Guestline

Guestline are experts in cloud-hosted property management, distribution and digital marketing technologies for the hospitality industry. The solutions enable independent hotels, groups, pub companies and serviced apartments to achieve maximum occupancy at the most profitable rate.

Rezlynx Property Management System

Guestline’s Rezlynx PMS is a fully configurable, PCI compliant property management system to enable any sized hotel or group to manage their bookings and operations efficiently and profitably. It is updated in real-time, and incorporates a comprehensive rate and availability management tool to ensure that revenue is maximised at every opportunity.

Secure Payment Solutions

Our secure payment gateway enables hoteliers to process card payments in a PCI compliant way. Our clients benefit from a safe and secure method of storing and processing credit card details which can form part of the hotel’s overall PCI compliancy policy.

Guestline Support

Offering ongoing UK support 365 days a year, our service commitment goes far beyond just our technologically superior software solutions to deliver outstanding quality and reliability.

Channel and Distribution Manager

Guestline’s Channel Manager distributes your live inventory to a wide range of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and the Global Distribution System (GDS), with minimum effort and cost. It can be seamlessly integrated with Rezlynx PMS so that bookings, regardless of their source, flow directly into the PMS without the need for time consuming manual data entry and allocation.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Top five tips for getting the most out of your website


When it comes to successfully running a hotel, there’s a lot to juggle if you’re going to keep guests every bit as happy as the revenue team. These days, on top of welcoming guests, and maintaining the highest level of customer service to build their loyalty, it is important to keep an eye on how your website is performing to stay competitive.

Guestline, who have partnered with Journey, to deliver a range of website solutions and digital marketing technology to its customers have compiled these tips for hoteliers to get the most out of their website -

1.       Keep your content fresh
The key to keeping your website search engine-friendly is to avoid duplicated phrases and to ensure you never plagiarise from other sites. When you’re short on time a simple cut and paste job across different sections might seem like the easiest solution but by doing that you’ll risk being penalised when it comes to those all-important search engine rankings, who will disregard all but the most authoritative version. Original copy and carefully reworded content that is relevant to each section is therefore a must.

2.       Choose your images carefully
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it might cost you a lot more if you don’t double check the copyright requirements before publishing it. It’s important to remember that just because you’ve seen a photo online or it’s come up in a Google search, that doesn’t mean it’s free for you to use. If you know the photographer, always make sure they’re happy for their image to be used on your website. And, if you don’t or your budget doesn’t stretch as far as their price tag, there are a number of websites offering access to free stock images under the Creative Commons license– sometimes in exchange for a photographer credit. Alternatively, when searching online, filter your results by usage rights to ensure you stay on the right side of the law.

3.       Don’t overcomplicate your home page
Whilst your home page may be the first thing a lot of your visitors see, it’s important to remember that many people will arrive on other areas of your site first depending on what they’ve searched for and how well you’ve optimised your various sections. The job of your homepage is to give people a topline overview of the information they can expect to find across the site in a simple and easy to navigate manner.

4.       Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
With over half of website traffic currently coming via mobile devices, it stands to reason that visitors expect websites to work as well on their smartphone as on their computer. The rise of more responsive website design means it’s no longer necessary to invest in a separate mobile site, which can risk penalising your search engine results. By making sure your website can adapt to the device on which it is being viewed, you can avoid any potential frustration from potential guests.

5.       Get your head around headers
Not only does having the right header give clarity to visitors over what they’re about to read, but a heading can make or break how search engines look at your page. So it’s especially vital that you understand how to use them correctly. The right HTML tag helps search engines understand how content is prioritised on your page, so it’s important not to ignore the systems put in place by your developer just for aesthetic reasons. In a structure that is not dissimilar to a newspaper layout, heading 1 (H1) tends to be the page title so must only be used once. The other sub-heading types usually need to be used in order to guide the reader, make the page navigation simple to follow and ensure the site is correctly indexed by search engines.

