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Online Availability and Online Reservations

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JBloggs

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From another thread...for anyone new or aspiring:
Online availability and reservations are AS IMPORTANT as PHOTOs on an inns website.[/h3]
 

JBloggs

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I wanted to share this for anyone who thinks online booking or avail is not important or urgent...
There are two inns near us without it, I cannot even refer guests or check to see if they HAVE a room open...it wastes my time and their time. The innkeepers are as nice as can be too.
Please do not do yourself and guests a disservice by forcing them to call or email to request a room, when they are on their pc planning their trip, stop A, B and C...they are planning the whole trip together NOW, it is frustrating enough to get it all together, and to make it DIFFICULT for them to book a room is turning away potential revenue for you. It is not a question of well maybe so, maybe not, it is a fact. You are losing bookings. The year is 2010.
If you do not accept credit cards in the normal fashion, meaning they give you the # and details for you to process or you swipe the whole transaction - you are LOSING BOOKINGS, I say this assuredly. You cannot have guests do something extra to stay with you, it is up to you to process the transaction, not them.
If you are a business, you need to operate like a business, in our industry you need to be up to date as much as possible, if guests are finding you on the internet, then follow that up appropriately. If you have an online presence, grab them with an online booking, right here right now! We have guests from overseas there is a time difference, a COST to call us, they can book from any place at any time. They can see if a room is available, we shouldn't waste their time.
As I often say, please take a trip and start your own planning online, you will find which inns are so difficult that you pass them by and go somewhere else.
Put as much innfo on your website as possible (but not all on the home page) make it user friendly so if someone wants to read more on the area, or events, or location, etc have it there...on new pages.
 

Samster

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I wanted to share this for anyone who thinks online booking or avail is not important or urgent...
There are two inns near us without it, I cannot even refer guests or check to see if they HAVE a room open...it wastes my time and their time. The innkeepers are as nice as can be too.
Please do not do yourself and guests a disservice by forcing them to call or email to request a room, when they are on their pc planning their trip, stop A, B and C...they are planning the whole trip together NOW, it is frustrating enough to get it all together, and to make it DIFFICULT for them to book a room is turning away potential revenue for you. It is not a question of well maybe so, maybe not, it is a fact. You are losing bookings. The year is 2010.
If you do not accept credit cards in the normal fashion, meaning they give you the # and details for you to process or you swipe the whole transaction - you are LOSING BOOKINGS, I say this assuredly. You cannot have guests do something extra to stay with you, it is up to you to process the transaction, not them.
If you are a business, you need to operate like a business, in our industry you need to be up to date as much as possible, if guests are finding you on the internet, then follow that up appropriately. If you have an online presence, grab them with an online booking, right here right now! We have guests from overseas there is a time difference, a COST to call us, they can book from any place at any time. They can see if a room is available, we shouldn't waste their time.
As I often say, please take a trip and start your own planning online, you will find which inns are so difficult that you pass them by and go somewhere else.
Put as much innfo on your website as possible (but not all on the home page) make it user friendly so if someone wants to read more on the area, or events, or location, etc have it there...on new pages..
I will add this comment to that: If you have online booking, be sure to send detailed confirmations with your policies. Your guests don't want to worry about whether or not they have a room!! Especially if they're making multiple stops during a vacation.
 

