Hotel Web Site Forms That Work

By Tema Frank CEO, Frank Reactions | January 27, 2012

How much does it cost you to take a reservation by phone? How does that compare to the costs if your guest does the booking entirely online? If you consider the staff time involved in the first case, I'll bet that you save a lot of money by having your guests book themselves completely online. So it is in your interest to make that process as easy as possible.

Next question: How many people visit your site, explore it a bit, but don't end up booking a stay with you? Any idea why they don't? Obviously some of them will conclude that your hotel isn't right for them. But there's a good chance that a significant number of them are giving up because they found the process of booking online frustrating.

Often those frustrations don't hit until they are in the middle of filling out the needed forms to book their stay. What sorts of things upset them, and how can you prevent those irritants?

1. Let them know the total costs

The biggest complaint we hear about hotel bookings online is not being told total costs before entering credit card information. In a 2003 study of hotel websites, we found that only 57% of hotel bookers were confident that they knew what the total costs would be before starting to make their booking. They had to make a reservation as part of the website testing environment. In a non-test environment, most of the remaining 43% would be unwilling to continue and make the reservation. Think about it: How willing are you to buy something without knowing what it will cost you?

2. Make form fields flexible

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Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.