GuestCentric has enabled the possibility to add vouchers on your website, leading to an increased client portfolio for hoteliers. Whether you want to announce a spa session, a trip to the gym, a dinner at your restaurant or any other voucher. Simply choose from a variety of voucher templates or create a custom version, you decide. The vouchers will appear in the products page, where hoteliers can sort them in order of preference. Moreover, hoteliers can add them as gadgets on the side bar of any other page they wish, or even include them as an add ons.
Mobile version also included!
According to studies made to consumers in the United States, gift certificates are highly popular. Gift certificates and gift cards are the most-wanted gifts by women and the third-most wanted by men. If you are not investing in gift certificates, and advertising them via your digital community, you are leaving a significant amount of hotel revenue on the table.
Hence, gift certificates or gift cards are a great way to grow your client portfolio, by driving traffic to your hotel or hospitality services. Gift certificates have a few characteristics that make them similar to viral marketing, and certainly a great digital marketing tool:
- Gift certificates enable hotels to reach consumers that they typically would not reach, representing a means of stimulating additional purchases.
- Gift certificates are highly targeted and the receiver is certainly motivated to use them, making it an even more efficient method of spreading your services to others.
- Gift certificates are personal proposals of satisfied customers, building your hotel’s credibility and reputation.
Promoting gift cards and gift certificates is a great way of maximizing your hotel’s revenue and visibility around what people can experience at your property. Gift certificates enable you to promote your spa, your gym, a dinner at your restaurant or any other characteristic that is distinctive for your property.
To date, creating and redeeming gift certificates has been difficult for individual properties. However, new digital marketing tools like GuestCentric’s all-in-one digital marketing system make the process simple: hoteliers themselves can now create gift certificate types that hold a pre-paid amount that can be spent at any of your hotels. These certificates can be bought online, via web, mobile or social channels and are easily sent by e-mail or delivered by postal services. This is a trend that has been very successful and will continue to be adopted by other hotels since it meets the changing needs of consumers.
We encourage and believe in this practice given the numerous pros, both on the hotelier’s side and the customer’s side. Regarding the hoteliers’ advantages we can summarize them as the following:
- Increase visibility of your hotel or chain of hotels, by attracting new customers.
If someone offers a gift certificate, he is naturally encouraging others to purchase your services. Moreover, if the awarded is satisfied with your business there is a greater probability this person will return for more purchases, increasing customer loyalty.
- Boost in cash. Given its gift nature, an obvious consequence of this product is that it will typically boost cash in the holiday season. For example, during Christmas time you will certainly notice a peak in demand, but not necessarily in occupation.
- Fully automated, no additional work. Gift certificates are just another payment method. Your booking engine should be able to redeem them, and if it supports payment gateway integration, cash will be delivered straight into your account with no human intervention.
- Increase brand awareness. Make sure to customize and include your hotels name and logo in the vouchers. By comprising this information, you will increase brand awareness. This is yet another marketing strategy that will help advertise your service and your hotel brand will reach people that might otherwise not have known about your services.
- Gift certificates expire. For hoteliers this converts into an additional advantage since cash is not reimbursed to customers who do not use their gift card or do not redeem its entire value.
On the other hand, gift certificates also deliver great benefits to customers. The key advantages are as follows:
- Flexibility. Gift certificates do not have a specific date to be consumed; they have an expiration date and can be used anytime between the date they are received until the end date. Furthermore, they also allow the cardholder to choose from a range of experiences or inside a certain budget depending on the type of gift certificate.
- Easy to choose. Flexibility means that consumers can decide quickly to buy. Customers can purchase effortlessly online, within a click, making the acquisition possible anywhere. Such a flexible gift will definitely satisfy the receiver due to its flexibility and convenience.
- Custom-made to meet specific needs. Buyers can choose to add a message or name. This allows consumers to send an individualized gift, which can be personalized within certain standards in order to best fit their friends or colleagues tastes.
- Ease of delivery. This is a gift that can travel beyond boundaries. Easily sent abroad, it can be delivered via post or e-mail. Additionally, the latter has the benefit of having less chances of getting lost.
In summary, we believe that hotels can differentiate by offering unique experiences in gift certificates. Through the use of these gifts to promote their spas, gyms, bars, restaurants, nightclubs and other hospitality businesses hoteliers will profit immensely, meanwhile those lagging behind will miss out on a great opportunity to maximize revenue. Gift certificates are a promising way to do so and by bringing such advantages to customers you can be sure that your clients will purchase them.
