How To Deal With & Avoid Double Bookings
Do the words ‘double booking’ haunt your dreams? Are you finding it stressful to update your availability on all your channels whenever you get a booking?
According to Booking.com, 25% of their listed properties get a double booking within the first year. Now if that’s not an unnerving number, we don’t know what is. With busy periods like Easter coming up, it’s even more vital you know how to avoid these sticky situations. You don’t need any hefty fees or disgruntled guest reviews heading your way.
So, let’s walk through exactly how double bookings happen, how to deal with them and what you can do to make sure they never happen again.
What causes double bookings?
The main cause of double bookings (also known as overbookings) is having your property listed on multiple channels at once. If a room gets booked on Booking.com, for example, it’s not automatically made unavailable on the other channels. So there’s a high risk someone else could book the same room before you find the time to block it off manually. But, having your property listed on as many channels as possible is key to getting your property seen and for increasing your bookings. So don’t solve this by just sticking to just one channel!
Another factor contributing to the frequency of double bookings is pure human error. Perhaps you didn’t input the date of a booking correctly or you booked the wrong room off? It’s hard to get it right every single time, for every single booking, when you have to manually update it all by yourself as quickly as possible. Time is scarce in this industry – we get it. That’s why eviivo have My Diary, a property management system that does the hard work for you.
How to deal with a double booking
If you can’t update your availability across all channels in real time, then double bookings are always a possibility. So it’s best to be prepared for when it does happen.
When a double booking does take place, try to resolve the problem as soon as you can.
The first thing to do is consider if you have another room of the same standard. If you don’t, unfortunately you will have to pay the fee and any other consequences according to that booking channel’s cancellation policy. If you leave it late enough, you may also have to deal with an unhappy guest who has not been given what they paid for, or – even worse – turned away at the inn.
How can you avoid double bookings in the future?
A channel manager is the cure to all your nightmares. Online booking software, like eviivo, have an integrated channel manager that connect your rooms to all the major online travel agencies, including Booking.com, Airbnb and Expedia. This means that any bookings made on one channel, will automatically update your room inventory across all the others, too.
eviivo’s channel manager has a 2-way integration between your eviivo suite and the online travel agencies. This means that any changes to your rooms, your bookings or your rates are updated across all your channels in real time. Just make sure to update the system when bookings are made over the phone or in person and you will never have to deal with a double booking again.
So you can sleep tight knowing double bookings are no longer a problem.