There are many things to consider when it comes to the features of a reservation management system. This kind of software is key to simplifying operations, no matter the size of your hotel. The software should allow you to manage group reservations from multiple sources, take care of room assignments, and allow you to have a clear overview of all your reservations in one place.
These are just some of the key features; in this article, we’ll look in more detail at what hotel reservation management software should offer in order to make your life as a hotelier easier and to allow your hotel to run with ease.
What should a hotel reservation management software offer?
Automating tasks is one of the keys to improving customer satisfaction and staff satisfaction at the same time. Taking the manual tasks out of the hands of the reception frees up time to allow your front desk team to focus on providing the best experience possible at your property, while at the same time taking away the chance of potential manual errors. Find out more about how to improve your front desk operations.
A hotel reservation management system is at the forefront of automation, giving you a better overall picture of your occupancy and helping you to better manage your reservations as a whole. Choosing the right software is an important decision, so let’s look at some key features to look for.
1. Straightforward management of reservations
A reservation management software should be straightforward, allowing you to visualize reservations in one dashboard in real time so that you can make informed decisions about the best way to manage your bookings. Plus, since the hotel industry is constantly evolving, the software should be agile, allowing you to make changes quickly and easily.
For example, a system like Mews’ allows you to automatically optimize your bookings in the ideal arrangement, and in the case of an overbooking, find a free slot. The dashboard is visual and easy to use so that you can intuitively manage your reservations, which is a key element in choosing the right system for your hotel.
2. Ability to manage group bookings
When it comes to group bookings, the right reservation management tool should be able to make your life easier. While group bookings are great for revenue, they also require a lot of extra logistics for your front desk staff. Having a tool that makes the process more efficient is key to optimizing your operations and making handling groups hassle-free.
Some of the key features that can help make the group process easier are, if you are a multi-property hotel, to be able to manage group bookings across your properties from one single place. Other important features are the ability to add in tentative reservations that allow you to track inquiries without blocking availability, as well as smart rooming lists, group billing, and the ability to make updates to multiple reservations all at once.
Learn more about how rooming lists help make group bookings easier.
3. Easy management of room assignments
Making sure that your reservations are well-distributed across the hotel is no easy task, which is why you should find a tool that makes this easier. Look out for software that allows you to optimize the process based on different room assignment strategies. For example, you should be able to designate a room to a guest based on their preferences, based on the floor, or randomly to better distribute the guests throughout your hotel.
Having the ability to manage different room strategies within one tool is great for your front desk because it allows flexibility and the chance to assign rooms to best suit the current occupancy and guest preferences.
You may also like:
- Strategies to attract group bookings to your hotel
- Benefits of managing online real time reservations
Nowadays, busy hoteliers need to be able to manage their reservations on the go, which is why finding a tool that is mobile-friendly is crucial. This enables you and your front desk staff flexibility to manage the reservations, rooming assignments and more from mobile devices no matter where you are.
As we’ve mentioned, automation is at the core of a successful hotel operation. Automation for reservations can come in many forms depending on the tool you choose, such as automating room assignments and distribution to best suit your hotel, automating confirmation emails so that once a guest books they immediately receive a booking confirmation, as well as automatically syncing reservations with your channel manager.
6. Easy inventory management
Another key feature of a booking management tool is being able to easily manage inventory, or rather your available rooms. Understanding your availability and being able to move around the rooms based on occupancy allows you to better strategize in order to fill those rooms.
If you notice, for example, that all of your ocean-view rooms are available, this could perhaps indicate that you need to lower the price. Being able to visualize this information in a clear dashboard that allows you to make changes by dragging and dropping enables you to have a more dynamic strategy that can change based on inventory.
7. Intuitiveness and ease of set-up
Intuitiveness refers to ease of use and set-up. Because reservations will be handled by a range of staff with different levels of computer skills, it’s important that the tool you choose be intuitive. It should easily sync with your other tools like your Property Management System, Channel Manager, Payment Systems and others so that they all work together as an integrated ecosystem that will make managing reservations as straightforward as possible.
With an intuitive tool you will also need less training so you can dedicate your resources to improving your daily operations instead of having to learn how to use a tool. Of course, you will still want to make sure you have the customer support you need should there be a technical issue with the software.
In this article we’ve looked at the seven key features of a hotel reservation management system, including easy management of room assignments, the ability to manage group bookings, straightforward management of reservations, mobile-friendliness, automation, the ability to easily manage inventory, intuitiveness, and ease of set-up. All of these together make for a great system.
With the right software, you can unlock the key to easy reservation management, which will take stress off the front desk staff and allow them to provide a personalized experience that will distinguish your hotel from the competition. The reservations process should be straightforward and hassle-free, and with the right tool this can be made possible.
Eva Lacalle | 19 May 2022
Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.
Check in with the latest in hospitality
Sign up to our monthly newsletter for industry insights, product news, partner offers and more.