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A few reasons why some B&B guests don't book online

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Tim_Toad_HLB

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Based on input from guests that volunteer the information, these are a few reasons we've been given over the years for why some folks won't use an online reservation system. There doesn't seem to be a hard line on age, income, demographics on who and why, but some similarities do exist. Older, less computer savvy folks seem to prefer a telephone call. First time B&B guests with questions or doubts also seem to at least email first with questions. Then if still unclear, will also call more often than just book online.
1. Security concerns about their CC information and ecommerce in general.
2. Wanted a few questions about different rooms, amenities, our location, etc. answered first before commtting to a particular room.
3. Doubts about what kind of response time they could expect from us if booked online.
4. Lack of computer proficiency or access.
5. Wanted to confirm availability of room due to doubts about the timeliness of updates of the calendar, rates, eligibility for specials, discounts, etc.
6. Wanted to confirm that we actually are as nice and helpful as they read about in reviews.
7. Wanted to ask about flexibility on age restrictions for children and explain how well behaved and B&B savvy their kids are.
 

hawley

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Almost all of my guests fly in and are at the mercy of airlines and time schedules. They all call me to see if I can accommodate them. Many are coming from overseas and have been enroute for many hours.
I don't have online reservations yet due to cost. But I do have an availability calendar that has all room availability.
 

MooseTrax

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1, 2, 4 & 5 are the big reasons we've heard with 5 being the most common.
 

Copperhead

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I would guess our online booking is somewhere in the 20% range...We did, however, just revise our website and did 2 things that were discussed on this forum - #1 moved up our 'booking button" to the top of the page (on every page) and #2 made both ' check availablity' and 'book now' buttons even though they both currently lead to the same Webervations page. (thinking on changing that though)
I do not 'poll' all my guests just those that either mention it or where the subject is easily injected into the conversation.
Our most common response is #1 with the 2nd being #2, our 3rd and 4th are not listed in yours - "To me it is faster just to call state everything, and know everything is a go." 4th - "Been burned once by arriving at a hotel that could not find our reservation - will not go through that again"
With #4 I am still shocked it happens that often! Usually this statement is made from business travelers..those that you would think would use the online booking the most! Most of these are NOT booked through one of the big hotel sites, but through the hotel's corp. site - another suprise.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Almost all of my guests fly in and are at the mercy of airlines and time schedules. They all call me to see if I can accommodate them. Many are coming from overseas and have been enroute for many hours.
I don't have online reservations yet due to cost. But I do have an availability calendar that has all room availability..
"I don't have online reservations yet due to cost. But I do have an availability calendar that has all room availability."
We have used the basic Availability Online for $65 per year since early on and it works very well for us.
Its a reservation "request" system, but the ease of use, reliability, my being here most all the time except for a couple errand and grocery trips per week and being committed to staying on top of accuracy and updating has made it as close to "real time" as our little four room B&B needs.
We probably could afford more expensive systems, but this is working for us and we're sticking with it in this current economic climate.
 

Proud Texan

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Almost all of my guests fly in and are at the mercy of airlines and time schedules. They all call me to see if I can accommodate them. Many are coming from overseas and have been enroute for many hours.
I don't have online reservations yet due to cost. But I do have an availability calendar that has all room availability..
"I don't have online reservations yet due to cost. But I do have an availability calendar that has all room availability."
We have used the basic Availability Online for $65 per year since early on and it works very well for us.
Its a reservation "request" system, but the ease of use, reliability, my being here most all the time except for a couple errand and grocery trips per week and being committed to staying on top of accuracy and updating has made it as close to "real time" as our little four room B&B needs.
We probably could afford more expensive systems, but this is working for us and we're sticking with it in this current economic climate.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
We have used the basic Availability Online for $65 per year since early on and it works very well for us.
Heck, Webervations isn't much more than that.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Almost all of my guests fly in and are at the mercy of airlines and time schedules. They all call me to see if I can accommodate them. Many are coming from overseas and have been enroute for many hours.
I don't have online reservations yet due to cost. But I do have an availability calendar that has all room availability..
"I don't have online reservations yet due to cost. But I do have an availability calendar that has all room availability."
We have used the basic Availability Online for $65 per year since early on and it works very well for us.
Its a reservation "request" system, but the ease of use, reliability, my being here most all the time except for a couple errand and grocery trips per week and being committed to staying on top of accuracy and updating has made it as close to "real time" as our little four room B&B needs.
We probably could afford more expensive systems, but this is working for us and we're sticking with it in this current economic climate.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
We have used the basic Availability Online for $65 per year since early on and it works very well for us.
Heck, Webervations isn't much more than that.
.
It now uses the same kind of format as AO.
I thought I remember that one having the "All rooms booked" "Some rooms booked" "No rooms booked" boxes in earlier versions. We didn't care for that when we were deciding on which to use.
How can one compare the two?
 

Samster

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Interesting list. I get, "Oh, I just thought I'd call instead of reserving a room myself."
I have had a frustrating day with trying to book online for an Innkeeper's Escape for a few days. Went online for my first night to book a place that I've wanted to visit that's about 3 hours away. They had Webervations which said that it had last been updated 2 days ago! So, then I get the automated response that they've received my "reservation request" and to look for the confirmation. I got the confirmation 8 hours later and meanwhile I am sweating if there are rooms available since it hadn't been updated recently. Then, I tried a place where I've met the innkeeper but they really are doing some maintenance so no rooms. She referred me to another place which had more than half of their rooms open for this weekend so I called to see if they would waive the 2 day minimum. That was a big step for me to make a phone call. lol! Have not heard back from them so naturally I moved on. Sent another Webervations request and the innkeeper called me very quickly! A super positive phone experience with them and excellent customer service.
I am the opposite, please let me book ONLINE!! My ducks would have been lined up a lot quicker today....
 

JBanczak

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Almost all of my guests fly in and are at the mercy of airlines and time schedules. They all call me to see if I can accommodate them. Many are coming from overseas and have been enroute for many hours.
I don't have online reservations yet due to cost. But I do have an availability calendar that has all room availability..
"I don't have online reservations yet due to cost. But I do have an availability calendar that has all room availability."
We have used the basic Availability Online for $65 per year since early on and it works very well for us.
Its a reservation "request" system, but the ease of use, reliability, my being here most all the time except for a couple errand and grocery trips per week and being committed to staying on top of accuracy and updating has made it as close to "real time" as our little four room B&B needs.
We probably could afford more expensive systems, but this is working for us and we're sticking with it in this current economic climate.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
We have used the basic Availability Online for $65 per year since early on and it works very well for us.
Heck, Webervations isn't much more than that.
.
It now uses the same kind of format as AO.
I thought I remember that one having the "All rooms booked" "Some rooms booked" "No rooms booked" boxes in earlier versions. We didn't care for that when we were deciding on which to use.
How can one compare the two?
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
It now uses the same kind of format as AO.
I thought I remember that one having the "All rooms booked" "Some rooms booked" "No rooms booked" boxes in earlier versions. We didn't care for that when we were deciding on which to use.
How can one compare the two?
We get asked this quite a lot. I posted this a few months ago, but will post it here again - this is a comparison grid from our website. I was told then that AO was adding some features, so this might be a bit out of date. You can imagine I have strong opinions on the checkout path flow (long-time forum members will remember all the talks we had about availability calendars, date-pickers, checkout pages, etc.), but I'll avoid going into that unless you want to hear them as they pertain to AO.

 
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