It’s always good time to go over the basics. And this really is a basic in our industry. There’s this thing called channel manager to help you out.
TRAVELERS ARE EVERYWHERE, IT’S YOUR JOB TO REACH THEM
As we have mentioned in other posts (and we will probably do it again, as it is important to have this stuck in your mind when deciding if it’s worth it to devote yourself to online marketing), around 150 million bookings are made online annually. In order to reach as many customers as possible, you need to be present on as many booking sites as possible. With the number of such websites growing endlessly, it is becoming more and more difficult to keep track of all your active profiles.
THE DREADED OVERBOOKING
One of the main things that influence the opinion of the reviewers at the very start is the booking experience. If they are encountered with overbooking issues and false information, it will be a bad experience for them and a bad review for you. From that point forward, even if the service in your hostel is the best in the world, your guests will still hold booking troubles and your ineptness to avoid them against you.
But, there are just too many booking websites and it takes too much time to update them one at a time, who can blame you if sometimes overbooking happens? Well, your guests will blame you. And, let’s face it, as a business owner, you should make sure everything is in order, no matter how time-consuming that might be.
TECHNOLOGY STEPS IN TO HELP
But don’t despair just yet! There’s this thing called channel manager to help you out. A channel manager is a software with which you can update all your profiles at once. It saves you the effort of going to each and every booking website and updating the occupancy of your rooms once someone books a room or vacates it before the booking’s end date.
From now on, you just have to connect your various profiles to your channel manager and administrate them from there. There are many channel managers available on the Internet and many booking sites offer their own. There are a few features you should factor in when choosing which channel manager you will use, for example with what property management system can you connect with and what channels are available (Tnooz did a piece on some of the factors you should consider), but we have found myallocator.com to be affordable and the best value-for-money manager.
Channel manager automatically fills in the occupancy of the rooms. If, for example, somebody books a room in your hostel at one booking website, that room will be automatically shown as occupied for that certain period of time on all other booking sites. Additionally, once you change the information regarding your hostel on the channel manager, it will be changed on every website you connected your channel manager with.
WHO DOESN’T LOVE MORE FREE TIME?
Furthermore, you can improve your sales results by being able to quickly react to changes in demand. You can swiftly change your cost rates and maximize the amount of profit you can make. Also, as time spent now isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) an issue, you can use much more channels to increase your visibility and thus reach more customers. For instance, myallocator.com can help you connect with more than 75 different channels and that number is growing steadily.
IN SAME CASES, DOING IT ONLY ONCE IS BETTER 🙂
To sum it up, a channel manager can do you a world of good when it comes to saving time and efficiently managing all or most of your online channels of distribution. You can change everything you need on every booking website by just changing it once on the channel manager. In addition to this, it will improve your reviews and rapport with your guests, as they will no longer have to face overbooking issues and conflicting information.