Direct Booking Strategy: VIP Programme

Posted in News on Friday, June 16, 2017

Article by Keith Slowey, Owner, iHotelligence

Article by Keith Slowey, Owner, iHotelligence

I recently stayed in a hotel where they had a VIP program for guests who booked directly.

This is a very inexpensive yet powerful approach that hotels can use to promote direct bookings and help turn the tide on the online travel agents.

Upon check-in the receptionist immediately noticed that I had booked directly and guided me to a VIP check-in area. I also noticed another lady was asking guests in the check-in queue if had they booked directly. If yes, they were directed to the VIP desks.

The VIP desk was a seated area and was a lot more comfortable than your standard stand up check-in.

At the VIP desk I was offered any drink of my choice – beer, wine or coffee. The staff were excellent and made it very clear that they were making a big fuss because I had booked directly. The receptionist also advised that most rooms weren’t ready yet for early check-in. However, because I booked directly and was now a VIP, she found a clean room for immediate check-in.

When I arrived at the room there was a box of chocolates on the bed with a big sticker that said ‘VIP booked Direct’. There was also a complimentary VIP 1/4 bottle of wine. I was impressed!

When you boil down the costs of providing the VIP service it is far less than the high commissions that will be paid to the OTAs.

  • No extra staff were required to man the VIP desk. The receptionist simply moved with me from reception to the VIP area. A little bit of real estate in the foyer is all that’s required.

  • Tea/coffee at check-in

  • Small box of truffles

  • Quarter bottle of wine

Taking this approach will change the mindset of customers so it becomes very clear that booking directly with the hotel offers the best value and service.

If every guest experienced the same VIP treatment for booking directly, they would choose the hotel’s own website every time they make a reservation. This would save the global hotel industry billions in commissions every year.

Hotel chains, industry associations & forums can all help to spread the word.

Booking.com had turnover of US$10.7 Billion in 2016 which would be mainly derived from commissions. It’s high time the collective hotel industry started to take back this revenue for itself!

© Keith Slowey 2017

 

System enhancements delivered as free, automatic upgrade

Posted in News on Friday, June 16, 2017

iHotelligence regularly implements feature improvements. Our goal is to make usability and reporting as fast and easy as possible. Everything is delivered behind the scenes with zero disruption and no extra cost.

Here is a summary of improvements from our most recent release.

For full details, please get in touch and we will email you a copy of our release notes.


Better customer tracking:

Sales forecasting is much easier thanks to 2 exciting guest management developments:

  • Enquiry tracking: This valuable source of data will help you identify and plan for booking trends before they hit. You can also add an enquiry conversion rate to your KPIs to measure sales performance.
  • Option rooms: This lets you hold a room until a specific date. If the booking is not confirmed by the deadline, the room is automatically marked as available. This new feature will help you work more collaboratively with customers and tour operators.
Room optioning screenshot

Boost sales with room optioning


Quick view of events:

You can display events to users such as festivals, weddings and conferences. It’s simple to add start and end dates, or adjust them with drag and drop. This extra layer helps with planning and keeps every member informed about important milestones.

iHotelligence events view

iHotelligence events view


More flexible search options:

It is now much easier to locate existing reservations. Filtering ‘Date From’ to ‘Date To’ will include all reservations in the hotel on and between those dates. You can also filter by status (enquiry, waiting list etc.)


Other enhancements delivered include:

  • Visible payment comments

  • Extra comments on arrivals tab for faster navigation

  • More flexible options for compulsory fields under Add Payment/ Return Money,  Add Sales Posting / Discount Posting and Reservation Record.

  • Note Option on Allotments: This displays both within the allotment itself and on the main allotment screen.

  • Company address automatically appears on the invoice for business travel

 

Congratulations to 2017 Irish Breakfast Awards Winners

Posted in News on Friday, June 16, 2017

Irish Breakfast awards

Looking to improve your breakfast experience? Learn from the best.

Georgina Campbell has bestowed the first ever Irish Breakfast Awards, in Association with Fáilte Ireland.

Congratulations to 2 of our valued customers who won in the following categories:

  • Best Country House: Ballymaloe House, Co. Cork

  • Best 3-star Hotel: Gougane Barra Hotel, Co. Cork

“A quality Irish breakfast is a key part of the visitor experience to Ireland and allows the opportunity to showcase the tastes of the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East and Dublin,” said John Mulcahy, Head of Food Tourism with Fáilte Ireland.

iHotelligence recommends offering a free breakfast as an incentive to guests who book directly. Saving 15% commission from OTAs covers the cost and encourages the user to visit your hotel website every time they stay with you.

 

iHotelligence Hotel Software Video

Posted in News on Monday, June 12, 2017

Learn how iHotelligence can benefit your business.

View our  video library playlist here

10 Tips For A Haunting Halloween Hotel!

Posted in News on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Halloween is next month so take a few ideas from the following list and let the people know what you have to offer. Your hotel doesn’t have to be haunted. You don’t have to hold a giant Halloween party or turn your hotel in to a tower of terror. If you can, excellent! If not, there are some smaller, budget friendly suggestions to get you going.

THE-SHINING_2718637b

There are people of every age that love Halloween. It’s a reason to party and have fun, dress up and be silly, be it with their friends or kids. Some simple changes and your hotel could draw in more customers based on the fact it’s Halloween.

  1. Halloween Hooch! – Something as simple as creating a spooky themed cocktail menu can go down well. Have your bar staff come up with some inventive Halloween concoctions and magical potions to put on special.
  2. Murder Mystery – There are companies that can help you conduct a whole murder mystery for as many people as you want to be involved and they’re great fun! Send out a mailshot to any guests who are staying with you on a particular night and ask do they want to sign up!
  3. Keeping It Local – If there are any big events happening near the hotel like ghost tours, zombie runs, Halloween shows etc tie in with event organisers and offer a special rate for those attending.
  4. Let’s Go To The Movies – Set up a projector in part of your hotel, the bar, lobby/reception area or a relaxed dining area. Show some Halloween movies throughout the day in the background. Or go all out and hold movie nights complete with popcorn and snacks. Hotel themed movies could work too! We’re thinking Rocky Horror, The Shining, Twin Peaks.. Or if we’re going more child friendly; Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Casper, Harry Potter… (more…)