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Organizing Reservations

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domsmom

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I get reservations from so many sources these days, the phone, my online reservations, the different sites I am on, etc. I just got a call from a past guest who wants to stay tonight, great, I have rooms tonight.
He is driving and I did not want to make him go through all the details of who he is, payment, etc., but I can't find his previous info.
Do you have a system where you put all the info in one place? Do you take time to do this daily, weekly, etc.?
Do you use a spreadsheet or something else? I keep all of the reservations in paper. I have gone through June (when he thinks he last stayed), May, next I'll check April and March, but to avoid this in the future, what do you suggest?
Thanks.
 

EmptyNest

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It's called reservation management software. That is what you need...not a do it yourself thing with paper or file cards. Do you have on line reservations? if not, you must get it. Use something like Reservation Nexus, Super Inns, Rezovations ...whichever...that handles everything for you.
 

Proud Texan

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I enter all my guest information into Quickbooks. I can track guests, send email confirmations, do my accounting, pretty much everything.
I use Webervations, so I have to cut and paste the guest information into Quickbooks. Since I have only two rooms, it's not a big deal. I print the Webervations Form with the guest's credit card information then delete the number from the Webervations page. Quickbooks has the ability to transfer the reservation to my Calendar program.
I then validate the credit card.
After I create the Quickbook guest record, I create an itemized invoice that has been customized to read "Reservation Confirmation" with my logo etc. This gets sent to the guest along with a cover letter, directions and our policies. All but the cover letter are in PDF format.
I also print myself a copy of the confirmation and staple this and the credit card verification together. I write the check-in date and any special requirements at the top of the page for easy reference later.
These are then filed chronologically in a vertical folder and the dates are logged on my desk calendar.
I usually pull all the reservations for a week at a time so DW can plan her meals accordingly.
 

Copperhead

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CL is right, you need some sort of reservation management software. Many that she posted have a very detailed system and is ideal in order to capture everything.
I use Webervations for my bookings and use the Night Clerk side for my guest management end, which seems to work for me quite well.
 

Morticia

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Our online rez system holds the guest data. If someone calls, I just pull up their name and ask for the cc info. Everything else is filled in automatically.
 

Banana

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Definitely couldn't do without Webervations. As much as they have irritated me lately, I can't imagine only having a paper trail for guest information.
 

JBloggs

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Yes, it is called Guest Management Software.
Also, just to give you some meantime assistance, if you use say webervations, and someone speaks to you over the phone about a booking, if they do not want to book online, you yourself open webervations and input the guest info as they are speaking to you, then the whole shebang will be there and they will get the confirmation.
 

domsmom

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I use webervations and generally when someone calls I put their info into the webervations reservation. This gentleman in particular usually calls the day of and I have webervations set up to accept reservations with 24 hours notice (so if I am out all day someone doesn't just show up expecting a room, sometimes we may not get in until 9 or 10pm). So when someone calls the day of I take the info and put it in my folder for that month. Then when I have booking.com reservations they are not in webervations, I guess I could start putting them in webervations. The quickbooks idea sounds great too. Thank you all.
 

greyswan

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I use SuperInn and manually add reservations if made by phone to superinn like you would to webervations. However, I do have an index card on each guest as a backup plan - that card has vital info as well as dietary/beverage choices. These are stored by year in alpha order but I use just one card per guest, multiple visits. I also keep an appointment book (week at a glance) - I like to handle paper, can you tell?... it's extra work, but I trust it. I paperclip the index card to matching week. Giving up the paper system is going to be a tough one for me... where do you store the little bits of info on the guest like food dislikes, allergies... and how do you access that info - by going into your computer system before breakfast each morning?
 

muirford

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I use SuperInn and manually add reservations if made by phone to superinn like you would to webervations. However, I do have an index card on each guest as a backup plan - that card has vital info as well as dietary/beverage choices. These are stored by year in alpha order but I use just one card per guest, multiple visits. I also keep an appointment book (week at a glance) - I like to handle paper, can you tell?... it's extra work, but I trust it. I paperclip the index card to matching week. Giving up the paper system is going to be a tough one for me... where do you store the little bits of info on the guest like food dislikes, allergies... and how do you access that info - by going into your computer system before breakfast each morning?.
I also keep the data in our webervations system whether we book by phone or online, but I still keep a reservation book as well - week at a time, rooms down the side and a space for the breakfast menu at the bottom. Although I am highly dependent on my computer, I can remember things much better if they have been in front of me on paper. I 'see' the paper in my memory. I always had a day planner and couldn't switch to a PDA even though I love some gadgets.
 

