Boost Your Hotel Occupancy By 30% Through Stayflexi’s Flexible Booking Feature
You might have hated booking cancellations before. You might even have justifiably blamed the guests’ fickleness for these cancellations. However, the situation has drastically changed now. How can you hold a grudge against a guest who couldn’t turn up because of a travel ban? After all, nothing at all can be predicted now. Least of all, the future trajectory of a global pandemic.
So, what can you do as a hotelier to combat this uncertainty? The answer is: Be flexible. Accept the unpredictability that surrounds you and let go of the rigid rules. Change is inevitable and you have to change to keep up with the times.
What Does ‘Flexibility’ Mean In The Context of Hotel Bookings?
Let me start with an example.
The hotel you are supposed to be staying at has a strict check-in time of 9 am. The only affordable flight that can take you to the destination, arrived at midnight. So you’re now stuck at the airport from 2 am to 9 am. The hotel might have other rooms empty. But they don’t want to go through the hassle of shifting your booking. What will they do with the guests who are supposed to arrive at that substitute room the next day?
These are all valid concerns. Of course, it is a hassle. But then, it’s also supremely inconvenient for the guest. So you know what they might do? The moment they book the plane and realize the arrival hours, they might cancel the booking. They can simply exchange your property for a hotel that gladly takes in guests at midnight hours.
So, you’re basically losing out on business by being rigid. And the example that I have stated here is not a rarity. The opposite can also happen. Let’s say your hotel has a strict check-out hour at 8 am. And the very morning that you are ready to leave, you find out that your plane has been delayed. Now it leaves at 7 pm. What are you going to do for 9 hours? You might want to extend the stay, but your hotel won’t allow it. They have new guests moving in. So, you are forced to wait at the airport for 9 hours. And now you justifiably have terrible opinions of the said hotel because of their rigidity.
A hotel is meant to cater to the guests’ needs. So, being strict with the timings makes absolutely no sense. Especially when the guest has no control over these issues. You have to make adjustments.
This is why flexible booking is so important. You have to allow the guests to check-in and check-out at their own hours of convenience. Assigning a strict time code is completely antithetical to your own need to impress your guests. After all, you want loyal customers, don’t you?
How to Be More Flexible?
First things first. Let us address the real problem of why hotels refuse to budge from their check-in and check-out schedule. This is because it’s an extreme hassle to shuffle around various guests across various rooms. Long story short, no human mind can process an infinite number of permutations and combinations. The moment you start shuffling around, you change every other schedule planned for the future.
Of course, no hotelier wants to spend their entire day shifting guests from one room to the other. But the real question is: How do we solve this problem?
The answer is StayFlexi.
What is StayFlexi? It is a Property Management System that manages every single aspect of running a hospitality business. This includes taking direct online bookings, managing the inventory, and updating the dynamic pricing across 100+ booking channels.
But how does StayFlexi provide flexibility?
Well, StayFlexi’s entire deal is that it has a flexible booking feature. This means that people can check-in and check out completely at their own convenience.
What about hourly bookings? Many hotels are scared of providing hourly booking simply because there is no fixed time for arrival or departure. It’s very hard to take any future bookings if you also take hourly bookings. StayFlexi, however, excels at taking hourly bookings. There is no fixed time slot that you have to pay for. Since you rent the room on an hourly basis, you pay on an hourly basis as well.
How Does StayFlexi’s Flexible Booking Feature Work?
I have already explained what the flexible booking feature entails. Now I will tell you why StayFlexi is not scared of the hassle of shifting guests around.
The answer is simple. StayFlexi is a hotel software. It uses automations to manage every kind of permutation and combination. There is no human labor or human interference involvement at all.
The reason why StayFlexi manages to remain so flexible is because of its Auto Inventory Management Feature.
Anyone who works at a hotel knows how important and difficult the process of inventory management is. The inventory basically lists all the rooms that are currently available and their current prices. This used to be easier when people simply stopped by the front desk and asked for an available room. Now the process is far from simple. Your inventory is listed on a variety of OTA platforms like TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, etc. People are constantly making digital reservations. It’s very hard to keep track of which rooms are being booked. Even a half-hour delay in updating the inventory can cause the messy problem of double-booking.
