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Traditional PMS Vs Cloud PMS – Why Hotels Are Switching to Cloud PMS

Traditional hotel systems and PMS come with limited access. You can only access the application from a particular computer. However a modern cloud-based PMS, like the powerful AIO PMS system, overcomes this debilitating limitation and allows you access while on the go.

As you are attending to the guests or moving about in the hotel you can access the cloud based PMS from your mobile device or from any computer device that is nearby. With just a decent internet connection you can now stay connected to the PMS 24*7!

Traditional Vs Cloud PMS – Why Cloud PMS Is Superior

Cloud PMS solutions come with many benefits when compared to their traditional counterparts.

Traditional PMS are usually installed on a single or a few computers. To access them you have to be near that computer. The benefit of cloud based PMS system is that it gives you access anytime, anywhere so that you can efficiently carry out your activities.

Not just that, the AIO cloud-based PMS lets you manage a whole chain of hotels. If you are a hotel owner or manager you can conveniently generate reports and check all activity even when you are out of town.

Another area where the cloud based PMS is superior is security. Since the application is hosted on the cloud, there will be no effect if your local computer crashes. You need not worry about maintaining the security of your computer or protect the computer from viruses, etc.

The cloud server hosting the PMS will already have latest and high-quality security systems in place. There may be frequent security scans and checks, security upgrades and other activities undertaken by the cloud company. There is no manual intervention needed on your part.

So the security is taken care of without you having to lift a finger or hire an expensive security firm to look into it. Security worries are lifted off you so that you can focus purely on your business.

AIO is proud to be a Cloud PMS provider. We have a super-powerful PMS application which is feature-rich, reliable and affordable. Our amazing cloud based hotel PMS has amazing report-generation capabilities wherein you can generate hundreds of different kinds of reports for gaining better business insights.

Our PMS is suitable whether you have a smaller hotel or a chain of larger properties. Give us a call to discuss more…

The Rising Popularity of Online Survey Tools for Hotels

In the hospitality industry, surveys and customer feedback play a very important role. Hotels have always given lot of importance to obtaining feedback from the guests. The guest feedback can provide valuable insights to the hotels and help them identify problems, areas for improvement.

However traditional surveys are now getting outdated, being replaced by online surveys. There have cropped up an amazing array of different survey tools which can be used by businesses, including hotels, to ask various kind of questions, conduct polls and take ratings from the customers about different aspects of the business.

For example, a hotel may ask guests to give ratings for different things including its food, room service, cleanliness, friendly staff, etc. The guests can fill in the survey form and give ratings on the online portal, through their mobile phones. The guests can fill in the survey forms as is convenient for them, even a few days after they have checked out of the hotel.

Online surveys have become the rage these days because of their convenience and ease, and also because of their variety of uses and the plenty of options they come with. Hotels are sending survey questionnaires to guests at various stages of their stay, including before check-in, during the stay and after check-out.

During the stay these survey tools can be used to identify specific needs of the guest and address them swiftly. After check-out, these tools can be used to gauge the levels of user satisfaction.

There are a plethora of survey tools in the market, some free and some paid. There are also some hospitality-centric survey tools, meant specially for use by hotels and some generic ones, which can be used by any business house including hotels. These survey tools have been in existence from more than 10 years now, and are becoming more and more advanced and user-friendly with the passage of time.

Powerful Features & Templates:
The survey tools often come with handy, ready-to-use modules, functionalities and addons that make them all the more powerful. For example, some survey tools have pre-defined templates which can prove extremely valuable for people who are amateur and not good at creating surveys.

If you are not sure what questions to ask, you can make use of these ready made templates to give you ideas and also save you lot of time. For example – Survey Monkey has a ready-made hotel feedback survey template which has around 20 odd questions to get you started!

Popular Survey Tools In the Market:
Some of the popular and worthwhile survey tools which hotels can use on their website are:

Most of the time you can setup survey on your hotel website using the above tools in a matter of minutes. So what is stopping you? Go ahead and try some of these tools!

 

Few Essential Requirements of Any Modern Hotel Website

Clear Navigation
It is very important that your hotel’s website is easy to navigate. People should not get lost or confused while exploring the website. Content should be properly organized into proper categories. The menus should be displayed prominently on the top and the bottom. Some pages may additionally have sidebar menu linking to relevant inner pages.

Make sure the top menu links to the important sections or pages of the website. At the same time don’t include too many items in the top menu as it can overwhelm the user.

The room listings page should have minimal information in order to avoid overwhelming the user with information overload. Make these pages simple and minimal, but be sure to include all the important information with clear calls to action.

