Now that we are gradually recovering from the crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is a great time to learn about the entire range of digital tools for hotels that we have within reach. In this case we will define what is a channel manager, how it works and how it can benefit the growth of your hotel.
As your hotel grows, so do its digital channels, so it becomes more complex to manage reservations, number of rooms, rates, promotions, etc. This can be challenging especially if you don't have a channel manager.
This situation increases if you incorporate more Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), or if you have more direct reservations on your website, even if you forget to update the availability in Booking.com or Expedia you would have to deal with an overselling problem.
In this way, a channel manager will help you manage all the sales channels and reservations of your hotel from the same place.
What is a channel manager?
Your "channels" are basically all the places where you can book rooms in your hotel. Either directly on your own website or externally in one of the most popular OTAs such as Expedia, Booking.com or Trivago.
In this way, a channel manager or channel administrator, is a website designed to centralize in a single platform and calendar all the information of your online distribution channels.
The main objective of a channel manager is to allow hotels to effectively reach a global audience without worrying about overselling and without having to carry out a rigorous manual monitoring of all the channels from which they obtain reservations.
This tool works through a cloud, in which all your channels are concentrated and from where the activities of the reservation registry are automated. It also allows you to update your inventories, prices and closing dates or promotions.
How to choose the channel manager for your hotel?
There are many options on the market and the best option will depend entirely on the specific needs of your hotel. Some of the main considerations when choosing a channel manager are the following:
1. The size of your hotel
It is clear that if you have a boutique hotel with few rooms and you master reservations management, you do not need a channel manager.
On the other hand, if most of your time is focused on answering customer emails, manually updating the availability in each of the OTAs and on your website, as well as resolving complaints about overbooking a room, the channel manager will become your best ally.
2. The budget
Also, think about the budget you have and what you are willing to invest to choose the option that suits you best. Some channel managers are more efficient or include many features, but they are also more expensive.
However, think about the time and human resources that you would save by implementing this tool for your hotel and decide if it is worth that investment.
3. Your needs and expectations
The best tools are always the ones that meet and respond to our needs. In this way, to define if a channel manager can benefit your business, take into account the characteristics and priorities of your operations.
Is the rate configuration very complex? Do you need the availability of a 24-hour telephone advisor for your clients? Or maybe you prefer to handle everything on your own because it gives you greater confidence, it all depends on you!
4. Compatibility with your booking channels
Finally, do not choose a channel manager without first checking that it is compatible with your most fruitful channels and with the booking engine that you use in your hotel. The more OTAs that can be connected with your channel manager, the greater your reach will be to achieve reservations.
But, if a tool is compatible with 50 channels, and of all of them only one produces reservations, consider looking for another more friendly option with the ones that really work for you.
Why do you need a channel manager?
In addition to the advantages that we already mentioned, the benefits of a channel manager include that you can fully focus on your hotel, on devising new strategies to attract visitors, improve your processes, etc. without having to invest large amounts of time worrying about getting your online distribution channels in order.
If you want to compete effectively in this increasingly changing tourism sector, having a tool that allows you to manage your channels in the same place will give you added value In addition to greater productivity, sales and a better service that will have all your visitors delighted and with all the desire to return.
Which is the best option?
Once you know the priorities of your hotel and the advantages of a channel manager, it is time to choose the option that best suits your needs.
GuruHotel is the fastest and easiest way to have a direct sales channel for your hotel, since it offers you a comprehensive platform that, in addition to being compatible with OTAs, allows you to manage your main online sales channels and the technologies you use the most in one place.
In addition to that, it focuses on the guest experience, simplifying the steps to a minimum and eliminating any obstacles when completing your reservation.
In this way, if you want to monitor the guests of all your channels in real time and from the same platform, as well as provide them with personalized assistance and transform their stay into a unique and unforgettable experience, register on our platform and start managing the channels of your hotel.
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