Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Few New Features

Recently we've added a few miscellaneous features which are useful, but might not be too obvious, so it seems a good idea to highlight them here.

Thanks to popular demand it is now possible to set whether or not the deposit amount includes taxes.  Simply check the box "include taxes" when setting up your deposit amount.  This works when the deposit is calculated as a percentage of the total, or first/last night. 

Also thanks to user requests, we've added a few new merge codes in the email templates section.  We also removed the ability to click the code and have it appended to the bottom of the email template text.  It seemed this was causing too much confusion about what the links did.  The codes have also been reorganized slightly.  The new codes are:


The code {{guestsfirstnames}}  is useful when you have two people (such as a couple) listed on the reservation.  It will combine the first two names such as "Jack & Jill."  So you can create an email template with something like "Dear Jack & Jill," or if there is just one name listed the system will automatically switch to just the first name such as "Dear Jack."

The code {{fractionoverroomname}} will replace show the fraction name if it exists, otherwise it shows the room name.

If you manage several/many properties, you may need to send different sets of emails depending on the property your guest booked.  Now, when adding internal reservations, you can set both the Email Schedule to use and the Payment Page.  These settings can be turned on under Preferences in the Settings tab.

Click the black bar above the room names on the internal calendar to see all your notes for a range of dates.  All the waiting list inquiries from public reservation pages get added to the notes bar, so being able to search by a date range can be a useful way to quickly see all the waiting list requests and any other notes you have added.

Monday, February 27, 2012

ReservationKey Facebook Apps

It seems more important than ever these days to have a Facebook presence.  From looking at a lot of Facebook business pages it seems that people set up the page but then don't really know what to do with it.  And, the more online ventures you get into, the more time it takes to maintain everything.  The more you can manage data from one central place, but distribute that data to various channels, the less time you will spend maintaining duplicate content.

Since your reservation information and property information is already in ReservationKey, it makes sense to use that data to create content for Facebook.  Now, with our new Facebook apps, it is extremely easy to set up a tab in Facebook for online reservations, another tab for information about your business, and up to three more tabs with content of your choice. 

Online Reservations

Adding online reservations is as simple as duplicating your existing reservation page settings by setting up a new reservation page within ReservationKey (new feature allows you to select a page to duplicate when adding a new page) and setting it to use our Facebook theme.  Once the app is added to your Facebook account you just need to select the reservation page you set up to use with Facebook.

Information Page

Setting up a property information page is even easier.  You just add our app, and then select which properties and units to display on the page by checking boxes.  We will display a Google Map at the bottom if you enter your property address.  You can also add a header message if you want to really customize the page.  The header message is pulled from the Website Messages section in ReservationKey so you just need to set up a new message there first and then select it in the Facebook tab options.

Additional Tabs

Using our three additional tabs for content of your choice you can basically build a whole website just on Facebook.  Think of each tab like a separate page on your website.   With our HTML editor it is really easy to customize these pages and add graphics.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Reasons Why People Switch to ReservationKey

I am sure there are lots of reasons people switch to using ReservationKey versus selecting a different system.  There are so many systems out there that it seems people often are overwhelmed when trying to select a new reservation and management system.  Those that are the least worn out by the process of selecting a new system are people that read recommendations about us on forums (special thanks to innspiring.com posters!) or know someone that is using ReservationKey.

Today I was helping a new user get set up on our system and she happened to mention a few of the reasons that she is switching services.  When she told me that she was going to tell her current providers she was finished with them, I became worried because I worked with another user for a long time to get them all set up, but then they decided to stay with their current provider when their provider enticed them back with the offer of a free year.

But this user seems to have some pretty good reasons to switch, so I don't think I need to be worried that our setup effort was for nothing.  Here is what she said about why she is switching:

There are several reasons for switching.  One I have the programs for the system on my PC and I am not able to access the reservation system unless I am on my home computer.  Which means that my husband cannot access the reservation system from his office.  Secondly the price is ridiculous.  Thirdly they do not capture the security code for credit cards which means I am struck with processing credit cards through Quicken Merchant Services which is higher than other credit card processing services. Overall my cost of ownership will decrease on a monthly basis.  Also if I ever wanted to I might be able to use a MAC and not a PC. 

The reason I have to contact them is that because I use the Rezovation system I was able to sign up for booking through Expedia etc.  They have to disconnect this part in their system.

Hope this eases your mind.  Additionally, your customer service is much better.

 I asked her about not being on Expedia, and she replied:

We don’t get that many bookings and the commission is pretty hefty (35%).  I also have to maintain to separate calendar so that I can block dates that I don’t want the cottage to be available through them which is a nuisance.

If you've switched to ReservationKey, feel free to add to this list by leaving a comment.