Calling late arrivals

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

Help Support INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources:

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
Due to a completely different problem I ended up calling a late arriving guest last night. I wanted to be sure they were actually coming before I put info outside for them. I was treated like a helicopter mom, with sarcasm and eye-rolling (if you were ever a teenager you can HEAR eye-rolling over the phone, believe me!). This is why I have NEVER made it a point to call an adult guest to ascertain their arrival time.
Of course, I could not tell them the reason why I called (to insure THEY were the people who got the info to get into the room and not someone else) because that sounds like we're not in control here.
So, back to business as usual. If you're not here, you're an adult and will be treated as such. No heli-mom.
Which means that after I get back from walking the dog, the folks who are not here, who have not called and who are 4 hours late, will find an envelope with their info in it. And I will be tucked up in bed at a decent hour tonight! (So I can stay awake tomorrow night when the storm hits!)
 

Generic

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
7,531
Reaction score
42
We use data from their reservation for the door code and leave them a hint on the door. They also get a warning about your check-in time in email three days earlier. I'm tired of waiting for people. If I call (or text) then it's just the code. Everything else is on the sheet on the door waiting for them.
I'm tired of waiting. I want my life back.
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
We use data from their reservation for the door code and leave them a hint on the door. They also get a warning about your check-in time in email three days earlier. I'm tired of waiting for people. If I call (or text) then it's just the code. Everything else is on the sheet on the door waiting for them.
I'm tired of waiting. I want my life back..
These folks, too, got the info a couple of days ago. I'm finding that no one, absolutely none of the guests who I send the reminder email to seem to have gotten it. The are totally surprised to find a deposit has been taken. The emails DO go because I do receive a copy.
 

Copperhead

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
5,968
Reaction score
0
We use data from their reservation for the door code and leave them a hint on the door. They also get a warning about your check-in time in email three days earlier. I'm tired of waiting for people. If I call (or text) then it's just the code. Everything else is on the sheet on the door waiting for them.
I'm tired of waiting. I want my life back..
These folks, too, got the info a couple of days ago. I'm finding that no one, absolutely none of the guests who I send the reminder email to seem to have gotten it. The are totally surprised to find a deposit has been taken. The emails DO go because I do receive a copy.
.
Alibi Ike said:
These folks, too, got the info a couple of days ago. I'm finding that no one, absolutely none of the guests who I send the reminder email to seem to have gotten it. The are totally surprised to find a deposit has been taken. The emails DO go because I do receive a copy.
Bet most of these are posted in their spam / trash folders and are never seen because they are not looking for them.
Even most of my confirmations are found in the spam folders - once I tell them to look there. "you said you were sending me a confirmation" I am amazed how many people do not at least scan that folder but most (at least in my customer base) appear not to do so.
I no longer send reminders of the deposit, unless it doesn't go through.
I request an approx. time of arrival and do request that if their plans change in route that they give me a quick call. I don't want someone to miss something they want to see because they have a deadline to be here. If it appears they will be later than our normal check in times, I will provide them with the code on the phone, and the remaining info is in an env. on the entry table. No notes on my door, nothing that could be intercepted by another.
 

muirford

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
12
We just spent last week in a place that didn't list any check-in window on the website (and they don't do online reservations, only email requests). They don't have a check-in time in the confirmation email. They called us on our cell phone around 11 a.m. on the day of our arrival to find out when we wanted to check in. 22 years as innkeepers.
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
We just spent last week in a place that didn't list any check-in window on the website (and they don't do online reservations, only email requests). They don't have a check-in time in the confirmation email. They called us on our cell phone around 11 a.m. on the day of our arrival to find out when we wanted to check in. 22 years as innkeepers..
How did that work out for you? Did you feel like they were welcoming you or hunting you down?
 

