5 ways to reduce your last minute no-shows and booking cancellations
October 15, 2017 Mehul Fanawala
Evidently, a hotelier like you continually seeks for means to increase your daily bookings and revenue. And owing to the investment you’ve done in your business over the time, its only natural for you to put everything you know on the table.
However, even though reluctantly; but you need to face an undeniable fact that higher the number of bookings you get, higher will be your cancellations and no-shows. Regardless of whatever the reason behind those no-shows and cancellations, it hugely impacts your revenue with the loss of booking opportunities.
Major reasons behind these no-shows or cancellations can be, an obvious reason from the guest’s end; OR the guest got a better deal at any other hotel.
So either you bear this revenue loss or find some or the other way to retain it. But most of the times, it is tough to replace such last-minute cancellations or no-shows with another reservation.
Here are the 5 ways to reduce your last minute cancellation or no-shows:
- Develop a cancellation policy which safeguards your interests: Now, devising a cancellation policy lies entirely upto you and the OTA you mostly deal with. Since you might have your own policy, whereas OTAs apply their own policies through non-refundable bookings.
- Collect deposit on a confirmed booking: Well, this is a no-brainer and the most frequently used means to reduce booking cancellations by hotels these days. While your guest is making the booking with you, you can simply ask for a minimal deposit amount (mostly its a set percentage of the room tariff) before confirming the booking.
Since he’s already paid some amount, the guest will think twice before cancelling the booking or booking with any other hotel.
- Offer discounts to get confirmed bookings: This is also a widely used way to get more confirmed bookings and eventually reducing your last-minute cancellations and no-shows. You can ask your guest to give confirmation for his arrival and offer him discount once he does that. Definitely, you may need to take part of the payment, or complete payment to confirm his booking.
Offer attractive discounts or deals on confirmed bookings by promoting it on your website using widgets and even on your social media pages to attract more confirmed bookings.
- Take complete payment at the time of taking the booking: Several OTAs these days give an option of ‘Pay at Hotel’ while the guest is making the booking. You may also be receiving booking inquiries on phone which have you hold your inventory till confirmed.
Here, you can send an online payment link to your guest, using which they can make the payment of any amount at their convenience; thereby confirming their bookings in one shot. A similar way can be used to collect deposit amount from the guests.
Therein, regardless of where the booking is made from, the online payment link can make your payment collection easier and subsequently decrease your last minute cancellations and no-shows.
- Mandate the credit card details to go ahead with the booking: Many a times, companies ask for credit card details to confirm your authenticity and genuineness of the purchase. BUT, when it comes to payments, people tend to avoid giving out important information like credit card details.
In this case, many of your guests will fill in invalid credit card details just to go ahead with the booking. The only thing you can do here is, wait for the guest to arrive and collect the payment. But, that guest might turn into a no-show or cancel his booking at the last minute, as a result to which, you’ll lose a booking opportunity and even revenue.
Instead, you can carry out a proper verification of the credit card details, in order to justify the authenticity of the guest and hence the booking.
Using all the above mentioned tactics can benefit you in four primary ways:
- No risk of last minute no-shows or cancellations where credit card details are invalid or no security deposit is taken.
- You can hold the booking for sometime and release it if there is no response from the guest’s end. Post that, you can take a new booking for that room!
- There’s lesser to and fro between you, guest and the OTA due to this automation. There you save a lot of your valuable time.
- You get higher number of confirmed bookings.
Therefore, all these ways will not only reduce your last minute cancellations and no-shows, but also boost your confirmed bookings and revenue.
How can you reduce your last minute cancellations and no-shows with eZee?
We’ve implemented an ‘ePayments’ feature in our solutions, which will make your task of collecting payments from your guests convenient and faster. Send online payment links to your guests from our system, using which your guest can make the necessary payment. Read more about it here.
We’ve developed an inbuilt credit card verification feature which will verify the credit card details on the same day you receive a booking and notify you and your guest for the same. Know more here.
Besides, our solutions are PCI DSS Certified, meaning that the credit card details of your guests are secure in our systems with no chances of data leak.
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