wendydk

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I wanted to share this for anyone who thinks online booking or avail is not important or urgent...
There are two inns near us without it, I cannot even refer guests or check to see if they HAVE a room open...it wastes my time and their time. The innkeepers are as nice as can be too.
Please do not do yourself and guests a disservice by forcing them to call or email to request a room, when they are on their pc planning their trip, stop A, B and C...they are planning the whole trip together NOW, it is frustrating enough to get it all together, and to make it DIFFICULT for them to book a room is turning away potential revenue for you. It is not a question of well maybe so, maybe not, it is a fact. You are losing bookings. The year is 2010.
If you do not accept credit cards in the normal fashion, meaning they give you the # and details for you to process or you swipe the whole transaction - you are LOSING BOOKINGS, I say this assuredly. You cannot have guests do something extra to stay with you, it is up to you to process the transaction, not them.
If you are a business, you need to operate like a business, in our industry you need to be up to date as much as possible, if guests are finding you on the internet, then follow that up appropriately. If you have an online presence, grab them with an online booking, right here right now! We have guests from overseas there is a time difference, a COST to call us, they can book from any place at any time. They can see if a room is available, we shouldn't waste their time.
As I often say, please take a trip and start your own planning online, you will find which inns are so difficult that you pass them by and go somewhere else.
Put as much innfo on your website as possible (but not all on the home page) make it user friendly so if someone wants to read more on the area, or events, or location, etc have it there...on new pages..
I will add this comment to that: If you have online booking, be sure to send detailed confirmations with your policies. Your guests don't want to worry about whether or not they have a room!! Especially if they're making multiple stops during a vacation.
.
Samster said:
I will add this comment to that: If you have online booking, be sure to send detailed confirmations with your policies. Your guests don't want to worry about whether or not they have a room!! Especially if they're making multiple stops during a vacation.
And confirmations are your ONE WAY to be certain that the guests know what they're booking, where they are booking, and what your policies are.
 

LA Hostel

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I wanted to share this for anyone who thinks online booking or avail is not important or urgent...
There are two inns near us without it, I cannot even refer guests or check to see if they HAVE a room open...it wastes my time and their time. The innkeepers are as nice as can be too.
Please do not do yourself and guests a disservice by forcing them to call or email to request a room, when they are on their pc planning their trip, stop A, B and C...they are planning the whole trip together NOW, it is frustrating enough to get it all together, and to make it DIFFICULT for them to book a room is turning away potential revenue for you. It is not a question of well maybe so, maybe not, it is a fact. You are losing bookings. The year is 2010.
If you do not accept credit cards in the normal fashion, meaning they give you the # and details for you to process or you swipe the whole transaction - you are LOSING BOOKINGS, I say this assuredly. You cannot have guests do something extra to stay with you, it is up to you to process the transaction, not them.
If you are a business, you need to operate like a business, in our industry you need to be up to date as much as possible, if guests are finding you on the internet, then follow that up appropriately. If you have an online presence, grab them with an online booking, right here right now! We have guests from overseas there is a time difference, a COST to call us, they can book from any place at any time. They can see if a room is available, we shouldn't waste their time.
As I often say, please take a trip and start your own planning online, you will find which inns are so difficult that you pass them by and go somewhere else.
Put as much innfo on your website as possible (but not all on the home page) make it user friendly so if someone wants to read more on the area, or events, or location, etc have it there...on new pages..
I will add this comment to that: If you have online booking, be sure to send detailed confirmations with your policies. Your guests don't want to worry about whether or not they have a room!! Especially if they're making multiple stops during a vacation.
.
Samster said:
I will add this comment to that: If you have online booking, be sure to send detailed confirmations with your policies. Your guests don't want to worry about whether or not they have a room!! Especially if they're making multiple stops during a vacation.
And confirmations are your ONE WAY to be certain that the guests know what they're booking, where they are booking, and what your policies are.
.
I do ALL bookings online and clearly will not change that anytime soon.
Having online booking is like a POS at the supermarket, it works, people click on it and use it and book a stay.
We almost never have conversations, phone or email with future guests.
They get a clear detailed confirmation email.
The bizarre thing is how many of these guests show up on the door, not knowing their booking number, what name they booked under, what email was used to book, or what check in time we have. these guys turn out to be "legit" and we get them squared away, but it is always mind-puzzeling how they can know so little about how they got here.
Im suspecting that a number of people at any age group have more computer literate friends help with the booking, book using the friends email address and grandmothers credit card.
Bo
 

B.Grunert

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Online availability and reservations are a must, of course. For those bed & breakfasts and inns that still do not offer this indispensable option, bookatonce is offering a special promo for US based businesses. Please have a look at: http://tinyurl.com/32lffem - Volunteers who would like to test bookatonce can do so without any risk as the will have access to all functions free of charge. Thanks in advance for considering this promo!
 
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