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Morticia

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I used to be obsessed about answering the phone. I would answer it 24/7. Around year 10, I decided it really was ok to not be in bondage by the phone. One of the main reasons I'm able to walk away or go to town without forwarding it to my cell is the increase of robo & solicitation calls. It's not unusual for us to get 10-15 of these a day. We get so many of them that I find my phone answering voice to be not quite as upbeat as it used to be. More often than not, it's a solicitation call. It wears me down. It interrupts what I'm doing. It takes me away from taking care of my guests.
There has to be a quality of life where you're not afraid to sit down at a restaurant on those rare times you're able to go out and be interrupted by calls that want you to be on the 1st page of google..
Breakfast Diva said:
There has to be a quality of life where you're not afraid to sit down at a restaurant on those rare times you're able to go out and be interrupted by calls that want you to be on the 1st page of google.
Just got back from an outing with other innkeepers. 2 of them had their phones on the table and kept checking messages.
It's the times we live in. Everyone is available to everyone 24/7. We're stepping out of that flow and into the shallow, quiet waters. This works for us. More time to tango.
10 to 7. Those are the new office hours.
 

Samster

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We absolutely will not answer the phone after hours unless we recognize the number and it is an emergency. But, having said that it seems that we are not having many late night calls either.
I am changing many things. If you read that food for the thought I shared the other day, to put it in a nutshell "I am going to be running this business, this business is not going to be running me"
Get everything in place for guests to easily find infor they want and reserve online!.
Good for you! I'm glad to hear it. "Work to live...don't live to work!"

 

happykeeper

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We absolutely will not answer the phone after hours unless we recognize the number and it is an emergency. But, having said that it seems that we are not having many late night calls either.
I am changing many things. If you read that food for the thought I shared the other day, to put it in a nutshell "I am going to be running this business, this business is not going to be running me"
Get everything in place for guests to easily find infor they want and reserve online!.
Our rule of thumb is that we don't answer the phone after the first cocktail. That typically translates into 7 pm.
The fact is that phone reservations are becoming a very small part of our business, and last minute reservations are no part of our business.
If you are serious about not letting the business run you, you might end up wanting to hang around a few more years. Of course, the minute you start liking it, it's gonna sell.

 

Generic

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If we are up, we answer. But the calls are few and far between. And you aren't getting a same-day reservation. You aren't negotiating price. We keep the phone on for emergencies, but if we are full (and everyone is in) or empty, we screen.
 

JBloggs

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I thought of all of you as I answered a marketing call a moment ago.
Are you trying to sell me something?
Oh no, we are asking for information about your business.
Go ahead and ask me then.
How many packages do you send out weekly from your business.
Did you read that we are a bed and breakfast before you called me, it is in the name that you just asked for when I answered, and the name I said when I answered.
That means that people come to us, and stay with us, we don't send stuff out to anyone. I would like to help you understand what a bed and breakfast is so you don't need to call here every week, and can spend your time calling a business who may be able to use your services.
Oh.
... I was so nice. That was according to my caller id: "Next Level Solutions" fyi. They call every week, without fail. Will they call again? Probably.
 

Morticia

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I thought of all of you as I answered a marketing call a moment ago.
Are you trying to sell me something?
Oh no, we are asking for information about your business.
Go ahead and ask me then.
How many packages do you send out weekly from your business.
Did you read that we are a bed and breakfast before you called me, it is in the name that you just asked for when I answered, and the name I said when I answered.
That means that people come to us, and stay with us, we don't send stuff out to anyone. I would like to help you understand what a bed and breakfast is so you don't need to call here every week, and can spend your time calling a business who may be able to use your services.
Oh.
... I was so nice. That was according to my caller id: "Next Level Solutions" fyi. They call every week, without fail. Will they call again? Probably..
Hee hee. Did I mention the person who called this morning to talk to the GM? His entire side of the conversation was corporate-speak. Mine was asking him to repeat that in plain English. He couldn't do it. He did not know plain English words to replace the corporate-speak. No idea what he wanted.
 

toddburme

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We pretty much only do a five state area so we can screen based on the location. The robo calls tend to be two or more states over. Once in a great while we will miss a reservation this way but we avoid 75% of the computer/sales calls. Otherwise if I hear it I answer it.
 

