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I'm starting to hate phone reservations.

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Proud Texan

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Individuals that make reservations over the phone, I find, have never seen our website, never read our policies, don't know where we are located, etc. etc.
I had a jerk call and make a reservation today and most of the above listed information applied. I explained our cancellation policy over the phone and he agreed to that and explained that our other policies are listed online and that I would be sending him a copy as well with his confirmation.
Fast forward 2 hours. He calls and wants to check in two hours earlier than our normal check in time. I explained to him, that we don't allow early check ins. "Why?" I should have just said "Because that's our stated policy", but like an idiot tried to explain it to him. "Well, couldn't you do this?" or "Couldn't you do that?" "No. That's why we don't allow early check-ins"
"Well you're not very accommodating to your guests! I want to cancel my reservation!!!" "O.K., but there will be a $25 cancellation fee." He wasn't happy about that.
What I wish I would have said is "Strictly speaking, you would not be my guest until the 3 p.m. check in time." PITA!
 

Madeleine

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We have a standardized 'script' that we go over. It includes the cancellation policy, the check-in policy and the breakfast info.
Of course it doesn't stop anyone from showing up hours early, but we know that they were told so we let them know they are early, sorry, the rooms aren't ready. I hate it. Absolutely. I feel SO incredibly ungracious but I liken it to showing up 3 hours early for a dinner party. The host of the party is likely not even dressed yet and will be VERY unhappy to see them at the door.
 

Samster

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I agree...seemed like most of the people that were more demanding were guests that had booked via phone. A big generalization, but guests who booked online seemed to know more about what the B&B had to offer. Probably because I didn't have a bunch of time to tell a phone caller the entire content of my website.
 

Generic

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Proud Texan said:
Individuals that make reservations over the phone, I find, have never seen our website, never read our policies, don't know where we are located, etc. etc.
...
And for this reason, we charge 10% more for telephone reservations. Our online reservations are cheaper and we tell them that they are cheaper. If they are willing to pay the extra 10% that covers the time on the telephone to explain everything to them. About 98% of the time they decide to go to the website. Also it stops most of the excuses for not booking. We just say "if you want it, please reserve online." and that's that. If they book, they book. If they don't, water off a duck's back.
 

Don Draper

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We have definitely found this to be the case. A very wise innkeeper on this forum encouraged me to do an online booking discount, and man we have never looked back. At this point in time it is only people looking for a discount or looking to be an exception to some other policy who phone (e.g., 5 people in a room, newborn in the room).
Even our phone message encourages online booking to get the discount, and please send an email with inquiries, I hate when they start with "Well SHE said..." Yeah, I hate when "she" says stuff...
Plus having the check box for the policies has won us the very few chargebacks we've had.
 

Aussie Innkeeper

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Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
 

Proud Texan

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Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
.
Aussie Innkeeper said:
Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
We use Reservation Key and a large percentage of our reservations are online without problem or incident. There are a few technophobes out there though that refuse to do a transaction online. I'm guessing that they're afraid that their credit card transaction will not be secure.
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
 

JBloggs

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We have definitely found this to be the case. A very wise innkeeper on this forum encouraged me to do an online booking discount, and man we have never looked back. At this point in time it is only people looking for a discount or looking to be an exception to some other policy who phone (e.g., 5 people in a room, newborn in the room).
Even our phone message encourages online booking to get the discount, and please send an email with inquiries, I hate when they start with "Well SHE said..." Yeah, I hate when "she" says stuff...
Plus having the check box for the policies has won us the very few chargebacks we've had..
Don Draper said:
We have definitely found this to be the case. A very wise innkeeper on this forum encouraged me to do an online booking discount, and man we have never looked back. At this point in time it is only people looking for a discount or looking to be an exception to some other policy who phone (e.g., 5 people in a room, newborn in the room).
Even our phone message encourages online booking to get the discount, and please send an email with inquiries, I hate when they start with "Well SHE said..." Yeah, I hate when "she" says stuff...
Plus having the check box for the policies has won us the very few chargebacks we've had.