Clear Calls to Action
Have clearly visible and attractive calls to action sprinkled throughout the site with clear text, like Book A Room or Learn More or Contact Us, etc

You should let the user book a room or do important actions with ease on the website. Have a prominently displayed ‘Book Now’ button, rates display, availability calendar and search feature. You may also have popups to show some offers or persuade users to engage or book.

Reviews and FAQ pages
These are also important to have on your website. Make a list of all the important questions that users may have or questions you commonly get asked by people. Display all these questions along with their answers on the FAQ page so that the users can check out these questions easily.

Similarly having a reviews page can do wonders to your website. If you have lot of good reviews from your past guests, feel free to exhibit these on a separate, dedicated section or page. These reviews can motivate the other users to also try your hotel.

Using Technology to Improve and Grow Your Hotel Business

  1. Prioritize the website and mobile experience

In a world where most of our lives are spent online, it is not surprising that lot of your customers will book rooms online. That’s why it is extremely important to develop an attractive website for your hotel which is equipped with all the latest features and functionality. Your website may be the first impression your potential guests get about your hotel so make sure that the website is professionally done otherwise you may lose lot of bookings.

 

  1. Offer direct booking concessions

Direct booking helps build customer loyalty. You can encourage direct booking by offering value-added discounts. These may include discounts on food and beverages, lower reservation prices, discounts on future stays, and more. The goal is to keep guests away from using hotel comparison sites, so that you can save lot of money on commissions to third party agents. You can also promote a loyalty program so that you reward guests who recommend your hotel to others. This way you can catch lot of additional guests.

 

  1. Cleverly manage your distribution channels

Compared to large hotel chains, independent hotels often do not have enough budget to for large scale marketing. These smaller hotels should choose the right distribution channels to gain worldwide exposure.

 

  1. Manage your important data records

Whether you’re using CRM technology or plain Microsoft Excel to manage your data, you should always keep in mind that you don’t need every piece of information. Only store key data and organize it efficiently. When properly analyzed, key data insights can help your overall revenue management approach.

Storing and organizing key data can become extremely easy and convenient if you use the right software application like a hotel PMS. So consider investing in a powerful PMS  that offers tons of valuable features.

AIO Hospitality offers such a PMS which is highly powerful, affordable and comes with an amazing range of reporting tools. The right PMS can not only make your operations easier and smoother, it can also help you better analyze your business and take informed steps to increase revenues and grow further.

 

AIO PMS – Travel Agent Module

Travel agents are very important for hotels as they can help the hotel sell its inventory to a large global audience. Hotels can increase their occupancy rates, reach wider audience, gain more exposure and hence grow their business by leaps and bounds with the help of travel agents and online travel agents.

When hotels can tap into a huge network of travel agents and online travel agents, they won’t need a sales team of their own to do marketing for them. Sales teams can have various limitations whereas the travel agents can help you reach more diverse audience.

The problem is that when you have travel agents you need to calculate commissions for them based on the rates you fix for them. You may have different rates for different agents and your hotel software should be able to keep track of how many sales are being driven by each travel agent you are associated with. Not only that, the software application should also calculate the commissions payable to each agent based on the number of bookings, the room rates at which the bookings were made, any discounts or concessions that were given to the guests, etc.

The good news is that Travel Agent Module of AIO software suite does all this for you on autopilot. This is a great feature which can eliminate lot of headaches for hoteliers. It can be such a relief when you can accurately track the number of bookings of each agent as well as calculate the commissions you owe them, all this without any additional manual work on your part.

If you want to get the full benefit of this powerful feature you can check out our AIO PMS and other powerful, feature-rich software applications which can make your hotel management work easier and hassle-free for you – All In One Hotel PMS.

Different Kinds of Emails Hotels Should Send To Guests

Email marketing is one of the best ways to keep in touch with your hotel guests. But how do you do it properly? There has to be some reason to send an email to your guests. If you just send emails without rhyme or reason, it will look odd and eventually the guests may lose interest and may not check out your mails.

In this article let us give some ideas of what kinds of emails you should be sending your guests at different stages. If you employ this strategy you can establish a strong communication with the guests and open the pathways for long term relationship.

Pre-Stay Emails:

1. Reservation Confirmation: This is an automated email that should be sent as soon as someone books a room at your hotel. The purpose of this emal is to confirm and reassure the guest that the reservation was successful. This is a kind of acknowledgement from the hotel which can provide the guest with a peace of mind that the booking has been done and their credit card information is safe with the hotel management.

