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winewitch

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How is it that someone who finds you online, has seen your website, obviously can figure out how to e-mail you, will e-mail you or call you (While they are in the midst of looking at your website) to ask you what your rates are, to ask you to describe your rooms to them and to check availability (when you have real time online booking and the dates they want are available) ?
Is what I tell them really that much different than what they will see online? Sometimes I read it to them word for word from the website, while they are looking at it!!!
 

swirt

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LOL I wish I had an answer, but it does happen ... just makes me shake my head in disbelief.
 

Morticia

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Of course I tossed the email I got yesterday explaining why guests call when all the info is on the website...it basically was summed up by 'they want to see how they will be treated before they arrive.'
But, it does boggle the mind when someone calls and says, 'I'm looking at your availability calendar and it shows this room is open. Can I book it?' I think the directions are fairly clear that this is not just a calendar but also a booking engine.
However, that, too, was covered in the email yesterday...is your booking system REALLY that easy for a guest to navigate?
So, if anyone has the B&B newsletter that came out yesterday from bnbfinder or bbonline, can't remember which one, can you post some of it here?
 

IvyLee

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Hi Bree,
Here's the link to the BnBFinder newsletter, as well as the paragraph dealing with online bookings. I'm really flattered you found it useful, we work really hard on our newsletters each month and it's nice to hear that innkeepers are finding it useful!
http://www.bnbfinder.com/newsletterPreview.php?newsletterId=59
Is your online availability or booking system easy to use and understand?
You may think it is, but for guests it might not be. Look at your system, or ideally have a friend who is unfamiliar with your booking system walk through the process of making a reservation. Make sure it's simple and intuitive. Don't make a guest guess how to make a reservation. We see a lot of innkeepers' systems that if weren't familiar with the software as a guest we wouldn't know how to book a room. The problem is confirmed as we field numerous calls and emails from guests asking how to make reservations at your inns, but when we check you have online reservation requests or booking which means the guests don't always know how they are supposed to use it. Make sure it's simple, intuitive and obvious.
 

Morticia

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Hi Bree,
Here's the link to the BnBFinder newsletter, as well as the paragraph dealing with online bookings. I'm really flattered you found it useful, we work really hard on our newsletters each month and it's nice to hear that innkeepers are finding it useful!
http://www.bnbfinder.com/newsletterPreview.php?newsletterId=59
Is your online availability or booking system easy to use and understand?
You may think it is, but for guests it might not be. Look at your system, or ideally have a friend who is unfamiliar with your booking system walk through the process of making a reservation. Make sure it's simple and intuitive. Don't make a guest guess how to make a reservation. We see a lot of innkeepers' systems that if weren't familiar with the software as a guest we wouldn't know how to book a room. The problem is confirmed as we field numerous calls and emails from guests asking how to make reservations at your inns, but when we check you have online reservation requests or booking which means the guests don't always know how they are supposed to use it. Make sure it's simple, intuitive and obvious..
Thanks! Did we here on the forum know you were BnBFinder or is this news? You may have introduced yourself somewhere and I missed it.
And, yes, I do find the newsletters useful. I usually save them to review later on, so not sure where it went. I thought there were a lot of good points in this one and was going to send in an email to answer a question at the bottom of the newsletter. I think it was one of those 'how do you do this' questions. But, I got a form when I hit the email link and I hate forms. (I understand why you need to use them.)
Oh, yes, the question was how many guests contact you before booking? We run about 70-75% call to book vs 25-30% online booking. Almost all of the online bookings are no previous contact. Some may call while I'm out and I may ask if they can do the booking online as I am out of the house. If not, I tell them, let me callthem back when I get home.
 

IvyLee

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I'm not sure if I ever specifically mentioned I worked at BnBFinder (I know I did on about.com), but I usually keep a modest profile. I don't want to be off putting to anyone. I do the PR for BnBFinder, and I write the newsletters, blog etc.
Thanks again for the nice words. Our main goal with the newsletter is honestly to make it actually useful, and more than just an ad for the site which I hope we accomplish. I completely understand how annoying forms are, I'm not a big fan either but it's just a neccesary evil. The amount of spam that hits our site (as I imagine it does most well ranked sites) is absurd, and using forms is one of the only ways we can stop that. However, if you ever want to respond to a media request, or anything press involved you can click on the press page and my email is listed there. The forms come to me as well, so either way works.
It's funny this topic came up today, as I was actually trying to book a last minute room at a B&B here in NYC for tommorow, and online availibility and booking actually made the final choice for me because.
 

trishany

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Always happens. I found that if I'm too nice on the phone, they call me two or three times with different questions.
 