Every call to call them back is to make an exception to the rules. Today "We want to stay just one night, Thanksgiving night, and it won't let me book ONE NIGHT, it keeps telling me I HAVE TO BOOK TWO NIGHTS!"
Uh? yeahhh
 

JBloggs

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Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
.
Aussie Innkeeper said:
Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
We use Reservation Key and a large percentage of our reservations are online without problem or incident. There are a few technophobes out there though that refuse to do a transaction online. I'm guessing that they're afraid that their credit card transaction will not be secure.
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
.
Proud Texan said:
Aussie Innkeeper said:
Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
We use Reservation Key and a large percentage of our reservations are online without problem or incident. There are a few technophobes out there though that refuse to do a transaction online. I'm guessing that they're afraid that their credit card transaction will not be secure.
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
DUDE! GO FER IT! That is what I did, $10 off to book online, as well as these other innmates here, it works EVERY TIME. Not per night, but to book online. I did per night the first couple years, and it made no different and I save $ by a one time book online save $10.
 

Madeleine

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Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
.
Aussie Innkeeper said:
Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
We use Reservation Key and a large percentage of our reservations are online without problem or incident. There are a few technophobes out there though that refuse to do a transaction online. I'm guessing that they're afraid that their credit card transaction will not be secure.
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
.
Still at 50% online vs on the phone. No rhyme or reason. Not everyone who calls wants something, I get plenty of online bookings asking for a discount.
I get a lot of repeat guests who just call and leave a msg telling me what dates they want. Or last minute calls. Or they tell me their dates for next year on their way out the door. One person who reserves several rooms for multiple nights wants me to handle the reservations rather than entering everything over and over. (Yes, that is something that needs to be fixed! Reserve multiple rooms without putting all the info in again.)
A lot of whole house calls wanting to know if we can do that or not. How does it work? What's included? Things like that. I'm glad they call rather than just booking every room and I haven't had a chance to explain things to them.
I was surprised when I just looked that up. I thought we had definitely gone over to more online bookings.
I have to say that I think MOST of the phone callers are looking at the website and the calendar when they call but too many of them have been burned by places that only do 'room requests'. And they find out a day later there weren't any rooms available even tho they showed open online. So, once bitten twice shy and they call me instead of waiting another day to find out no rooms.
There is a lot of that in this area- request only types of systems.
 

JBloggs

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Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
.
Aussie Innkeeper said:
Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
We use Reservation Key and a large percentage of our reservations are online without problem or incident. There are a few technophobes out there though that refuse to do a transaction online. I'm guessing that they're afraid that their credit card transaction will not be secure.
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
.
Still at 50% online vs on the phone. No rhyme or reason. Not everyone who calls wants something, I get plenty of online bookings asking for a discount.
I get a lot of repeat guests who just call and leave a msg telling me what dates they want. Or last minute calls. Or they tell me their dates for next year on their way out the door. One person who reserves several rooms for multiple nights wants me to handle the reservations rather than entering everything over and over. (Yes, that is something that needs to be fixed! Reserve multiple rooms without putting all the info in again.)
A lot of whole house calls wanting to know if we can do that or not. How does it work? What's included? Things like that. I'm glad they call rather than just booking every room and I haven't had a chance to explain things to them.
I was surprised when I just looked that up. I thought we had definitely gone over to more online bookings.
I have to say that I think MOST of the phone callers are looking at the website and the calendar when they call but too many of them have been burned by places that only do 'room requests'. And they find out a day later there weren't any rooms available even tho they showed open online. So, once bitten twice shy and they call me instead of waiting another day to find out no rooms.
There is a lot of that in this area- request only types of systems.
.
If it were a request only system I would call too. I don't get that, who the heck wants to wait around... planning a trip is like an orchestra sometimes, with flights, times off work, lodging, events, etc. You need to have those ducks in a row, and if you can't book it right now, then you have to call it right now.
 

Generic

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Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
.
Aussie Innkeeper said:
Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
We use Reservation Key and a large percentage of our reservations are online without problem or incident. There are a few technophobes out there though that refuse to do a transaction online. I'm guessing that they're afraid that their credit card transaction will not be secure.
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
.
Proud Texan said:
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
Do it. We give 10% off for booking online. So a $10 discount is $11.11. A room at $149.99 is $166.66. So the next slice is $11.11 more or $11.11 less. They can't wait to get off the telephone to book for that extra $10 plus taxes off.
 