2. Thank You: This is a personalized message which should have a friendly, warm tone. In this email you thank the guest for booking room with you and giving you chance to serve them. You should mention that you look forward to hosting them and providing them a pleasant and memorable stay.

This email should ideally be sent a day after the confirmation email. This email creates a warm feeling in the guests and can make them excited.

3. Preparation, Preference & Reminder: As the guest stay draws near, you send them an email to make sure everything is in order. In this email you can remind them of their check-in and check-out times, inform them of all the documents they need to carry with them, and any other terms and conditions that you want them to be aware of.

Use this email to learn more about the guest – their preferences, if they have any allergies, etc. There is an excellent opportunity to upsell or cross-sell them in this email. You can upsell your extra products or services.

Post Stay Emails:

1. Feedback Request: After the stay is over, you should always ask your guest for feedback and suggestions. Whether the guest had a pleasant or an unpleasant stay, don’t miss the feedback request. Even if you know the feedback is not going to be good, you will at least have information of what the guest felt like and what changes or improvements you can make to improve your hotel service.

If they leave a positive review, kindly ask them if you can use their review for marketing purpose. Usually they will say yes. You could even forward them links to popular online hotel review sites and ask them to kindly leave a short review at all or some of these websites.

If they leave a negative review, still thank them and assure them that you will take necessary steps so that such a problem does not happen again in future.

2. Promotions and Offers: Hotels should try to drive repeat bookings. An excellent way to do this is to stay in periodic touch with previous guests who have stayed at your hotel. You can send them promotional and discount offers from time to time. These offers will serve as a reminder of your hotel and could also entice them to book with you again in order to avail the discounted rates.

You could send them seasonal promotions or special offers that are only for selected people who have stayed at your hotel earlier.

Why Hotels Should Capture Their Guests Emails

Emails can be a powerful marketing and revenue-boosting tool for hotels. Capturing guest data including their email addresses and phone numbers has become critical part of hotel marketing strategy. Email is one of the most important communication channels with the hotel guests.

Even with the growing usage of smartphones and messaging apps like Whatsapp, Telegram, etc, email still remains number one chanel for engaging with users. In fact the popularity and usage of email communication has shown a steady increase year by year.

Some of the reasons for the popularity of email communication are:

– People can check their emails and reply at their own convenience. When they get a phone call they have to receive it then and there whereas in case of email they can choose to reply at a later time that is convenient for them.

– Many of the hotel guests may be from different countries and different time zones. So email is the preferred mode of communication with such people.

– Email communication is free whereas phone calls can cost money. As a major portion of a hotel’s guests are likely to be from a foreign country, it is not economically feasible for the hotel to keep making phone calls to these guests as the costs can add up to substantial figures.

– Emails are a form of non-pressure communication. The guests don’t feel as big a pressure when they receive an email as they feel when they get a phone call. The guests do not have to reply immediately to emails which is not the case with phone calls.

Due to the above mentioned reasons, emails form a big part of business communication with customers. This is true with most businesses, but more so in the hospitality and travel industries.

So hotels should not be neglectful of capturing email addresses of their guests for future communications. Email marketing is one of the most popular and highly effective mediums of marketing. It is a great way to stay in touch with your guests in a non-intrusive way.

You can send periodic emails to the customers; you can send reminders or promotional offers, discount coupons, etc; Effective email marketing starts the moment a person books room at your hotel. You should look forward to building and nurturing a long term relationship with each of your guests, long after their stay has ended.

An award winning hotelier has revealed that pre-arrival emails are very effective at cross-selling addon services. Pre-arrival emails are those which you send before the guest comes to stay at your hotel.

Guests emails can be a goldmine for your business if you know how to harness maximum benefit out of them. However capturing email addresses is just the first step and there are lot more things to do. You need a good PMS and other software applications in order to store those emails and contact the guests at regular intervals. A good PMS or CRS application will keep track of all the email communication. You can check AIO’s feature-rich and affordable PMS which could help boost your business substantially.

How to Capture Maximum Emails: 

Train the Staff – You need to educate the staff on the importance of capturing emails. Ask them to recheck emails by repeating them to customers.

Ask for Limited Information – Don’t give out long forms to guests to fill out as that can make them frustrated. Nobody likes filling out long forms. Try to ask for information that is relevant and important, like the email address and other critical data.

Confirm Reservation By Email – Whenever guests register a room online or on phone, send confirmation through email. This way you can ensure that the guests are providing you a valid and working email id.

Tips to Write Great Content for Your Hotel Website

Many hoteliers are clueless about what to do next after they develop their website. They have heard or read about the importance of building a website. They probably noticed most of their competitors have their own websites up and running, so they thought if they don’t develop a website they may be left far behind in the race. So they finally decide jump in.

