All posts by Manasi Shah

Features to Influence Your Looker, Easier Payment Collection, Card Verification and more

Introducing Looker to Booker feature

When going through the visitor stats on your website and booking engine page, you may often find that many of visitors don’t even reach your booking engine page and leave your website; leading to loss of booking opportunity for you.

So, we put forth this brand new feature from this new version of our booking engine – Looker to Booker; using which you’ll be able to set up and display several new widgets right on your website.

The primary agenda behind development of this feature is to influence looker to engage with you, push him to reach your booking engine page and eventually turn him into a booker.

Here’s how these widgets can help you:

  1. Welcome Box: Say you’ve kept the link to your website’s home page at places. An interested visitor visits your website and there, he finds this welcome box, which tells him about some great discount you’re running, or some promotional offers that he may be able to take up; thus making him interested in booking with you.
  2. Exit Popup: Exactly opposite to the Welcome Box widget, this widget will show your guest an exit popup when he’s trying to leave your website. This gives him one more chance to book with you.
  3. Floating Tool: Say, your visitor is on a page, exploring your website; and you want to give him some benefits on booking with you or mention about a famous tourist destination nearby your hotel or something else. Use a floating tool which will maximize and minimize on a button click, and give valuable information to your visitor.
  4. Triggering Tool: Say, you want to show some shortcuts to your website pages all through your website. The triggering tool will let you do just that. Give shortcut links to your booking engine page in this tool, and there; you got a visit to the booking engine.
  5. Sticky Tool: So you want to show some awesome services you provide at your hotel? In this sticky tool, you can add information about free Wifi that you’re providing, or free airport transfer facilities or some other amenities that you’re offering at your hotel to attract your looker.
  6. No. of Bookings: You want to market yourself by showing how many bookings you’ve got? Well, this tool will let you do just that. So any looker who sees the number of bookings you’ve received; will get more influenced in booking with you.
  7. Review: Got good reviews? You think that helps lookers in deciding to book with you? So, simply show your reviews on your website; and there, your looker is impressed enough to book with you.
  8. Quick Notifications: Say a looker from India is visiting your website. And 2 guests from India booked with you at the same time. That looker will be notified that 2 guests from India booked with you. Now that will help him make a decision; thinking that guests from India do visit your hotel, and he can relate with them. More than that, you can display something about the recent bookings made at your hotel; using this notification tool.
  9. Promotion: You want some promotions or discount deals to be continuously displayed on your website to attract the looker? The promotion tool will let you do just that.

All in all, this feature will help you push your lookers towards your booking engine page and eventually book with you; thereby increasing your direct bookings.

Online Payment Collection: Faster and Easier

Payment collection is a crucial, yet always a tedious job. You need to remember a lot of dates and cases to get your payments on time. Acknowledging importance of the same, we’ve implemented an ‘Online Payment Link’ feature in this version; which will make your task of collecting payments from your guests convenient and faster.

Using this feature, you’ll be able to send online payment links to your guests from the system itself. The guest can make the payment from that link, and that’s all. Suffice to say, you won’t need to keep any tabs for payment reminders, or even wait for bank transfer to get payment of the bookings your guests make.

Here’s how you can use this feature for the different types of bookings you receive:

  1. Booking from OTA: Oftentimes, OTAs let the guests choose the option of ‘Pay at Hotel’. So when such a booking from an OTA comes to you, you can directly email your guest with this link, giving them convenience to pay whenever they can. You can do the same thing when you get a booking from website.
  2. Booking Inquiry (Hold Booking): Say you get a booking inquiry from a guest. He tells you that he’ll confirm the booking in next few days. You hold the inventory for his stay duration and set a release date for the booking awaiting his confirmation. In this case, you can send him the payment link and urge him to confirm his booking by paying at the earliest. If he doesn’t pay until the release date, the held booking will be open for inventory.

Credit Card Verification Automated

When it comes to payments, people become cautious and tend to avoid giving out important information like credit card details. And the same goes for your guests too, when they’re booking with you. Whether its from an OTA or through your website, or in any other way; a significant number of your guests will fill in invalid credit card details just to go ahead with the booking.