Don Draper

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We have definitely found this to be the case. A very wise innkeeper on this forum encouraged me to do an online booking discount, and man we have never looked back. At this point in time it is only people looking for a discount or looking to be an exception to some other policy who phone (e.g., 5 people in a room, newborn in the room).
Even our phone message encourages online booking to get the discount, and please send an email with inquiries, I hate when they start with "Well SHE said..." Yeah, I hate when "she" says stuff...
Plus having the check box for the policies has won us the very few chargebacks we've had..
Don Draper said:
We have definitely found this to be the case. A very wise innkeeper on this forum encouraged me to do an online booking discount, and man we have never looked back. At this point in time it is only people looking for a discount or looking to be an exception to some other policy who phone (e.g., 5 people in a room, newborn in the room).
Even our phone message encourages online booking to get the discount, and please send an email with inquiries, I hate when they start with "Well SHE said..." Yeah, I hate when "she" says stuff...
Plus having the check box for the policies has won us the very few chargebacks we've had.

Every call to call them back is to make an exception to the rules. Today "We want to stay just one night, Thanksgiving night, and it won't let me book ONE NIGHT, it keeps telling me I HAVE TO BOOK TWO NIGHTS!"
Uh? yeahhh
.
I goofed so badly this year, thought Tgiving was the week later than it actually is and took bookings :-(
But at least no one is checking IN on Thanksgiving Day, so though we can't go see family 'cause the drive is too far for one afternoon, we will get out of here for dinner with friends after breakfast. I thought DH was going to fall over when I told him, the calendar just got away from me! So not happy but we'll get through it...
 

Arks

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I think it's our old friend Riki who ONLY takes reservations via the website, and she loves it that way. It may be that eliminating the crowd who can't/won't do it online will eliminate a lot of folks who require extra attention, and that's fine with me!
My vacation rental apartments (hopefully opening in a couple of months*) will only take online reservations. Time will tell how that will work out!
____________________
*The construction contract had a completion date of Oct. 15 but they didn't make it. Working with 110 year old buildings is unpredictable!
 

JBloggs

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I think it's our old friend Riki who ONLY takes reservations via the website, and she loves it that way. It may be that eliminating the crowd who can't/won't do it online will eliminate a lot of folks who require extra attention, and that's fine with me!
My vacation rental apartments (hopefully opening in a couple of months*) will only take online reservations. Time will tell how that will work out!
____________________
*The construction contract had a completion date of Oct. 15 but they didn't make it. Working with 110 year old buildings is unpredictable!.
Arkansawyer said:
I think it's our old friend Riki who ONLY takes reservations via the website, and she loves it that way. It may be that eliminating the crowd who can't/won't do it online will eliminate a lot of folks who require extra attention, and that's fine with me!
My vacation rental apartments (hopefully opening in a couple of months*) will only take online reservations. Time will tell how that will work out!
____________________
*The construction contract had a completion date of Oct. 15 but they didn't make it. Working with 110 year old buildings is unpredictable!
Can't wait to see the finished product. Perhaps a road trip is in order! I am watching the progress on ye ol' blog.

So, that is the thing. Do you all remember the guy who was BEGGING to stay here without a credit card? I am not sure if I shared it, he was a maniac. He called and emailed 15 times, and I told DH (as I was out of town) that good he dodged a bullet this time.
Then he finally went a bought a credit card from stuffmart and loaded money into it (which is easily done) and ended up here that weekend. He was a very small man, with a tall lanky woman, and he would hold her hand and kiss it at the table, like a love struck school boy. It was odd, he was odd, but in the end he was no more trouble. ONCE HE GOT THE DANG BOOKING ONLINE DONE!
 

SM101

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LOL Know what that tells me? He has credit cards; he just didn't want the wife to see the charge!
 

JBloggs

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LOL Know what that tells me? He has credit cards; he just didn't want the wife to see the charge!.
SM101 said:
LOL Know what that tells me? He has credit cards; he just didn't want the wife to see the charge!
Could be. He was a wingnut.
 