However, developing a website is just the first step in a long, arduous journey which you need to undertake. Just slapping together a few pages and publishing it online may not do you much good.

Remember this – in the online world, content is the king! If you don’t have proper content on the website, you may not be able to go far. Let us give some pointers about how to publish amazing content for your hotel website.

Good content is all about details: The more in-depth, informative and detailed the content the better it may perform. If the content you publish is very informative, useful and comprehensive it may get lot of social shares and likes. People who read it will see you as an authority figure in this industry. You can gain lot of recognition, trust and fame by publishing well-researched, in-depth content that covers a topic from many angles.

The titles are very important: Whatever content you publish, you need to make sure you give it a great headline. Title is the first part of the content which the users see. If the title does not interest them or arouse their curiosity they may not even read the rest of the page. So the title should be enticing and interesting.

Titles should not be misleading: The rest of the content should deliver on the promise of the title. Whatever you promise in the title should be fulfilled in the content. If the content fails to deliver on the promise, it will turn out to be a big disappointment for the readers. Title is like a promise which the rest of the content fulfils. If the title reads ’10 Tips to Travel on a Budget’, make sure the content covers 10 tips, otherwise readers are going to feel misled and annoyed.

Organize the content: Make sure the content is properly organized and is easy to read. Remember that web content is usually written for the general public – the layman. It should be easy to read and understand. Avoid using difficult words. Organize the content in topics and subtopics. Use subheadings, pictures and bullet points in order to make the content look organized and easy on the eyes.

Make the content laser-targeted: Make the content targeted to a specific audience. If your content is not directed to any particular user, it is unlikely to perform well. So decide beforehand who are the people to whom you are addressing with a particular blog post, video or article.

We shall be providing more tips and suggestions on writing awesome content for your hotel websites, stay tuned!

AIO Online Hotel Room Booking System

Booking engine that helps you earn more. More and more people are prefering to avoid human interactions whether it is during room booking or during check-in or check-out. The more operations that can be automated the better.

Automation will help not only in minimizing human contact, it will also help in providing faster and seamless user experience. There will no longer be any need to wait in long queues. Human errors or mistakes can be minimized as there is minimal human involvement.

Modern day guests expect and demand more. They want better experience, pleasant engagement, faster reaction, higher flexibility. People are busy and have limited time, so they want faster service.

People also like ease of use. They want to be able to check out hotel rooms information whenever they want. They want the information about a hotel available to them at their fingertips at any time of the day or night so that they can search and book a room whenever they want through their mobile or laptop.

Hotels which do not provide such facility to users are likely to miss out a huge and growing percentage of hotel guests. Recent surveys conducted by various business organizations point to the fact that growing number of people are prefering to book rooms online without the need for human contact.

So it is very important for hotels to provide an online hotel room booking system that is simple, user-friendly, convenient, fast, reliable, secure and has got all the required features that people expect! Thankfully AIO Hospitality provides such an excellent online booking engine and associated software applications that do the job!

Our prices are highly reasonable and affordable. We have feature rich applications built for the hospitality sector. Our applications are suited for all kinds of hotels ranging from small motels and lodges to big hotel chains.

You can connect your hotel booking engine with channel manager, PMS and with GDS/IDS. The GDS/IDS can connect your hotel to 650,000+ travel agents and 2000+ OTAs. Contact us to know more about the AIO hotel room booking system solution!

Survey Results – 90% Prefer App Rather Than Human Interaction

Software solutions provider Metova has conducted a survey of 1000 people in USA in 2020. The survey involved those people who have stayed at a hotel or resort in the past 2 years. They found that most people are hesitant to interact with humans and would much rather prefer to do their operations through a mobile app.

Nearly 90% people said they prefer hotels to have a mobile app which would let them manage all activities related to their stay without the need to interact with another human being.

This is a profound revelation which has come to light after this survey. The post-Covid world is likely to be very different than the one we have been used to. Almost every area of our life is going to be different. Businesses have to adapt to the changing world, specially the hospitality and travel industries.

If any hotel has been neglectful of integrating technology, now is the time to jump right in otherwise you may be left far behind. Hotels need to develop a fully functional website which has a booking engine integrated so that guests can book rooms online. Not just website, but hotels would also need to develop mobile apps which allow users to manage most of the tasks related to their stay.

Automating as many tasks as possible and reducing human interaction seems to be the key. If your hotel does not have a mobile app or a website, you may stand to lose nearly 90% customers because they would prefer some other hotel which has a website and app.