How do you explain check-in time?

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Morticia

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I ask this as we wait for someone who said they would be here at 3. And as I checked in someone who ONLY came at 7 because she thought we would lock her out. Otherwise, she would have not come until later.
One booked online (the one who isn't here) and the other called to reserve (so was told the check-in time and was asked WHEN she would be arriving- 3 PM).
Along with allergies and deposits, this is something else we are reconsidering how to express to guests. I GET that some of them may have made 10 different reservations with 10 different sets of rules, but I'm tired.
So, thinking about changing HOW we set the guests' expectations during the phone call or online.
 

Emily Spiers

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I am looking at your site and I don't see your policies. Am I missing them? ETA: I found them...they were just deeper into the site than I thought they'd be.
If I can't find them, guests can't either. Could you put them on their own page? I realize that it sounds like a totally negative page when all you do is put in what the guests can't do. "No smoking", "Only show up between 3 and 7". Deposit rules...blah, blah, blah.
BUT, if it's there for them to see before they make the reservation instead of in the middle of making a reservation, it might be more effective?
 

domsmom

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When I speak to guests I ask, like you, what time they will be arriving. I casually say "it is important that I have a good idea of what time you are arriving because I want to make sure to be here when you arrive.", I often add "I work my schedule around you so if that time changes, please let me know" . I like to give people the benefit of the doubt that they don't have a clue about life as an innkeeper so it is my job to inform them that if they say 3pm, and decide to stop for dinner, I AM WAITING for them. I find that with this wordage I get alot more calls of, "I said we would be there about 3, but we are having dinner downtown and won't be there until about 8".
Works for me (most of the time).
 

Banana

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Mine is on my policies page and on the webervations form they fill out. So they're aware of it by the time I call them. But after asking a few "comfort" questions, I say "Our check in time is from 4 -7 PM. Will this work with your drive schedule?" If they say yes, great. If they say no, I tell them we may not be able to meet them personally, but will leave detailed check in instructions on the front door. So that's the 3rd time they've been made aware. And THEN...I send the confirmation email, which says, in part:
Code:
"If you find that you will be arriving later than 7 PM and have not notified us when making your reservation,
 please call us so we might be able to plan accordingly.  We always try to greet you personally, but if we need to step away from the inn or your arrival is delayed,
 there will be self check-in information left for you clipped to the mailbox on the porch."
If four times isn't enough, it's listed with the other policies on the confirmation email.  You can't tell that I got a little sick of late check ins too, can you?
 

Morticia

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I am looking at your site and I don't see your policies. Am I missing them? ETA: I found them...they were just deeper into the site than I thought they'd be.
If I can't find them, guests can't either. Could you put them on their own page? I realize that it sounds like a totally negative page when all you do is put in what the guests can't do. "No smoking", "Only show up between 3 and 7". Deposit rules...blah, blah, blah.
BUT, if it's there for them to see before they make the reservation instead of in the middle of making a reservation, it might be more effective?.
No matter how the guest books, they have to select a check-in time. Either I ask them or they pick a time from the list presented. And then it is in their confirmation (which they don't read). They cannot select anything except times from 3-7 PM.
When I redo the website, I'm removing one of the links in the link bar and I'm putting a separate one for policies. I based the location of the present links to the policy page on some suggestions and the fact that almost every guest looks at the rooms page and, hopefully, looks at the bullets next to the room photos.
Interestingly, more people have viewed the page now that it is listed as it is than ever did before.
I'm wondering how others present the info, tho. And how well they find it is followed.
 

Morticia

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Mine is on my policies page and on the webervations form they fill out. So they're aware of it by the time I call them. But after asking a few "comfort" questions, I say "Our check in time is from 4 -7 PM. Will this work with your drive schedule?" If they say yes, great. If they say no, I tell them we may not be able to meet them personally, but will leave detailed check in instructions on the front door. So that's the 3rd time they've been made aware. And THEN...I send the confirmation email, which says, in part:
Code:
"If you find that you will be arriving later than 7 PM and have not notified us when making your reservation,
 please call us so we might be able to plan accordingly.  We always try to greet you personally, but if we need to step away from the inn or your arrival is delayed,
 there will be self check-in information left for you clipped to the mailbox on the porch."
If four times isn't enough, it's listed with the other policies on the confirmation email.  You can't tell that I got a little sick of late check ins too, can you?
.
I like how that sounds. Do you find guests get casual about the time, tho, if they know there is a default 'back-up' plan?
 

