The information age has brought about various technological advancements in society. We are always looking for information, whether old or new, to assist us in the decision-making process and to take action. As a result, Information, Communication, and Technology companies and professionals are constantly inventing and innovating solutions for consumers. These software solutions make consolidation and access of information easier and faster. What is a Channel Manager?
A channel manager is an application software system that manages all the online reservation channels used by a specific hotel. This system updates check-ins and check-outs simultaneously on all the online reservation channels. This allows the users to always be aware of the number of rooms available or booked at a given time. It keeps stock or inventory of the hotel rooms. In this article, we are going to elaborate on the functionality and features of this system.
Functions of a Channel Manager
The system connects all the reservation portals or channels used by the hotel. This ensures that there is centralization of information concerning room bookings. The staff can easily coordinate other services and inquiries related to reservations. This increases the efficiency and effectiveness of front office staff. They can give customers reliable information concerning their booking.
This system facilitates booking through remote means. The customers can make inquiries concerning the availability of rooms from the safety and comfort of their locations as long as they have appropriate electronic devices and Internet connectivity. This reduces congestion at the front office and personnel can work on other duties. It also reduces the time spent making the booking.
The system allows customers to make a direct booking. They can select the rates and room sizes, arrival, and departure dates, and even make payments without involving a single staff or contacting them. This is convenient for the customer since it saves time and they make room selection without pressure from anyone.
The system reflects the update from all the connected reservation channels of the hotel simultaneously. The inventory is displayed immediately and the current status of accommodation is shown. This helps both the customers and personnel in decision-making.
This system pools all the data from the reservation channels and consolidates them into one location for reference purposes. This helps reduce discrepancies in the information conveyed to stakeholders. It also enhances levels of detecting errors since multiple personnel accessing it are “checks and balances”. The information from a centralized system is shared securely and seamlessly. This also helps in swift decision making and critical actions are not delayed.
The system renders redundant some of the manual processes related to hotel reservations. Taking inventory manually is a taxing process and referring to several systems or personnel to get the information is time-consuming. The system improves the efficiency and effectiveness of hotel personnel. It also improves data accuracy and accessibility.
This system makes reporting easier for the hotel personnel. It allows automated reports. It computes relevant figures for decision-making. It allows the hotel personnel to have both summarized and detailed reports depending on the kind of decision they want to make. It allows printing of reports or the use of them as soft copies.
The system allows users from various geographical locations to access reservation information. They do not have to make physical visits to obtain basic information. Several people can also log in to the system at the same time and use it as desired without having to waste time queuing or waiting for their turn to be served. This allows multiple bookings which increases revenue.
The system improves the transmission of information to various users and accepts data from multiple sources. This reduces errors or mistakes. It improves the interaction between various departments in the hotel. It updates clients with accurate information. All stakeholders have the same information at a given time and misunderstanding is minimal.
Benefits of Channel Manager
The system increases sales revenue for hotels. With convenience and ease of booking, customers are motivated to make reservations. By adopting this system in operations, hotels are supplementing physical booking with online booking. It attracts customers from distant regions who would normally overlook inaccessible accommodation. Therefore, it is a great marketing tool. It also provides business intelligence since it has the capability of generating various reports. This helps the business development teams develop strategies that maximize customer retention and acquisition. Reports relating to peak seasons, popular room types, age groups, gender, and popular hotel branches, among others, are quite useful in strategic planning.
The system reduces the chances of misinformation since the data is real-time and accurate. This prevents the inconveniences of reallocating guests and trying to figure out how to mitigate the situation. It is usually a time-consuming exercise for the hotel personnel and a frustrating experience for customers. The system does not allow additional entries once the maximum number of rooms or guests is reached. The customer can seek alternative accommodation since ample notice has been received concerning the reservation status of their preferred hotel. On the other hand, the hotel personnel is protected from embarrassing situations that require the intervention of the public relations team. The reputation and image of the hotel are also upheld by reducing customer complaints and inconveniences.
The system improves the reputation of the hotel by giving accurate data. It reduces customer complaints and inconveniences. It minimizes cases of overbooking which can affect the reputation of the hotel. It is an advertising tool since it is accessible from various locations and it creates awareness about the hotel’s services. By adopting such a sophisticated reservation tool to enhance its operations and customer service functions, the hotel is portrayed as modernized. It also makes personnel more efficient and effective in their work which improves customer service.
The system reduces the need for manual tasks that are tedious and time-consuming. It facilitates reservations, allocates the room rates, and manages the availability of the rooms. It reduces the number of visitors in the hotel lobby. It reduces face-time with front office staff who can focus on other duties. It reduces paperwork and the number of personnel required to undertake physical inventory. It ensures standardization of information since it has to be accessed from various locations and by customers from diverse backgrounds. It generates automated reports and summaries for decision-making and reference purposes.
The system allows users to access and manipulate data from any location and device. It allows multiple access by both the customers and hotel personnel. Information is available to all stakeholders and cannot be withheld from users since it is in public view. Personnel who may want to manipulate the booking process for their own benefits are restricted. Multiple personnel can access the system’s information, therefore, errors are easily detected and corrected. There are several access levels and user rights that make it easy to identify unauthorized access. This enhances the security and privacy of the information.
The system facilitates the breaking down of tasks to manage them properly. Physical reservations can overwhelm the hotel personnel during peak seasons or when the hotel is hosting a major event. For instance, overcrowding in the lobby, customers becoming impatient and irritable, overbooking risks, room misallocation, and many other challenges related to reservations. This system reduces the steps in the reservation process. In addition, check-ins and check-outs are seamless.
The system is accessible from the safety and comfort of the user’s device in whichever location they are found. The customer makes reservations at their own convenience. Delays and waiting periods are literally eliminated since it allows multiple-access and off-site booking. The customer selects rooms at their own pace without being hurried along by hotel personnel unlike making physical visits to the hotel where queuing is inevitable. They can even make payments in real-time.
This system allows the hotel personnel and its senior management to make relevant reviews on the performance of the various reservations channels owned by them. It provides information on the best and least-performing channels. It gives an inventory of check-ins and check-outs. It reveals the most preferred room types. It shows which dates or seasons have the highest number of guests and much more. All these are essential in making decisions and strategic planning.
A channel manager is application software that manages all the online hotel reservation channels owned by a specific hotel. The system improves the hotel’s booking process through the automation of various reservation steps. This system facilitates reservations, allocates the room rates and it manages the availability of the rooms. This allows the centralization of information and access to reservation data is simplified. This improves the performance of hotel personnel and enhances customer satisfaction. This system is user-friendly and customers can access it from various locations. It also allows multiple users to have access simultaneously. As a result, hotel operations improve and the decision-making process is simplified. This in turn enhances the hotel’s reputation and increases profitability.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a hotel channel manager?
This is application software that manages all the online hotel reservation channels.
- Which are some of the hotel channel managers found in the market?
There are several types of channel managers in the market such as Galileo, Trip Advisor, and Intrepid Travel.