Here is how you take a reservation over the phone, step by step:
Step 1: Create the bill/reservation
Step 2: Add the guest to the bill
Step 3: Add reservation notes
Step 4: Record a payment
Step 5: Email the guest
Start with the Reservation Calendar. Use the scroll bar at the bottom of the calendar to view a date within a three-month range. Research shows most phone reservations are made within this timeframe. You may also use the Jump To Date buttons in the top left of the Reservation Calendar.
Clicking the Calendar icon allows you to go beyond a date that you can currently see on your calendar. The Today button will take you back to today's date on the calendar.
Navigate to the time period that your prospective guest is interested in staying. Using the reservation calendar, you can let the caller know which rooms are available for the dates they are interested in.
Let's assume that the caller is interested in pricing. Choose the Rate Type that the prospective guest would qualify for from the Show Rates drop-down. Click on the View drop-down and select Show Rates. You'll now see pricing is visible on all open dates in the calendar. This feature is especially valuable if you employ any yield management strategies resulting in frequently fluctuating prices.
After you make your selection on the calendar, a grand total with tax will be displayed above the calendar on the right, so you can properly quote your prospective guest.
Once your caller is ready to make the reservation, select the dates on the calendar for the room(s) they wish to book and click the New button . At this point, the reservation has been made and the bill is displayed. No one else will be able to book this room.
The next step is to review the bill. If the guest would like to add any items, click the ADD ITEM button. Select from the drop-down, adjust the date, amount, and price, if needed and click Save.
If the guest is bringing a pet or extra guest, edit the room to update the reservation. Click the small triangle to the right the Check in button . Make any changes, and click Save Room when done. Any changes to the room that affect the price will be updated.
After reviewing the bill with any changes that you have made, you can record the guest's information.
Related ► Add a Discount to your reservation
On the left, type the guest's name in the Name field. As you type, a list of existing customers and guests will appear, filtered to match what you're typing.
- If there is a match, verify that it is the same guest. Click on the matching guest entry and the details will populate the bill form. If you need to make any edits, click on the View link to open the guest file. Edit as needed and click Save. Then select the reservation you were working on from the list to return to the bill.
- If the guest information is not in the system, click Add New Customer. A new form will appear allowing you to create a guest account. Fill in the information you require. The Notes section shown here is for private guest notes. Those notes live with the guest and will be visible in the reservation every time they stay with you. Click Save at the bottom when done.
- Special Accommodations
- Dietary Restrictions
- Additional Guest Names
- Arrival Time
- Tax Exempt Status
You may have custom fields to fill out such as:
- Housekeeping Notes
- How did you hear about us?
- Reason for stay?
- Dinner reservations
Note that here there is no Save button. While you type, the system will automatically save after every keystroke. ("Paste" does not count as a keystroke.)
If you collect information that you would like to stay with the guest/customer, enter those notes in the guest file by clicking View right above the guest name. This will open their file and allow you to add Notes.
The next step is to retain a credit card. To do so, use the Retain a credit card widget at the bottom of the page. Enter the credit card number, expiration date, CVV and billing ZIP. Click on Add Credit Card when done. The page will automatically refresh and the widget will be replaced with a message indicating that the credit card is retained.
If you need to take a deposit for this reservation, click the Take Deposit button in the Payments section. This button is designed to calculate the deposit for this reservation based on the Rate Type used. You'll notice that the payment type "Credit Card" is automatically populated in the new payment entry. This payment type allows you to electronically charge the guest's credit card. The name and last four digits of the credit card you just entered are shown. Verify that the amount automatically populated in the Amount field is accurate and then click Save.
Related: Credit Card Payments
The last step is to send the guest a confirmation email. Please note that confirmation emails are sent automatically only if the reservation is booked online. Since you are creating the reservation, you will need to send it manually. Doing so is easy: In the bottom left of the reservation, choose "Confirmation Email" from the list of available email templates, and click Send. You will notice that once the email goes out, the date and the template name will be displayed directly below. Every time an email is sent from a reservation, manually or automatically, you'll see a record of the template name and date here for easy reference.
If you wish to edit or customize the email before it goes out to the guest, click the green Customize button. In the email preview that is then displayed, you can edit the following items:
- recipient's email address, including adding additional addresses separated by a comma
- subject of the email
- body of the email
On the reservation calendar, you will notice that the reservation now exists for the day(s) and room(s) that you booked. The color of the reservation indicates the payment status.