However, with StayFlexi, the inventory is auto-updated in real-time the moment someone makes a reservation. And there is a two-way sync between the OTA channels and StayFlexi. This ensures that no one is kept out of the loop. This means every time a booking is made, that room is marked off as occupied immediately. You don’t have any risk of double-booking.
This auto inventory management feature is the reason why StayFlexi can so easily shuffle rooms around. Unless the hotel has very high occupancy, there are always rooms that go empty. By ensuring that people can book rooms whenever they want to, StayFlexi ensures that rooms never go unutilized. This not only enhances guest satisfaction but also gets you more revenue. If the occupancy rate is high, you can charge more money for the rooms as well. I will talk about StayFlexi’s Dynamic Pricing feature soon enough.
Similarly, if someone wants to extend their stay, they can easily request that through their Orchestra mobile app. StayFlexi automatically extends their stay and redirects new guests to other empty rooms. Digital shuffling is way easier and more hassle-free than manual shuffling. And if no other room is available, StayFlexi itself informs the guests that their request could not be fulfilled.
Other StayFlexi Features That Aid In Flexible Booking:
StayFlexi aims to provide the guests complete autonomy over their stay. The Contactless Self-Check-In feature is, of course, a huge perk. The guests no longer need to wait at a crowded front desk for hours to have their documents verified. They can check-in through their mobile phone whenever and from wherever they want.
StayFlexi also allows the guests to pay in 50+ popular foreign currencies. They can also get multi-lingual support. The Flex Collect feature makes sure that you are not losing out money on cancellations. Say a guest makes a postpaid online booking through Booking.com. Usually, if they cancel, there are no penalties. StayFlexi sends them a notification informing them that their booking will not be confirmed till they make a payment. This not just discourages them to cancel their bookings, it also prevents you from losing out on tons of revenue.
When you want to check out, StayFlexi sends you a bill with all the extra charges that you have to pay. You pay from this payment link itself. There is no need to sort things out at the front desk or even have a card.
StayFlexi not only provides flexibility to the guests. It also helps you and your employees be much more flexible. First, you can do away with a 24×7 front desk receptionist whose only job is to verify documents. Instead, any of your employees can check in any guest from any spot on the property through their tablets. StayFlexi is so easy to use that you won’t need to provide your employees with any extra training. You can also fuse several positions and have a more versatile workforce. This way you can redirect your staff to whichever concern needs to be addressed at any given moment. No need to hire new people for that.
The Dynamic Pricing feature of StayFlexi is also perfect in today’s day and age. Previously, you could rhythmically vary the room prices according to the seasonal surge and ebb of tourism. However, you need to perform these variations on an hourly basis now depending on the fluctuating demand. Nothing can be predicted in the post covid world. The best bet is to vary your room prices according to live updates.
But obviously, you cannot be aware of all the live trends. So, the easiest and smartest option is to vary the room prices according to the occupancy rate. StayFlexi allows you to fix an occupancy rate according to which the prices will automatically vary. Say, you pre-set this condition: If occupancy exceeds 70%, raise room prices by $10. As soon as the hotel reaches 70% occupancy, the room prices will automatically be updated across all the OTAs. Similarly, you can lower the prices if the occupancy level goes lower than a critical point. StayFlexi automatically does these for you. No need to keep a constant watch on the current trends.
There are various other StayFlexi features like Smart Housekeeping and setting up POS shops that you might want to look into. Every feature is meant to reduce your work, time, and effort and increase customer satisfaction.
There is no room for rigidness in this ever-changing world. Yes, at one point in time, providing flexibility to your guests meant more work from your side. But now, a PMS like StayFlexi can not only guarantee flexible bookings but also reduce your own labor and labor costs.
So, why not opt for software that manages everything from a single platform?
Interested in any particular feature that I mentioned? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll elaborate.