What are the biggest headaches you encounter with your online presence?

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10/11/2013

Hello everyone, I hope you wont mind me posting a question as my first post here. In the interests of disclosure I am a web site developer and I am looking to understand the Bed & Breakfast, Boutique hotel market a little better. In particular I would like to know what you the owners of B&Bs find most problematic regarding your web site.

For example;

Keeping the site updated.

Being found in searches

Getting a good booking function, without a recurring cost.

Getting good photographs that display well.

Getting timely help when you have a question, etc. etc.

Your experiences will no doubt be as varied as the inns and B&Bs you run, and I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for your time.

OS

 

 

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10/07/2008

If anyone is ever brave enough and it matters, have an innmate or two plan a fictional trip to your place and let them go through all the steps to reserve online. You can get some valuable feedback this way, and it won't cost you anything. Of course, sending the innmate a big cyber hug is free. Smiling

Perhaps your site is NOT user friendly, perhaps your online reservation system is overly complicated, perhaps there is no incentive to book online and put a credit card OUT THERE for a possible hack, perhaps...they just want to speak to someone, why? Maybe the website is too vague about who they will be staying with? Giving their money to? 

I know many of you say they need to talk to a person, or you need to, but maybe there is so little if ANY information on your website about the innkeepers? There is one here who has a menu ABOUT US and has no smiling innkeepers, nothing personal there. 

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I think a lot of guests who decide to call instead of book online are simply tired. They have looked at 10 websites, can't remember what they saw and decide to call to see if someone can explain things to them.

There are quite a few times guests said, 'I thought you had this (or that, or did something we don't do),' because they had looked at so many places they forgot what they read.

The questions most guests ask are answered on our home page. They don't even need to search out the answers but they are tired of reading. (Top questions: can I walk to..., are the baths private..., are there any restaurants nearby?)

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10/07/2008

Madeleine wrote:

I think a lot of guests who decide to call instead of book online are simply tired. They have looked at 10 websites, can't remember what they saw and decide to call to see if someone can explain things to them.

There are quite a few times guests said, 'I thought you had this (or that, or did something we don't do),' because they had looked at so many places they forgot what they read.

The questions most guests ask are answered on our home page. They don't even need to search out the answers but they are tired of reading. (Top questions: can I walk to..., are the baths private..., are there any restaurants nearby?)

I think you have a Q&A for commonly asked questions, if I remember correctly.

Question for you, in your town, are there many SHARED baths? Just wondering. Is it something they encounter "there" moreso than not, or just asking in general because every single B&B has a shared baths. Remember that gal here a month ago "You would be surprised" she told me. When I said there are not that many shared baths in U.S. B&B's these days...

Madeleine's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

I think a lot of guests who decide to call instead of book online are simply tired. They have looked at 10 websites, can't remember what they saw and decide to call to see if someone can explain things to them.

There are quite a few times guests said, 'I thought you had this (or that, or did something we don't do),' because they had looked at so many places they forgot what they read.

The questions most guests ask are answered on our home page. They don't even need to search out the answers but they are tired of reading. (Top questions: can I walk to..., are the baths private..., are there any restaurants nearby?)

I think you have a Q&A for commonly asked questions, if I remember correctly.

Question for you, in your town, are there many SHARED baths? Just wondering. Is it something they encounter "there" moreso than not, or just asking in general because every single B&B has a shared baths. Remember that gal here a month ago "You would be surprised" she told me. When I said there are not that many shared baths in U.S. B&B's these days...

ZERO shared baths in town here. But, like you encountered, someone who has found them somewhere and doesn't want that experience again.

Here's a share from this weekend...guests took room with bath across the hall. Not an issue for them at all. Guy told me he read everything on the website (and I probably could have given him a quiz!) and said he was very happy about the DETAIL on the site about where the bathroom was. They've been snookered before. They don't mind the bath across but they want to know in advance.

I think guests either have found shared baths they weren't expecting or they've been told to ask about things that really bother them.

Then again, I do have all those reviews that say the baths are shared so maybe they read those.

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Madeleine wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

I think a lot of guests who decide to call instead of book online are simply tired. They have looked at 10 websites, can't remember what they saw and decide to call to see if someone can explain things to them.

There are quite a few times guests said, 'I thought you had this (or that, or did something we don't do),' because they had looked at so many places they forgot what they read.

The questions most guests ask are answered on our home page. They don't even need to search out the answers but they are tired of reading. (Top questions: can I walk to..., are the baths private..., are there any restaurants nearby?)

I think you have a Q&A for commonly asked questions, if I remember correctly.

Question for you, in your town, are there many SHARED baths? Just wondering. Is it something they encounter "there" moreso than not, or just asking in general because every single B&B has a shared baths. Remember that gal here a month ago "You would be surprised" she told me. When I said there are not that many shared baths in U.S. B&B's these days...