Kay Nein

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We roughly use 8pm as a cut-off. Depends on our room count for the month or whether we're ready & able to run out for a walk-in. After 8, we have the same discussion as the phone rings, "Are you going in?" "No, are you?" ... Sometimes I'll answer just to get the advance reservation knowing that they will hang up & call somewhere else if I don't take it. Sometimes I just don't care lol
 

JBloggs

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We roughly use 8pm as a cut-off. Depends on our room count for the month or whether we're ready & able to run out for a walk-in. After 8, we have the same discussion as the phone rings, "Are you going in?" "No, are you?" ... Sometimes I'll answer just to get the advance reservation knowing that they will hang up & call somewhere else if I don't take it. Sometimes I just don't care lol.
Kay Nein said:
We roughly use 8pm as a cut-off. Depends on our room count for the month or whether we're ready & able to run out for a walk-in. After 8, we have the same discussion as the phone rings, "Are you going in?" "No, are you?" ... Sometimes I'll answer just to get the advance reservation knowing that they will hang up & call somewhere else if I don't take it. Sometimes I just don't care lol
and there is that, if you are in a walk in location, then it changes the whole thing. You are there, you answer the phone if there are rooms and the answer the door. All relative!
 

Morticia

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We roughly use 8pm as a cut-off. Depends on our room count for the month or whether we're ready & able to run out for a walk-in. After 8, we have the same discussion as the phone rings, "Are you going in?" "No, are you?" ... Sometimes I'll answer just to get the advance reservation knowing that they will hang up & call somewhere else if I don't take it. Sometimes I just don't care lol.
Kay Nein said:
We roughly use 8pm as a cut-off. Depends on our room count for the month or whether we're ready & able to run out for a walk-in. After 8, we have the same discussion as the phone rings, "Are you going in?" "No, are you?" ... Sometimes I'll answer just to get the advance reservation knowing that they will hang up & call somewhere else if I don't take it. Sometimes I just don't care lol
and there is that, if you are in a walk in location, then it changes the whole thing. You are there, you answer the phone if there are rooms and the answer the door. All relative!
.
When we first started, one of my multitude of BIL's laughed and said we'd be up all night answering the door. This is the one place we drew the line right away. If the lights are out we are not answering the door.
Yes, I do drag myself out of the bed to be sure it is not a guest locked out, but if I don't recognize them, I go back to bed.
Unless we are still waiting for a guest I also don't answer the phone.
Our first month was a series of drunken prank calls at midnight asking specifically for the female PO.
Local hotels stopped calling us with their overbooked guests as well. I'm not checking people in at 2am who are mad as can be that their hotel reservation wasn't good.
So, yes, there are maybe 10 rooms/year we miss because of that.
It is dependent on your area. We each have a different clientele as everyone, including the other owners in my town, keep telling me. We are always asked for our latest horror story when we get together.
Just attempting to maintain a little sanity.
 