And you’ll know about it only when you try to charge those credit cards to collect your deposit or no-show or cancellation charges. At times like these, the only thing you can do is; either you ask your guest to pass valid credit card details or wait for the guest to arrive and get the payment from him. That guest might turn into a no-show or cancel his booking at the last minute. Let’s not forget that! If that happens, you’ll lose a booking opportunity and even revenue.

So, what we’ve done this time is; developed an inbuilt credit card verification feature which will verify the credit card details on the same day you receive a booking using the payment gateway API.

Now even if the credit card details are invalid, you and your guest will be notified. And if your guest has booked from an OTA, the OTA will be notified. Your notification to the guest will clearly ask him to update the credit card details with valid one with a warning that you may cancel his booking if the details are not updated.

This benefits you in three ways: 1. You don’t risk last minute no-shows or cancellations where credit card details are invalid. 2. 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! 3. 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.

In such wise, because of this automation and its benefits, you’ll witness a considerable hike in your revenue by more than 30%, ultimately giving you only confirmed bookings.

Note: This feature is only available for those who use Airpay Payment Gateway currently.

Restrict Maximum Nights of Stay

Occasionally, you might want to put up some package or promotion at your hotel, the validity of which you want to limit by the maximum number of nights a guest wants to stay. So, from this version onward, at rate plan level; you’ll be able to add maximum nights allowed for stay at your hotel. If you introduce any package and wish to restrict the number of days a guest can stay using that package; you can use this feature.

Our Price Widget gets a new UI

We have enhanced the user interface of the price widget feature. This widget shows your room rates on the different OTAs you’re connected on; thereby letting your guest compare prices and book easily and quickly from your website itself.

In addition, the price widget will now change the currency and amount according to the currency selected for the booking engine page.

What’s more in the latest release:

  • You’ll be able to set maximum night of stay on your specials.
  • Offer promotions on selected days of week by configuring it in the promotion module and extra charge module.
  • You’ll be able to send your own remarks in the Confirmed Reservation email template.
  • From this version, you can show Packages in 3 different ways on the booking engine page.
  • You’ll now be able to set payment method for refundable and non-refundable rate plans.
  • From now on, if a rate plan is not available because of ‘Close to Departure’ constraint; then the booking engine will not show that particular rate plan in the room list.
  • We are now integrated with 12 new payment gateways which are:
    1. Paynamics
    2. Bpoint
    3. Payfast
    4. Webxpay
    5. Payweb
    6. BarclayCard
    7. Midtrans
    8. Sampath Bank
    9. HalkBank
    10. ECG
    11. Zeamster
    12. FPX

Quick FAQs

How to get the new version of booking engine?
Since eZee Reservation booking engine is a cloud product, you do not have to follow any steps to download and install the new version into your system. Just sit back and relax, and your system will be updated in no time. As soon as the update is out, you will be able to avail new enhancements on the latest version of the booking engine.

What will happen to my data after the update?
Your data will remain unchanged after the update. You can begin using the system from where you left off, immediately after the update.

Quick Links

Have any queries or doubts with the system or facing trouble using eZee solutions?
Submit a Ticket Download Release Notes Contact eZee Live Support

Introducing Rate Metrics Tool

Monitor Your Competitors Effortlessly: Rate Metrics Tool

In this new version of eZee Reservation, we have introduced a brand new feature named Rate Metrics Tool which will help you keep a check on your competitor’s rates and performance on enlisted OTAs and analyze the dynamic pricing trend in the market.

Find out more about this tool here.

Rate Matrics Tool

Hold Booking Operation Made Easy

Now, you’ll not only be able to hold a booking right from the ‘Add Reservation’ window, but you’ll also be able to set a reminder to release the booking on the release date.

If the booking is released or confirmed before the release date, system will remove the reminder. However, if the booking is released, you’ll get a notification indicating that the booking has been released. You’ll also be able to manually release the booking.

Note: This feature is also available in eZee Absolute PMS.