muirford

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
12
We just spent last week in a place that didn't list any check-in window on the website (and they don't do online reservations, only email requests). They don't have a check-in time in the confirmation email. They called us on our cell phone around 11 a.m. on the day of our arrival to find out when we wanted to check in. 22 years as innkeepers..
How did that work out for you? Did you feel like they were welcoming you or hunting you down?
.
Alibi Ike said:
How did that work out for you? Did you feel like they were welcoming you or hunting you down?
I was surprised. After I looked back through my correspondence with them, and realized I didn't know when check-in was, I had already decided that I would give them a call once we got on the road with an ETA. I had given them my cell phone number. That made it a little weird.
Now, they have three staff during the summer season, one of whom works all year. I think that she is trained to do check-ins, although the innkeeper was there when we arrived around 5.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
We just spent last week in a place that didn't list any check-in window on the website (and they don't do online reservations, only email requests). They don't have a check-in time in the confirmation email. They called us on our cell phone around 11 a.m. on the day of our arrival to find out when we wanted to check in. 22 years as innkeepers..
muirford said:
We just spent last week in a place that didn't list any check-in window on the website (and they don't do online reservations, only email requests). They don't have a check-in time in the confirmation email. They called us on our cell phone around 11 a.m. on the day of our arrival to find out when we wanted to check in. 22 years as innkeepers.

 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
Don't call me I'll call you.
I know some are very strongly opinionated on this subject, but don't ever call me, ever, unless it is urgent (as a guest). Sorry. I am of the same thought as Ike encountered, what? who? when? But then we would call if we were not going to be there by check in time, or had an incident on the road or something. Give me the check in window and I will be there.
 

toddburme

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
733
Reaction score
0
I have often thought a polite text would solve this issue but so many guests are over the age where a text is not a big thing.
 

Breakfast Diva

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
5,909
Reaction score
25
I'm with JB on this one. Don't bug me, I will be there in the window provided and if not, I will call as soon as I realize the timing is off.
I want to enjoy the trip from point A to point B and not feel rushed or worried that I'm keeping someone from doing things. Of course as an innkeeper, I hate waiting around, but for as much as I moan and groan about it, I understand the guest's POV.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
Yes and take a trip and see how it is, being here as the innkeeper is a different story to being on the road all day traveling. It is good to take a road trip, to deal with hotels and traffic back ups trying to get to your destination once in a while.
When we arrived on Tybee Island, fatigued from the road, how the front desk greeted us made all the difference in the world. If they called to ask when we would be there I would not have been happy. In fact, that is something I might even complain about. But they were sweet and that kind of made me feel like "Ahhhh we made it, finally! Time to relax!"
I always remember, as DH reminds me when we drove to NYC and stayed overnight at Jackson House B&B in Railroad PA. George greeted us and walked us straight over and reached into the guest fridge and said "What will you have? Ice water? Rootbeer? Coca cola? Ice tea?" DH tells me again and again how he thought that was the greatest innkeeper intro ever. So simple, yet hit the spot! ahhh.
 

Samster

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
6,475
Reaction score
14
Location
South Carolina
We just spent last week in a place that didn't list any check-in window on the website (and they don't do online reservations, only email requests). They don't have a check-in time in the confirmation email. They called us on our cell phone around 11 a.m. on the day of our arrival to find out when we wanted to check in. 22 years as innkeepers..
How did that work out for you? Did you feel like they were welcoming you or hunting you down?
.
I agree with some of the others. As a guest, I will call the inn from the road in plenty of time when I know that I might not make the time I said I'd be there or the check-in window. As an innkeeper, the only time that I would call a guest was if they were extremely late to help to make arrangements for them. (For example, a repeat guest stuck on the interstate from the airport behind a tractor trailer accident after a late flight who finally arrived at 2 am).
I will NEVER forget the time that an innkeeper gave me a hard time on the phone when I called that I would be missing the time I said I'd be there (yet within the check-in window) when I had a problem with a tire!! And I won't be back there.
But I also remember the innkeepers who offered me a cool drink on arrival and asked how the trip to them was.