Hotels can announce amenities regarding vacation rentals and extended stays! Under the administration area properties can now enter the relevant details regarding sections such as vacation rentals, children/pets and internet, as shown in the image above. Hoteliers simply have to click on the relevant amenities.
GuestCentric now allows hotels to communicate in a simple way the benefits of their property, namely the ones that increase the hotel’s attractiveness or contribute to add comfort and convenience.
GuestCentric has introduced a sub-navigation menu for the following pages: rooms, special offers and vouchers. This sub-navigation menu is similar to an index that lists all types of offers, according to the page it is in. Hence, in the room page for example you will have a list of rooms offered by the hotel and users just have to click on the ones that satisfy their needs for further information.
This feature has shortened the page, eliminating the need to scroll down on pages that have many offers.
After our successful launch of our new portal product with North American customers, we are now bringing our portal product to the rest of the World. Portals now display the multiple currencies that customers believe are most appropriate, given the location.
GuestCentric has extended your options by adding the possibility to define children’s age, thus providing a greater flexibility to hoteliers, especially those that use pricing per occupancy.
All you have to do is simply edit your policies in the administration area and select a child’s minimum and maximum age and your booking engine is updated automatically.
To maximize the opportunity of capturing customers who have flexibility in booking the dates of their stay, promotions are now visible on your hotel’s booking engine within an extended window, even if they select dates on the calendar other than the specific promotion dates.
Customers can now view promotions that are active 14 days before the selected check-in date and 30 days after, maximizing the opportunity for conversion.
In the example above Memmo Baleeira’s April promotions are displayed, even though the selected dates are in May.
Facebook has adapted new security measures to assure that all data in Facebook applications is transmitted in a secure and private way. As such, using facebook for hotels has now increased safety. This allows prospective customers to easily navigate on one of the most commonly used social media page, independently of the browser used providing them with powerful images that may influence decisions.
It’s a tradition as old as the hotel business itself and a very hard habit to break, but the fact is, hotels that pre-assign all or most room numbers at the time of reservation will turn down reservation requests that they could otherwise have accepted.
The tradition of assigning room numbers goes back to the pre-computer days where hotels used a large book or wall-mounted room rack, sometimes known as a Whitney rack, to track their reservations. The hotels could check their availability simply by seeing if a specific room number is available on a certain day.
Though hotels switched to electronic reservation systems over twenty years ago, the practice of assigning rooms at the time of reservation – instead of on the day of check-in – continues in many hotels.
Let’s take this simple example to demonstrate why a hotel that assigns rooms can lose business. Hotel Old Fashioned has only two rooms: 101 and 102. They are the same, except that 101 has a blue carpet and 102 has a red carpet.
Mr. Blue makes a reservation – either by phone, email, online or OTA – from Monday to Wednesday. The hotel blocks room 101 for him. Ms. Red makes a reservation from Friday to Sunday. The hotel assigns room 102 to Ms. Red. The room rack now looks like this:
Now Mr. Green calls up and wishes to stay from Tuesday to Saturday. Alas, there are no rooms left, unless Mr. Green is willing to move rooms during his stay, which is generally not in anyone’s interest. Mr. Green is turned down and the hotel loses business. But if the hotel does not pre-assign room numbers, they would check room type availability instead and immediately determine that they have space for Mr. Green. After all, both Mr. Blue and Ms. Red could, for example, use room 101 without overlapping and Mr. Green can use room 102.
Hotel Old Fashioned is not living completely in the dark ages as they take bookings via an OTA. The OTA doesn’t know about room numbers, only room types. So if Mr. Green tries to book a room from Tuesday to Saturday, the OTA will confirm the reservation. Now the hotel has additional work to shift the reservations around. Should they move Blue to 102 or Red to 101? Well, their choices are especially limited if it’s Tuesday and Blue already checked in.
The logical alternative, of course, is not to assign rooms at the time of reservation. Then the hotel maintains complete flexibility and can always fit in guests without having to play “Tetris.”
There are, of course, cases where the hotel will still want to assign rooms. For example, if a regular guest will only come if she gets a specific room, then the hotel will probably want to assign and confirm that room. Or if a guest has a specific request such as a handicapped-equipped room and the hotel only has a few such rooms, then the hotel may want to block a specific room number as well. But in all other cases, the hotel will make their life easier and will increase their occupancy by waiting until the day of arrival to assign the room.
Hotel management just got simpler and quicker! GuestCentric has partnered with multiple PMSs (Property management system) in order to ease hotelier’s life and avoiding manual errors.
With this new PMS integration, web, mobile and social reservations are now delivered to your hotel’s PMS automatically and rates, availabilities and restrictions changed on the PMS are automatically updated in your web, mobile and social channels.