Morticia

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Another one today...looking at the website wants to know where in the building the room is. I ask what page she is on. Then I direct her to the floor plan page. WOW! She loved it. Didn't book but thought my website was really good!
 

Morticia

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Another one today...looking at the website wants to know where in the building the room is. I ask what page she is on. Then I direct her to the floor plan page. WOW! She loved it. Didn't book but thought my website was really good!.
Had to mention this guest called back. Even tho she asked if she could book online after she had shown the website to her friend.
 

mooseberry

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Well, guilty as charged..
.....but.....I called the B&B while on the website cause it showed that all rooms were available for the said night, but when booking, it was not...so I called and they had no vacancies...even it said they did online...
Then I got the one booking just like it,,,they looked at my site and wanted to make sure that the room was available. She gave me all her info and booked. She is an older lady, maybe uncomfortable booking online ?
 

Morticia

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Well, guilty as charged..
.....but.....I called the B&B while on the website cause it showed that all rooms were available for the said night, but when booking, it was not...so I called and they had no vacancies...even it said they did online...
Then I got the one booking just like it,,,they looked at my site and wanted to make sure that the room was available. She gave me all her info and booked. She is an older lady, maybe uncomfortable booking online ?.
Well we got another call today saying they wanted to book a room on a particular day, they see that all the rooms are open, yadda yadda. Hubs says, 'No, all the rooms are taken, what page are you looking at?' They tell him and he asks, 'Do you see a price or is the date blocked off?'
'Oh.' Again, they did not read the legend that tells what the symbols mean. I guess this is something we have to deal with as each online booking engine does it differently.
 

mooseberry

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Well, guilty as charged..
.....but.....I called the B&B while on the website cause it showed that all rooms were available for the said night, but when booking, it was not...so I called and they had no vacancies...even it said they did online...
Then I got the one booking just like it,,,they looked at my site and wanted to make sure that the room was available. She gave me all her info and booked. She is an older lady, maybe uncomfortable booking online ?.
Well we got another call today saying they wanted to book a room on a particular day, they see that all the rooms are open, yadda yadda. Hubs says, 'No, all the rooms are taken, what page are you looking at?' They tell him and he asks, 'Do you see a price or is the date blocked off?'
'Oh.' Again, they did not read the legend that tells what the symbols mean. I guess this is something we have to deal with as each online booking engine does it differently.
.
I guess some people do not know symbols, you are right. I am a firm believer in rather booking online, so I have some experience.
Their calendar showed an X when it was taken. 2 rooms where taken for the next two weeks, and the other boxes were all blank, which it showed on the bottom that X means no vacancie and blank means vacancy...
But, it is known that computers mess up from time to time.....I am not blaming the innkeeper.
 

Morticia

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Well, guilty as charged..
.....but.....I called the B&B while on the website cause it showed that all rooms were available for the said night, but when booking, it was not...so I called and they had no vacancies...even it said they did online...
Then I got the one booking just like it,,,they looked at my site and wanted to make sure that the room was available. She gave me all her info and booked. She is an older lady, maybe uncomfortable booking online ?.
Well we got another call today saying they wanted to book a room on a particular day, they see that all the rooms are open, yadda yadda. Hubs says, 'No, all the rooms are taken, what page are you looking at?' They tell him and he asks, 'Do you see a price or is the date blocked off?'
'Oh.' Again, they did not read the legend that tells what the symbols mean. I guess this is something we have to deal with as each online booking engine does it differently.
.
I guess some people do not know symbols, you are right. I am a firm believer in rather booking online, so I have some experience.
Their calendar showed an X when it was taken. 2 rooms where taken for the next two weeks, and the other boxes were all blank, which it showed on the bottom that X means no vacancie and blank means vacancy...
But, it is known that computers mess up from time to time.....I am not blaming the innkeeper.
.
Mooseberry Inn said:
I guess some people do not know symbols, you are right. I am a firm believer in rather booking online, so I have some experience.
Their calendar showed an X when it was taken. 2 rooms where taken for the next two weeks, and the other boxes were all blank, which it showed on the bottom that X means no vacancie and blank means vacancy...
But, it is known that computers mess up from time to time.....I am not blaming the innkeeper.
I think that's a big point right there...my rooms are booked when the box is blank. If a lot of other sites use a blank box to show vacancy, that could be the problem.
 