Proud Texan

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Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
.
Aussie Innkeeper said:
Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
We use Reservation Key and a large percentage of our reservations are online without problem or incident. There are a few technophobes out there though that refuse to do a transaction online. I'm guessing that they're afraid that their credit card transaction will not be secure.
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
.
Proud Texan said:
Aussie Innkeeper said:
Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
We use Reservation Key and a large percentage of our reservations are online without problem or incident. There are a few technophobes out there though that refuse to do a transaction online. I'm guessing that they're afraid that their credit card transaction will not be secure.
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
DUDE! GO FER IT! That is what I did, $10 off to book online, as well as these other innmates here, it works EVERY TIME. Not per night, but to book online. I did per night the first couple years, and it made no different and I save $ by a one time book online save $10.
.
Joey Bloggs said:
Proud Texan said:
Aussie Innkeeper said:
Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
We use Reservation Key and a large percentage of our reservations are online without problem or incident. There are a few technophobes out there though that refuse to do a transaction online. I'm guessing that they're afraid that their credit card transaction will not be secure.
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
DUDE! GO FER IT! That is what I did, $10 off to book online, as well as these other innmates here, it works EVERY TIME. Not per night, but to book online. I did per night the first couple years, and it made no different and I save $ by a one time book online save $10.
I see how you did that with the "BookOnline" discount code, but how did you figure out how much to raise your rates in order for that to work?
At present, our rates are very competitive and in line with our local market. I'm a little squeamish about artificially raising our rates so I can subtract $10 from the total. For multi-night stays, I would be charging higher than the market rate for my rooms.
 

JBloggs

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Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
.
Aussie Innkeeper said:
Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
We use Reservation Key and a large percentage of our reservations are online without problem or incident. There are a few technophobes out there though that refuse to do a transaction online. I'm guessing that they're afraid that their credit card transaction will not be secure.
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
.
Proud Texan said:
Aussie Innkeeper said:
Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
We use Reservation Key and a large percentage of our reservations are online without problem or incident. There are a few technophobes out there though that refuse to do a transaction online. I'm guessing that they're afraid that their credit card transaction will not be secure.
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
DUDE! GO FER IT! That is what I did, $10 off to book online, as well as these other innmates here, it works EVERY TIME. Not per night, but to book online. I did per night the first couple years, and it made no different and I save $ by a one time book online save $10.
.
Joey Bloggs said:
Proud Texan said:
Aussie Innkeeper said:
Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
We use Reservation Key and a large percentage of our reservations are online without problem or incident. There are a few technophobes out there though that refuse to do a transaction online. I'm guessing that they're afraid that their credit card transaction will not be secure.
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
DUDE! GO FER IT! That is what I did, $10 off to book online, as well as these other innmates here, it works EVERY TIME. Not per night, but to book online. I did per night the first couple years, and it made no different and I save $ by a one time book online save $10.
I see how you did that with the "BookOnline" discount code, but how did you figure out how much to raise your rates in order for that to work?
At present, our rates are very competitive and in line with our local market. I'm a little squeamish about artificially raising our rates so I can subtract $10 from the total. For multi-night stays, I would be charging higher than the market rate for my rooms.
.
Proud Texan said:
Joey Bloggs said:
Proud Texan said:
Aussie Innkeeper said:
Since I switched to Rezovation GT, my phone reservations have been drastically reduced! I LOVE THAT!!
We use Reservation Key and a large percentage of our reservations are online without problem or incident. There are a few technophobes out there though that refuse to do a transaction online. I'm guessing that they're afraid that their credit card transaction will not be secure.
I may just have to artificially jack up my prices so that there is a "discount" for booking online.
DUDE! GO FER IT! That is what I did, $10 off to book online, as well as these other innmates here, it works EVERY TIME. Not per night, but to book online. I did per night the first couple years, and it made no different and I save $ by a one time book online save $10.
I see how you did that with the "BookOnline" discount code, but how did you figure out how much to raise your rates in order for that to work?
At present, our rates are very competitive and in line with our local market. I'm a little squeamish about artificially raising our rates so I can subtract $10 from the total. For multi-night stays, I would be charging higher than the market rate for my rooms.
Unfortunately, with the cost of living going crazy, we have not been able to raise our rates for a long time, really since we bought this place. I did raise one room $5. So you have to make the call. Like I said, when I had it $10 per night, it was giving away money vs a simple $10 to book online. Our elderly people will book online to save that $10! Youbetchya. Everyone is online now, so it is easy.
 

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