can access and manage his own structure from anywhere and from any device.

With the cloud you are not connected to the device used, nor to the workplace, an internet connection is sufficient to always have the data of your hotel available.

And what do you prefer between cloud solutions and on premise solutions?


Let us know by writing your point of view on our Facebook page.

Mobile Hotel Management Software

Mobile Hotel Management Software

Why should a hotelier choose a PMS that can also be used on mobile? What can be the management benefits for a hotel?

Mobile devices have become an integral part of everyone’s life, both professionally and personally.

However, sometimes when you talk to some hoteliers who manage medium-large hotels, you feel that it is not important for them that the PMS is accessible from mobile.

In principle, we agree, a hotel has complexities that cannot be managed in the spare time exclusively from one’s own mobile device, however, in the frenzy of the modern world it is important to always have data and numbers at hand.

We believe it is obvious that a hotelier will not use his smartphone to check-in or check-out, import the lodged file or generate the ISTAT file.

However, a 100% cloud solution allows you to have complete control over your accommodation, allowing the hotelier to supervise and manage hotel operations even when he is on the move.

In addition, full access to your data allows you to make strategic decisions based on constantly updated information and statistics and a mobile PMS allows you to access these reports anytime, anywhere.

Not only supervision, but if the hotelier wants it, you can manage rates and availability through the channel manager and send quotes.

How to choose a Mac hotel management software

mac software hotel

When choosing a Mac hotel management software for your accommodation, first of all you need to make sure that this can be performed on the main management platforms and operating systems on the market.

Some examples of the main operating systems are: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux (in the various distributions), Android and iOS (the latter for mobile devices).

How to choose a hotel management software that works on all operating systems

However, some applications cannot be installed on some of these operating systems for reasons of technical compatibility, for this reason it is important to make sure that the management platform you are purchasing is able to run on the operating system (OS) you have.

It is very important that the management software is executed without the need to resort to emulators or other stratagems that have a strong impact on the performance and speed with which the user (receptionist or hotel manager) operates on the platform.

Imagine working all day on a small window where each operation takes a long time to complete, this becomes unnerving as well as poorly productive.
For this reason it is important to choose a software solution that is not only cloud but also accessible through a common web browser.

Some cloud software solutions need to install an application (a client) on their computer or smartphone. This application communicates with the cloud server counterpart and provides the user with the interface with which to interact.

An approach of this type provides, however, that for each operating system, the software house that develops the management software creates a dedicated application; often this application is different for each operating system on which it must operate (especially if you compare a desktop version with a mobile version) and just as often the management features made available on mobile devices are far lower than those offered on the desktop.

Management Hotel Mac accessible from browser

The web based cloud applications are accessible from browsers, some examples of browsers are: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

So to access your management software, the receptionist will simply have to open the browser and type in the address (url) of the management software and log in with your login credentials.

Any device that has a browser (Mac, PC, smartphone, smart TV and tablet) will be able to access and use the hotel management software without problems or limitations.

A modern and structured hotel has several figures that revolve around the management of the structure, each with their own computer or smartphone with which to access the hotel data and perform the various tasks in the hotel.

Why choose hotel management software that can be used by any Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android operating system

One of the biggest advantages of choosing 100% cloud software is that it can be used by any operating system such as Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android.

A practical use case could be that in which the hotel has decided to install elegant Mac computers at the reception, to have a laptop or desktop PC with Microsoft Windows operating system in the manager’s office and an Android tablet (or mobile phone) in the pocket of the owner of the accommodation.

In such a varied context it is important that the hotel is equipped with management software that not only is all in one (which therefore offers all the necessary information to the receptionist, manager and owner in a single platform) but that this platform is accessible in its entirety from any device.

If you still have doubts about the difference between a cloud management software and a web based cloud management software, do not hesitate to contact us.

