Why you need online reservations!

Posted on Sep 1st 2009

Every now and again we stumble upon a resort or serviced apartment that refuses to consider online reservations. It continues to amaze me that these hotels and resorts insist there is no need to offer online reservations to their guests; they proceed to tell us they are old fashioned and like talking to their guests over the phone instead! They believe that phone service is better customer service.

Whilst phone service can be very affective, it may not always be the best solution for potential guests to book accommodation. Here are 4 reasons why hotels, resorts and serviced apartments need online reservation software:

1.       Last time I checked, most reservation departments aren’t available 24/7, it is usually too cost prohibitive. Online booking systems provide 24 hour access to your reservations department via your website. Online reservation systems are like Ever Ready batteries, they keep performing when you can’t!

2.       Not everyone has access to a phone; there are many instances when your guests cannot make a call. They might be at work, hearing impaired, could be overseas in a different time zone or not prepared to pay for the international calling costs. Online booking systems provide a convenient solution for guests with such restrictions.

3.       It’s far easier and more cost effective, for your guests to do their research online rather than making multiple phone calls to find the best available rate. Online reservation software provides the ability for your potential guests to check and compare rates with other resorts and third party websites in real time. All from the comfort of their own home, at a time suitable for them, not you!

4.       In most cases, reservations generated via an online booking system compared to a reservation processed via a phone call is more profitable. The cost of staffing the phone and free or discounted phone numbers can get very expensive. Another cost usually not considered is the opportunity cost. You could potentially be wasting time on the phone with tyre kickers when you could be working on other marketing activities to increase reservations.

Not offering online reservations could be costing you business and we believe that relying solely on phone service will ultimately disadvantage your opportunity to provide accommodation to potential guests.

There are a number of companies offering online reservation systems at the moment, including the eTourism Online Reservation system. For more information, visit - http://www.etourism.com.au/online-reservation-system.html

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