Banana

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Mine is on my policies page and on the webervations form they fill out. So they're aware of it by the time I call them. But after asking a few "comfort" questions, I say "Our check in time is from 4 -7 PM. Will this work with your drive schedule?" If they say yes, great. If they say no, I tell them we may not be able to meet them personally, but will leave detailed check in instructions on the front door. So that's the 3rd time they've been made aware. And THEN...I send the confirmation email, which says, in part:
Code:
"If you find that you will be arriving later than 7 PM and have not notified us when making your reservation,
 please call us so we might be able to plan accordingly.  We always try to greet you personally, but if we need to step away from the inn or your arrival is delayed,
 there will be self check-in information left for you clipped to the mailbox on the porch."
If four times isn't enough, it's listed with the other policies on the confirmation email.  You can't tell that I got a little sick of late check ins too, can you?
.
I like how that sounds. Do you find guests get casual about the time, tho, if they know there is a default 'back-up' plan?
.
I've only started the self check in procedure in the last month or so. I've had three self check ins since I started it, and all of those knew in advance they would be later than 7 at the time they booked. I can't say that anyone has been casual about it, no. But time will tell. I don't know your check in times, but I think a three hour window is more than enough time for someone to organize their arrival. As I said in another post, I think you just get an extraordinary high percentage of PITAs!
 

Copperhead

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Here is my wording in my confirmation letter. I do not tell them what to expect if they request a late check in - until they ask for it, I sure as heck don't want late arrivals to become the standard. We have a coded front door and I will not give out that code until the day before they are to check in. Our online booking asks for check in time, or request for late check in & details in comment section.
Here is my standard confirmation letter - in regards to arrival. Note: their arrival time provided is listed with the reservation details.
First one is the beginning paragraph...
Thank you for choosing MY B&B, please acknowledge receipt of this email by replying with your acceptance to the terms of this reservation. We have noted your aprox. arrival time, please contact us if this time changes as this allows us time to prepare for your arrival which may include a trip away from the inn.
This is within the body along with the cancel info....
Check in is between 3:00 - 7:00PM BY APPOINTMENT - Please arrange late check-in time as soon as possible. Check out is by 12:00 NOON. To be certain we are here to greet you on arrival, it is requested that you provide us with the approx. time of arrival no later than day before arrival.
This works most of the time, nothing (as we all know very well) works 100%. I think by stating we may need to be away - certain we are here to greet you, makes them think - well that is if they read the dang confirmation!
 

Copperhead

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I am looking at your site and I don't see your policies. Am I missing them? ETA: I found them...they were just deeper into the site than I thought they'd be.
If I can't find them, guests can't either. Could you put them on their own page? I realize that it sounds like a totally negative page when all you do is put in what the guests can't do. "No smoking", "Only show up between 3 and 7". Deposit rules...blah, blah, blah.
BUT, if it's there for them to see before they make the reservation instead of in the middle of making a reservation, it might be more effective?.
No matter how the guest books, they have to select a check-in time. Either I ask them or they pick a time from the list presented. And then it is in their confirmation (which they don't read). They cannot select anything except times from 3-7 PM.
When I redo the website, I'm removing one of the links in the link bar and I'm putting a separate one for policies. I based the location of the present links to the policy page on some suggestions and the fact that almost every guest looks at the rooms page and, hopefully, looks at the bullets next to the room photos.
Interestingly, more people have viewed the page now that it is listed as it is than ever did before.
I'm wondering how others present the info, tho. And how well they find it is followed.
.
I like where your policies are, if someone is really looking to book, they are going to look at your rooms page, polices are usually looked at if they feel you are a fit in the rooms catagory. The only thing I would say is to make it stand out a little more - larger font or bold... or not make it a bullet and have it above /below the Calendar /Book link. You may also consider having the link on the reservation page, just in case someone does go straight there.
 

Morticia

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Mine is on my policies page and on the webervations form they fill out. So they're aware of it by the time I call them. But after asking a few "comfort" questions, I say "Our check in time is from 4 -7 PM. Will this work with your drive schedule?" If they say yes, great. If they say no, I tell them we may not be able to meet them personally, but will leave detailed check in instructions on the front door. So that's the 3rd time they've been made aware. And THEN...I send the confirmation email, which says, in part:
Code:
"If you find that you will be arriving later than 7 PM and have not notified us when making your reservation,
 please call us so we might be able to plan accordingly.  We always try to greet you personally, but if we need to step away from the inn or your arrival is delayed,
 there will be self check-in information left for you clipped to the mailbox on the porch."
If four times isn't enough, it's listed with the other policies on the confirmation email.  You can't tell that I got a little sick of late check ins too, can you?
.
I like how that sounds. Do you find guests get casual about the time, tho, if they know there is a default 'back-up' plan?
.
I've only started the self check in procedure in the last month or so. I've had three self check ins since I started it, and all of those knew in advance they would be later than 7 at the time they booked. I can't say that anyone has been casual about it, no. But time will tell. I don't know your check in times, but I think a three hour window is more than enough time for someone to organize their arrival. As I said in another post, I think you just get an extraordinary high percentage of PITAs!
.
Banana said:
As I said in another post, I think you just get an extraordinary high percentage of PITAs!
This may lead to a total sidetrack, but really? DO I seem to get more 'out of the ordinary' than other people do? The stuff I talk about is totally normal for me. Has been since Day 1. I think we have FEWER PITAS than before! At least fewer guests I never want to see again!
 