Slope management software can be used on any operating system and device: Mac, PC, Linux, iOS and Android

Exit intent popup for hotel

exit intent popup hotel

How can a potential customer who is about to leave the hotel website be recovered? How can exit intent popups help you from this point of view?

In this blogpost we will talk about exit intent popup for the hotel website, a useful tool to re-engage users who are about to leave the page and try to continue the booking process.

The popup windows, if implemented correctly, are an important key in the hotel marketing campaign.

What is a “popup”?

Initially there were no exit intent popups, but there were the simplest popups.

Pop-ups, created about twenty years ago, are windows that are displayed within the pages of the website and invite the user to perform an action such as:

  • subscribe to the newsletter;
  • download a content (ebook, pdf attachment);
  • complete a questionnaire;
  • send an email through a contact form.

This type of notification provided for the opening of a new browser page and was very intrusive from the point of view of the user experience. However, the unconditional and unimpeded use of pop-ups has been offside by popup blockers.

What are exit intent popups and how bookings increase

Exit intent popups are a type of content that is shown to the user when it brings the cursor out of the page in order to abandon it by navigating away, with the aim of capturing his attention again and encouraging him to remain on the site.

Exit intents are different from classic popups because they cannot be intercepted and blocked by popup blockers. Exit intents monitor mouse movement and are shown when the cursor moves outside the upper limit of the page.

The content shown is often a discount code to convince the user to end the sale or to segment a list of newsletters.

How to create exit intent popups for the hotel website

We believe that even if these tools can be considered a bit annoying, they are an excellent method to increase bookings, also because they can give your guest one more reason to book in your facility.

To create exit intents that convert to the hotel website, you need:

  • fast in loading times and simple in content;
  • insert an effective and well segmented message. If your hotel is close to a place where a congress or fair is held, make it known through the popup;
  • adequate call to action in the content that is shown;
  • attractive design and in line with the colors of the brand.

And does your website use exit intent poups? What are the conversion rates?

Let us know by writing your point of view on our Facebook page.

Online reputation control and management

Online reputation control and management for hotel

How do you monitor and manage your online reputation? How do you manage to optimize the customer journey?

When a review is synonymous with revenue

In the online distribution strategy, collecting, distributing and analyzing reviews plays an increasingly important role, this is because many travelers, before booking a room through the site’s booking engine or through any OTA channel, rely heavily on feedback and reviews left by those who has already stayed in that facility.

Knowing how to monitor the opinions coming from the different portals, responding and sharing the best reviews helps to increase the visibility and to win the trust of future guests.

Communication and customer journey

It’s important to communicate with customers via email throughout the customer journey, from the moment of check-in to check-out, so as to try to meet guests’ expectations.

Also, it’s important to go to solicit the silent mass of those who once finished their stay have not yet left a review, going to automate the process of sending the feedback form after checkout, so as to be able to analyze and understand the opinion of the guests.

In addition, through these software tools it is possible not only to manage the reviews, but also to offer upselling services, thus increasing the revenue of the structure.

How to automate online reputation management

This review check can be done through software tools that allow you to monitor and have a more in-depth knowledge of the data that is normally collected by the PMS.

Slope’s PMS is integrated with a reputation control solution such as Customer Alliance and allows you to automate the management of reviews, so that the hotelier can focus more on the services to be offered to hotel guests.

And you? How do you track online reputation?

Channel Manager: what is Channel Manager and how to choose it

What is channel manager for hotel

What is a Channel Manager? Manage the distribution on the various portals through a Channel Manager?

If a few years ago hoteliers wondered whether or not to buy a channel manager for their hotel, today there is no longer any doubt and not having this software tool can create serious management problems and complications.

Let’s find out why.

Channel Manager definition

The channel manager is a software tool that has the task of synchronizing prices, availability and reservations on all sales portals and online agencies (OTA channels) such as Booking, Expedia or Airbnb.

The channel manager, in addition to significantly reducing manual interventions to manage prices and availability of certain accommodations, protects the hotelier from overbooking.

