Blog: A Gift Card is Just the Answer
Hoist Gift Card Manager – Answering Your Questions
In all my earlier posts I took you through how a gift card solution could be the helping hand your hotel needs. As we established, Hoist Gift Card Manager could be the answer to maintaining cashflow in times of low occupancy. In our second post we detailed the requirements for a selecting a gift card solution that can deliver for you, and most importantly your customers. In our 3rd post we found the ideal solution for you, then demonstrated how it meets that list of critical requirements.
So, here I am with my fourth post. This time, I want to try and address many of the common questions that people ask me about gift card solutions. These are probably the very same questions you have yourself. Read on for the answers you need.
1. What is the Benefit of Offering Gift Cards?
In times of crisis, such as the current Coronavirus pandemic, gift cards are an ideal way to protect revenue. Primarily by enabling you to offer an alternative to refunds, allowing the hotel to retain cash, and offering a gift card instead. This solves both the challenges and cashflow impact of cancellations.
Of course, gifts cards go further than just being used in place of refunds. They can actually allow you to generate additional revenue, even when it is impossible to sell rooms. Even in a situation where you cannot sell rooms, you can sell gift cards. These allow guests to support you now, for a future stay.
Finally, gift cards have ‘gift’ in their name for one very popular reason. They make an excellent gift! During the current Coronavirus pandemic, many parts of the world are on lockdown. It’s clear when this is lifted the demand for travel will return, hopefully quickly. As such, the gift of travel will be most likely be welcome throughout the world.
2. What Kind of Gift Cards Can My Hotel Offer?
The flexibility of Hoist Gift Card Manager allows you to offer something for all your guests. You can supply gift cards with a monetary value, perhaps to spend anywhere in the hotel. You can also make up hotel stay bundles, with different combinations of food & beverage, room nights, spa services and all the other facilities you may offer.
Moving on from stays, you could also create packages for things like a 5-course meal with drinks. You can even drill down to specific dates, or open dates.
They key point to remember is you are not selling money for money. You should be selling a service that your customers want, so creating bundles that offer quality experiences will keep the customers returning.
3. How Soon Can My Hotel Go Live with Our Gift Card Offering?
Some hotels have gone live within one day! Typically, we find hotels go live in 1-2 weeks from placing the order. Here at Hoist Group the flexibility of our Hoist Gift Card Manager allows us to work within your timelines.
4. Will We Need to Contract with New Payment Gateways?
As we mentioned in previous posts, contracting new payment gateways or starting an integration with your current payment gateway can significantly increase the time to go-live. Fortunately, Hoist Gift Card Manager comes ready integrated with Stripe as the default payment gateway. This means Hoist Gift Card Manager is ready to go ‘out of the box’.
If you wish to work with your existing payment gateway, Hoist Gift Card Manager has this covered too. Integrations already exist with Nets, Adyen and Verifone, and we are bringing new payment gateway partners on board regularly.
5. How Safe is the Gift Card Offering?
All payments in Hoist Gift Card Manager are undertaken in compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. This is an information security standard for organizations that handle credit cards. You can read more information about this here.
6. What Hotel Services Can We Offer on Gift Cards?
I know I’ve said this a lot but Hoist Gift Card Manager is flexible. Does your hotel offer weekend packages? Then Hoist Gift Card Manager can handle it. Do you have a spa with a myriad of different experiences? Well Hoist Gift Card Manager can create packages to cover all of those services. Maybe you have a restaurant with varied or seasonal menus? Hoist Gift Card Manager has you covered. Pretty much anything your hotel offers, then Hoist Gift Card Manager can make a gift of it.
7. Can Several Services Be Combined Under a Single Gift Card?
Bundling is a great function within Hoist Gift Card Manager. Using the bundling options, you can combine offerings to meet the demands of the customers. This allows customer to create their own packages, such as “2 nights in our Luxurious Suite with Dinner”.
8. For Business Clients, Can My Hotel Invoice for Gift Cards?
Yes! Hoist Gift Card Manager has two options for supporting B2B customers. Firstly, sending out a payment link, through the ready integrated payment gateway. This allows the customer to receive an email with the link and make the payment with the relevant cards.
Secondly, the flexibility in Hoist Gift Card Manager allows you to create the gift card, send to the client, then have your own invoicing system invoice the client.
9. Can My Hotel Staff Create Gift Cards for Customers?
Absolutely! The ability for staff to easily access Hoist Gift Card Manager on the device of their choice means they can create gift cards wherever and whenever they need to. Be them physical or digital gift cards, Hoist Gift Card Manager offers your staff the flexibility.
10. Can I Create Gift Cards in Bulk?
Through the ‘Central Reservations’ functionality in Hoist Gift Card Manager hotel staff can create batch gift cards for fulfilling bulk orders. For instance, if you have a customer requesting 10 cards, you can easily do that with Hoist Gift Card Manager.
11. Can I Send Reminders to Gift Card Holders Whose Cards Are Nearing Expiry Date?
Hoist Gift Card Manager makes it very easy to see when gift cards are expiring. Armed with this information you can notify them through your own communication systems such as email, WhatsApp or SMS.
12. Can Customers Save the Gift Card to Their Mobile Wallets?
By including QR codes as part of the gift cards, customers can save their gift cards to the mobile wallets in both iOS and Android.
I hope this answered many of the questions you may have about the Hoist Gift Card Manager. If you have any more, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.
Simon I’Anson is Chief Strategy Officer with Hoist Group, whose main focus is finding Hoist Group’s myriad of advanced technology solutions their rightful home in some of the world’s greatest hotels. With over 15 years of experience in the hospitality technology space, he is sharing his valuable insights through these posts. Outside of work he is a big fan of many sports, including Rugby and Tennis, enjoys spending time with his family, and likes the type of music that should be turned up to ‘11’. You can find more about him here – LinkedIn