Copperhead

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I use SuperInn and manually add reservations if made by phone to superinn like you would to webervations. However, I do have an index card on each guest as a backup plan - that card has vital info as well as dietary/beverage choices. These are stored by year in alpha order but I use just one card per guest, multiple visits. I also keep an appointment book (week at a glance) - I like to handle paper, can you tell?... it's extra work, but I trust it. I paperclip the index card to matching week. Giving up the paper system is going to be a tough one for me... where do you store the little bits of info on the guest like food dislikes, allergies... and how do you access that info - by going into your computer system before breakfast each morning?.
GraySwan wrote: .... where do you store the little bits of info on the guest like food dislikes, allergies... and how do you access that info - by going into your computer system before breakfast each morning?
Not sure how SupperInn is set up, but in Webervations there is a Notes section where I keep that info. I usually check my notes before the guest checks in because if they have feather allergies, I remove the down pillows and comforters, and I make note of any food issues at that time.
I understand, if you are use to a system it is difficult to change...but oh what a relief it would be to get rid of all that paper!!!!
 

scrambled_eggs

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I use SuperInn and manually add reservations if made by phone to superinn like you would to webervations. However, I do have an index card on each guest as a backup plan - that card has vital info as well as dietary/beverage choices. These are stored by year in alpha order but I use just one card per guest, multiple visits. I also keep an appointment book (week at a glance) - I like to handle paper, can you tell?... it's extra work, but I trust it. I paperclip the index card to matching week. Giving up the paper system is going to be a tough one for me... where do you store the little bits of info on the guest like food dislikes, allergies... and how do you access that info - by going into your computer system before breakfast each morning?.
greyswan said:
where do you store the little bits of info on the guest like food dislikes, allergies... and how do you access that info - by going into your computer system before breakfast each morning?
I am also using Superinn. I don't do the index cards anymore but after every reservation comes through online or if I book it by phone I go and print out the registration form which has all their vital information on it. The only thing I staple is the credit card slip to it. I file those by date order so that I always have a hard copy. Any food allergies or other inportant information I need I add to the "reminders" button on Superinn. The reminder Tab will then turn Yellow. Every day when I log in and click on #7 Today Guest List it will show all those food allergy notes on one page and what times the guests are supposed to check in. I often will check these a few days ahead of time just so I have it in my mind that someone will have a certain allergy to something. When the guest checks in I have the filed registration forms pulled out for them to sign at check-in. They are then refiled again.
 

greyswan

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thanks for your ideas.... the seed is planted to eliminate the paper... we shall see!
 

Morticia

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I use SuperInn and manually add reservations if made by phone to superinn like you would to webervations. However, I do have an index card on each guest as a backup plan - that card has vital info as well as dietary/beverage choices. These are stored by year in alpha order but I use just one card per guest, multiple visits. I also keep an appointment book (week at a glance) - I like to handle paper, can you tell?... it's extra work, but I trust it. I paperclip the index card to matching week. Giving up the paper system is going to be a tough one for me... where do you store the little bits of info on the guest like food dislikes, allergies... and how do you access that info - by going into your computer system before breakfast each morning?.
greyswan said:
where do you store the little bits of info on the guest like food dislikes, allergies... and how do you access that info - by going into your computer system before breakfast each morning?
I am also using Superinn. I don't do the index cards anymore but after every reservation comes through online or if I book it by phone I go and print out the registration form which has all their vital information on it. The only thing I staple is the credit card slip to it. I file those by date order so that I always have a hard copy. Any food allergies or other inportant information I need I add to the "reminders" button on Superinn. The reminder Tab will then turn Yellow. Every day when I log in and click on #7 Today Guest List it will show all those food allergy notes on one page and what times the guests are supposed to check in. I often will check these a few days ahead of time just so I have it in my mind that someone will have a certain allergy to something. When the guest checks in I have the filed registration forms pulled out for them to sign at check-in. They are then refiled again.
.
Totally forgot I could click that tab to show all the guests' notes in one place. Thanks!
 

