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How do you take calls and inquiries when you are away

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Marianne

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We will, be away Jan & Feb in San Jose del Cabos, it isnot a super busy time
Has anyone used the magic jack? I want to answer inquiries and take bookings when I am away and want to do it myself.
I know I can change my answering machine and ask them to send an e mail inquiry,
If I have someone else picking up the messages, I can do that as easily,
Does anyone want to share how they handle this situation?
 

EmptyNest

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With online reservations..
LB is right..if you don't have on line reservations...you are really missing the boat. You must have it today to be competitive. Otherwise, leave a message on your voice mail to go on line to make a reservation. or as you say...send an email. That is the best you can do.
 

JBloggs

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Online reservations will solve 95% of all calls whether you are home or away. It is an added amenity for guests who can book on their time any time from any where.
Second, voicemail would be to direct them to the online reservations, and no ability to leave a mssg, they can email any questions. Third, you can still check email and manage bookings in Cabo, just like all those hotels do in Cabo.
Being gone 2 months however, I would hire someone to manage things while I was gone, that would include all reservations and inquiries. I don't believe leaving a business for two months is a wise move without someone handling the affairs when gone.
 

Marianne

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With online reservations..
LB is right..if you don't have on line reservations...you are really missing the boat. You must have it today to be competitive. Otherwise, leave a message on your voice mail to go on line to make a reservation. or as you say...send an email. That is the best you can do.
.
We are a spa and Inn and this means online
res form willnot work, as I have to schedule the spa services if we were straight accommodations it would be easy and I could just block out when we are away
We do not take overnight guests while we are away just do day spas. Since most of our guests are on a package, I need to talk to them so I can schedule spa services etc.,
Last year I had someone returning the phone calls but she did not know our packages and it is just easier for me to do it myself
The magic jack plugs into your computer and I can make calls from Cabos without paying longdistance fees, so I can ask the guests to send a e mail and phone number and I will call them back, if they do not have email they can leave a message and I will get it.
If someone calls to our magic jack number it is free and it also generates an email when they leave a message as they are calling threw the internet
 

Scott

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For those willing to book online (not everyone is willing to forgo the more personal call) it is essential.
For those who want to book by phone, we have call forwarding on the B&B phone, and forward it to a mobile phone. It was no problem at all, and while away for nearly a month we took a lot of reservations and answered inquiries. It is only a problem when we were out of cell coverage (then the voicemail is useful), or at odd hours when we were in a different time zone and the guests didn't realize it (why would they?).
 

Morticia

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We forward our inn phone to our cell phone. We ask callers to make their reservations online but many won't. So, we bring along a laptop as well to take reservations.
 

gillumhouse

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I just check messages on the answering machine every couple hours, have online rez, and check e-mails at a library at least once a day when traveling. We rarely travel any more so I do not have a laptop.
 

Morticia

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With online reservations..
LB is right..if you don't have on line reservations...you are really missing the boat. You must have it today to be competitive. Otherwise, leave a message on your voice mail to go on line to make a reservation. or as you say...send an email. That is the best you can do.
.
We are a spa and Inn and this means online
res form willnot work, as I have to schedule the spa services if we were straight accommodations it would be easy and I could just block out when we are away
We do not take overnight guests while we are away just do day spas. Since most of our guests are on a package, I need to talk to them so I can schedule spa services etc.,
Last year I had someone returning the phone calls but she did not know our packages and it is just easier for me to do it myself
The magic jack plugs into your computer and I can make calls from Cabos without paying longdistance fees, so I can ask the guests to send a e mail and phone number and I will call them back, if they do not have email they can leave a message and I will get it.
If someone calls to our magic jack number it is free and it also generates an email when they leave a message as they are calling threw the internet
.
For the kind of service you are trying to provide while you are away, can you hire someone local now and train them well before you leave? If not, give the Magic Jack thing a try before you go to see how it works. And make sure it works 'out of the country'.
 