Generic

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We roughly use 8pm as a cut-off. Depends on our room count for the month or whether we're ready & able to run out for a walk-in. After 8, we have the same discussion as the phone rings, "Are you going in?" "No, are you?" ... Sometimes I'll answer just to get the advance reservation knowing that they will hang up & call somewhere else if I don't take it. Sometimes I just don't care lol.
Kay Nein said:
We roughly use 8pm as a cut-off. Depends on our room count for the month or whether we're ready & able to run out for a walk-in. After 8, we have the same discussion as the phone rings, "Are you going in?" "No, are you?" ... Sometimes I'll answer just to get the advance reservation knowing that they will hang up & call somewhere else if I don't take it. Sometimes I just don't care lol
and there is that, if you are in a walk in location, then it changes the whole thing. You are there, you answer the phone if there are rooms and the answer the door. All relative!
.
When we first started, one of my multitude of BIL's laughed and said we'd be up all night answering the door. This is the one place we drew the line right away. If the lights are out we are not answering the door.
Yes, I do drag myself out of the bed to be sure it is not a guest locked out, but if I don't recognize them, I go back to bed.
Unless we are still waiting for a guest I also don't answer the phone.
Our first month was a series of drunken prank calls at midnight asking specifically for the female PO.
Local hotels stopped calling us with their overbooked guests as well. I'm not checking people in at 2am who are mad as can be that their hotel reservation wasn't good.
So, yes, there are maybe 10 rooms/year we miss because of that.
It is dependent on your area. We each have a different clientele as everyone, including the other owners in my town, keep telling me. We are always asked for our latest horror story when we get together.
Just attempting to maintain a little sanity.
.
Get a camera that takes pictures when there is movement. It can email you the pictures. No need to get up. :)
 

CafeMae

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We have a little separate reception office. We want to be sane and have reception hours for check in from 3pm-6pm, will take walk-ins or early arrivals before that, checked in by our assistant, and will answer the phone until 7pm. Our reception area itself is open from about 7am, where people can grab something to read, drink or a map and someone is available on the property to answer questions about where to go and what to do from 7am on -though they usually are not seated at the reception desk. Keeping these hours is a choice of sanity and work-life balance.
 

Arks

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We have a little separate reception office. We want to be sane and have reception hours for check in from 3pm-6pm, will take walk-ins or early arrivals before that, checked in by our assistant, and will answer the phone until 7pm. Our reception area itself is open from about 7am, where people can grab something to read, drink or a map and someone is available on the property to answer questions about where to go and what to do from 7am on -though they usually are not seated at the reception desk. Keeping these hours is a choice of sanity and work-life balance..
CafeMae said:
Keeping these hours is a choice of sanity and work-life balance.
Good for you. You're filling your niche in the greater scheme of things, and getting better all the time.
 

Silverspoon

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We screen all of our calls using caller ID, answering the ones that appear to be coming from a prospective guest during the hours from 9-9. Otherwise, we set the phone on a 2-ring with nice message asking them to leave a message or contact us through our web site (which leads them to e-mail). This system works great, eliminating 90% of the robo calls.
We don't generally take last minute reservations and people who find us must be motivated to stay in this location so, although we might miss a few bookings, we do have some time to ourselves without being tied to the phone.
 

Arks

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I often come in and find no messages waiting, then scroll back through the recent caller id record and see all kinds of calls that came in from obvious robo calls.
Most robos can tell when they get an answering machine and just hang up without leaving a message.
Wonder how much longer we will have to put up with telemarketers.
The answer, of course, is forever.
 

