April 11, 2023
The hospitality industry is constantly in flux from changing traveler trends year over year. While a modernized hospitality booking system can help industry professionals adapt to shifting guest expectations, it can be difficult to find the right one that caters to all of your business’ unique needs. Below, we’ll discuss the top five tips for choosing the right hotel booking software for your property in 2023.
5 Tips for Choosing the Right Hotel Booking Software
1. Look for a Simplified Transition Process to a New PMS
Implementation is one of the most challenging pain points for property managers looking to switch to a new software. It’s important that your operations continue seamlessly during the transition to avoid downtime and to prevent revenue loss and reputational damage.
Using the right booking engine for hotels can accelerate and simplify the transition process by:
- Integrating past visitor and reservation information, which can speed up the onboarding process
- Providing historical data for reporting needs
- Centralizing all information and processes in one location
When evaluating software, make sure to inquire about the transition process. While transitioning from one software to another, it’s vital to be informed on the technical requirements, the timeline, the potential effect on your operations, and the support the company provides before, during, and after the process.
2. Ensure the Software Scales with Your Business
When choosing booking software for your hotel, it’s crucial that the provider utilizes the latest hospitality technology to help your business expand and improve its operations. Built-in functionality and connections to popular integration partners can ensure this by offering tools to meet your hotel’s unique needs.
Upgrading to a new hotel booking system can streamline many on-site tasks to boost operational efficiency and minimize costs, but switching to the wrong platform can hinder growth.
For example, on-site systems use a lot of energy and information that is not centralized, making it difficult to scale your hotel. With cloud-based booking software, you reduce the amount of energy needed to keep your hotel functional and consolidate your operations to one location, enabling you to trim unnecessary costs and optimize how you earn revenue.
A cloud-based platform is not the only feature to seek out. Choosing the right hotel booking software also requires you to evaluate whether the system implements cutting-edge features for smarter operations. For example, a guest portal empowers your visitors to take autonomy over their trip details and streamlines communication both internally and externally. This allows you to provide a more personalized guest experience and the opportunity for unique upselling opportunities.
Similarly, an open API creates more software capabilities and freedom for superior functionality by enabling you to configure it to your specific needs. Automated features, such as AI, can take this a step further to maximize operational efficiency and ROI by saving you money and resources.
When discussing software with vendors, try to evaluate how the platform and functionality can serve your needs now and in the future. This will help you determine whether the technology they offer, and the continuous updates made to the system, will scale at the same rate as your business.
3. Look for a PMS with a User-friendly Interface
Hotel booking software with all of the bells and whistles is great, but if the platform is overly complicated due to all of those features, that can drastically affect your business. Your new PMS system should give a feature-rich, simplified user interface with a variety of customizable dashboard views and make use of the most recent advancements in hospitality technology. Simplicity will help your staff and your guests interact seamlessly for the most optimal guest experience your hotel can offer.
A user-friendly interface can also shorten the training period for both new and existing hotel staff members. Spending less time onboarding means your staff has more time to focus on the guest experience.
4. Consider Your Software Support Needs
It’s important to understand in advance how much support you’ll need when onboarding with your new hospitality management system. For each provider, the cost of support and training varies, so you should discuss this with your vendor. Some providers will offer their technology alone while others can offer both their technology and help with software implementation.
It’s also imperative to note all the supplemental resources you’ll need to utilize your hotel booking software. Although it’s vital to understand the functionality and capabilities of your software, you also want the platform you select to provide you with access to best practices, marketing strategies, and trends within the hospitality industry to maximize your software’s full potential.
5. Understand Changes in Booking Software Pricing
When choosing your hotel booking software provider, it’s also important to understand how the pricing structure of your expanding business could fluctuate due to more operational needs. Being unaware of price changes can cause downtime, reduce ROI, and prevent your company from scaling properly. Be sure to discuss the structure of pricing over time with your provider and map out your long-term business goals for a clear view of how to best scale your business with your software.
3 Questions To Ask Potential Vendors
When you start your search for a software provider, you can ask questions relevant to your business needs to help you find the right match.
1. How Can You Improve ROI with the Vendor’s Software?
The PMS you select should include built-in features like a channel manager, integrated marketing capabilities, dynamic pricing tools, and a configurable guest portal to help you streamline some of your current systems to one location instead of multiple. Knowing how a platform can directly affect your bottom line is an essential aspect of choosing the right system.
2. Is the System Compliant with Modern Requirements?
Guest data is the most sensitive information that your hotel booking software will house. The vendor should have a thorough understanding of this and implement compliance regulations into their software, especially as those regulations change. This will give you and your guests peace of mind that their data and your operations are secure.
3. How Do You Introduce the New System to Your Staff?
Changing hotel booking software is a large undertaking, not just for you but for your staff. In your search for a new platform, collecting buy-in and hearing your team’s pain points with the current system will help you make the right decision as well as ease the pressure of introducing the new software to your staff.
It's also crucial to work with a platform that provides a variety of training methods, such as self-paced learning, searchable help files, videos, and other resources. Make sure to explore training options with any software solution provider you evaluate.
Compare Hotel Booking Software Options with Solonis
To keep up with modern travel trends, the hospitality industry requires the right hotel booking software to accommodate guest expectations and optimize operations. With all the different features each software provider offers, it can be difficult to find the right one for your business needs. With our guide, you can compare the top hotel PMS systems in terms of their features, booking capabilities, onboarding support options, pricing and more.
Find the right hospitality management system that will support your business, now and in the future.