If you don’t guarantee the configuration of the beds in your double bedrooms you will lose reservations. For this to be effective, you must announce this guarantee before customers proceed to book their rooms.
A percentage of the clients don’t reserve a double room without being certain that they will have separate beds. Another group, maybe a bit less fussy, will, however, behave in the same way when they ask for a double bed. They use this criteria to choose their hotel.
The hotelier doesn’t see these lost clients because they’ll never arrive in the hotel or contact them to ask for information regarding the number of beds. They just clicked on a different hotel. It is difficult to find a solution for a problem you don’t know exists.
Subject to availability?
It’s advisable to avoid the phrase “on request”. It’s widely used because it’s the easiest to manage the hotel bookings. With it the hotel doesn’t commit to anything and leaves more margin for the adjustment of the daily allocation of room types.
A group of potential clients won’t bother inquiring, so it is convenient for the hotel to confirm it straight away, so there is a smaller chance to lose clients because they’ve got to wait.
Subject to availability? Will they force you to share a bed?
Divide the inventory, if you can
The solution is to separate the type of double room offered, so it is clearly visible if they are double or rooms with two beds. Some hotels will find it more difficult than others dividing their inventory of double rooms, because of many different factors, espeically the physical distribution of the rooms.
This difficulty dealing everyday with the inventory of real types and reserved types is something that is common to all the managing departments, normally those that deal with bookings, revenue and reception. It is understandable that they resist the change, as it will make their daily work even harder, and it becomes even more difficult if the hotel has to divide the double rooms into other types like superior or suites.
Look for imaginative solutions
What you want to achieve is this balance between the client’s desires and the reality of the hotel. However, take into account that you will be able to succeed more easily if you can meet client’s expectations by adapting your systems internally.
Some things to take into account:
- It is not possible to separate the inventory in all the channels, each one has its own rules. In some of them the hotel can configure its rooms the way it wants and with others this is not possible.
- The channels in which it really can and must offer the possibility of choosing the preferred type of room is the hotel’s official website. It is a great opportunity to differentiate its website as the channel that offers the best booking conditions, in this case more types of rooms.
- Its PMS and its revenue management software must be configured to manage the different types on each channel.
- Changes in work processes generate resistance. Listen to your employees but also think about those potential clients that you won’t be able to listen to if you lose them.
- Experience, explore new possibilities. It will take time.
- Beware of hotel terminology and jargon. The names of the different types of rooms could be very confusing and they are a source of uncertainty for the prospective client. Differentiate between capacity and types of beds. Using English lingo will create problems, try to be precise in the use of language.
- ¿Is a double room (habitación doble) a room for two people without any more information about the type of bed? It’s an ambiguous term.
- In English, double can be interpreted as “for two people” or with what in Spanish is the equivalent to “double bed”, cama de matrimonio in Spanish. And what is twin? The opposite?
Will they understand “twin” in Spanish?
Sometimes I hear that many hotels or chains claim that they are customer focused as a differentiation value. So this phrase doesn’t just stay as another marketing empty phrase, hotels must demonstrate this focus in decisions like the one I have talked about in this post.
There is no doubt that every hotel has a different experience, which one is yours?