Morticia

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We have posted hours of 8 to 8 (on those listing sites that invite us to enter our hours). The business number is forwarded to one of our cell phones, and we typically will answer it whenever it rings, where ever we are. If we are away from a computer and can't process their request right then and there, we tell them they can make their reservation online, or that they should send us a e-mail. Of course, a lot of the calls are easy to respond to -- "Sorry, we are full," or "Sorry, we have a two-night/three-night/week minimum." I can count on one hand the number of very late night calls we've gotten. Of course, our business is different (we don't call ourselves and "inn") so we are not likely to get those kinds of calls either.
Our previous managers never (or very rarely) answered the phone, letting almost every call go to the answering machine. Since we took over and have been answering the phone, we have discovered that they were missing out on a lot of business.... That said, almost all of our business is by advance reservation done by e-mail..
Harborfields said:
Our previous managers never (or very rarely) answered the phone, letting almost every call go to the answering machine. Since we took over and have been answering the phone, we have discovered that they were missing out on a lot of business.... That said, almost all of our business is by advance reservation done by e-mail.
This is a big no no.
This is what we do most of the time now as 99.5% of our calls are not for a booking, and are a total waste of time. It is what we have to deal with in our situation here, if we had all phone bookings then we would treat this differently. It is entirely apples and oranges.
I say that as I hope those reading will understand this. Every inn is different, the clientele and their m.o.
If you don't have everythign set up for EASE OF INFORMATION and EASE OF RESERVING online then you better answer every single call 24/7. (Not saying this about Harborfields, but there are some who don't give the info - a new B&B in our town, for example you had to call to get room prices!)
.
I agree a lot of calls are not from prospective guests but from phone "spammers," but it just as easy to hang up on them at the time they call as it is to delete their voice mail. Of course, it is still an interruption, but if we really are in the middle of something and have our hands full so to speak, we just don't answer the phone right then.
I also agree that every inn is different and each needs to figure out what works best for their particular situation.
.
Harborfields said:
I agree a lot of calls are not from prospective guests but from phone "spammers," but it just as easy to hang up on them at the time they call as it is to delete their voice mail. Of course, it is still an interruption, but if we really are in the middle of something and have our hands full so to speak, we just don't answer the phone right then.
I also agree that every inn is different and each needs to figure out what works best for their particular situation.
I disagree. Picking it up stops the process of wherever you are and whatever you are doing. It is spam, it is wasting time. That is whatI have here, you may have a different set up with less wasted phone calls.
As mentioned, I would gladly answer the calls that equated to $$, but 95% are not, and you can't hang up on the school parents asking for donations for the high school football team. I get to spend 10 minutes telling them we have kids in school, we support them already, we are band boosters, we devote time and money to that...
"Well do you have a name or number of someone else who can help?" "Can we add you to our mailing list for other options?"
and so on and so on... and NO I am not lying to them, we really do these things, already. I literally was on the phone with two robo-calls and then still on the phone with two more marketers (locally)...on the same phone call - this was Monday. I decided to answer every call that day as I was waiting for an urgent call.
I did have the gal in the wheelchair who can't make it up any stairs who called and questioned, and I did spend some time sharing what we offer, not what we can't offer her, specifically. Expressing how wonderful she is getting married and such.
.
The caller who rang 3 times after 7pm left another message saying they really need to make their reservation now! They are too busy to call back tomorrow, as the answering machine message says to do if they have questions.
They don't know how to use the internet to buy something? Will find out tonight when we return their call and ask why they kept leaving messages instead of making the reservation themselves.
Is everyone else thinking pita?
.
Morticia said:
The caller who rang 3 times after 7pm left another message saying they really need to make their reservation now! They are too busy to call back tomorrow, as the answering machine message says to do if they have questions.
And is still calling with 2 weeks left before arrival. No longer wants to speak with me but demands to know the name of the person answering the phone. This person really doesn't get this is a small property. They still think 5-6 employees are on staff at all times to answer the phone and their whims.
 

