A booking engine on your hotel website is a sort of compass that leads guests to their hotel stay. If a compass needle works just fine, guests will not get lost on their way. However, when a booking engine lacks something, there is always a risk that guests will leave the website to book on travel platforms or even book your competitors. In the first case, you lose money to a commission fee, in the second case — you lose a potential reservation.
In this article, we describe six important booking engine features that make its marketing performance even higher.
- Built-in hotel loyalty program
- Upselling of extra services and gift vouchers
- Price setting for children
- Big knowledge base
- Bonus materials
- Customer support
Hotel loyalty program
Before the pandemic, hotel loyalty programs were rather optional. Then, it became clear that typical travelers have changed: they would rather return to a hotel they have already stayed at to make sure the vacation will not disappoint. Trip planning has become more thorough, with money-saving as a deciding factor.
A new traveler behavior has emerged: not only do hotels want to get more repeat guests, but guests themselves are willing to keep returning as well as earning hotel loyalty points. This makes hotel booking more game-like and exciting. With all these in mind, a hotel loyalty program is a must-have. Make sure that your guests can join your loyalty program while making a reservation, not only after they check in.
The loyalty program built into TravelLine Booking Enginedoes its best to engage guests. They sign up for it at a room selection step and get loyalty points or a discount for the first stay. For every following booking, they have their loyalty level upgraded and get even more loyalty perks.
For a hotel, it costs more to acquire a new guest than to return the one that already stayed with you. According to TravelLine’s research, accommodations that manage guests’ loyalty get 1,5-2 times more direct bookings.
Upselling of extras and gift vouchers
Another change in traveler buying patterns that affects your brand positioning is their wish to get an experience instead of just accommodation. Experiences are rendered with extra services, and your hotel only benefits from this. For example, at city hotels, upselling of extras raises the average check by 10-11%; at country hotels, it increases the booking check by 9-11%; and it raises the check by 9-10% at health retreats. These figures are confirmed by sales of hotel additional services in TravelLine Booking Engine.
It is more convenient to offer hotel services in Booking Engine than over the phone or at check-in. This way, guests can view all the services you have, add them on top of the room, and make a payment right on the website.
Things you may offer:
- Extra services along with accommodation or without it
- Gift vouchers
- Ski rental
- Pool or Spa passes
- City tours
- Many more
Articles that will help you start:
Price setting for children
Families with children want to know what accommodation conditions you provide during the booking process, which is why they pay special attention to family rate plans. Such rates have cheaper (or free) beds for children. A Booking Engine also suggests rooms equipped for children.
To attract families, you need to create a Family Rate, set age ranges in booking engines, and display widgets offering some children entertainment for free. When your deal is ready, and the family rate plan is all set, launch an ad campaign to target users with kids.
In TravelLine Booking Engine, you can sell rooms and services at different price rates for adults and kids. For example, breakfast for an adult can cost $10, while breakfast for a child can be sold for $4. As for accommodation rates, you might want to offer kids under 6 a free bed or just a cheaper extra bed rate.
Customer knowledge base
Apart from its functionality and fail-safety, a booking engine should have some guidelines for it. :) This way, you can set it to fit your needs without any extra help from tech experts. In our case, the guidelines are all in our Customer Knowledge Base with 300+ articles. Recently, we have topped it with YouTube video instructions. Make sure to use them to find answers to your questions.
To use any software efficiently, choose a provider that studies and presents hospitality trends in their blogs and social media. This will help you stay informed, study the success stories of other hoteliers, and communicate directly with hospitality experts in comment sections.
Check out TravelLine resources:
The last but not least factor for picking the right booking engine is customer support. To solve any issue faster, you need to contact the team behind the booking engine. It is important to make sure that the requests are handled quickly so that you do not lose any bookings.
TravelLine customer support responds to 95% of user requests within the first three hours. If an issue is more complex, our tech and web teams will contact you. This is a high rate for a big company.
In case you faced a problem while reading this article, here is TravelLine support email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rumor has it that TravelLine Booking Engine has it all. Click the button to check for yourself.:)Learn more about TravelLine Booking Engine