RES-782

Accurate Amounts For French Users

The rates on booking engine page will now be displayed as per the French norms in notations. As a result, our users using the booking engine in French language, or your visitors wishing to view the booking engine page in French language will be able to view the amount in the correct format.

RES-881

Offering Custom CSS Module

You’ll now be able to add a custom CSS on your booking engine page, to help you offer more in-depth customizations to your booking engine visitors. You’ll be able to define the look of controllers as well as text boxes on the page, making it look more attractive.

Update In Price Widget Feature

In this version of eZee Reservation, we have updated the Price Widget Feature which we had introduced in the last version. The feature gives your booker a comparison of your room rates on pre-defined OTAs, thus helping him make a faster and fair decision while making a booking.

Now onward, you’ll be able to add new OTAs to be enlisted on the booking engine page, and select the OTA rates you wish to display on the page.

RES-969 Final

Something more in the latest release:

  • The booking engine can now be used in Georgian language too.
  • You’ll now be able to use China UnionPay amongst many Manual Credit Card options.
  • You’ll be able to easily apply Last Minute Offer formulas to more than one packages simultaneously.
  • Your guests will be able to easily get in touch with your hotel’s team using the Chat Script plugin.
  • You’ll now be able to send and print Group Booking information to the whole Group Booking together.
  • We’ve made email address optional while taking a reservation.
  • Your booker will now be able to filter ‘Not Available’ rooms out of the booking engine page.
  • From this version onward, you’ll be able to keep a track of guests coming from Google Hotel Ads.
  • The booker will be notified of the other bookers viewing the booking engine page, on the Billing page.
  • You’ll now be able to view any special requests made by the guest during booking right on the Billing page.
  • Display photos collected by your guests during their stay through the Reviews submitted on the booking engine page.
  • The booker will now be able to easily find details of your hotel right from the main page of website.
  • The booking engine will show the number of times any rate plan or package is booked on that day.
  • We’ve set validation on system’s login page for changing the password, as well as while resetting the password.
  • You can now send booking voucher to your guests in their required language from the Add Reservation screen.
  • You’ll be able to keep a detailed record of the guests who stay at your hotel, in the system.
  • Email Template will now enlist rates of child and adult in extra charge details.
  • We’ve added several new payment gateways, like: Worldline, Valitor, BancoDeOro, PayHere, CBBank, Transactium and ABA Bank; and updated other existing payment gateway integrations.

Quick FAQs

How to get the new version of booking engine?
Since eZee Reservation booking engine is a cloud product, you do not have to follow any steps to download and install the new version into your system. Just sit back and relax, and your system will be updated in no time. As soon as the update is out, you will be able to avail new enhancements on the latest version of the booking engine.

What will happen to my data after the update?
Your data will remain unchanged after the update. You can begin using the system from where you left off, immediately after the update.

Quick Links

Have any queries or doubts with the system or facing trouble using eZee solutions?
Submit a Ticket Download Release Notes Contact eZee Live Support

From Better To Best: How Did We Transform Our Booking Engine

Dynamic evolutions in the hospitality industry never fail to grab one’s attention. And so we thought, maybe not too huge, but we do want to bring along a solid uplift in the way our booking engine works.

Considering the plethora of existing booking engines, we contemplated on what’s going to make our booking engine stand out from the aisle of others in the industry. And what will make it a choice for hoteliers world wide.

Ergo, a touch of responsive UI, a pinch of big-league add-ons and a wee bit simplifying the functioning.

That’s all our booking engine needed to get better and finer. By and by, improving user experience brought in the dire need of a bright-eyed mind set and unconventional thought process from our end.

Yes, our goals were basic, but what we desired to give our users was something extraordinary.

Booking Engine Comparison

Our Aim

We planned to develop something which is best fit for any kind of hotel, surpassing the international industry standards.

So, when we decided to produce a brand new booking engine, our major intent was to provide our users with an easy-to-use system and bookers with first-rate booking experience. With varied requirements and growing demands of each business type in the industry, it was truly a challenge to manage all of them through one interface.

