Success stories /

How to get the yearly number of direct bookings in a month? - Grand Ferdinand Hotel

We are talking to Katarzyna Czopor - General Manager from Hotel Grand Ferdinand about how, thanks to the implementation of direct booking solutions, they have increased sales, guest satisfaction, staff comfort, and made the employees willing to involve in the facility development. Arkadiusz Czerwiński, Communication Manager in Profitroom: Mrs. Katarzyna, thank you for this conversation. Before we talk about your success, please tell the readers more about Grand Ferdinand Hotel.

Katarzyna Czopor, General Manager from Hotel Grand Ferdinand: Grand Ferdinand is a city hotel located in the city center, close to the regional communication center, with modern conference rooms and an atmospheric restaurant. In May 2018, we expanded it with additional rooms in the DeLux standard. At the turn of 2018/2019, the hotel underwent a general renovation, which allowed us to raise the standard and obtain 4 stars. Thanks to these activities and the work of the entire team, we have joined the prestigious group of Grand hotels.  Congratulations! What differ your hotel from the competitors? What makes us different is: ensuring a high level of hospitality, exceptional awareness of guests' expectations and the promise of full comfort and unique style. These are undoubtedly advantages that distinguish us on the market not only in Podkarpackie Province. We receive numerous awards and distinctions, we also have very good reviews on booking portals. We are happy holders of Traveler Choice 2018 and 2019 awards and the TripAdvisor Gallery of Fame awards. Who is your target group? We are focused on a business customer, who values high-quality services, premium service standards and also pays attention to the amenities available in the facilities. How did it happen that you implemented our solutions so quickly? All in all, it took only 2 months!  It’s true. Only two months elapsed from the first meeting to the implementation of all solutions (Profitroom Booking Engine, Profitroom CRM, website or Profitroom Channel Manager). In January, we decided to leave the network, and we wanted to act as soon as possible. We wanted to launch our own booking system and a website that will encourage more bookings. Finding a company on the market that would take on such a challenge was not easy. After the recommendations obtained from other hotel facilities, we decided to go for Profitroom. As it turned out, you offer a wide range of possibilities and several system improvements that we wanted, at it wasn’t common offer on the market. The knowledge and experience made us trust you. "As it turned out, you offer a wide range of possibilities and several system improvements..."

You have made the decision and the time has come to implement … Yes, and the professionalism of Profitroom turned out to be very crucial at that stage. The tasks progressed very quickly and efficiently. During the entire implementation process, we learned about all functionalities and the Profitroom Suite’s intuitiveness. We were positively surprised. We have a comparison to the network systems on which we have operated so far. The difference is huge. The system is easy, simple, legible and, above all, has the necessary tools to do business with full visibility.

When did you notice the first effects of the introduced changes? Almost instantly! We saw the difference in the first month of operating as an independent hotel. As analyzes and reports showed, the increase in direct bookings was huge. To give you a comparison for a better understanding: after only a month of the hotel working on direct booking strategy, we had as many bookings as those we received via the network systems during one year! This is an amazing success! How is it currently developing? Today, direct bookings account for around 25% of all bookings. We have the ambition to make it 40%. We hope that cooperation with Profitroom in the field of positioning and marketing activities will give us further positive effects. We have also invested in a new website, including images. We dedicated quite a budget to online marketing managed by Profitroom. We note that from month to month the indicators are getting better. Also, we conduct several activities that are aimed at our guests’ loyalty. We try to convince them to make direct bookings and this actually brings results. Our guests want to get something extra, so we have introduced a loyalty program created specifically for them. "Today, direct bookings account for around 25% of all bookings. We have the ambition to make it 40%."

What do you think is the key to generating direct bookings? The efficient system, ease of use and - above all - people who want to consciously create and create a brand are all key. Working with Profitroom software is pleasant and intuitive. It enables efficient price management. It’s also important that any issues we encounter are quickly dealt with. Technical support works quickly and reliably. In the past, the reservation acceptance system has often not worked correctly, resulting in our financial losses. Currently, thanks to such wide system functionality, we can efficiently attend to our business customers’ needs.

Economic calculation is probably what motivates you the most to work on direct booking strategy? Yes, it is exactly so! We prefer to share profits with the guest and our team rather than with the OTAs. Let's talk for a moment about Profitroom CRM. What made you decide to introduce this tool as well? We always wanted to have that type of system in our hotel. We struggled with the problems of manual handling of telephone reservations, payments, ensuring availability, etc. CRM is a tool that efficiently handles phone and e-mail queries and automates the entire process. "We prefer to share profits with the guest and our team rather than with the OTAs."

How did you convince your team to use CRM? We just showed them that it saves their time, eliminates errors and increases sales efficiency. As a result, the team bonuses are also higher than before the CRM time. The bonus system, which we introduced, has streamlined the work of the reception and sales departments. Our team cannot imagine working without Profitroom CRM anymore. The receptionists’ comfort has improved. Now, the reception has more time for our guests. It also raised the quality and standard of service as well as the level of satisfaction among our guests. The guest receives a clear stay offer, doesn’t ask additional questions as everything is clear to him/her. Also, the system has enabled higher monthly bonuses, which motivates our team to work. For the hotel, Profitroom CRM primarily means lower booking costs.

CRM also helps you communicate with the guests… Yes, automatic emails generated by the system are a very good solution. Thanks to that, we provide guests with important information, without generating any additional costs or staff work. We also use the newsletter option, but we do not overwhelm our guests with messages. Once a month we send an email informing about what we currently offer, what our seasonal offer is and about current promotions and packages. Thank you for this interview!Let's look at Grand Ferdinand Hotel's website: https://www.hotelferdynand.pl/en/

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