Maximizing revenue proves to be a challenging task even for those experienced hoteliers who know all the ins and outs of their business.
It’s not only about management and trying out different rates across different channels. It’s not just about getting direct reservations and predicting the future. Since there are so many details behind this term, technology, as always, is there to help us. Here’s your technological ABC of maximizing revenue.
A Ð Step up your Distribution Game
Even though OTAs provide you with a lot of bookings, generally helping increase your income, they come at a steep price. The high commission rates OTAs usually charge, make it difficult to maximize the revenue. Room allotments is yet another downside of dealing with the biggest booking platforms.
As those OTAs still deliver a large part of most hotels’ reservations, it is often simply too difficult to reject them overnight. Instead, you should consider making the most of the technology they offer.
Both Booking.com and Expedia Ð the two monopolists (or duopolists to be precise) of the market Ð have their own set of tools for optimizing revenue. BookingSuite and Expedia Powered Technology Suite provide useful data which can be turned into smarter room pricing and maximized yield. Thanks to the software you get intel on the demand on particular dates. Increasing prices on high-demand days, and lowering rates on low-demand days is a good way to start. Daily rate advice from OTAs should make revenue management easier for you.
Under no circumstances, however, utilizing the most popular OTAs should be your only activity in the distribution field. Diversifying your distribution channels is essential in maximizing revenue.
Don’t be afraid to try out different booking platforms, as there are some alternatives you might not have heard about. The Dutch start-up, Bidroom.com offers bookings without commission or any other fees. Additionally, they don’t allot rooms and allow hotels to embed a direct link to their accommodation’s website on the platform. The only requirement is the discount for guests (at least 5% off other OTAs prices).
Finally, take care of your own channel. Mobile-responsive website with the ability to book rooms is a must have these days, as nearly 30% of all online bookings come from mobile devices. This trend will go on, so you can’t afford to lag behind the advancement of technology.
Even though mobile apps are rarely profitable nowadays, if you come up with a good one, it will come in handy for your business. A great example of a hotel app is the one developed by Hilton. Among other features, it allows guests to book directly through the app and even choose an exact room thanks to the room layout. Moreover, the app serves as a digital room key so that you can unlock the door with one touch of your phone’s screen.
Additionally, try to think out of the box, when expanding your distribution channels, just like Loews Hotels did, when enabling guests to book using simply a Twitter hashtag.
Remember Ð more distribution channels equals more revenue.
B Ð Utilize Data Science
Similar to BookingSuite and Expedia Powered Technology Suite, there are standalone Revenue Management Systems (RMS) which serve one purpose Ð maximize your revenue. There is a choice of RMS software on the market. IDeaS and RateGain are getting good reviews.
What an RMS does, is optimize your rates, run forecasts, estimate the profitability of booking inquiries and manage event space. All of this in one place, with a user-friendly interface. RMS is one of an essential tool for any Revenue Manager.
Information is king. Revenue Management Systems process it for you and tell you what to do with it, to turn it into income.
There are also other tools that utilize data science.
iReckonU is a startup company which offers a software called Operational Excellence. It gathers information from all your hotel’s systems, monitors them in real time, and notifies the appropriate staff member about any potential issues. Thanks to this solution, hotels can reduce their expenses and increase guests’ satisfaction. iReckonU makes it possible to manage a couple of hundred rooms with just a few dedicated employees.
C Ð Get More Reviews
Direct reservations are the cornerstone of maximizing revenue. The more you get, the bigger your income. One of the ways of attracting more direct bookings is turning the guest who already made one into a regular customer of yours. It can be done by offering a discount for the next stay.
Returning guests are great, but happy guests are even greater. Satisfied guests will leave a review and recommend your hotel to their acquaintances. Review websites are the digital counterpart of those word-of-mouth pieces of advice. That’s why being present on platforms like TripAdvisor is vital in maximizing revenue. You should never underestimate the role of reviews in the hotel selection process.
Getting those reviews, however, might be problematic, but the technology is there to help you. Platforms like ReputationStacker will help you get your guests to review your service.
What they do is help create an invitation form distributed to your guests and then monitor their activity on review websites so that you can manage your online reputation in one place. Sending a form will increase your chances of getting a review, and to further encourage your guests to write one, again, you can offer them a discount for the next stay in exchange.
It is critical to take immediate care of the reviews and avoid any disputes online. If something goes wrong on your side, try your best to redeem yourself in any way, for example, by offering some gift. Don’t forget Ð reply to the good reviews too, as it is a great way to start a new relationship with your customer, make them come back and recommend you to others. All in favor of a maximized revenue.