We aimed above the mark, to hit the mark.

The Beginning

So, a year ago, we called the shots to change the way our booking engine worked, and flipped the approach of the system.

We began with gathering our team in brainstorming sessions to fixate on the newly included features. We strove to make it better for our users and thence bringing out the best in what we did – instead of adapting with the software you choose, your software should adapt with your requirements. We worked on the suggestions given by our users, and focused on making it a user-oriented product by keeping in mind the needs of disparate business cases.

Our focus determined the forthcoming reality.

We directed our endeavors to develop a booking engine which was not only simple and eccentric but also a booking engine operative from all kinds of devices. Our focus revolved around what our users required and their response to this uplift.

Minimal time-consumption, even lower intrusions in performing daily operations, as well as a responsive UI turned out to be our major objective of this attempt. We intended to reach a level higher than the existing booking engines, such that while dealing with any OTA, one faced no interruptions.

What did we do?

And then we thought, what more work can be done on existing features?
We got our answers by enhancing our search filters, room listings, the review section and myriad of other options, as well as improving on our security aspect. In light of users’ pain points, we were hell-bent on including those features which boosted their revenue. And so it lead to addition of plenitude of new modules and features.

We focused on solutions, and not on the problems.

Complete Process Of Booking Engine Update

 

Introducing this version’s highlight: Responsive User Interface

Contemplating on heaping ideas as we undertook this idea of responsive UI, we created prototypes, and asked for our users’ feedbacks. Absorbing those, we kept in mind the multitude of requirement cases corresponding to all kinds of hotels, as well as this industry’s demand of on-the-go access of applications.

To the user, the interface is the product.

Responsive Booking Engine

Aiming to provide an optimal viewing and using experience, we toiled to create a responsive user interface in our booking engine. Ease of reading, accessing, and minimal navigation through the system across a wide range of devices was the primary agenda behind responsive UI.

Discarding the need of making two different versions of the booking engine to be accessed in desktop and mobile devices, we put forth a system which answered all the questions a user came across. So now, what we created will flex and adapt to the size of screen it’s been viewed and accessed on.

No more having to wait for the system to load on your device. No more having to zoom-in to find the exact content.

All these new features and enhancements in the booking engine, go have a look at them here.

Withal a responsive user interface which will work on all kinds of devices, and an extraordinary booking engine interface accommodating the demands of all business cases.

We started afresh with a new outlook to the whole process, taking one step at a time and eventually pulling off the release of a world-class booking engine.

Takeaways:

  • Team work is the driving force behind any successful product.
  • Revamping a well-established system takes a fresh approach.
  • A user-centered product is the key to best user experience.
  • Change the plan if need be, but never the goal.

We are open to any feedbacks or suggestions from you all. Drop in a mail to reach us here.

Last but not the least, meet our eZee Reservation team behind the whole uplift.

Team Behind The Making Of New Booking Engine

Cheers to them!

The ultimate tool to boost your revenue: REVENUE MANAGEMENT

Get all these factors and more in the all new version of eZee Reservation!

Quicker payment processing for your guest!

Considering the efforts your guest has to go through to make payment for the booking he has done at your hotel, we, in this version of our Booking Engine have given you an option to send payment link to the guest directly in an email. This is primarily useful when you want to take a manual booking and wish to send online payment link to the guest.

Note: This option will work only if the Payment Gateway option is enabled and if the booking is done through manual reservation in ‘Add Reservation’ screen.

Once the Payment Gateway is enabled, this feature can be activated from the below mentioned path:

eZee Reservation Configuration Panel Settings Property Booking Page Email Settings

Send Online Payment link to guest to pay online

This will automatically add a system defined category and email template in the system.
You can enable this feature from the ‘Add Reservation’ screen.

Note: For hotel chain properties, you will have to activate this option for all chain properties individually.