gillumhouse

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Well, guilty as charged..
.....but.....I called the B&B while on the website cause it showed that all rooms were available for the said night, but when booking, it was not...so I called and they had no vacancies...even it said they did online...
Then I got the one booking just like it,,,they looked at my site and wanted to make sure that the room was available. She gave me all her info and booked. She is an older lady, maybe uncomfortable booking online ?.
Well we got another call today saying they wanted to book a room on a particular day, they see that all the rooms are open, yadda yadda. Hubs says, 'No, all the rooms are taken, what page are you looking at?' They tell him and he asks, 'Do you see a price or is the date blocked off?'
'Oh.' Again, they did not read the legend that tells what the symbols mean. I guess this is something we have to deal with as each online booking engine does it differently.
.
I guess some people do not know symbols, you are right. I am a firm believer in rather booking online, so I have some experience.
Their calendar showed an X when it was taken. 2 rooms where taken for the next two weeks, and the other boxes were all blank, which it showed on the bottom that X means no vacancie and blank means vacancy...
But, it is known that computers mess up from time to time.....I am not blaming the innkeeper.
.
Mooseberry Inn said:
I guess some people do not know symbols, you are right. I am a firm believer in rather booking online, so I have some experience.
Their calendar showed an X when it was taken. 2 rooms where taken for the next two weeks, and the other boxes were all blank, which it showed on the bottom that X means no vacancie and blank means vacancy...
But, it is known that computers mess up from time to time.....I am not blaming the innkeeper.
I think that's a big point right there...my rooms are booked when the box is blank. If a lot of other sites use a blank box to show vacancy, that could be the problem.
.
On mine, X means booked, blank means available.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Well, guilty as charged..
.....but.....I called the B&B while on the website cause it showed that all rooms were available for the said night, but when booking, it was not...so I called and they had no vacancies...even it said they did online...
Then I got the one booking just like it,,,they looked at my site and wanted to make sure that the room was available. She gave me all her info and booked. She is an older lady, maybe uncomfortable booking online ?.
Well we got another call today saying they wanted to book a room on a particular day, they see that all the rooms are open, yadda yadda. Hubs says, 'No, all the rooms are taken, what page are you looking at?' They tell him and he asks, 'Do you see a price or is the date blocked off?'
'Oh.' Again, they did not read the legend that tells what the symbols mean. I guess this is something we have to deal with as each online booking engine does it differently.
.
I guess some people do not know symbols, you are right. I am a firm believer in rather booking online, so I have some experience.
Their calendar showed an X when it was taken. 2 rooms where taken for the next two weeks, and the other boxes were all blank, which it showed on the bottom that X means no vacancie and blank means vacancy...
But, it is known that computers mess up from time to time.....I am not blaming the innkeeper.
.
Mooseberry Inn said:
I guess some people do not know symbols, you are right. I am a firm believer in rather booking online, so I have some experience.
Their calendar showed an X when it was taken. 2 rooms where taken for the next two weeks, and the other boxes were all blank, which it showed on the bottom that X means no vacancie and blank means vacancy...
But, it is known that computers mess up from time to time.....I am not blaming the innkeeper.
I think that's a big point right there...my rooms are booked when the box is blank. If a lot of other sites use a blank box to show vacancy, that could be the problem.
.
I just looked, it was obv the price means BUY ME, the colored in means booked. I am glad the color is green, that works and the BUY ME rooms stand out well.
The other big clue - the lady cannot click on the greens but can click on the BUY ME $150
 

