January 13, 2022
When booking a hotel, guests typically experience one of two bumpy journeys. The first involves booking directly on the hotel website, where they must re-enter travel dates multiple times to determine availability, get redirected to form-heavy booking templates, and manually input payment and billing details only to have to present their card at the hotel once again. The alternative is online travel agencies (OTAs), which limit customization and showcase the hotel among countless others, causing guests to get lost in a sea of options. The risks for hotels in this case? Losing guests to a competitor or a cut of the booking cost to the OTA. Regardless of the chosen path, both parties tend to lose.
Selfbook has finally brought a user journey to life that gives guests what they really want when planning a getaway. In an era where customization has become the norm, consumers want to have control over experiences, make their travels uniquely theirs, and be able to make their dream trip a reality with the simple click of a button. This desire for independence and ease is only heightened by the instant gratification granted by mobile devices, causing consumers to lack any patience for online experiences that are not user-friendly. Selfbook is the key to the metaphorical hotel room door in this case, unlocking guests’ ability to get precisely what they want and need: a quasi-invisible transaction process, where seamless room and add-on selection become the focal point of the process over struggling to determine which dates and rates are available.
Crafting an online brand experience that mimics a hotel’s in-person identity is an extensive process, and hotels often miss out on enchanting users with their beautiful website when guests are redirected to an old-school booking template. Selfbook allows hotels to say goodbye to this fragmented brand experience, and keep the dream alive for their guests from the moment they arrive on their landing page all the way through payment and confirmation by avoiding any changes to the brand environment. By enabling a direct and consistent dialogue with customers, Selfbook’s transaction engine makes it possible for hotels to maintain guests’ attention, control the overall experience, and maximize direct bookings to generate the highest margins.
For guests, the continuous connection provided by Selfbook means the booking process becomes effortless and mobile-friendly, all while being entirely safe and secure. The moment they click “Book” on the hotel website, the Selfbook overlay opens, providing users with a clear calendar that can be displayed by weekly, monthly, or list view to browse prices and availability. Once dates are selected, available rooms are displayed, and customers can easily click between them without ever being redirected to see different rate options, full-screen photos, and room descriptions. Guests can even choose add-ons for their booking, whether a spa reservation or restaurant booking, all within the room page. Payment is a simple click away from there, with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and credit card options available.
Once the room is confirmed, guests can bring their Selfbook wallet with them to any Selfbook-enabled hotel bookings they make down the line. Their details securely stored for future use, transaction time is cut down even further, bringing hotel bookings on par with the ease of online shopping. Selfbook CEO Khalid Meniri’s advice to hotels is to “focus on being less transactional and more hospitable. Use technology to make transactions automated, but do not automate hospitality.” In keeping with this philosophy, Selfbook is just the ticket for making transactions, cards, and payment details almost invisible on the hotel’s end so they can prioritize providing guests with an outstanding experience.
When transaction becomes an afterthought, hotels can focus on enhancing the human experience and elevating every moment of their guests’ stay, eliminating hiccups from booking dinners and spa reservations mid-stay to needing to present payment details upon check-out. By adding a high-tech edge to their booking platform, hotels can in fact embrace the true meaning of hospitality.
By Haley Crawford