Overbooking situations can occur when the availability of accommodation for a time interval is indicated in a specific OTA portal, but in reality there is no availability in the hotel.
So it happens that the customer makes the reservation and if the hotelier does not realize the error, then the customer will risk arriving at the hotel without having a room to stay.

It is therefore clear that the channel manager’s task is to simplify the hotelier’s job and reduce the possibility of making mistakes regarding availability to zero.

What are the advantages offered by the channel manager?

The main advantages offered by this software tool are:

  • Automatically synchronize availability, prices and restrictions on OTA portals;
  • Download reservations from OTA channels directly to the PMS;
  • Reduce staff costs as the opening and closing of the accommodation is done automatically;
  • Manage the sale of housing from a single control panel.
Image that explain what is a channel manager for hotel

Channel Manager: 5 tips to keep in mind

1.Channels with two-way XML connection

It must have a two-way connection with XML system: this is because it has a bidirectional software interface with a “server to server” communication capable of exchanging data between the channel manager itself and the OTAs, with which prices, availability and registration are communicated of reservations that will arrive at the hotel.

2.Single interface from which to manage the different OTA channels

Often those who stay at the front desk in the hotel find themselves in difficulty with the management of the various extranet panels of the OTA channels.
A channel manager must allow you to manage the availability and prices of the different portals from a single platform, allowing you to simplify these steps as much as possible.

3.Maximum flexibility

It must guarantee flexibility.
This implies the possibility of varying availability, deciding how many and which accommodations to sell, closing certain rates and setting minimum and maximum stays.

4.Connected with the PMS and the booking engine

The channel manager must interface with the pms, crs and the booking engine.
First of all to avoid going overbooked, but also to synchronize the data of the customers who made the booking.
A “friendly” CM connects directly to the hotel planning and shows for each day in question which rooms are free and which are occupied, giving at a glance a clear view of the state of openings and closings.

5.Reporting

A clear and detailed reporting of the bookings coming from the different sales portals allows you to be clear on which channels to invest in the most. The reports must be supported by graphs and by the setting of filters that provide today’s occupation and number of bookings registered per month.

Practical case of using the Slope Channel Manager

Let’s take a practical example of how Slope’s channel manager works and what happens when a booking arrives from an OTA portal.

1.The hotelier sets up his own channel manager and offers 5 lodgings (standard double room) for sale on the OTA portal, setting prices and rates.
2.Mario Rossi books a double room for two nights on the Booking portal with check-in on August 15, 2019.
3. The CM receives Mario Rossi’s booking data and deals with:

  • Decrease the availability of the master bedroom of that period (from 5 to 4)
  • Download the reservation within the planning, indicating Mario Rossi’s data
  • Update availability also within the PMS, so as to avoid overbooking with the same booking engine
  • In the event that the customer Mario Rossi decides to cancel the reservation in the OTA portal, the channel manager will update the availability from 4 to 5.

Hotel Blogging: The advantages of a blog for the hotel

Hotel Blogging: The advantages of a blog for the hotel

How can a hotel take advantage of a blog? What are the reasons why a blog can increase the conversations of an accommodation? Why should a hotelier invest time in it?

In this article we will talk about the importance of having a blog to promote your hotel, giving advice on how to produce and share quality content with the aim of increasing the structure’s visibility and brand.

The creation and care of the blog also falls within the promotion strategy of a hotel. The visual content that dominates most hotel sites is important, however a constantly updated blog brings benefits in terms of SEO (indexing) and in terms of brand growth.

The advantages of a blog for the hotel

The blog for a hotel must be a tool to tell what is happening around the accommodation facility (events, courses, tours, awards …). However, to achieve this goal you need authentic and original content that involves a community and that creates trust.

The hotel blog can become a flywheel not only for the sale of stays, but also for ancillary services such as show cooking or a promotion of the wellness center, thus also intriguing those who live near the structure.