JBloggs

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I have been singing the praises of Guestall since I first came to the forum. For reporting, for monthly taxes, for notes, for correspondence, for labels, for guest statements, for everything. All guest management in one place. Everything is a click away. It is on my own PC and I bought the software and then pay a small annual subscription fee.
Again, you can download a free full copy to test drive it. You have nothing to lose! I recommend this prgm, I have it up and running 24/7 and have relied on it for 7 years now and it has NEVER let me down. What I am offering is valuable insight, from someone who knows the prgm and uses it constantly every day.
http://www.guestall.com/
 

wendydk

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I currently use 1.0 for webervations...I don't see anything about upgrading to 2.0....I wonder how that's done?
 

JBloggs

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2.0 had some glitches as it was only released to a few inns as beta in the beginning I think. The #1 reason I wanted 2.0 back when (what was that 2 years ago now?) was for guests to book multiple rooms. !!! I have MANY guests who are here two or three rooms and to fill out the rez from three times is maniacal. So I now have that ability, everything is on ONE booking, not three separate confirmation numbers, confirmations, etc etc
We all wanted 2.0 as it LOOKS 100% better, more professional than 1.0 which looks amateurish. It just doesn't look nice on our websites at all. That is where RezNexxus got it's foothold, it looks so nice, but the price is just too high for most of us.
 

muirford

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I currently use 1.0 for webervations...I don't see anything about upgrading to 2.0....I wonder how that's done?.
You really can't upgrade to 2.0 now - those of us who did early on have been using it for a couple of years while it's been worked on, but there haven't been any noticeable changes over that time and there are still a lot of bugs in it. An new release is supposed to be imminent.
I will say that if you have any expectations of changing to a different product, even WITHIN the bandb.com brand (like Rezovations) be very cautious about upgrading. I have heard two different stories from two different people about the ability to transfer data from Webervations 2.0 to anything else and the best I have heard is that the customer contact info could be transferred but the reservation history would be lost. I might have upgraded by now if I could be more sure that everything would be upwardly mobile.
 

egoodell

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I have been singing the praises of Guestall since I first came to the forum. For reporting, for monthly taxes, for notes, for correspondence, for labels, for guest statements, for everything. All guest management in one place. Everything is a click away. It is on my own PC and I bought the software and then pay a small annual subscription fee.
Again, you can download a free full copy to test drive it. You have nothing to lose! I recommend this prgm, I have it up and running 24/7 and have relied on it for 7 years now and it has NEVER let me down. What I am offering is valuable insight, from someone who knows the prgm and uses it constantly every day.
http://www.guestall.com/.
Joey Bloggs said:
I have been singing the praises of Guestall since I first came to the forum. For reporting, for monthly taxes, for notes, for correspondence, for labels, for guest statements, for everything. All guest management in one place. Everything is a click away. It is on my own PC and I bought the software and then pay a small annual subscription fee.
Again, you can download a free full copy to test drive it. You have nothing to lose! I recommend this prgm, I have it up and running 24/7 and have relied on it for 7 years now and it has NEVER let me down. What I am offering is valuable insight, from someone who knows the prgm and uses it constantly every day.
http://www.guestall.com/
I think I'll have to work on changing. I still right now am not receiving the credit card info on my bookings. It was to be resolved by Monday. They say it's a security thing that they are having problems with and that I should call the guest. Oh yeah, I know you entered all your credit card information on my SECURE website booking, but they won't give it to me because it's not secure. That will go over like a ton of bricks....
RIki
 

B.Grunert

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For those Innkeepers and b&b owners that are still using a pen & paper solution one very attractive alternative would be to switch to a guest management system that momentarily is offered free of charge (without time limit) by bookatonce. Have a look at http://tinyurl.com/27nzglr to see some more details about this.
The core tool of bookatonce is the reservation board that displays all details about your booking situation. Easily enter new reservations or modify existing bookings by simply dragging your mouse. And find (not only search) the valuable information about your guests. Do you want to send an e-mail to all your guests that celebrate their birthday in October, for instance? All this is possible using a guest management system. For general information of what such a system can do for you please consult: http://visacarddisney.blogspot.com/2010/08/nitty-gritty-of-pms.html
So test it. As the promotion of bookatonce does not imply any investment there is absolutely no risk.
 
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