Whether it is most popular IPTV subscription for Android engines, answering countless emails to potential customers looking to book a room with you or the issue of overbooking. Channel management in hospitality brings a spate of challenges. However, tackling these very areas well and on a daily basis is necessary for hotels to stay ahead in the competition.
With the unstoppable advancement in technology, Revenue Managers have a great opportunity to not only manage many of these pertinent domains but also save costs and generate more revenue.
In the past also, we have discussed the common challenges in Channel Management. In this article, we will further outline some uncommon and mostly ignored aspects pertaining to channel management in the hotel industry. These areas may not affect your distribution directly, but certainly, have an impact on your channel management in an indirect way.
If these are taken care of, inventory distribution will be a smoother task and effective also.
Rate parity is a big difficult area in hospitality and requires maintaining consistency of rates across different distribution channels, like the brand website, OTAs, etc. Hotels often claim the ‘best rate guarantee’ on their website to make their customers feel confident that they do not need to look for a better rate elsewhere.
However, the problem here is that no website can claim to offer the lowest possible rate, irrespective of how many hotels advertise ‘best rate guarantee’ on their own websites. The customers are certain to find another website with a better rate. This breed frustration and lack of satisfaction and confidence about hotel among customers.
A solution to this problem would be to win the customers’ confidence by maintaining rate parity to meet the rate expectations of different customer segments and those reaching to you after doing their rate comparison on different platforms. Ensuring this would preserve rate integrity, ensure transparency and tame price discrimination. Guaranteeing rate stability and accuracy require an efficient and cost-effective management of different distribution channels to ensure high volume bookings every night. That is when a comprehensive Rate Parity tool and an advance Online Channel Distribution tool comes handy.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Online Reputation Management (ORM)
Customer relationship management (CRM) is another very important aspect of the hospitality industry, hence needs utmost attention. Hotels of today primarily handle CRM online and hence coincides with the term Online Reputation Management.
When it comes to online reputation, every wise mind would swear by the crucial role of social media. The sites used in electronic distribution with respect to social media work in tandem, as they allow the travel community to interact and build upon each other’s thoughts, especially in terms of reviews.
This process has majorly four main stages. The first stage is the stage of absolute non-acceptance from the customer. The second stage is the indifference/consideration stage, wherein a customer is doubtful of the level of service satisfaction from a hotel. The third stage is the ‘delight’ stage. Here, the customer is completely satisfied with your services. The fourth stage is when customers become your advocates and actively brings business to you by way of promotion and referrals. ORM aims at bringing the customers from the first stage to the fourth stage.