 

Susan

Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2011
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
I am new to this forum as an aspiring innkeeper currently under negotiations with the inn we want to purchase.
My husband and I were on a buying trip - looking at an area with the intent to either find the perfect place and inn or eliminate the area from our consideration so we had booked stays at four different B&Bs. All were made aware that we were "shopping". EVERY one of them called us the week of our arrival. On the first day we found this extremely odd since we have only rarely received that annoying intrusion from an innkeeper over the many years of traveling via B&Bs. BUT, when we arrived, we completely understood why this was the norm and not the exception in this community. The narrow winding streets, strange layout of the town and just plain difficulty in navigating made phone calls necessary. Both Google maps and Mapquest gave inaccurate directions to the entire town and, until you spent a little time there with the map in the middle of the CVB hand out, it was impossible to get from one place to another without holding the map on the top of the steering wheel or having someone on the phone directing you.
As we have become more savvy about the industry I understand why the calls might be made, but, I also felt it was an intrusion and too much like a "helicopter" parent behavior. Much like my students who think teachers are put away in the coat closet when the final bell of the day rings and then retrieved when the school opens in the morning, travelers believe innkeepers never leave their inns and have no life outside of that role. It kind of adds to the overall ambience and illusion that makes B&Bs so charming, IMHO.
 

Arks

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2010
Messages
6,169
Reaction score
198
We use data from their reservation for the door code and leave them a hint on the door. They also get a warning about your check-in time in email three days earlier. I'm tired of waiting for people. If I call (or text) then it's just the code. Everything else is on the sheet on the door waiting for them.
I'm tired of waiting. I want my life back..
These folks, too, got the info a couple of days ago. I'm finding that no one, absolutely none of the guests who I send the reminder email to seem to have gotten it. The are totally surprised to find a deposit has been taken. The emails DO go because I do receive a copy.
.
Alibi Ike said:
I'm finding that no one, absolutely none of the guests who I send the reminder email to seem to have gotten it.
Some e-mail apps, like Microsoft Outlook, let you mark e-mails you send so they pop up a window on the recipient computer, asking them to click OK to automatically confirm that they read the message.
Of course, that's no sure thing either. They won't always click OK. Or they might click OK but not actually read the message.
Text messages may eventually have to replace e-mails to get really important info to guests. Of course, then you'll get complaints that you're using up their monthly text quota or something.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
I am new to this forum as an aspiring innkeeper currently under negotiations with the inn we want to purchase.
My husband and I were on a buying trip - looking at an area with the intent to either find the perfect place and inn or eliminate the area from our consideration so we had booked stays at four different B&Bs. All were made aware that we were "shopping". EVERY one of them called us the week of our arrival. On the first day we found this extremely odd since we have only rarely received that annoying intrusion from an innkeeper over the many years of traveling via B&Bs. BUT, when we arrived, we completely understood why this was the norm and not the exception in this community. The narrow winding streets, strange layout of the town and just plain difficulty in navigating made phone calls necessary. Both Google maps and Mapquest gave inaccurate directions to the entire town and, until you spent a little time there with the map in the middle of the CVB hand out, it was impossible to get from one place to another without holding the map on the top of the steering wheel or having someone on the phone directing you.
As we have become more savvy about the industry I understand why the calls might be made, but, I also felt it was an intrusion and too much like a "helicopter" parent behavior. Much like my students who think teachers are put away in the coat closet when the final bell of the day rings and then retrieved when the school opens in the morning, travelers believe innkeepers never leave their inns and have no life outside of that role. It kind of adds to the overall ambience and illusion that makes B&Bs so charming, IMHO..
Welcome to the forum Susan. Great insights and right on the money!
As an inn for sale, those shopping have not been the greatest at showing up, or being on time, or showing early. I can attest to that, the stress of having the house ready when you are in your busy season is even worse! I remember one person who called and was on the way and then never showed up. We left messages for her, we scheduled our entire day around her walk through, and she finally called the next day and said "Sorry my sister called and I had to turn around and take care of something...I will be there next weekend." We said, nope, no chance.

 

Joey Camb

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
4,793
Reaction score
0
We use data from their reservation for the door code and leave them a hint on the door. They also get a warning about your check-in time in email three days earlier. I'm tired of waiting for people. If I call (or text) then it's just the code. Everything else is on the sheet on the door waiting for them.
I'm tired of waiting. I want my life back..
These folks, too, got the info a couple of days ago. I'm finding that no one, absolutely none of the guests who I send the reminder email to seem to have gotten it. The are totally surprised to find a deposit has been taken. The emails DO go because I do receive a copy.
.
Alibi Ike said:
I'm finding that no one, absolutely none of the guests who I send the reminder email to seem to have gotten it.
Some e-mail apps, like Microsoft Outlook, let you mark e-mails you send so they pop up a window on the recipient computer, asking them to click OK to automatically confirm that they read the message.
Of course, that's no sure thing either. They won't always click OK. Or they might click OK but not actually read the message.
Text messages may eventually have to replace e-mails to get really important info to guests. Of course, then you'll get complaints that you're using up their monthly text quota or something.
.
I have unlimited free texting on my phone so if I am super efficient as rooms are ready I text to say your room at the camberley is now ready please feel free to come and check in. (I do this expecially if I am trying to get them all in and say I have only one room to go) feel this is less intrusive than a call.
 