Morticia

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Well, guilty as charged..
.....but.....I called the B&B while on the website cause it showed that all rooms were available for the said night, but when booking, it was not...so I called and they had no vacancies...even it said they did online...
Then I got the one booking just like it,,,they looked at my site and wanted to make sure that the room was available. She gave me all her info and booked. She is an older lady, maybe uncomfortable booking online ?.
Well we got another call today saying they wanted to book a room on a particular day, they see that all the rooms are open, yadda yadda. Hubs says, 'No, all the rooms are taken, what page are you looking at?' They tell him and he asks, 'Do you see a price or is the date blocked off?'
'Oh.' Again, they did not read the legend that tells what the symbols mean. I guess this is something we have to deal with as each online booking engine does it differently.
.
I guess some people do not know symbols, you are right. I am a firm believer in rather booking online, so I have some experience.
Their calendar showed an X when it was taken. 2 rooms where taken for the next two weeks, and the other boxes were all blank, which it showed on the bottom that X means no vacancie and blank means vacancy...
But, it is known that computers mess up from time to time.....I am not blaming the innkeeper.
.
Mooseberry Inn said:
I guess some people do not know symbols, you are right. I am a firm believer in rather booking online, so I have some experience.
Their calendar showed an X when it was taken. 2 rooms where taken for the next two weeks, and the other boxes were all blank, which it showed on the bottom that X means no vacancie and blank means vacancy...
But, it is known that computers mess up from time to time.....I am not blaming the innkeeper.
I think that's a big point right there...my rooms are booked when the box is blank. If a lot of other sites use a blank box to show vacancy, that could be the problem.
.
I just looked, it was obv the price means BUY ME, the colored in means booked. I am glad the color is green, that works and the BUY ME rooms stand out well.
The other big clue - the lady cannot click on the greens but can click on the BUY ME $150
.
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
I just looked, it was obv the price means BUY ME, the colored in means booked. I am glad the color is green, that works and the BUY ME rooms stand out well.
The other big clue - the lady cannot click on the greens but can click on the BUY ME $150
See this was something else mentioned in that BnBFinder email...how easy is your avail calendar to navigate. It is obvious to me, that it is not entirely easy. Again, should put it on my list to call and have them change the 'taken' color to red.
You're right about not being able to click and THAT is why they call!
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Well, guilty as charged..
.....but.....I called the B&B while on the website cause it showed that all rooms were available for the said night, but when booking, it was not...so I called and they had no vacancies...even it said they did online...
Then I got the one booking just like it,,,they looked at my site and wanted to make sure that the room was available. She gave me all her info and booked. She is an older lady, maybe uncomfortable booking online ?.
Well we got another call today saying they wanted to book a room on a particular day, they see that all the rooms are open, yadda yadda. Hubs says, 'No, all the rooms are taken, what page are you looking at?' They tell him and he asks, 'Do you see a price or is the date blocked off?'
'Oh.' Again, they did not read the legend that tells what the symbols mean. I guess this is something we have to deal with as each online booking engine does it differently.
.
I guess some people do not know symbols, you are right. I am a firm believer in rather booking online, so I have some experience.
Their calendar showed an X when it was taken. 2 rooms where taken for the next two weeks, and the other boxes were all blank, which it showed on the bottom that X means no vacancie and blank means vacancy...
But, it is known that computers mess up from time to time.....I am not blaming the innkeeper.
.
Mooseberry Inn said:
I guess some people do not know symbols, you are right. I am a firm believer in rather booking online, so I have some experience.
Their calendar showed an X when it was taken. 2 rooms where taken for the next two weeks, and the other boxes were all blank, which it showed on the bottom that X means no vacancie and blank means vacancy...
But, it is known that computers mess up from time to time.....I am not blaming the innkeeper.
I think that's a big point right there...my rooms are booked when the box is blank. If a lot of other sites use a blank box to show vacancy, that could be the problem.
.
I just looked, it was obv the price means BUY ME, the colored in means booked. I am glad the color is green, that works and the BUY ME rooms stand out well.
The other big clue - the lady cannot click on the greens but can click on the BUY ME $150
.
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
I just looked, it was obv the price means BUY ME, the colored in means booked. I am glad the color is green, that works and the BUY ME rooms stand out well.
The other big clue - the lady cannot click on the greens but can click on the BUY ME $150
See this was something else mentioned in that BnBFinder email...how easy is your avail calendar to navigate. It is obvious to me, that it is not entirely easy. Again, should put it on my list to call and have them change the 'taken' color to red.
You're right about not being able to click and THAT is why they call!
.
Bree said:
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
I just looked, it was obv the price means BUY ME, the colored in means booked. I am glad the color is green, that works and the BUY ME rooms stand out well.
The other big clue - the lady cannot click on the greens but can click on the BUY ME $150
See this was something else mentioned in that BnBFinder email...how easy is your avail calendar to navigate. It is obvious to me, that it is not entirely easy. Again, should put it on my list to call and have them change the 'taken' color to red.
You're right about not being able to click and THAT is why they call!
Ohhhhh yeah that is why they call, it won't let me book it! DUH! People are strange.
 

winewitch

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And the winner is....
The one that calls at 8am, while we are in the middle of breakfast- the DAY BEFORE for the SAME DAY SPECIAL when the special says to call during the hours of 12-6 the SAME DAY OF STAY! "Can I still get the special?"
NO!!!
 
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