Stopping Price Quote / Discount Requests

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Okay, what the f*S&!(# do you do to get people to stop sending you requests to quote them availability and pricing (and of course "best price") in email when it's all available online in your reservation system?

I get so many of these requests and it's just busy work. They hardly ever reserve. I really don't see the point of my looking up and emailing them all the damn prices when they could have seen it. I don't know what to do to cut down on those requests. Maybe a standard acknowledgement email to contact requests to tell them to go to the reservation page to get pricing and that we will reply to their email asap.

Also, my pricing online is 10% lower than my other prices? So should I tell them the prices on the website are lower, but if they want me to quote them, it will not include the discount? Any ideas on how to cut down on these annoying requests?

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birdwatcher's picture
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When we get those I always send back-our prices are from____to_____ and are subject to change daily, please refer back to our website to get the mos updated pricing and availability.

OnTheShore's picture
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We get calls asking if the availability calendars on our website are up-to-date, and I always respond "Yes, that's what WE look at to see what is available!"

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Iris's picture
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Harborfields wrote:

We get calls asking if the availability calendars on our website are up-to-date, and I always respond "Yes, that's what WE look at to see what is available!"

They ask because so very many lodging places still operate with the calendars that need to be manually updated.  You can see the notes saying *the calendar was last updated a week ago*, and such.  It's so frustrating when trying to make a reservation. 
 

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white pine's picture
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The one that gets me is when they call and say "We saw you are full online, but were wondering if you might have a room".....?????  Like I hold some back?

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Madeleine's picture
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Yup, like CH said, tell them you can add them to your wait list or suggest a different week.

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But always reply, No not at the present but we would be happy to add you to our wait list for that time frame. 

Generic's picture
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Okay, I changed the drop down, so that it now shows "Check Availability & Price" and then "Contact Us". And on the contact page it says basically Pricing and availability are here. We do not quote pricing in email.

Let's see if that works.

Madeleine's picture
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As if someone read this thread and just wanted to see what would happen, I got an email asking for all of the info on my site: price, availability, wifi, breakfast and parking.

Joey Camb's picture
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We have a large sign on the front of our place - car park at rear - guests pull up  in full view of large sign - is there any parking?

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Eric I am getting a lot of those right now too. I even have THAT ON THE CONTACT FORM - Check availability and prices as they are up to date, before you email.

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Madeleine's picture
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We don't get that many of these but we do get the phone calls. For the emails, I have a template...

Thank you for considering (my inn) for your travel plans in (my state)! At present, we do have rooms open for the dates of your vacation. As rooms book quickly, I will refer you to our online reservation system to get the exact price and see the rooms that are still available. (Insert link here.)

You don't even have to quote back the dates to them, just reply to their email. It takes 30 seconds for me to look at the calendar, cut and paste the template and hit send.

If they have mentioned 'issues' such as small children or needing 2 beds I will add a little info directing them to the 'best choice' rooms.

Along the very same lines are the people who call and ask to make a reservation. Rather than me telling them what's available I ask, 'Have you chosen a room?' 9/10 say they are on the website right now and it looks like x room is open and that's the one they want.

I don't know. Some people just like to talk on the phone.

Arks's picture
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My website top menu has a "Reserve / Availability" choice rather than just a "Reservations" choice. Of course, Reserve and Availability both take you to the same reservation system page. Perhaps it would help to let them know that they can just check availability and rates without reserving.

Or not.

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Madeleine's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

My website top menu has a "Reserve / Availability" choice rather than just a "Reservations" choice. Of course, Reserve and Availability both take you to the same reservation system page. Perhaps it would help to let them know that they can just check availability and rates without reserving.

Or not.

I have both options on the old site. I was tracking which one got the most hits but I stopped. As long as they picked one of them it didn't really matter.

On the new site I have multiple options again. Buttons, links, clickable images. All go to the same page. Oh, and I have added mini availability calendars to each room page. That may be more intuitive. Those go directly to the booking system. The other options take you to a page on the site that explains how to make an online reservation. Overkill, but available to ME as a 'one page change' if I want to get a different system in place.

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I would create a template email with a link directly to your reservation page. Your page is VERY simple (I looked) but include the 'how to check' in the email.   And definitely say there is a online booking discount of 10% which is the only discount (if true) that you offer.  

Oddly, some people get this notion that they can only use the Reservation tab if they are ready to book.  Some how mysteriously they have booked a room without putting in any details!  

We found that since we created a 2nd tab labeled "Check Availability & Price" that we have gotten less calls and email requests.   Silly but true.

Madeleine's picture
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'Check price'. Good one. I might add that somewhere, too.

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Madeleine wrote:

'Check price'. Good one. I might add that somewhere, too.

You mean other than the rooms page with the prices sitting right next to every picture, like a dozen times?

For you it may be worse, since you have a range, my rates are the same, if it says $145 it IS $145

Yes, I have availability as reserve now! Might scare the timid away

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

'Check price'. Good one. I might add that somewhere, too.

You mean other than the rooms page with the prices sitting right next to every picture, like a dozen times?

For you it may be worse, since you have a range, my rates are the same, if it says $145 it IS $145

Yes, I have availability as reserve now! Might scare the timid away

JB since you have only 1 price, you don't really need that.  Since I have different pricing weekdays to weekends (started this last year) and have different pricing for events, I have a price range on each room page.  The high end was scaring them away so I went to this and things improved.  I saw one of our innmates has something like 'check the price for your dates here'  which I like but DH says it is overkill.  I would rather have 'prices start at $$ check the price for your date here'   Less scary?

Madeleine's picture
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I know, it's overkill. But if people are calling, even with the calendar stating CLEARLY that it is up to date, then something is not getting thru.

OK, wait, it makes no sense. Most of them are calling while looking at the calendar, so it's not a call for pricing but for availability. They don't understand the calendar. And they won't understand the mini calendars, either. Even with the closed dates blocked off in black so you can't even see the information that was there.

Egads, I just figured out another thing that will happen. They will look at the ROOM calendar and think it means EVERY room is booked.

I have to go put some text in there. 'This calendar is for THIS room only.'

Speaking of which...I think I may be ready for the big reveal tomorrow or Wednesday...stay tuned!

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