One of the advantages is that of establishing a bidirectional communication channel, this aspect allows you to show the “human side of the structure“, in fact you are going to communicate simply and directly with the public, thus helping the storytelling process.

The goal of the blog for a hotel must be to create:

  • reach (reach of people who can get in touch with the contents of the blog);
  • engagement (ability of a content to create relationships with users);
  • conversions (bring the user to finalize a reservation).

As discussed in the last episode of the podcast regarding email marketing, guests wish to receive relevant information, and the type of content offered by the blog can be ideal because they attract attention.

4 reasons to invest in a hotel blog

  • Create content that improves indexing and search engine rankings
  • Promote not only stays, but also extra services
  • Create a community that is truly interested in your content, further retaining your audience
  • Increase the visibility and brand of your facility

Put the website at the center of your communication strategy

We believe that with the advent of social networks, the accommodation facilities are somehow producing content, however they do so only in the social context, increasingly forgetting that the website is the fulcrum from which to start your communication strategy.

Content creates relationships. Relationships are based on trust. Trust brings conversions.

Does your property have a blog? Have you ever considered investing time in it?

Let us know by writing your point of view to the email address podcast@slope.it or on our Facebook page.

Email Marketing Hotel: the right way

email marketing hotel

Which are the promotional emails that convert the most? How can a hotel really benefit from the newsletters it sends? But above all, is there still a need to talk about email marketing?

In this blogpost we will talk about email marketing, a topic that if addressed and treated in the right way, can bring a great benefit to hotel finances.

We will analyze the issue of email marketing, trying to outline guidelines and strategies, also with a view to disintermediation.

The advent of new communication tools, emails still play a pivotal role, especially because they allow you to communicate directly to the potential guest.
Checking the e-mail inbox is now part of the “digital awakening” of many users, once sipping coffee in the morning while reading the newspaper, today the newspaper has been replaced by the smartphone and checking the early morning emails has become almost a ritual for many people.

A well-written email with the right catchy and interesting subject is more likely to be open and read.

Once the email is opened, users are known to appreciate “good deals” and exclusive opportunities, for this reason it is important to take advantage of the newsletter to make the user feel “exclusive” and “special” by offering special economic conditions.

Last, but not least, it is also a great deal of ease in calculating the ROI, as the performance of an email campaign can be tracked without too much difficulty and allows you to better understand which services and promotions “work” the most.

Profiling + planning = booking

One of the mistakes that is made when you have a list of contacts (if you have one) is to send mass emails that are the same for everyone, without segmenting the audience based on tastes and interests.

The next step is the creation of an editorial plan that leads to the sending of emails that convert.

In this case it is essential that within the emails:

  • the texts are readable from any platform (multi-device)
  • avoid items like “unmissable offer summer 2019 !!!!!!”
  • avoid messages without call to action and with lean content.

Guests want to receive quick and relevant information. In this regard, it is important that the content creates relationships, must attract without being invasive, giving useful advice on any events in the city and which could attract the attention of the guest.

A single tool from which to manage customers and email marketing

In this process of profiling and email marketing planning, it is essential to have a software tool available that aggregates the various data.

The email addresses provided by the guests must be entered in the CRM, thus allowing to segment the audience thanks to personalized tags and filters. Once you know the preferences of the guests and the reason for their stay, it becomes easier to start email campaigns in which to personalize the message and offer targeted promotional packages.

Sending email marketing directly from the management allows you to analyze the reports, taking into account some important data such as open rate, messages finished in spam and unsubscribe from the mailing list (GDPR compliance).

Strategies for setting rates and prices for children

Strategies for setting rates and prices for children

What are the main pricing strategies for children? How should I set up my pricing policy in order to simplify work and maximize earnings?

In this article we will talk about the difficulties of some hoteliers in the enigmatic definition of rates and prices for children.

We will reflect on how for some types of structures an accurate and meticulous definition of prices for children can be a source of revenue that should not be underestimated, while for other types of hotels the incidence of younger guests can be seen as a voice of negligible budget.