Marianne

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With online reservations..
LB is right..if you don't have on line reservations...you are really missing the boat. You must have it today to be competitive. Otherwise, leave a message on your voice mail to go on line to make a reservation. or as you say...send an email. That is the best you can do.
.
We are a spa and Inn and this means online
res form willnot work, as I have to schedule the spa services if we were straight accommodations it would be easy and I could just block out when we are away
We do not take overnight guests while we are away just do day spas. Since most of our guests are on a package, I need to talk to them so I can schedule spa services etc.,
Last year I had someone returning the phone calls but she did not know our packages and it is just easier for me to do it myself
The magic jack plugs into your computer and I can make calls from Cabos without paying longdistance fees, so I can ask the guests to send a e mail and phone number and I will call them back, if they do not have email they can leave a message and I will get it.
If someone calls to our magic jack number it is free and it also generates an email when they leave a message as they are calling threw the internet
.
For the kind of service you are trying to provide while you are away, can you hire someone local now and train them well before you leave? If not, give the Magic Jack thing a try before you go to see how it works. And make sure it works 'out of the country'.
.
Hi I am going to buy the magic jack and try it out and learn about it , I have a girl who will come in and take care of the house, shovel the walkways etc and she can mail out gift certificates etc while I am away
She can call me and I can call her on the magic jack or email and I have a direct payment terminal, so she can take payment while she is here daily on reservations and gift certificates.
If someone is going to return phone calls I would prefer to do it as I know the packages and it is no big deal to do it, just want to be able to do it without hi longdistance fees
Believe me for 2 months I will not be sitting by the pool all day or on the beach. We go away as my husband does not like winter and
we went to Costa Rica last winter and Thailand the winter before, we choose Cabos this year as it is a more temperate climate and I do not like the heat and humidity of some other places
I cannot call forward my cell phone or we would have unbelievable roaming fees, I need something like magic jack that does not cost anything except the $60 for the jack
I found a forum on the magic jack and it is used in Afganistan by the enlisted to call home and had great reviews, works well all you need is a hi speed connection and your computer turned on I have a notebook for travelling
 

Morticia

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With online reservations..
LB is right..if you don't have on line reservations...you are really missing the boat. You must have it today to be competitive. Otherwise, leave a message on your voice mail to go on line to make a reservation. or as you say...send an email. That is the best you can do.
.
We are a spa and Inn and this means online
res form willnot work, as I have to schedule the spa services if we were straight accommodations it would be easy and I could just block out when we are away
We do not take overnight guests while we are away just do day spas. Since most of our guests are on a package, I need to talk to them so I can schedule spa services etc.,
Last year I had someone returning the phone calls but she did not know our packages and it is just easier for me to do it myself
The magic jack plugs into your computer and I can make calls from Cabos without paying longdistance fees, so I can ask the guests to send a e mail and phone number and I will call them back, if they do not have email they can leave a message and I will get it.
If someone calls to our magic jack number it is free and it also generates an email when they leave a message as they are calling threw the internet
.
For the kind of service you are trying to provide while you are away, can you hire someone local now and train them well before you leave? If not, give the Magic Jack thing a try before you go to see how it works. And make sure it works 'out of the country'.
.
Hi I am going to buy the magic jack and try it out and learn about it , I have a girl who will come in and take care of the house, shovel the walkways etc and she can mail out gift certificates etc while I am away
She can call me and I can call her on the magic jack or email and I have a direct payment terminal, so she can take payment while she is here daily on reservations and gift certificates.
If someone is going to return phone calls I would prefer to do it as I know the packages and it is no big deal to do it, just want to be able to do it without hi longdistance fees
Believe me for 2 months I will not be sitting by the pool all day or on the beach. We go away as my husband does not like winter and
we went to Costa Rica last winter and Thailand the winter before, we choose Cabos this year as it is a more temperate climate and I do not like the heat and humidity of some other places
I cannot call forward my cell phone or we would have unbelievable roaming fees, I need something like magic jack that does not cost anything except the $60 for the jack
I found a forum on the magic jack and it is used in Afganistan by the enlisted to call home and had great reviews, works well all you need is a hi speed connection and your computer turned on I have a notebook for travelling
.
Good grief, after 10 months of running a biz with no weekends or other time off, by all means SIT on the beach and relax! I know I would!
 

