Before you delve into the benefits of a channel manager, it is better to understand the purpose for which the software is used. Hotels, in trying to get more bookings, are associating themselves with 3rd party booking channels such Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). This helps your hotel get more exposure and bring in more bookings. But as the time passes, performing tasks such as updating the bookings, changing the rates, etc. on different platforms can become a time-consuming affair. This is where the channel manager software comes in. This powerful little software can help automate most of the tasks, thus helping you save time and money.
Why go for a Channel Manager for Hotel Bookings?
The prime factors that dictate the ROI of your hotel business is room availability and rates. Managing the optimum level of rates and occupancy is an essentiality which falls under your domain and is a continuous process. Therefore, it becomes necessary to evaluate the number of efforts, energy, time and money that is dedicated to maintenance of these things. Getting a channel manager to automate such tasks can ease your responsibility on this front. To further illustrate the usefulness of the software, here are 5 reasons why you should be using a channel manager: –
Manage Booking Channels
If you want your hotel to have high occupancy rates, it is best that you use multi-channel booking. With such an approach, you will not be dependent on limited booking sources. The more sources of booking you have the better it is for your business. Using a channel manager will help you access hundreds of connected channels; it will act as a bridge between your hotel and the booking platforms, helping you manage them.
Single Dashboard for Everything
Inventory management can become a hassle, but with a channel manager you can easily manage inventory through a single dashboard. For channel manager software, you a get a single dashboard that gives you an overview of availability of rooms and rates that are distributed on all connected channels. It also helps you minimise human intervention with the system; you can easily post and manage precise room rates and inventory allocation with minimal effort. You can post restrictions, inclusions, rates on different OTAs, etc. from a single place.
Without the channel manager software, inventory and rate distribution across different channels is a do-it-yourself task. In such cases, chances of error are high as you can miss something or have instances like double booking, wrong updates, etc. Correcting the mistake can take even longer. Having a channel manager can help you get rid of all this hassle. The software will not make mistakes that most humans make, like failing to update logs, overbooking, inventory and rates not being synced, etc.
Minimize Over-Bookings and Under-Bookings
Channel manager software has several in-built mechanisms that can help you prevent overbookings and under-bookings. Sometimes due to a technical or human error, you might end up receiving more bookings than the rooms available or there might be chances that you can’t even get bookings to the fullest capacity. Both these situations can be effectively handled by channel manager as it can help keep a tab on updates sent to OTAs and their statuses.
Easy Rate Parity Maintenance
You might want to give out rooms at discounted rates or something similar. This becomes easy with channel manager system. The software makes sure that any changes that you make on the system are updated across all platforms in real-time. This leaves no room for error, helping you avoid rate disparity across different platforms.
Leads to Efficiency
If you are using channel manager, you can use it to sell the right room at the right time. Due to high/low occupancy at your hotel, the software will either hike up or slash down room rates to sell all vacant rooms for you. This will increase efficiency as you will have enough time at hand to attend to the guests already staying in your property.
Using a channel manager connects your hotel with multiple booking channels. You can even integrate it with the hotel PMS or booking engine to operate on live inventory at any given point in time. Just remember, without channel manager, you will have to update all your calendars with live rates and occupancy daily, face the constant concern of overbooking or missed bookings, and repeating the same time-consuming tasks everyday. This, in many instances, leads to loss of potential revenue. But with a channel manager, you will be free to interact with the guests and ask their well-being, automate recurring operations, thus helping save time and ensure higher profit in the long run.