Emily Spiers

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Mort- do you think it's just an extension of the types of people you get?
 

JBloggs

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I also have it on the policies they must check to make an online rez, and then on the confirmation and then on the reminder you reservation is three days away email. And when they make the booking they must type in the time they will check in, specifically, it is not a drop down box.
98% of the guests are just fine, it is the 2% that cause strife, always is, in all areas.
 

Don Draper

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I also have it on the policies they must check to make an online rez, and then on the confirmation and then on the reminder you reservation is three days away email. And when they make the booking they must type in the time they will check in, specifically, it is not a drop down box.
98% of the guests are just fine, it is the 2% that cause strife, always is, in all areas..
Ain't that the truth??? Most of them are just fine, but when you get into long strings of the PITA's you just start to wonder what you're doing wrong. For Mort's situation and mine I don't think we get more PITA's (on a percentage basis) than anyone else, it's just that we have more rooms, hence more guests, hence overall greater change of getting a PITA. And they're the ones we talk about here.
I can't even get into the details but suffice it to say that the last check-in yesterday (who screeched into the driveway at 5:58) basically walked in and said "Hi, we're here to be weird for two days". When the check-in was over we just stared at each other, they were just so strange.
 

JBloggs

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I don't mind strange guests. I know it sounds odd in itself, I would rather have a strange guest than a boring one, like mentioned who knows-it-all. I find the strange ones keep my on my toes, as I never know what to expect from them, maybe it is a break from the same ol' same ol' all the time that I enjoy.
 

Don Draper

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I don't mind strange guests. I know it sounds odd in itself, I would rather have a strange guest than a boring one, like mentioned who knows-it-all. I find the strange ones keep my on my toes, as I never know what to expect from them, maybe it is a break from the same ol' same ol' all the time that I enjoy..
But when they're all strange for like a week in a row it just gets old. This last 7 days has been surreal.
 

JBloggs

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Total sidetrack but I wonder if different sights of interest draw in different personalities than others. ie a more isolated B&B in the Great Smoky Mountains where the guests are more prone to hiking vs a B&B in a beach setting near a boardwalk or an urban B&B?
I mean, there is always a mix of demographics, but one may weigh heavier than others, like obv graduation weekends we have different guests, guests who have never been to a B&B.
 

Morticia

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Total sidetrack but I wonder if different sights of interest draw in different personalities than others. ie a more isolated B&B in the Great Smoky Mountains where the guests are more prone to hiking vs a B&B in a beach setting near a boardwalk or an urban B&B?
I mean, there is always a mix of demographics, but one may weigh heavier than others, like obv graduation weekends we have different guests, guests who have never been to a B&B..
Speaking of demographics...want to guess the 2 biggest locations we drew from this month? And they were all young professionals or still in school. For the one city, you'll have to narrow it down to the particular area of the city to get credit...
 

wendydk

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Our policies state: "Check in is 3pm or after". In my confirmation email (or during the phone call), I repeat that, but add "If it appears that you will arrive after 8pm, please call and give us a heads-up so we don't worry."
I don't ask for a reply to my confirmation, don't send reminder emails (unless reservation was made more than 6 months ago). I'm right here, I can see from my favorite chair whenever someone pulls in, and I can meet them at the door. When someone is late, I don't get upset about it from a personal standpoint, but I do envision them upside down in a ditch on I-75. Anyone who was REALLY late (after dark) has called, or let me know when they reserved. Some people even call when they don't need to.
 

muirford

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I also have it on the policies they must check to make an online rez, and then on the confirmation and then on the reminder you reservation is three days away email. And when they make the booking they must type in the time they will check in, specifically, it is not a drop down box.
98% of the guests are just fine, it is the 2% that cause strife, always is, in all areas..
Ain't that the truth??? Most of them are just fine, but when you get into long strings of the PITA's you just start to wonder what you're doing wrong. For Mort's situation and mine I don't think we get more PITA's (on a percentage basis) than anyone else, it's just that we have more rooms, hence more guests, hence overall greater change of getting a PITA. And they're the ones we talk about here.
I can't even get into the details but suffice it to say that the last check-in yesterday (who screeched into the driveway at 5:58) basically walked in and said "Hi, we're here to be weird for two days". When the check-in was over we just stared at each other, they were just so strange.
.
Don Draper said:
For Mort's situation and mine I don't think we get more PITA's (on a percentage basis) than anyone else, it's just that we have more rooms, hence more guests, hence overall greater chance of getting a PITA. And they're the ones we talk about here.
True dat. Those of us with six to nine rooms and/or occupancy at 50% or higher are seeing a LOT more people than someone with three or four rooms or someone with an occupancy of half that. Our percentage of PITA guests is probably lower than most; it's just that a lot of people have passed through the doors.
 
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