Breakfast Diva

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
5,909
Reaction score
25
We use data from their reservation for the door code and leave them a hint on the door. They also get a warning about your check-in time in email three days earlier. I'm tired of waiting for people. If I call (or text) then it's just the code. Everything else is on the sheet on the door waiting for them.
I'm tired of waiting. I want my life back..
These folks, too, got the info a couple of days ago. I'm finding that no one, absolutely none of the guests who I send the reminder email to seem to have gotten it. The are totally surprised to find a deposit has been taken. The emails DO go because I do receive a copy.
.
Alibi Ike said:
I'm finding that no one, absolutely none of the guests who I send the reminder email to seem to have gotten it.
Some e-mail apps, like Microsoft Outlook, let you mark e-mails you send so they pop up a window on the recipient computer, asking them to click OK to automatically confirm that they read the message.
Of course, that's no sure thing either. They won't always click OK. Or they might click OK but not actually read the message.
Text messages may eventually have to replace e-mails to get really important info to guests. Of course, then you'll get complaints that you're using up their monthly text quota or something.
.
Arkansawyer said:
Alibi Ike said:
I'm finding that no one, absolutely none of the guests who I send the reminder email to seem to have gotten it.
Some e-mail apps, like Microsoft Outlook, let you mark e-mails you send so they pop up a window on the recipient computer, asking them to click OK to automatically confirm that they read the message.
Of course, that's no sure thing either. They won't always click OK. Or they might click OK but not actually read the message.
Text messages may eventually have to replace e-mails to get really important info to guests. Of course, then you'll get complaints that you're using up their monthly text quota or something.
I ALWAYS click 'no' when I get those!
 

Breakfast Diva

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
5,909
Reaction score
25
I am new to this forum as an aspiring innkeeper currently under negotiations with the inn we want to purchase.
My husband and I were on a buying trip - looking at an area with the intent to either find the perfect place and inn or eliminate the area from our consideration so we had booked stays at four different B&Bs. All were made aware that we were "shopping". EVERY one of them called us the week of our arrival. On the first day we found this extremely odd since we have only rarely received that annoying intrusion from an innkeeper over the many years of traveling via B&Bs. BUT, when we arrived, we completely understood why this was the norm and not the exception in this community. The narrow winding streets, strange layout of the town and just plain difficulty in navigating made phone calls necessary. Both Google maps and Mapquest gave inaccurate directions to the entire town and, until you spent a little time there with the map in the middle of the CVB hand out, it was impossible to get from one place to another without holding the map on the top of the steering wheel or having someone on the phone directing you.
As we have become more savvy about the industry I understand why the calls might be made, but, I also felt it was an intrusion and too much like a "helicopter" parent behavior. Much like my students who think teachers are put away in the coat closet when the final bell of the day rings and then retrieved when the school opens in the morning, travelers believe innkeepers never leave their inns and have no life outside of that role. It kind of adds to the overall ambience and illusion that makes B&Bs so charming, IMHO..
Welcome to the forum Susan! It's so great to see so many aspiring innkeepers are out there. Let us know how your shopping goes. It's amazing what info this group has to offer.

 

Mtatoc

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
151
Reaction score
0
We just had to call both our last night guests. One said they were arriving between 3 to 4. By 5:30, we figured they were lost. But they were on the way. The other one said they'd arrive between 5 and 6. They arrived 8:15. When we called, they just didn't know how long it was going to drive here. Either way ok, but do we start preparing our dinner? Do we sit down to eat it only to be interrupted? Do we tell our friends "no, we can't go out to dinner with you after all"? It really just the unknown. We are on hold until they arrive.
 
Top