How to select the best hotel channel manager? 6 TIPS
Hotel channel manager – these 6 tips will help you pick the most suitable one for your accommodation facility!
Channel manager is currently one of the most effective solutions in the hospitality industry. Saving oneself from manually adjusting inventories and rates, convinces an increasing number of hoteliers.
The trouble begins when it comes to picking the right system. It won`t be an overstatement to say that the number of options is comparable to the number of products in a supermarket. There are channel managers of various prices, functionalities and service quality. What does it take to select an optimal solution then? Below we present 6 elements worth your attention.
1. Does the hotel channel manager support all channels I need?
Even if a channel manager features 200 different channels, it might not be your top pick if these are not channels you are listed at. Even though almost every channel manager supports the most popular portals, it is worth checking it beforehand.
Some channel managers can integrate a new portal, even if it`s not on the supported list yet. Try asking their representative in such case.
2. Does the hotel channel manager integrate with the most popular payment gateways?
Channel management is not only about supervising reservations but upcoming payments too. It`s definitely worth checking if system can cooperate with the payment gateways of your interest. Second important element is the PCI compliance, meaning ability to store the credit card data. Decent channel manager should support both solutions, giving you a complete freedom in taking payments.
3. Does it offer additional functions, improving your workflow?
Now that the reservations and prices are exchanging automatically, you may consider additional enhancements. How about putting an online booking engine on your hotel website? It allows your guests to reserve a stay while browsing your website.
Soon, the so called “Revenue optimization” may become widely popular. Some channel managers can take over the whole process of optimizing rates. Their suggestions are based on a very complex data research, including the competition`s rates, weather broadcast etc.
4. What pricing type does it provide?
There are two main pricing methods used by the channel managers. The first one is subscription based pricing. In such case you will be charged on a monthly or annual basis. The subscription value may depend on the number of room groups and OTAs (online portals) you use.
The second method is a commission based one. In this scenario each reservation downloaded to channel manager will be charged with a percentage based commission.
5. Is the price acceptable?
All in all, the PRICE / QUALITY ratio is the most important. Before you embark on a search for the perfect channel manager, estimate your budget. If the channel manager offers any additional functionalities, think if they are essential for now. Most of the companies allow to purchase additional modules after signing the initial agreement.
6. Does it work with a PMS?
The majority of accommodation facilities is already done with the “pen and paper” times. Instead they deploy the Property Management Software (PMS). The KWHotel software does belong to this category. We even offer our own channel manager to provide you with a convenient “all-in-one” solution. You may find more details here.
The bottom line is that if you are already using a PMS, check if the given channel manager supports it.
Should you have any questions, regarding the cooperation between KWHotel and channel managers, feel free to contact me!