We all know how much revenue is lost annually to OTA fees and room rate reductions, and while online travel agencies do offer necessary distribution practices, you undersell your services if you choose not to add a direct booking engine to your site. The benefits for your hotel are instant. You retain a hundred percent of your booking profits and optimize RevPar to its fullest. You also gain access to booking data which OTAs deny their hoteliers. You can use your guest’s contacts to build an effective database and apply mail campaigns and queries that would help you improve guest loyalty in the long run.
The BookDirect engine by Clock PMS+ lets you make the best of all web tools to drive more bookings and encourage return guests. Direct links to preferential rates sent to loyal customers or integrated in the banners of event websites, promo codes published in the descriptions of special offer packages, ‘best rate’ badges and ‘only 3 rooms left’ messages - these are all guaranteed to increase conversion rate and bring in more bookings.
We’ve taken a mobile first approach where the design of the app is created with the idea that the main users are mobile users. Research and statistics clearly indicates that mobile becomes the predominant channel through which bookings are created and we strongly believe that they will be the main devices on which the BookDirect engine will be used. However, we haven’t forgotten PC users and the engine neatly adapts to all screen sizes regardless of the type of device.
Easy navigation and simplified customer communication
The booking flow of the engine goes through 4 (5) steps all of which present information in the clearest possible way with a minimum number of clicks needed. Guests can seamlessly navigate among the steps, change their selections or simply read through the descriptions you have added.
Please see below a brief presentation of each step along with some specifics about the BookDirect mechanics.
At this step, guests need to enter their desired arrival and departure dates. Furthermore, they can enter a Bonus/Company/Block code if you've provided them with such. More information about the codes can be found HERE.
At this step, the guest will be presented with your various room types. Each room type will be in its own 'card'. Guests can view the images in a gallery and also maximize them. Furthermore, guests can also view the description of the room type.
Important: Room types for which there is no availability for the period or the period has a restriction preventing reservation will be tagged as 'Unavailable'. Furthermore, for room types for which the rates have a Min Stay restriction will be tagged with 'Min nights: X', prompting guests to possibly reconsider and increase their length of stay.
At this step, guests will be presented with the available rates for the selected room type. Guests can view the descriptions of the rate and also the Guarantee and Cancellation policies. Rates that are incompatible due to a min stay restriction will also be presented at the bottom, possibly encouraging guests to increase their length of stay to book at the said rate. Once the desired rate is selected, guests can select how many rooms they would like to book at that rate and enter the number of adults and children, which will prompt a calculation of the final price in case you use 'Per Guest' rates or 'Guest Offsets'.
Extra services (optional)
This step is an optional one and will be shown only if you have added Charge Templates to be offered as 'Extra services' for the BookDirect engine. You are able to add an image and description for each service to ensure the necessary information is passed through to the guests. Depending on settings and guest selection, services can be purchased once, per day, per guest per day, etc. The booked services will be automatically posted in the booking folio once the reservation is complete.
The final step of the reservation process provides a summary of all room types and rates added to the 'cart' along with final prices and required deposit amounts.
Guest details must be entered and guests need to agree to the Terms and conditions and Guarantee/Cancellation policies.
Guests can also add additional notes/messages and opt in to marketing emails.
If the 'booker' will not be a guest staying, they can select the respective button and enter their contact details which will mark them as 'Contact person' for the booking/s and email communication will be done with them.
Finally, the available payment methods will be offered and depending on the choice the guest does, they will navigated to a secure payment page or a secure page to simply collect card details.
At any stage, guests can login or create a profile on the BookDirect. The purpose of this is to save time for guests as they do not need to enter their details every time they book, while at the same time, prevents duplicates of guests profiles within the system.
In case of signing in with an email, once guests enter their address, they will receive a 6 digit code on their email which they need to fill out. Find more information about the login HERE.
In several situations, the BookDirect will offer an availability calendar. This is in the cases where:
- there aren't any available rooms for the searched period
- a certain room type is not available for the searched period or the only available rates have a Min Stay restriction higher than the searched length of stay:
Using the availability calendar, guests can adjust their stay so they can book the desired room type and make use of a min stay offer.
Please make sure you go through our next articles to learn how to configure the BookDirect engine, embed it on your website and possibly apply tracking scripts.