Friday, September 28, 2012

Improvement on Retaining Prices When Changing Reservation Dates

We just made a slight adjustment to the way room prices are set when changing with reservations. Previously, when changing a reservation by adding a few days, the prices for the original days would revert back to the price according to the rate plan. Now, only the newly added dates will pull the price from the rate plan. The original days that were already part of the reservation will retain the prices previously set.

For example, the standard room price is $100 per night, but here we changed the rates to be less than that:

Then, we decided to add two more nights. Instead of overwriting all the dates with the $100 per night price, only the new dates are set to $100 per night, and the original dates retained their price settings.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thoughts on Phone Support vs Email

Occasionally prospective users will ask us whether we have 24 hour, 7 day a week phone support. The basic answer is no, although sometimes it sure feels like we do. Running a web based, global business, with users spread out across more than 27 countries, we could easily work 24 hours a day and always be talking to someone where it is business hours. The web never sleeps, as they say.

Here is our rational and thinking about why we do not have 24 hour a day phone support, in response to a query from a potential client:

"I understand your desire for phone support over email support, but our business model just doesn't allow for it. Our goal has always been more of the self help model, that is, our users can mostly figure everything out on their own, and we are available for questions, often via email, with phone as a backup for the more involved situations. At our price points, $15 a month for you, we just can't afford the time it takes to have unlimited phone support. While this may cause us to loose a few customers, generally it has been an overwhelming success as our clients understand where we are coming from, and the support we are able to offer, combined with our strong product, and very reasonable prices more than makes up for the lesser phone support. For example, I am able to write you this email at 10:49p, rather than having to schedule a phone call, and take a lot more time to talk on the phone. Email is generally quicker and much more flexible as to when it can be written. Of course for introductory overviews to the system, and more involved questions, we are happy to set up phone calls."

Thank you to our existing and potential clients for your understanding!

Nice Review From a User

Cedar Mountain Farm Bed and Breakfast commented on ReservationKey's status.

Cedar Mountain Farm Bed and Breakfast wrote: "Like the reader you quoted, I looked long and hard for a new reservation system (switching from Webervations). At first I thought Reservation Key was too good to be true. Now I know it is all true and totally awesome. I love being able to see the history on a date--that's helped me know just who cancelled, etc. I love the ease of changing the template for the emails.I love the remarkable, fast, personal customer service. I'm hooked."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Preference Setting For New Reservation Alert

It is now possible to set how many days the new reservation alert should search. The new default is to show the number of reservations received over the last two days. Some users noted that by only showing an alert for reservations received "today" they were not being alerted to reservations made late the previous night. With two days always showing, this won't be an issue. For manually entered reservations, the user name of who entered the reservation also now shows.

To change the preference back to just one day, or to remove the alert all together, go to Settings Tab, Preferences.

New Features in Activity Tab

We've added a column to show which user was logged in when an activity is recorded. This will make it easier to track which users are making changes in the system.

The other new feature is the ability to export all the activity log information to a CSV file. Whatever is being viewed on the screen is what will export. All records will export, even if only the first 50 are showing on the screen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More Flexibility Using Themes and Custom Text

An existing property management customer is expanding into the tour business, and is using ReservationKey to manage all his tour bookings. Thanks to being able to set up many different reservation pages in ReservationKey, he can set up a different page for each tour offering.

One such page is for the Rhythms of the Night tour. Using themes, he was able to hide various parts of the page, including the Arrive/Depart info at the top of the summary column.

Here is what it normally looks like:

In Custom Text, he changed the word "Arrive" to "Tour Date" such as is seen here:

We just added two new CSS tags so now display on these two lines can be set individually. By setting "display:none" in #reservationsummary_depart the departure date can be hidden.
#reservationsummary_arrive { }
#reservationsummary_depart {display:none;}

After linking the theme and the custom text set to the Reservation Page, the finished result looks like this:

This is just one nice example of how the system is flexible enough to handle a lot of different reservation needs.

Why Switch to ReservationKey?

Just now, a prospective user emailed me with this question:
" I have webervations right now and am considering a change. What can you tell me that would make me think you are better? Thank you."

My short answer to this question is:
I think big reasons are we have a fuller featured system, a very flexible system (it can be set up in many different ways), good customer service, a growing system (we actually work on it every day and build new features very regularly), and a reasonable price.

Our user's are the ones who say this best though, so in my email back I also included some quotes from a user that I was just yesterday discussing this with.

Here is what CS Tomlinson from Rockies Rentals ( has to say:

"Yes - we investigated over 100 reservation systems, and did full trials on quite a few of them. It was a very frustrating process. And now that we have been using RK for 3+ months, we can confidently say that it kick the a$$ of all the other systems. We are so pleased with the functionality and the service. I really could say enough good things about the software. [and you have my permission to use this as a testimonial - or I can write a more detailed version].

As for QuickBooks, I pull a report at the end of each month that shows me all Room & Other Revenue (Items for Sale, Fees, Taxes, Etc) and enter it as one 'invoice' for month end. And then I can look at detailed reports of our Income and Expenses in Quickbooks. That works for our needs.

I can assure you that Webervations is VERY barebones. We did a test of Webervations - it was useless, in my opinion. As a side note, I did the full trial one year ago. I used it for less than 2 hours before classifying it as 'useless'. Homeaway sent me an invoice for the service last week, and then follow up emails demanding payment in full. I used it for 2 hours, one year ago during a Free Trial. I've never received any correspondence from their company in that entire year. Not even a product update. It's a sneaky business tactic in my opinion.

You have nothing to worry about. That user may have saved a couple bucks a month, but she will spend exponentially more in additional Management Time. People often underestimate what their time is worth. And Webervations is now owned by HomeAway - their customer service leaves a lot to be desired. "

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Color Coding in Activity Availability Search

When reviewing activity results for Availability Search (entries that get recorded when someone searches for availability on a Reservation Page), if the search results in no units available, a red "No Availability" tag appears next to the activity log. If the search was within your cut-off period, an orange "In Cut-Off" tag appears. Also, groups of searches performed by the same IP address are now color coded into blocks. These enhancements should make it much easier to spot trends in the activity results.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

NEW FEATURE: Create Custom Reservation ID Numbers

You can now set which number you want your reservation ID numbers to start from. The numbers are unique to each account, and will only increase as reservations are added to your account. Prior to this, the reservation ID numbers were used system wide and increased sequentially as reservations were added to any user's account. You could use this new feature to reset the numbers each year, or simply to start your own numbering system. Setting up your own ID numbers will not affect previously entered reservations. Those will retain the system ID number.

To set up a custom ID number, go to Settings Tab, Preferences, and scroll down. Example:

Once set, all reservations made through Reservation Pages, internally, or through the mobile site will start with your new sequence.

Example of reservation with custom number:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Added Status Column to Payments by Date Report

The Payments by Date report now has a column to show the Reservation Status. It shows the status colors and description, unless the Print link is used, in which case the description only shows.