There are many important aspects to consider when including an online booking system as part of your site. You will want to anticipate the needs of your possible guests and ensure that the software is designed around these necessities. This is ultimately good management, because any guest will be more likely to make reservations if their questions are answered and the entire process is very accessible for them.
Features of Online Booking Systems
Some of the functionalities you want to have within your software include a real-time booking software that allows guests to book directly without any wait and an accessible calendar that they can easily read. It is also helpful to include a photo gallery. For international guests, offering the software in multiple languages and payments in a variety of currencies will be very helpful.
Real-Time Booking Software
Real-time booking allows you as the owner to choose specific dates that you know your property or rental will be available to receive guests. This way, when a guest chooses those dates, they have the option of booking immediately. They will not even have to wait for a confirmation from you.
Most guests are thrilled about this since it allows them to have an immediate response. They don’t have to spend several hours, or even days, wondering whether or not they should be looking for a different rental. Knowing that the booking has processed instantly is very comforting for a vacation planner, because their plans are all confirmed right away.
This is also convenient for the vacation rental owner because everything is immediate. It can be very time-consuming to take the extra steps to receive a booking request, respond to all the questions before finally confirming the request and sending the confirmation email on to the guest. Of course, this is still an option if you have certain dates when you would like to consider only specific guests for booking your property.
Visually Attractive and Easy-to-Use
You will want your online booking system to host functionalities that are both pleasing to the eye and easy enough for anyone to use. The most important feature should be the calendar. This calendar ought to be simplistic – one that quickly shows information. If a potential guest checks the rates and availability for a specific day, they should easily (and immediately) be able to see whether their date is available or already booked. Ensuring that the calendar is simple, clean, and easy-to-use means that customers won’t need to call you to complete a booking. Instead, they can complete everything immediately online. However, if the software is too confusing, you will drive guests away.
Another great option is to display an attractive photo gallery of your property or rooms, with a booking link directly above or beside it. It is much more likely that your bookings will increase if your guests can easily see photos of the place they will be staying. Additionally, you can link social media accounts so that guests can share photos of their stay and it can show up directly on your page.
Multiple Languages and Currencies for International Guests
Another very important feature to include in your online booking system is a language option for international guests. It will ease the entire process of creating reservations if a person is able to do so in their own language. In fact, it is far more likely that such a person will book their vacation if they are completely self-assured about all of the details in their own language, rather than having to carefully choose dates and make payments in a second or third one.
It will also save a lot of staff management time if each guest can complete a booking transaction using their own currency through the website. A great booking software will automatically take all bookings made in different currencies and transfer them to the local currency. This helps the entire process run smoothly.