ZERO shared baths in town here. But, like you encountered, someone who has found them somewhere and doesn't want that experience again.

Here's a share from this weekend...guests took room with bath across the hall. Not an issue for them at all. Guy told me he read everything on the website (and I probably could have given him a quiz!) and said he was very happy about the DETAIL on the site about where the bathroom was. They've been snookered before. They don't mind the bath across but they want to know in advance.

I think guests either have found shared baths they weren't expecting or they've been told to ask about things that really bother them.

Then again, I do have all those reviews that say the baths are shared so maybe they read those.

The one complaint I have heard about the "Hallway Bath" is that it is on another level. There was an inn on this forum who had this situation. Maybe more than one. I think a couple of us have stayed at places as this, it did not say it was a different floor to reach the restroom. I call that "Camping"

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I still have one shared bath that cannot be changed. It is on same level though. EVERY bit of info I have web site, rack card, every listing states that Harris and Rosi share a bath. I DO however offer Rosi as a private bath rate and do not rent the Harris - then it is private, just down the hall.

Harris could be made into an ensuite but it is the smallest room. Rosi is at the front of the house and there is no way to get plumbing to it even if I made it too small for the full-size bed (I figured out how to put a queen in it now) I replaced. I considered making those 2 rooms a suite but the rate would be too high for me to get it rented. It is what it is.....

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

we had a single like that across the hall then down 4 steps - got rid of it in the remodel! all ensuite now was well worth the mess

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Innkeep's picture
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06/04/2008

The biggest gripe I have with my online presence is all the phone calls I get from alleged experts in SEO who want to get my site to the first page of Google.  If I had half as many phone calls to make reservations as I have nuisance calls I would be happier.  Some days, like today for instance I have had 5 from the SEO gang and 1 from somebody who will lower my credit card processing fees and 1 from somebody wanting to sell me ad space in a never-read publication.  If you could make my site invisible to all the trolls you'd get my business in a heartbeat!

Madeleine's picture
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Innkeep wrote:

The biggest gripe I have with my online presence is all the phone calls I get from alleged experts in SEO who want to get my site to the first page of Google.  If I had half as many phone calls to make reservations as I have nuisance calls I would be happier.  Some days, like today for instance I have had 5 from the SEO gang and 1 from somebody who will lower my credit card processing fees and 1 from somebody wanting to sell me ad space in a never-read publication.  If you could make my site invisible to all the trolls you'd get my business in a heartbeat!

We got a phone that allows call blocking...

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Does it block the VOIP numbers that "is a non-working" number.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

gillumhouse wrote:

Does it block the VOIP numbers that "is a non-working" number.

If a phone number shows on the caller ID it will block it. That can be tricky if the VOIP number is a generic number that all calls, good and bad, use. But, it can block a lot of other stuff even if not that one type of call.

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05/22/2008

If your fishing for clients, most people here are pretty web savvy and have found what they want already or we who know better steer them in the right direction.

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10/11/2013

No not fishing for clients, as I said looking to understand the market. The fact that the forums members are " web savvy" is evident from the forums posts and led me to believe that I would get interesting and useful feedback.

Hillbilly's picture
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10/22/2011

and this is true....They do a great job at it as well!

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Hillbilly

 

Kay Nein's picture
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02/13/2012

Keeping the site updated.  I only have that issue because the site is controlled by the man who designed it.  I cannot go in whenever I want and update or change things.  It's frustrating that I have to rack up a list before I send him changes.

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10/11/2013

Thanks fro the input K9,

Yes this is a major gripe, probably why Wordpress sites are so popular, as they allow editing in an accessible and familiar format ie one that resembles a word processor interface. I suppose you could always ask you web designer for the cost of migrating the site to Wordpress. There are many other benefits to be had from having your site on Wordpress as well.

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

my biggest problem? is you put everything on the web and no one reads it

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03/11/2009

camberly.....you right on the button  and I send a Confirmation with all info that is 80% never printed out or read., So when they get  here, they don't know what room, where to enter, who I am, is breakfast served ?, etc, ect.

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Flower's picture
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06/19/2011

I agree whole heartily. I have a reservation button yet they seldom use it .I send out confirmation yet they do not reply to saying they received it.

I have companies trying to do our seo work and promising they will get me on the first few pages of g oogl. Yea right!!!! silly people have not done their home work. USA companies trying getting new  business when they have no idea where we are?

Our web site we have control can edit any time we want . We can change pixs any time at no cost. We can change our format at no cost . Our company reply to any  E Mail question we have, with in a day or two. Or we can phone them and they will answerer it on the spot.

My biggest complaint is we can provide all the info needed ...BUT ! people just don't be bothered to read!!!

 

 

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Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

I agree - good customer service is key - so many web design companies have no clue - If I want something changing I want at the very least a phone call back about it asap

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