Get your Facebook page linked with your booking engine page

Occasionally, you would come across web pages where you would notice a link to their Facebook page, thereby encouraging you to like the Facebook page from there itself. Similarly, we too have now given a new provision to promote your Facebook page to your booking engine visitors. You can easily enable this feature from the configuration settings and make your Facebook page likes visible on the booking engine page itself. In that event, your visitors will be able to like your Facebook page right from the booking engine, eliminating the trouble of logging-into their Facebook accounts repeatedly.

Activate this feature at:
eZee Reservation Configuration Panel Property Setup Property Details Facebook page

fbres2

Your booking engine page after enabling and configuring the feature requisites will display a snippet with number of likes on the configured Facebook page, allowing the visitors to like the page right from there.

Save time in recording guest information

Its utterly cumbersome to open a new screen every time you want to enter guest information. To eliminate these hassles, you will now be able to enter transport and identity information of the guest right when you are adding a new reservation. This enhancement can be availed by default in your booking engine from Add Reservation window in the configuration fragment. This will save your time in opening a separate window to record and save the guest transport and identity information.
SavingGuestInfo

Keep your marketing deals and reports safe from unauthorized access

We have introduced a new privilege in the latest version to restrict any user from accessing your property’s promotional and marketing deals along with the statistical and reservation reports. Additionally, you can restrict user access to selected reports, if not all.

You can approve or revoke this privilege from eZee Reservation configuration as below:
eZee Reservation Configuration Panel Users Edit User Privileges and Reports

Deals_Marketting_User_Previleges

Achieve maximum through the means of Revenue Management

Revenue Management is a tool to analyze market behavior and hotel’s parameters to maximize revenue growth. The revenue screen shows comparison of your hotel’s current and past year’s data like Occupancy%, Total rooms sold, Average Daily Rate (ADR), Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) and much more.

Using this tool, you can decide which marketing strategies to use, what rates to be kept, how to increase bookings, and several other parameters.

Along with this, you can also add your competitor’s property details, and this screen will display your low and high rates in comparison to your competitor’s property, which will help you get an idea about the market segments. Also, in case of chain properties, all the consolidated data can be configured and analyzed together, and changed swiftly if needed.

Revenue_Management_Reservation

New Payment Gateways added

Few more Payment gateways were added and integrated with the system in this version, which include:

  1. ICICI Bank Payment Gateway
  2. Citruspay Payment Gateway
  3. AliPay Payment Gateway

There’s more in the latest release:

  • The manual Credit Card option of saving credit card details and pay later is open for all and can be enabled directly without any requests.
  • If your packages have higher rates than normal rate plans, then you will now be able to strike out the normal rates and hide it on the booking engine page.
  • From the latest version, a travel agent will be able to register directly from Booking engine through the travel-agent registration link displayed on the booking engine page.
  • You can now configure rates different than Rate Plan rates along with Base Rate on package level for extra child and extra adult.
  • You can also give a direct link to bookers to cancel their bookings from your website, so that the booker can directly go to cancel booking page.
  • Price-wise sorting will help display the rate plans and packages in a sorted manner from lowest to highest on Booking Engine in list view and OTA Interface layouts.
  • In View Reservation Audit Trail, if payment gateway is on; you will be able to view Failed Booking status along with its reason as given by the payment gateway.
  • We have now provided an option to add or upload images for rate plans in order to distinguish them with each other.
  • Your booking engine visitor can now view your reviews on the page through the Review Widget feature.
  • We have added an option to show or hide selected columns in the Booking List.
  • Your guests will now be able to book a room and pay for it from a payment gateway in multiple currencies.
  • In this version, you will be able to view a reservation folio right from the click on reservation number.

Quick FAQs

How to get the new version of booking engine?
Since eZee Reservation booking engine is a cloud product, you do not have to follow any steps to download and install the new version into your system. Just sit back and relax, and your system will be updated in no time. As soon as the update is out, you will be able to avail new enhancements on the latest version of the booking engine.

What will happen to my data after the update?
Your data will remain unchanged after the update. You can begin using the system from where you left off, immediately after the update.

Quick Links

Have any queries or doubts with the system or facing trouble using eZee solutions?
Submit a Ticket Download Release Notes Contact eZee Live Support