Family tourism: management of age groups and prices

The first step in setting a correct tariff policy is to outline the age groups of the children. Defining the age groups exactly allows you to segment the price even more scrupulously, so as to have a clearer sales strategy.

Once this is done, it is necessary to understand the ways in which prices can be defined, i.e. whether to apply a fixed price regardless of the prices set for the adult, a percentage discount on the price that the adult would have paid or a fixed discount always compared to the price per adult.

Flexibility and granularity

The type of flexibility and granularity that the management software must make available in order to set prices precisely and as desired by the hotelier.

Fundamental is the ability to set different discounts based on the number of children in a booking.
In addition, the management must give the opportunity to offer different discounts depending on the booked treatment: that is, to be able to set a percentage discount for the half board treatment sold in the double room and a fixed discount for the overnight stay treatment sold in the double room.

Flexibility that must not only be on the management PMS side but also on the booking engine, channel manager and CRM side.

In fact, the booking engine must also allow the potential customer to receive a cost estimate according to his needs, modulating the offer as defined a priori in the PMS.

How to communicate with guests: pre-stay and post-stay emails

How to communicate with guests: pre-stay and post-stay emails

How can pre-stay and post-stay emails improve customer communication? What are the contents that help to “convert” even after booking?

In this blogpost we will talk about the importance of establishing an effective communication system with the customer that starts from pre-stay emails and ends with post-stay emails after guest check-out.

It’s important define what is meant by the term customer journey, or the “journey” that the customer makes from the moment he books a stay in an accommodation facility until the moment he returns home.

It is good to say that pre-stay emails are usually sent to customers within the period of time between the moment the customer makes the reservation and the day before check-in (it also helps you avoid no shows) .

The post-stay emails, however, are sent after the customer has checked out, thanking the customer for choosing their facility and inviting them to leave a review or feedback.

It all started from the customer journey

To establish effective communication with the customer, it is necessary to understand and analyze carefully the right times to send an email.
As already mentioned, a guest’s customer journey begins when they have booked their stay, so a first email can contain useful information such as the location of the hotel, how to get there by public transport or the calendar of events in the city .

We believe that a second pre-stay email can be sent a few days before, also to offer additional services (cross selling) and “tease” the customer on certain extras already before his arrival at the hotel.

What are the advantages of pre-stay and post-stay emails?

What can be the advantages that a hotelier derives from this type of email?
In fact, besides improving the guest experience, there are several advantages that bring such as:

  • Improve the experience right away by providing useful information to plan your trip;
  • Allow the structure to increase its revenue by offering cross sell services;
  • Loyalty to customers, perhaps by offering discount codes for reservations outside in the check-out email.

With a view to automating processes in the structure, whether you are managing a small structure or a large hotel, it is not possible to manually manage the pre and post stay communication, as it takes a long time and can be subject to errors.

What are the 4 cornerstones of hotel disintermediation

the 4 cornerstones of hotel disintermediation

Disintermediate, disintermediate, disintermediate!
In the hotel management sector, there is a lot of talk about it, but in practice how do you manage to create a strategy to obtain more direct bookings for your hotel?

1.The Channel Manager as the first disintermediation tool

It may seem like a contradiction but being able to define how many rooms can be offered for sale in each portal, through a channel manager, allows you to have greater control over what are openings and closings based on the period of the year.

This is because being able to define how many accommodations I will put up for sale in the period of August on each OTA portal, allows me to have more control over the management of my structure. Cleverly balancing the number of direct bookings with intermediate bookings allows you to avoid the phenomenon of the “inverted pyramid“.

There is an inverted pyramid when at the base of my “book of reservations” there are not the direct ones but the intermediate ones. Commissioned reservations cannot be the hard core of our business, so we must use the Channel Manager wisely to maintain the right balance.

