05/03/2020 at 17:21 #48217Cohort HostelParticipant
Just wanted to do a bit of a shout out for booking software CLOUDBEDS. We’ve been working with it now for 2 years and really love it. Key features that I think are great for hostels:
– The ability to divide bookings into the sections you need and then cut data accordingly…
This means that when we create a booking (or the system does) we can tell it what ‘type’ to label it as, i.e. school groups, private groups, website, booking channel, etc. Then we can analyse that data to help us with marketing campaigns and to better understand our revenue sources.
– The ability to sell one room a number of different ways…
We can sell our dorm rooms as individual beds or an entire room at the same time. If someone books a bed in a ‘shared inventory’ dorm room then the ability to book it as a whole room is immediately wiped from the booking options, equally if someone books a dorm room as a ‘large private room’ then the system will immediately stop selling individual beds within that room.
– Control over OTAs
We can manage all our own connections to literally any OTA you can think of. We can then, at any point, manage the pricing that gets given to those OTAs. We always up our prices by 20% or so for OTA bookings so we manage those increases all from within Cloudbeds, we can do different percentages for different OTAs, even different percentages for different rooms.
– Control over all email comms
We can create an unlimited amount of templates all set to go out at different times or linked to different bookings, i.e. HostelWorld bookings get a different email template to AirBnB bookings who get a different email to direct bookings.
– Rate checker
When people book direct they can see from a little pop up rate checker that they’re getting the best deal as that rate checker shows our different prices across all the OTAs.
– Intelligent system
The system will always accept a booking even when it’s not obvious how that booking fits in. This means if we have 5 guests over a 6 bed room, all checking in and out at different times the system will know if we haven’t maximised our occupancy by putting them in the right beds. If the system knows we can fit in a 6 day booking by just re-jigging things around a little it will take the booking and leave us to work out how to fit it in :-).
– Customer support
It’s available on email 24/7 and they always get back to you within 3 hours, usually a lot quicker than that, especially if you mark your query as URGENT.
It’s lifetime pricing. Once you’ve agreed a price (we pay £119/month) which includes any add-on functionality you want, they promise not to increase it over the lifetime of your being their customer. At this time of year when all I seem to get is letters and emails detailing price increases it’s a welcome relief.
– Managing our reception desk
We manage everything through the system, including all sundries we sell, cash we take / take out, etc. All reception staff have their own login with separate permissions and all activity is recorded for the administrator to be able to see. It makes it easy to trace mistakes and booking history.
You can find data on everything. I often run searches on forward bookings taken from any one period in time in comparison to the year before. It helps me ascertain how we are doing in comparison.
I could go on but all in all I would highly recommend it.
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