JBloggs

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GET THE MAGIC JACK. Please get the magic jack. :)
 

Joey Camb

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I divert my house phone to my mobile and the customer only pays as if they were in the UK and I pay $13.00 per quarter for the service which I think is excellent value. If you go away regularly ie 2 months every year then look for low cost international calls packages. For example my friend Damian pays $5 a month so that if he is in poland and anyone rings him it is only the same as when he is in the UK and vice versa (he is polish ) that is a good deal to. So it is worth looking at the packages that are avaliable when your contract comes up for renewal.
 

Marianne

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I divert my house phone to my mobile and the customer only pays as if they were in the UK and I pay $13.00 per quarter for the service which I think is excellent value. If you go away regularly ie 2 months every year then look for low cost international calls packages. For example my friend Damian pays $5 a month so that if he is in poland and anyone rings him it is only the same as when he is in the UK and vice versa (he is polish ) that is a good deal to. So it is worth looking at the packages that are avaliable when your contract comes up for renewal..
I have looked for longdistance packages but in Canada phone costs are more regulated I think no cheap long distance plans, but will keep researching
 

Innkeeper To Go

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I divert my house phone to my mobile and the customer only pays as if they were in the UK and I pay $13.00 per quarter for the service which I think is excellent value. If you go away regularly ie 2 months every year then look for low cost international calls packages. For example my friend Damian pays $5 a month so that if he is in poland and anyone rings him it is only the same as when he is in the UK and vice versa (he is polish ) that is a good deal to. So it is worth looking at the packages that are avaliable when your contract comes up for renewal..
I have looked for longdistance packages but in Canada phone costs are more regulated I think no cheap long distance plans, but will keep researching
.
Skype
 

seashanty

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i use the magic jack as my personal phone line (i live in someone else's house and this allows me to have my own phone number as long as i have an internet connection)
however ... i have no experience using it out of the country or calling out of the country
and i get a much better phone signal when i plug it into my desktop computer than my laptop ... both are connected to the internet by wireless, but i have a stronger email connection at the desktop
i also get a much better phone connection when i am not trying to access something else online at the same time.
 

gillumhouse

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I divert my house phone to my mobile and the customer only pays as if they were in the UK and I pay $13.00 per quarter for the service which I think is excellent value. If you go away regularly ie 2 months every year then look for low cost international calls packages. For example my friend Damian pays $5 a month so that if he is in poland and anyone rings him it is only the same as when he is in the UK and vice versa (he is polish ) that is a good deal to. So it is worth looking at the packages that are avaliable when your contract comes up for renewal..
I have looked for longdistance packages but in Canada phone costs are more regulated I think no cheap long distance plans, but will keep researching
.
Skype
.
I love Skype! It ts free Internet to internet. My son set mr up with a camera & microphone.
 

Marianne

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Skype is great but the person you are talking to has to have it on their computer, however, everyone has a telephone number or email
I ordered the magic jack today and bought it on a 30 day free trial, so will see how it works
 

Morticia

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Skype is great but the person you are talking to has to have it on their computer, however, everyone has a telephone number or email
I ordered the magic jack today and bought it on a 30 day free trial, so will see how it works.
With Skype, you can have it on your computer, the other person does not have to have it. They can use a regular phone to call. It's just free (or damn cheap) if you BOTH have Skype.
I'm curious how the Magic Jack works out, so let us know when you've had a chance to test it.
 

Samster

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Good luck with The Magic Jack.
We used online reservations. Forwarded the rez line to the mobile. Mobile SmartPhone was capable of accessing the Internet, our rez system, and sending email.
Use technology.
For that length of time though, I'd hire someone to take care of this and enjoy a nice long vacation. :)
 
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