Generic

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We have posted hours of 8 to 8 (on those listing sites that invite us to enter our hours). The business number is forwarded to one of our cell phones, and we typically will answer it whenever it rings, where ever we are. If we are away from a computer and can't process their request right then and there, we tell them they can make their reservation online, or that they should send us a e-mail. Of course, a lot of the calls are easy to respond to -- "Sorry, we are full," or "Sorry, we have a two-night/three-night/week minimum." I can count on one hand the number of very late night calls we've gotten. Of course, our business is different (we don't call ourselves and "inn") so we are not likely to get those kinds of calls either.
Our previous managers never (or very rarely) answered the phone, letting almost every call go to the answering machine. Since we took over and have been answering the phone, we have discovered that they were missing out on a lot of business.... That said, almost all of our business is by advance reservation done by e-mail..
Harborfields said:
Our previous managers never (or very rarely) answered the phone, letting almost every call go to the answering machine. Since we took over and have been answering the phone, we have discovered that they were missing out on a lot of business.... That said, almost all of our business is by advance reservation done by e-mail.
This is a big no no.
This is what we do most of the time now as 99.5% of our calls are not for a booking, and are a total waste of time. It is what we have to deal with in our situation here, if we had all phone bookings then we would treat this differently. It is entirely apples and oranges.
I say that as I hope those reading will understand this. Every inn is different, the clientele and their m.o.
If you don't have everythign set up for EASE OF INFORMATION and EASE OF RESERVING online then you better answer every single call 24/7. (Not saying this about Harborfields, but there are some who don't give the info - a new B&B in our town, for example you had to call to get room prices!)
.
I agree a lot of calls are not from prospective guests but from phone "spammers," but it just as easy to hang up on them at the time they call as it is to delete their voice mail. Of course, it is still an interruption, but if we really are in the middle of something and have our hands full so to speak, we just don't answer the phone right then.
I also agree that every inn is different and each needs to figure out what works best for their particular situation.
.
Harborfields said:
I agree a lot of calls are not from prospective guests but from phone "spammers," but it just as easy to hang up on them at the time they call as it is to delete their voice mail. Of course, it is still an interruption, but if we really are in the middle of something and have our hands full so to speak, we just don't answer the phone right then.
I also agree that every inn is different and each needs to figure out what works best for their particular situation.
I disagree. Picking it up stops the process of wherever you are and whatever you are doing. It is spam, it is wasting time. That is whatI have here, you may have a different set up with less wasted phone calls.
As mentioned, I would gladly answer the calls that equated to $$, but 95% are not, and you can't hang up on the school parents asking for donations for the high school football team. I get to spend 10 minutes telling them we have kids in school, we support them already, we are band boosters, we devote time and money to that...
"Well do you have a name or number of someone else who can help?" "Can we add you to our mailing list for other options?"
and so on and so on... and NO I am not lying to them, we really do these things, already. I literally was on the phone with two robo-calls and then still on the phone with two more marketers (locally)...on the same phone call - this was Monday. I decided to answer every call that day as I was waiting for an urgent call.
I did have the gal in the wheelchair who can't make it up any stairs who called and questioned, and I did spend some time sharing what we offer, not what we can't offer her, specifically. Expressing how wonderful she is getting married and such.
.
The caller who rang 3 times after 7pm left another message saying they really need to make their reservation now! They are too busy to call back tomorrow, as the answering machine message says to do if they have questions.
They don't know how to use the internet to buy something? Will find out tonight when we return their call and ask why they kept leaving messages instead of making the reservation themselves.
Is everyone else thinking pita?
.
Morticia said:
The caller who rang 3 times after 7pm left another message saying they really need to make their reservation now! They are too busy to call back tomorrow, as the answering machine message says to do if they have questions.
And is still calling with 2 weeks left before arrival. No longer wants to speak with me but demands to know the name of the person answering the phone. This person really doesn't get this is a small property. They still think 5-6 employees are on staff at all times to answer the phone and their whims.
.
Why don't you clue them in? Hi _____, this is Morticia again. We are a small property, just us two, the owners, to answer your questions, no matter when you call, day or night, it will be us that will answer.
They might then realize the nuisance they are.
 

