For most business travelers a fast and easy booking process is a decisive factor in choosing suitable hotels. That’s what the latest studies show, and they confirm the experiences of h2c consulting. This means that a professional tender process which specifies the exact requirements for design and programming of the hotel’s own Web site and Internet Booking Engine is becoming a crucial success factor for hoteliers.Booking processes are often not integrated into the Web site as well or seamlessly as they could be. This is often the case when an Internet Booking Engine from a third party (i.e. not from the PMS or CRS provider) is used as an interface, since the actual availability and/or the profile of the customer in the PMS / CRS is missing. This results in a booking process which does not make sense (e.g. lower prices found on other Web sites) and can sometimes be arduous (e.g. lack of profile information) for the customer. The procedure entails a whole series of hurdles. A mandatory pre-registration is a further obstacle for the customer, as is the limited choice of payment options. “The seamlessly integrated, fast and customer-friendly booking process is more important in the battle for direct hotel bookings than ever,” says Michaela Papenhoff of h2c consulting.
The CEO of the consulting firm, which specializes in hospitality solutions, advises that “the wording of the bid documents (specification) for a new Web site solution must be well thought through, which requires a great deal of time and effort.” All of the essential characteristics and the optimal booking process must already be outlined in this document, such as interfaces to existing systems like the PMS and/or CRS.
Hotels regularly feel left alone when faced with the task of choosing the right agency. The offers made are rarely easy enough to understand. A particularly important factor is the increase of the “conversion rate”, meaning the number of visitors to the Web site who are motivated to make an online booking. There is a huge potential for optimization, since many visitors abandon the reservation process simply because it is too complicated or not transparent enough. The use of the existing technologies to adapt the Internet Booking Engine to the target group of the hotels improves the product presentation and helps customer to make their way through the booking process more easily. “The more accurately the desires and requirements are formulated, the easier it is to determine the suitable agency. Consultants in this field must therefore be capable of understanding the sales and marketing structures of a hotel to translate these into the technical requirements for Web site development,” concludes Papenhoff.
h2c consulting supports hoteliers in the process of finding a suitable Web agency by optimally preparing and attending the entire bid process. In collaboration with the customer, h2c consulting creates the tender documents, the so-called Requests for Proposals (RFP), pre-selects appropriate agencies and is present during the presentations. Once an appropriate agency has been identified, the Duesseldorf based hotel experts accompany the project (the new site or relaunch) until it is completed satisfactorily. Throughout the process, h2c consulting puts special emphasis on the integration depth of the Web technology and the search engine-optimized design of the Web site.