Having more hotel bookings is good business for the property. But this can also be a hotelier’s greatest nightmare if this is not properly managed as this will lead to overbooking of hotel rooms. Without a proper strategy, this can be damaging to the reputation of the hotel and will affect long-term profitability. Unhappy travelers will often create bad reviews on popular review sites such as Tripadvisor which can be damaging to the hotel. 

Overbooking carries both risks and rewards as this is a revenue management strategy practiced in the industry. It is a strategic approach to lessen losses from no-shows, cancellations, early check-outs by maximizing occupancy and revenue per room. But if this is not executed properly, it can backfire and cause long-term financial losses and damages to the property. It’s often a challenge for small and mid-sized hotel owners to oversee their room inventory in their own website and select Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). 

Hoteliers should therefore have a proper overbooking strategy in place and with the right response, it will also lead to the recovery of the guest’s satisfaction. Here’s a guide on the right approach to handling overbookings without getting negative feedback from hotel guests.

 

5 Hotel Tips on How to Handle Overbookings

 

1. Confirm the overbooking
The first step for handling overbookings is for the hotelier to double-check if a guest relocation is required. This can be done by ensuring that the property is in fact fully occupied. Also, the guest-arrival list should also be reviewed for any errors such as booking mistakes, duplicated reservation or cancellation. It is best to consider as well on how many incoming reservations for the day and the number of no-shows/ cancellations to expect. This might even solve the problem if there will be cancellations for the day.

2. Determine which guests to relocate
This is best resolved on a case to case basis by finding the most suitable candidate for hotel relocation. The following factors should be considered such as source of bookings, booking date, duration of stay, and penalties from third parties. Most properties would have a criteria checklist beforehand to analyze their bookings. For example, VIPS, groups and individuals staying for multiple nights should get priority to stay. While short-term business travelers can be more flexible.

3. Rebook the guests
Once the hotelier has identified the guest to be relocated, the next step is to rebook at a comparable property. Beforehand, the hotel should already have an updated list of local properties with similar value and quality to send incoming guests. Ideally, it’s best to have a pre-existing relationship with hotel partners in order to provide similar rooms with the best rates for your hotel guests. 

The job of the hotel staff is to be proactive in handling the accommodation for guests that will be relocated. They will be the source of information and comfort for guests during this time. Hotel guests will even appreciate the extra service your hotel will provide and will encourage them to book with you again during their next stay.

4. Monitor and follow-through
To give guests the best customer service, the hotel manager should call and book the replacement accommodation directly. It’s best to also contact the guest to be relocated before they arrive to get their personal feedback on their preferred accommodation such as location, type of room, etc. Guests will value the hotel’s genuine concern and care for them. 

As part of your strategy for guest recovery, it is recommended to acknowledge the inconvenience by offering small compensation such as a bottle of wine, extra points, hand-written notes and other perks that you can offer to show that you value their loyalty. 

5. Invest in technology
More hotels are adopting overbooking strategies due to last-minute cancellations. In the long term, having booking cancellations affect the hotel’s ability to forecast occupancy rates and revenues. Without real-time and actionable data onhand, it will be difficult for hoteliers to make strategic decisions and plans. 

The hotel should therefore invest in the right technology and solutions that will forecast cancellation rates from booked guests. Hoteliers will be able to monitor real-time as well booking inventory and changes done even on the last minute.

 

ZEN eManager: The Digital All-in-One Solution in Managing Last-Minute Booking Changes

 

Having a strategy in place for overbookings and last minute cancellations will be advantageous to the hotel. The hoteliers will be able to do this through ZEN eManager, the digital all-in-one solution that has real-time monitoring of all hotel operations and inventory across all Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). 

Trusted by more than 5,000 independent hotels in Southeast Asia that allows easy management of hotel listings across all online travel agencies (OTAs, monitoring of hotel operations real-time) and automated guest reminders that are sent out through its Property Management System and Channel Manager. ZEN eManager also includes a dedicated revenue manager for your hotel to ensure hotel rates are optimal with costs and to get maximum profits. 

eZee Absolute PMS gives a 360° view of hotel operations, in which current occupancy rate, on-site staff, and revenue per available room (RevPAR) can be accessed through the mobile app, or any internet-enabled gadget. It also sends automated guest reminders which keeps guests engaged and increases assurance that your hotel is safe and secure. eZee Centrix Channel Manager allows hoteliers to monitor cancellations, re-bookings, and no-shows real-time, in which they can easily adjust room availability in any OTA anytime and anywhere, in one dashboard. 