Morticia

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We have posted hours of 8 to 8 (on those listing sites that invite us to enter our hours). The business number is forwarded to one of our cell phones, and we typically will answer it whenever it rings, where ever we are. If we are away from a computer and can't process their request right then and there, we tell them they can make their reservation online, or that they should send us a e-mail. Of course, a lot of the calls are easy to respond to -- "Sorry, we are full," or "Sorry, we have a two-night/three-night/week minimum." I can count on one hand the number of very late night calls we've gotten. Of course, our business is different (we don't call ourselves and "inn") so we are not likely to get those kinds of calls either.
Our previous managers never (or very rarely) answered the phone, letting almost every call go to the answering machine. Since we took over and have been answering the phone, we have discovered that they were missing out on a lot of business.... That said, almost all of our business is by advance reservation done by e-mail..
Harborfields said:
Our previous managers never (or very rarely) answered the phone, letting almost every call go to the answering machine. Since we took over and have been answering the phone, we have discovered that they were missing out on a lot of business.... That said, almost all of our business is by advance reservation done by e-mail.
This is a big no no.
This is what we do most of the time now as 99.5% of our calls are not for a booking, and are a total waste of time. It is what we have to deal with in our situation here, if we had all phone bookings then we would treat this differently. It is entirely apples and oranges.
I say that as I hope those reading will understand this. Every inn is different, the clientele and their m.o.
If you don't have everythign set up for EASE OF INFORMATION and EASE OF RESERVING online then you better answer every single call 24/7. (Not saying this about Harborfields, but there are some who don't give the info - a new B&B in our town, for example you had to call to get room prices!)
.
I agree a lot of calls are not from prospective guests but from phone "spammers," but it just as easy to hang up on them at the time they call as it is to delete their voice mail. Of course, it is still an interruption, but if we really are in the middle of something and have our hands full so to speak, we just don't answer the phone right then.
I also agree that every inn is different and each needs to figure out what works best for their particular situation.
.
Harborfields said:
I agree a lot of calls are not from prospective guests but from phone "spammers," but it just as easy to hang up on them at the time they call as it is to delete their voice mail. Of course, it is still an interruption, but if we really are in the middle of something and have our hands full so to speak, we just don't answer the phone right then.
I also agree that every inn is different and each needs to figure out what works best for their particular situation.
I disagree. Picking it up stops the process of wherever you are and whatever you are doing. It is spam, it is wasting time. That is whatI have here, you may have a different set up with less wasted phone calls.
As mentioned, I would gladly answer the calls that equated to $$, but 95% are not, and you can't hang up on the school parents asking for donations for the high school football team. I get to spend 10 minutes telling them we have kids in school, we support them already, we are band boosters, we devote time and money to that...
"Well do you have a name or number of someone else who can help?" "Can we add you to our mailing list for other options?"
and so on and so on... and NO I am not lying to them, we really do these things, already. I literally was on the phone with two robo-calls and then still on the phone with two more marketers (locally)...on the same phone call - this was Monday. I decided to answer every call that day as I was waiting for an urgent call.
I did have the gal in the wheelchair who can't make it up any stairs who called and questioned, and I did spend some time sharing what we offer, not what we can't offer her, specifically. Expressing how wonderful she is getting married and such.
.
The caller who rang 3 times after 7pm left another message saying they really need to make their reservation now! They are too busy to call back tomorrow, as the answering machine message says to do if they have questions.
They don't know how to use the internet to buy something? Will find out tonight when we return their call and ask why they kept leaving messages instead of making the reservation themselves.
Is everyone else thinking pita?
.
Morticia said:
The caller who rang 3 times after 7pm left another message saying they really need to make their reservation now! They are too busy to call back tomorrow, as the answering machine message says to do if they have questions.
And is still calling with 2 weeks left before arrival. No longer wants to speak with me but demands to know the name of the person answering the phone. This person really doesn't get this is a small property. They still think 5-6 employees are on staff at all times to answer the phone and their whims.
.
Why don't you clue them in? Hi _____, this is Morticia again. We are a small property, just us two, the owners, to answer your questions, no matter when you call, day or night, it will be us that will answer.
They might then realize the nuisance they are.
.
They'll want to change their room on arrival. And remember they can't eat anything on the menu. After they leave Gomez and I jet off to sunnier climes.
 