2. The Booking Engine, the ram’s head in our sales strategy

For many listeners, the booking engine theme is a topic already heard and well known, however we would like to say that in this case repetita iuvant.
A booking engine with a professional, responsive and simple to use interface is a determining factor in increasing the conversion rate, this provides the customer with a booking system from which it is possible to book accommodation in a few clicks.

Remember that a booking engine to effectively disintermediate must be intuitive, responsive for each device but above all reassuring (and safe) as regards the transmission of personal data and the credit card of the booker!

3. Modern website

The questions to ask on your site are:

1.Is my site responsive? Have I personally tried it from different devices?
2. Do you have clear and clear call to actions?
3. Do you respect security standards (https)?
4.Is it GDPR compliant?
5.Do I have updated and still active promotions?

If you have respected at least 4 of the 5 points above, then you are on the right track!

4. Email Marketing integrated into CRM

The way to disintermediate also passes through the definition of email marketing campaigns … but with an eye always open on the regulations introduced by the GDPR.

An all-in-one software tool allows you to create targeted email campaigns that capture data and therefore contacts directly in the hotel CRM. Email campaigns are created by identifying and segmenting customers based on information that guests have provided during their stay in the structure.
We also keep the second eye open for the analysis of performance and conversions after sending the campaigns, taking into account important aspects such as:

  • open rate
  • messages ended up in spam
  • unsubscribe

Specifically, we will explain how an all-in-one management system, which integrates CRM and email marketing tools, can allow you to automate different aspects:

  • If I send a newsletter to a customer and this unsubscribe, the CRM will update automatically, thus keeping the database clean and in accordance with the law;
  • If a user at the time of booking through the booking engine, select the checkbox to receive promotional emails, the CRM will automatically update with the subscription date.

Why an hotel cannot work without Hotel Software

Hotel Management Software

Does a hotelier really need management software to manage his hotel or can a spreadsheet suffice?

As devil’s lawyers we will try to understand what are the advantages of using an excel file to manage a hotel.

After a general overview of the evolution of management software, we will try to understand how to manage some fundamental aspects such as:

  • Booking calendar
  • Management of bookings for individuals and groups
  • Portal housed
  • Reports
  • Rates and prices
  • Booking conditions.

The list above is a rough idea of ​​some of the tasks that are carried out in the structure and which, it appears evident, cannot be managed with the help of the excel sheet only, but only through a management software that allows greater control. on its structure in some aspects that are capillary to say the least.

In addition, a modern hotel management software allows you to be accessible via smartphone and therefore to be able to control your structure from any device and from any part of the world in which you are located, an internet connection will be sufficient to understand what is happening in your hotel .

What are the features of a Hotel Software?

The hotel management software is the main software tool used by hoteliers and receptionists, this must observe to perform various operations such as:

  • Describe and manage reservations through planning
  • check in / check out
  • manage tariffs and prices
  • check the cleanliness of the accommodation
  • analyze through the sales progress report.

Why choose an all in one software?

Why is it important to convince your boss to have an all in one software solution?

First of all because it simplifies what operational management is:

  • you interface with a single training company;
  • there is only one invoice;
  • you go to withdraw only a contract if you are not satisfied with the solution (you never know!)

When you do not choose an all-in-one software management system and then adopt more software tools and try to make them communicate with each other, there are many problems and obstacles.

Connecting two platforms (such as a Management and a Channel Manager or a Booking Engine) provides for the definition of a connection agreement (mapping) that cannot always be done smoothly, i.e. the connection between a platform A and a platform B not necessarily all the elements between application A and application B are connected.

Connecting different and separate systems is never easy and scenarios can occur in which you run into data loss or inconsistent data situations, when this kind of problem occurs finding the edge of the skein is never easy, requires different manual work and a long time!

Last but not least, the synchronization times between platform A and a platform B are never zero, therefore during the synchronization time spans between the two platforms there may be additional data that is lost.

For all the above reasons it is evident how choosing a software that is all in one helps to reduce / eliminate these types of errors.