The Value of Reservation Confirmation E-mails

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Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Sigh (I've been sighing a lot lately...)

Just got an e-mail "I just checked the apartments and was surprised there was no booking on my date.  I thought I had made reservations for June 16th & 17th in xxx apt.  on line.   Please get back with me."

No, it never came through and the fact that you went back and checked lets me know you suspect it didn't go through. So I've added a big note in bold at the top of the online reservation page: If you don't receive a reservation confirmation e-mail within a reasonable amount of time, it means your reservation didn't go through. Please try again.

Glad they checked!! No fun to have people arrive for what they think are their dates and nobody here knows a thing about it! Worse yet if somebody else has successfully booked after their failed attempt.

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Iris's picture
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oh this brings up a "problem" I have noticed twice now. Guests call to see if they have a reservation.  Indeed they do but I have made a mistake in taking down their email correctly.  I get a copy of the confirmation but they don't and I don't know it because ReservationKey sends the confirmations. Nothing kicks back to me saying "you fool, you got the email wrong" 

 

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gillumhouse's picture
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I just click on the e-mail address they inputted in RezKey to send my Confirm Letter

Iris's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

I just click on the e-mail address they inputted in RezKey to send my Confirm Letter

I put the email into the system wrong. Typo on my side.  So, your trick won't work.  

Highlands John's picture
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It says on our booking screens that we always send a confirmation and if one isn't received in 24 hours they must contact us.

I always tell people this when the book over the phone too. 

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Proud Texan's picture
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I've been getting a rash of calls lately all saying the same thing: "Your online calendar says you're booked, but I was just calling to see if you might have had a cancelation."

In other words: "Are you such an inept innkeeper that you don't keep up with your online calendar?"  

 

Arks's picture
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Proud Texan wrote:

I've been getting a rash of calls lately all saying the same thing: "Your online calendar says you're booked, but I was just calling to see if you might have had a cancelation."

In other words: "Are you such an inept innkeeper that you don't keep up with your online calendar?"  

I put in bold print on mine: This is the official availability calendar. It is ALWAYS up to date.

Highlands John's picture
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Same here but they still ring    "I see your fully booked on the xth of August, but I thought I'd call just in case"............ just in case of what? That a pull another room out of my xxx.

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People hope that you might have had a cancelation just 5 minutes before and didn't update your calendar yet Eye-wink

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But it is the time to ask if they want to be on the wait list.  It usually doesn't pan out but it is always nice to offer.

Iris's picture
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copperhead wrote:

But it is the time to ask if they want to be on the wait list.  It usually doesn't pan out but it is always nice to offer.

exactly, it is an opportunity to stay in touch with this would-be guest

Joey Camb's picture
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this is especially important for annual events - i often get people ringing when we are full - however they are a better booking - I take the email and then email them early for the next year, means a direct booking, customer is happy and ive got 3 nights rather than 2! bonus

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Highlands John's picture
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My booking system says on the screen "We ALWAYS send a confirmation of all bookings, if you do not receive one you must contact us".

That way I'm covered if people turn up who haven't booked properly, but I'm also covered for people who turn up early and then complain no-one was here to greet them. "It said in your confirmation.....", "We didn't get one!!", "Well it said on the screen.....".

Same for those that haven't booked dinner in the local Inn and then have to drive to eat out because the Inn is full.

 

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and yet, Arks, here is something that has happened to me. Really. Truly. They booked their room, then called about it, and actually wanted a room in TEXAS. Booked Virginia, there is no way on the planet you cannot see Virginia all over our site and reservations.

Also had a guy in a city of the same name in another state, calling "Where are you? We're in your city" No there is no B&B by that name there.

Just a couple stories to say "People can be clueless" and as we say you don't want to make everyone feel put down by making those few able to get through the process, they STILL may not be able to do it.

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Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

I guess one possibility is that a person clicks the Reserve button for the room they want and think they're done, not bothering to enter any contact or credit card info to finalize the process.

No, surely someone wouldn't be that out of it!

Joey Camb's picture
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If I had a pound for every email that comes round our local email ring "mrs Jones has made a reservation for the 16th of June but can't remember where is she one of yours?" id have another bathroom renovated!

muirford's picture
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05/22/2008

I've had two people show up at my door thinking they had made a reservation, which never happened - one was just last Friday.  They didn't get the automatic confirmation email, either, but they weren't smart enough to realize that the rez didn't go through or that they should have gotten a confirmation email.  Fortunately we've been able to accommodate both guests, but that luck won't last forever.  A more specific message that the rez still needs work, like TRY AGAIN or RESERVATION FAIL would be helpful.

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Hillbilly's picture
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I have been having a few problems with the emails on Inn Rewards. I have been trying to figure out why some receive conformations and some don't. I had a talk with my host company and they are uploading to a server that over a 100+ businesses use. When you use a server that has that many there can be email problems.
This is what was explained to me and some on here might be able to explain it better. I will give it a try.

1) When a email is sent it goes to the sender that has the shortest line to send mail.
2) If for what ever reason that line your email is in and it is rejecting example:AOL accounts. For spam, hacked or what ever reason it will never send it out.

The guest might have made their reservation but never will receive the email from the system.

I have been having about 1 out of 10 that sign up not receive their email from our site. This can get old real quick. So for that problem I'm going to change our mail to a different server so this wont happen anymore. It will cost around $60 a year. But I don't want the other innkeepers to have any email problems when using Inn Rewards. I hope this will solve my problem. It might be the same problem your having.

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06/24/2008

I've had a couple of those phone calls.  What I have figured is they did not see the notice they missed a required field when completing the form.  They hit send (or what ever it states) and close the screen.   Good idea to put a notation, just wondering if the notation should include TRY AGAIN.  You sure don't want them to book 2 rooms and we all know that people don't check their spam folders for our confirmation emails.  You may want to consider changing it to "please contact us if you have not received your confirmation within _____ "

Arks's picture
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copperhead wrote:

...just wondering if the notation should include TRY AGAIN.  You sure don't want them to book 2 rooms and we all know that people don't check their spam folders for our confirmation emails.  You may want to consider changing it to "please contact us if you have not received your confirmation within _____ "

Great suggestion. Of course, it wouldn't let them book the same one twice, but dummies, including me, might just think someone else got the one they wanted so they'd pick a different one and end up booking two.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

copperhead wrote:

...just wondering if the notation should include TRY AGAIN.  You sure don't want them to book 2 rooms and we all know that people don't check their spam folders for our confirmation emails.  You may want to consider changing it to "please contact us if you have not received your confirmation within _____ "

Great suggestion. Of course, it wouldn't let them book the same one twice, but dummies, including me, might just think someone else got the one they wanted so they'd pick a different one and end up booking two.

Yep, that is what I was thinking.  (not about you, just in general. lol)

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