Hoteliers can do plenty of things to ensure their guests have a hassle-free online hotel reservation. But the best way to get there is to do it right.
That means ensuring your staff knows how to use all the tools at their disposal. These include email, phone, social media, and chat.
Use a Credit Card
A credit card is often the best payment method when booking a hotel reservation online, like on Booking.com. It gives the hotel assurance that you will be able to pay and have the funds to cover any cancellations.
Some hotels will also place a courtesy hold on your debit card. This will lock in the amount of your stay, plus an additional percentage to cover incidental charges.
These holds are typically removed in a week, but you may have to wait longer if you have a large balance on your debit card or if you are using a bank card.
Some hotels also accept prepaid cards, PayPal, or cash payments as an alternative to credit cards. However, you should check with each hotel to see if they accept this payment before booking.
Check the Cancellation Policy
The cancellation policy of your hotel is one of the most important factors to consider when making a hotel reservation. This includes whether or not you can cancel your booking and how much you will be refunded if you do.
For example, some hotels may offer flexible cancellation policies that let you cancel up to 8 days before arrival. Others may require a minimum notice before charging your credit card or forfeiting your deposit.
If you’re a property manager, you should also check your cancellation policy to ensure it’s in line with the expectations of your guests. This will help you avoid losing revenue and fill empty rooms faster.
Your cancellation policy should detail the consequences of a guest’s failure to cancel their reservation on time. This can include a fixed cost fee or a percentage of the total service price. It’s important to note that these fees should be reasonable and reflect the actual costs incurred by your business due to a failed booking. A well-known policy can significantly reduce no-shows and last-minute cancellations, improving your bottom line.
Generally, every website relies on some form of third-party service. These third-party services can have the most impact on your overall online experience and are the most likely to be the source of the website’s most impressive content and features.
As a result, understanding these services and how they work can make all the difference between a positive guest experience and a negative one.
In the end, a successful online hotel booking should be as painless as possible for both the guest and the hotel.
Check Your Bill
Many hotels now offer e-payments and mobile payments, but checking your bill carefully before paying is important. Often, hotels make billing mistakes, such as double charges or additional fees.
The hotel will give you a reservation number when you book a room. You’ll need this number to check in at the hotel.
But if you don’t have it or forget to bring it, you might not be able to check-in. And if you do the check-in, the hotel can charge your credit card for anything that happens during your stay.
The best way to avoid this is to read the cancellation policy line-by-line before you click BOOK. You may be surprised at how lenient some properties are when canceling a stay.
In addition, it’s a good idea to pay in cash rather than using your credit card. This will protect you from any incidental fees or damage and help you avoid getting stuck with a huge bill when you get home. If you use a credit card, ask for it to be billed in the local currency.
Call the Hotel
One of the biggest challenges of booking online is that guests sometimes arrive at the hotel and find that they have a reservation number, but they need someone to greet them. This can be particularly frustrating for customers traveling for a long time.
To avoid this, call the hotel after making your reservation to ensure you’re actually getting the room you reserved. If you’re not, they’ll likely refund your money or move you to another room if it’s available.
You should also call the hotel if you think you’re being charged for extras that should come free with your stay, like access to the beach or exercise room. These fees are usually hidden behind a mandatory “resort” fee, so it’s important to ask if everything is included in the rate you’re quoted.
Finally, ensure your hotel has a good reputation for delivering excellent customer service and is known as the place to stay in your city. This is the best way to build your brand and grow your business.