For more information on Guestline’s website solutions please visit https://www.guestline.com/websuite-signup.html

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Hotels seeking direct bookings should give customers ‘no excuse’ to leave websites

Ben Ireland, Deputy news editor at Travel Weekly and Travolution reporter recently attended one of Guestline's Connect events in London and summarises his findings below;
Hotels should give customers “no excuse” to leave their payment pages by removing any offers or barriers to confirmation if they want to drive direct bookings.

A panel of online hospitality marketing experts hosted by tech provider Guestline debated how hotels can increase direct bookings at the Bulgari Hotel in London on Thursday.

Satyan Joshi, business leader at Google’s Hotel Ads encouraged hotel managers to book their own properties as if they were a customer and said upselling should come after booking is confirmed to prevent it putting customers off.

“When [customers] are in a position to give you their money, don’t give them an excuse to leave [your hotel’s website],” he said. “Don’t show them offers on your payment page.” As an example, he added: “If I’m asked if I have a voucher code, I’m going to go and look for one. That takes me away from the hotel website and I could end up booking elsewhere.”

Simon Bullingham, chief executive of hotel digital marketing agency Journey, agreed that pre-stay emails should come after booking confirmation, and insisted they should be relevant and add value. “Take away all the nonsense,” he said. “Make sure the experience is as close as possible as it will be in the hotel.

“As hoteliers, your product and your staff is your biggest selling point over OTAs, which are all about conversion. But remember, you don’t have your staff on your website.”

Bullingham said his company’s research showed that direct bookings cost hotels between 7-8% of the customer’s price in marketing but said selling indirectly, such as through online travel agents, is more likely to cost between 15-20%.

“If you don’t own your customers they will keep booking with OTAs,” he said. “Yes, OTAs do a good job of offering choice. What hotels need to do better is capturing those potential guests who come on to their website.”
He added that between 60-70% of those who view a hotel’s website leave to book elsewhere or via an OTA.

To combat that, he said hotels need to target people who make “emotional purchases” on impulse by offering a simple booking process and “great imagery”. “The longer they leave it, the more calculated their booking will become – and calculated bookings are driven by price,” he added.
Bullingham said there are a number of third party technologies, such as “exit tools” and price comparisons that can be deployed by hotels to combat people leaving by guaranteeing them the best price direct.

But Joshi said: “The hard bit is getting noticed and becoming part of the consideration. People in Europe and the US are not necessarily brand loyal. Inspiration comes in all different ways, but it tends to be via mobile. If you are not there you are not going to be searched for later on in the journey when people make a decision on their booking.”

Sofia Tappa, general manager at Revinate, said good reviews help hotels stand out.
“Guests are four times more likely to book a certain hotel with a higher ranking if the price is equal,” she said. “And they are 75% more likely to pay a higher rate for hotels with a higher ranking.
“Independent hotels can make the difference when battling the bigger brands on reviews.”
She also suggested hoteliers segment the booking journey and use AI to personalise parts of the process in which they know they can add value.

Andrew Metcalfe, Guestline’s chief technology officer agreed, adding: “Make sure you add value in your follow-up emails.”
He said hotels should emulate airlines’ post-booking marketing by giving useful information such as ‘how to get here’ maps as well as adding a “by the way we sell…” to the message.
He encouraged hotels to move people away from OTAs’ own pre-stay emails by making theirs better. “If you do that you can convert those OTA bookings to direct,” said Metcalfe.

The panel all warned against over-personalisation to the point of it becoming “creepy” and agreed new data protection laws (GDPR) will help reduce that sort of marketing.
Tappa also added caution over focussing on too many direct bookings, insisting a balance between direct and indirect was important.

“The ultimate goal is not getting more direct or indirect [bookings],” she said. “The ultimate goal is to get the most possible out of each booking.”

This article originally appeared on Travolution

If you missed this Connect event, complementary tickets are available for Connect Conference Tewkesbury with the focus on how to drive bookings and enhance the guest experience through technology. Guest speakers on the panel include GuestRevu, UpsellGuru, Google, Journey & IDeaS. Book your place here 

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