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/

As the restrictions are starting to ease across Southeast Asia, hoteliers need to be ready and prepare their operations for the “new normal”. It is a reality that COVID-19 is here to stay for the next few months but that should not hinder guests from enjoying their stays with a peace of mind.

Travelers are already planning their upcoming trips as the lockdown has taken a toll on their entire well-being. Their next choice of stay will also be an important choice with safety as their utmost priority. Hoteliers should therefore keep in mind that hotel operations will drastically change from Pre-COVID-19 as long-term safety measures are now required. The challenge will also be how to maintain these “new normal” measures without having to increase operations cost in order to get maximum profits. 

 

5 Ways on How to Operate Efficiently During the New Normal

1. Adjust the Hotel Reception and Front Desk Procedures
Safety measures should be implemented once guests enter the hotel such as having proper temperature checks, accessible sanitizers, available masks and gloves. In the Philippines, installing acrylic screens is required to separate guests and hotel staff.

Having crowds in the hotel lobby should be avoided at all times to minimize the spread for COVID-19. Hotels should properly space furniture and widen the space. Also, it would help to have floor markers to aid guests on where to stand. 

2. Implement stricter cleaning procedures
By this time, hotels would already have an idea on their guest’s behavior and staying habits. It is important to alter the frequency management for cleaning procedures to sanitize effectively. Public spaces should be cleaned more frequently during the day as this is a shared space. While for occupied rooms, this can be cleaned less because guests now stay longer for their safety. 

Higher cleaning standards should also be regulated and implemented to ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness. Like for example, laundry providers should use high quality detergents to kill bacteria and germs that could have been left behind. This will also ensure the safety and confidence of our guests for the hotel. 

3. Proper handling of hotel Staff
Hotel staff are your greatest assets as they create memorable experiences for your guests. Having well-trained staff will lead to high customer satisfaction ratings and increase returning guests. Given the COVID-19 situation, employers should have a strategy on how to protect the welfare and safety of the employees. 

Have proper guidelines and protocol for positive cases of COVID-19. It is best to educate the team on how to minimize exposure through proper hygiene measures such as wearing masks, PPEs, using sanitizers and so on. Hoteliers can also provide a shuttle service or hotel stays for them to limit exposure from public transportation. 

4. Prioritize guest satisfaction
When choosing hotel accommodation, guests are prioritizing their safety above all. It’s best to inform incoming guests ahead of time key safety procedures for the hotel and if they need to bring additional documents prior to their stay. These are extraordinary times and some guests may feel more stressed about the entire situation so it’s up to the hotel staff to make them feel welcome and comfortable as ever. 

5. Use the best of technology
Clear and precise communication for hotel guests especially during a global crisis. It’s best to have the proper technology in place to be on top of your hotel operations. With the best property management system (PMS), hoteliers will be able to collect guest information even before they arrive at the property. Guests can now be reminded as well on the documents that are required prior to their stay through reminders sent out via the PMS. Through technology, it will be easier to minimize cash handling in the property through credit card payments as well.

ZEN eManager: The Digital All-in-One Solution to Properly Manage Hotel Operations in The New Normal

Being prepared in the new normal should be the priority for hotels. ZEN eManager is a digital all-in-one solution that helps hoteliers manage their hotel operations with full visibility in all properties with only one platform. 

It is trusted by more than 5,000 independent hotels in Southeast Asia that allows monitoring of hotel operations real-time, easy management of hotel listings across all online travel agencies (OTAs) 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 is also assigned to the property to ensure that rates are optimal. 


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

You might be wondering if it’s possible to get back on your feet after the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’t worry, hotels have survived a major pandemic before. In 2003, the Severe Acute Respiratory Sydrome (SARS) hit the Asian tourism negatively, especially because the ground zero was a hotel in Hong Kong.

What happened in 2003?

Because of the 2003 SARS outbreak, all hotels across Asia had a 4.6% decline in Revenue per Available Room (revPAR) at that time. 96% of cases were from Asia. 

One of the many cases involved a Chinese respiratory doctor (one of the doctors treating SARS patients) who spread the disease to seven other people during a one-night hotel stay in The Metropole Hotel in Hong Kong. Those seven people were staying on the same floor of the same hotel as the doctor before several of them traveled to other countries, helping spread the disease globally. 

However, The Metropole Hotel was able to overcome this pandemic. They completely renovated their rooms and sanitized their whole hotel. They also re-branded, and its now known as Metropark Hotel Kowloon.

What can you do to survive the pandemic?

1. Sanitize your hotel

The super-spreader of the SARS pandemic at The Metropole Hotel in Hong Kong was able to transfer the virus because of improper sanitation in the hotel. With that, you have to completely sanitize your hotel to make sure that it is clean. To help you with that, we created a hotel sanitation manual which you may download here.

2. Brainstorm your plans for the future

The Metropole Hotel was able to recover its reputation because its hotel employees planned how to move forward. The community quarantine won’t last forever. If you focus on the current situation of the country instead of what’s going to happen after, your hotel will make no progress, and will most likely be forgotten by guests. Think about marketing strategies, pricing strategies, and even new check-in procedures.

3. Strengthen your online presence

Most people spend more time on social media during the community quarantine. With that, you can actively post on your social media pages to sustain the engagement of your potential guests. If they see your hotel online more often than others, then there’s a high chance that they will book your hotel when the pandemic dies down.

What does ZEN Rooms do to help hotel partners strategize? 

Here at ZEN, we don’t just help in selling your rooms and giving you more bookings. We also help in marketing and hotel operations. We also tailor our services based on the assistance that our partners might need. 

If you need professional advice on how you can sustain your hotel business amidst this pandemic, you may reach out to us at any time. Send an email to [email protected] to talk to a Senior Business Development Manager today. You may also click this link to schedule a short phone call with us.

 

 

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