As a hotelier, your properties might have been listed on various channels. A channel manager can help you in syncing your inventories across those listed channels.
Although there are plenty of Channel Managers available in the market, selecting the right one for you is critical for your business.
In this guide, we will help you to find the best channel manager for your property.
A channel manager is software that connects your PMS (Property Management System) to other distribution channels like OTAs and hotel Websites.
It’s main role is to update the rates and inventories which are available across all the room booking sites and eliminate the chance of overbookings.
Consider the following tips will guide you in choosing the right channel manager for your business.
Demonstrations are a fantastic way of seeing the products in action. It will give you the chance to fully understand the functionality of the system and identify any limitations. But most importantly it allows you to make sure that the channel manager is going to fulfill your distribution requirements.
NOTE: The providers demonstrate the product with the dummy data to explain the full functionality of the system. This may not exactly meet your expectations so you need to be aware of it.
One of the best things about hotel channel managers is that they connect in real-time. This is important because it stops the problem of having too many bookings for the same room or overbooking.
To make sure this works well, the channel manager uses XML connectivity. This makes sure that your room prices and how many rooms are available are always correct on all the websites. Another smart way to manage these bookings is by using a pooled inventory model. In this model, instead of individually assigning rooms one by one to each website, all rooms are pooled together.
This means you can put rooms on all the websites at once without worrying that too many people will book the same room. This is one of the strategies to avoid overbooking. You can learn more about the strategies to avoid overbooking in your hotel.
To distribute your hotel’s inventory effectively, identify the key channels or OTAs for your business. Take a close look at the channels that a potential channel manager supports. Keep in mind that the importance of channels can vary by region.
To get the best deals on their stay, Guests prefer to search their stay on the different channels or OTAs. These channels help in OTA online distribution which enhances your hotel’s visibility to attract more guests.
With any new system, users will have questions and face those issues that require troubleshooting. So training and constant support are mandatory.
Training should include all key members of staff such as all members. This includes the members of the revenue management team and the front office team. Other key members of staff in the hotels such as sales and marketing should be included in the training.
The training is generally delivered online. If you plan on working with a provider that is overseas, the same provider may also do the location-specific visits that may come to your hotel specifically. Ongoing continuous training is critical. This helps to understand reaping the full benefits of any channel management solution that you decide to go with.
Channel management mapping is a process of connecting room types of rate plans within the channel manager to all of the different room types and rate plans across all of the individual channels.
This way everything is connected. It’s important that mapping monitoring is included as a part of the contract. This means that if anything happens between your generic setup and any of the channels, the provider can take responsibility and fix the issue for you.
Mapping monitoring should be included as a part of your standard contract, this involves notifying you of any mapping issues as and when they occur and then fixing them at the same time.
A good channel manager should be able to integrate with the hotel’s PMS (Property Management System) and booking engine.
Customer support is essential. Once you get past all the sales and marketing, this is where you’ll find out what a company is truly worth! It’s important that when you’re evaluating references you check with existing clients about that customer support experience. You need to make sure that they will be there for you when it matters.
You should be able to receive a response from the channel manager team through chat, e-mail ticketing or phone within a few hours at max.
Recently a lot of fraudulent activities have been going on in the hotel industry. Even with big hotel chains, it is hard to minimize data breaches.
As the channel manager deals with guests’ personal and payment information, the hotels need to invest in software with robust security.
You can check with the PCI – DSS certification and GDPR compliance of the channel manager before making the buying decision.
As a hotelier, the decision to choose the right channel manager for your property is very important for the growth of your business.
The Channel managers play a crucial role in ensuring seamless synchronization of inventory across various distribution channels, preventing overbookings, and maximizing your reach.
If you’re a hotel owner searching for an efficient solution to streamline your hotel operations, you might want to explore QloApps – All In One Property Management Solution