Generic

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We have posted hours of 8 to 8 (on those listing sites that invite us to enter our hours). The business number is forwarded to one of our cell phones, and we typically will answer it whenever it rings, where ever we are. If we are away from a computer and can't process their request right then and there, we tell them they can make their reservation online, or that they should send us a e-mail. Of course, a lot of the calls are easy to respond to -- "Sorry, we are full," or "Sorry, we have a two-night/three-night/week minimum." I can count on one hand the number of very late night calls we've gotten. Of course, our business is different (we don't call ourselves and "inn") so we are not likely to get those kinds of calls either.
Our previous managers never (or very rarely) answered the phone, letting almost every call go to the answering machine. Since we took over and have been answering the phone, we have discovered that they were missing out on a lot of business.... That said, almost all of our business is by advance reservation done by e-mail..
Harborfields said:
Our previous managers never (or very rarely) answered the phone, letting almost every call go to the answering machine. Since we took over and have been answering the phone, we have discovered that they were missing out on a lot of business.... That said, almost all of our business is by advance reservation done by e-mail.
This is a big no no.
This is what we do most of the time now as 99.5% of our calls are not for a booking, and are a total waste of time. It is what we have to deal with in our situation here, if we had all phone bookings then we would treat this differently. It is entirely apples and oranges.
I say that as I hope those reading will understand this. Every inn is different, the clientele and their m.o.
If you don't have everythign set up for EASE OF INFORMATION and EASE OF RESERVING online then you better answer every single call 24/7. (Not saying this about Harborfields, but there are some who don't give the info - a new B&B in our town, for example you had to call to get room prices!)
.
I agree a lot of calls are not from prospective guests but from phone "spammers," but it just as easy to hang up on them at the time they call as it is to delete their voice mail. Of course, it is still an interruption, but if we really are in the middle of something and have our hands full so to speak, we just don't answer the phone right then.
I also agree that every inn is different and each needs to figure out what works best for their particular situation.
.
Harborfields said:
I agree a lot of calls are not from prospective guests but from phone "spammers," but it just as easy to hang up on them at the time they call as it is to delete their voice mail. Of course, it is still an interruption, but if we really are in the middle of something and have our hands full so to speak, we just don't answer the phone right then.
I also agree that every inn is different and each needs to figure out what works best for their particular situation.
I disagree. Picking it up stops the process of wherever you are and whatever you are doing. It is spam, it is wasting time. That is whatI have here, you may have a different set up with less wasted phone calls.
As mentioned, I would gladly answer the calls that equated to $$, but 95% are not, and you can't hang up on the school parents asking for donations for the high school football team. I get to spend 10 minutes telling them we have kids in school, we support them already, we are band boosters, we devote time and money to that...
"Well do you have a name or number of someone else who can help?" "Can we add you to our mailing list for other options?"
and so on and so on... and NO I am not lying to them, we really do these things, already. I literally was on the phone with two robo-calls and then still on the phone with two more marketers (locally)...on the same phone call - this was Monday. I decided to answer every call that day as I was waiting for an urgent call.
I did have the gal in the wheelchair who can't make it up any stairs who called and questioned, and I did spend some time sharing what we offer, not what we can't offer her, specifically. Expressing how wonderful she is getting married and such.
.
The caller who rang 3 times after 7pm left another message saying they really need to make their reservation now! They are too busy to call back tomorrow, as the answering machine message says to do if they have questions.
They don't know how to use the internet to buy something? Will find out tonight when we return their call and ask why they kept leaving messages instead of making the reservation themselves.
Is everyone else thinking pita?
.
Morticia said:
The caller who rang 3 times after 7pm left another message saying they really need to make their reservation now! They are too busy to call back tomorrow, as the answering machine message says to do if they have questions.
And is still calling with 2 weeks left before arrival. No longer wants to speak with me but demands to know the name of the person answering the phone. This person really doesn't get this is a small property. They still think 5-6 employees are on staff at all times to answer the phone and their whims.
.
Why don't you clue them in? Hi _____, this is Morticia again. We are a small property, just us two, the owners, to answer your questions, no matter when you call, day or night, it will be us that will answer.
They might then realize the nuisance they are.
.
They'll want to change their room on arrival. And remember they can't eat anything on the menu. After they leave Gomez and I jet off to sunnier climes.
.
We leave in 4 sleeps. Gomez can explain that expression to you.
 