A dedicated revenue manager straight from ZEN headquarters collaborates with the property to ensure optimal pricing.

Book a free demo now at: http://www.zen-hs.com/book-a-meeting/

For a hotel, a property management system integrated with a channel manager and web booking engine is a necessity to seamlessly manage the hotel operations and room inventory distribution. Rather than employing different systems to accomplish multiple tasks, hoteliers should always seek out as few systems as possible that are integrated tightly to avoid complications that may cripple the business growth.

Unfortunately, many hotels have various software applications installed at different points in time in various functional areas, resulting in inefficiencies and integration challenges.

Therefore you should choose a hotel management system that offers the following benefits:

Advantages of a smart hotel management system

hotel receptionist answering the phone

1. Real-time business control and analytics at one place

Reports showing performance across your operations, online distribution, marketing, service, and offline bookings are crucial to give you an integrated view of your hotel’s operations. But when your hotel’s software systems are not synchronized, it will be a hassle to get a view of business performance within a single time frame. 

This is because you have multiple overlapping databases, reports and dashboards to oversee. Hence, leads to slow decision-making or rash decisions.

Avoid this by choosing a hotel management system which allows you to integrate all functions of your hotel business and displays all reports in a centralized dashboard.

2. Instant updates to reduce overbookings

Choose an all-in-one solution that through its consolidated hotel software, channel manager and web booking engine combo, offers you real-time updates of online room inventory and thus reduces double/overbooking to a great extent.

Boost your online room sales with a truly assimilated hotel management system.

3. OTA data sync across all software

These days OTAs offer free cancellations and amendments. If a hotel is operating on systems from different vendors, these guests’ booking changes create a lot of uncertainty.

Sometimes, what’s recorded in PMS doesn’t reflect the records of the distribution vendor. This leads to confusion and guests’ frustration. 

So further if anything changes from OTA side, it creates anarchy. Thus, the best way to manage these issues is to have an all-in-one hotel technology to ensure data is synced across systems.

4. All-in-one software bundle reduces cost

With various applications from multiple vendors, hotels have to invest an enormous amount of money in order to properly integrate, maintain and acquire newer editions of these applications. Because of this, hotel owners will have to juggle between multiple vendors for support-related issues. 

This means, hotels will likely increase their maintenance costs.

Eliminate all these hassles by implementing an integrated hotel management system from a single vendor or system aggregator.

5. Offers hassle-free dealing from one vendor

Communicating with multiple support teams and dealing with various software vendors for purchases, contract renewals and payments every month is a bit of a hassle and requires more time and effort. 

Because of these, you have already lost the time you could have dedicated for your guests. 

Make things easier by connecting with only one integrated solution provider that will do the work for you.

6. Has All-in-one solution package or a la carte options

Sometimes it makes sense to choose stand-alone products when a single hotel management system doesn’t have all inclusive functionality for every module. In that case, choose a hotel management system vendor which sells both stand-alone solutions and integrated solutions. You may choose to add new modules whenever the need arises.

7. Easy to learn for staff

Training for multiple systems is difficult for the hotel staff because let’s be honest, there’s too much information to take in. But training for an integrated hotel management system, not only is it easier, it’s also good business.

8. Prevents distribution delays and loss of business

Having various hotel management systems can lead to distribution delays and missed business opportunities.

Let’s say your hotel has 10 standard rooms, but only 5 rooms are distributed on OTAs. From those 5, you have 3 rooms sold. Now, if there’s a group of people looking for 4 rooms, your hotel will not be listed in guest search on any OTA, even if you still have 7 rooms available because if you distribute allocated inventory on your Channel Manager and the PMS vendor is different, you can’t distribute your live inventory. 

Although many hotels rely on sophisticated systems for positive growth, several hotels are trying to grow as well as they fight against skyrocketing maintenance costs of disconnected systems causing process bottlenecks and management issues.

9. Provides exceptional revenue management and optimized pricing

One of the key factors in determining a good hotel management software relates to its revenue management skills and daily pricing optimization. If an all-in-one solution offers you optimized everyday pricing and personalized revenue management, then that software is automatically better than all in the market. 

All the advantages you read above are there in our best selling All-in-one Solution for Independent Hotels, the ZEN eManager. It gives you real time access and includes #2 PMS in the world, best in class Channel Manager, and ZEN Pricing Model. 

To book a free demo, visit us at: http://www.zen-hs.com/zen-emanager/ 

 

 

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