gillumhouse

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We have posted hours of 8 to 8 (on those listing sites that invite us to enter our hours). The business number is forwarded to one of our cell phones, and we typically will answer it whenever it rings, where ever we are. If we are away from a computer and can't process their request right then and there, we tell them they can make their reservation online, or that they should send us a e-mail. Of course, a lot of the calls are easy to respond to -- "Sorry, we are full," or "Sorry, we have a two-night/three-night/week minimum." I can count on one hand the number of very late night calls we've gotten. Of course, our business is different (we don't call ourselves and "inn") so we are not likely to get those kinds of calls either.
Our previous managers never (or very rarely) answered the phone, letting almost every call go to the answering machine. Since we took over and have been answering the phone, we have discovered that they were missing out on a lot of business.... That said, almost all of our business is by advance reservation done by e-mail..
Harborfields said:
Our previous managers never (or very rarely) answered the phone, letting almost every call go to the answering machine. Since we took over and have been answering the phone, we have discovered that they were missing out on a lot of business.... That said, almost all of our business is by advance reservation done by e-mail.
This is a big no no.
This is what we do most of the time now as 99.5% of our calls are not for a booking, and are a total waste of time. It is what we have to deal with in our situation here, if we had all phone bookings then we would treat this differently. It is entirely apples and oranges.
I say that as I hope those reading will understand this. Every inn is different, the clientele and their m.o.
If you don't have everythign set up for EASE OF INFORMATION and EASE OF RESERVING online then you better answer every single call 24/7. (Not saying this about Harborfields, but there are some who don't give the info - a new B&B in our town, for example you had to call to get room prices!)
.
I agree a lot of calls are not from prospective guests but from phone "spammers," but it just as easy to hang up on them at the time they call as it is to delete their voice mail. Of course, it is still an interruption, but if we really are in the middle of something and have our hands full so to speak, we just don't answer the phone right then.
I also agree that every inn is different and each needs to figure out what works best for their particular situation.
.
Harborfields said:
I agree a lot of calls are not from prospective guests but from phone "spammers," but it just as easy to hang up on them at the time they call as it is to delete their voice mail. Of course, it is still an interruption, but if we really are in the middle of something and have our hands full so to speak, we just don't answer the phone right then.
I also agree that every inn is different and each needs to figure out what works best for their particular situation.
I disagree. Picking it up stops the process of wherever you are and whatever you are doing. It is spam, it is wasting time. That is whatI have here, you may have a different set up with less wasted phone calls.
As mentioned, I would gladly answer the calls that equated to $$, but 95% are not, and you can't hang up on the school parents asking for donations for the high school football team. I get to spend 10 minutes telling them we have kids in school, we support them already, we are band boosters, we devote time and money to that...
"Well do you have a name or number of someone else who can help?" "Can we add you to our mailing list for other options?"
and so on and so on... and NO I am not lying to them, we really do these things, already. I literally was on the phone with two robo-calls and then still on the phone with two more marketers (locally)...on the same phone call - this was Monday. I decided to answer every call that day as I was waiting for an urgent call.
I did have the gal in the wheelchair who can't make it up any stairs who called and questioned, and I did spend some time sharing what we offer, not what we can't offer her, specifically. Expressing how wonderful she is getting married and such.
.
The caller who rang 3 times after 7pm left another message saying they really need to make their reservation now! They are too busy to call back tomorrow, as the answering machine message says to do if they have questions.
They don't know how to use the internet to buy something? Will find out tonight when we return their call and ask why they kept leaving messages instead of making the reservation themselves.
Is everyone else thinking pita?
.
Morticia said:
The caller who rang 3 times after 7pm left another message saying they really need to make their reservation now! They are too busy to call back tomorrow, as the answering machine message says to do if they have questions.
And is still calling with 2 weeks left before arrival. No longer wants to speak with me but demands to know the name of the person answering the phone. This person really doesn't get this is a small property. They still think 5-6 employees are on staff at all times to answer the phone and their whims.
.
Why don't you clue them in? Hi _____, this is Morticia again. We are a small property, just us two, the owners, to answer your questions, no matter when you call, day or night, it will be us that will answer.
They might then realize the nuisance they are.
.
They'll want to change their room on arrival. And remember they can't eat anything on the menu. After they leave Gomez and I jet off to sunnier climes.
.
We leave in 4 sleeps. Gomez can explain that expression to you.
.
You get to sleep? You are supposed to be on duty 24/7, eh?
 

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