Taking a reservation over the phone is easy! You likely will be able to give the customer an indication of what your availability is, create the reservation, take the customer's information, record a deposit if needed, and send the confirmation email all while the customer is on the phone.
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 buttons below the "Jump To Date" heading in the top left of the Calendar.
Clicking the Calendar icon allows you to go beyond a date that you can currently see in your Calendar. Use the scroll bar at the bottom if you need to. The TODAY button will take you back to today on the Calendar.
Navigate to the time that your prospective guest is interested in staying. Using the Calendar Matrix, you can let the caller know what rooms are available for the dates that 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 and use the View button at the top of the Calendar to Show Rates. This is an important feature, especially if you employ any yield management strategies where your prices could change often. In that case, your front desk staff would not be able to memorize the prices.
After you make your selection on the Calendar, a total with tax will show on the top right of so you can accurately quote your prospective guest.
Once your caller is ready to make the reservation, select the dates they want to stay for the room(s) they wish to book, and click New. If you have accidentally selected the wrong dates, click Clear instead and start over. After clicking New, the reservation has been made, and the bill is displayed. No one else can book this room.
The next step is to review the bill. If the guest would like to add any items, click the ADD button.
If the guest is bringing a pet or extra guest, edit the room to update the reservation. Click the Edit button on the right of the booking.
Update the room, and click Update 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 customer's information.
Related ► Add a Discount to your reservation
On the left, click the plus sign icon to add a guest to the reservation. In the Find Customer modal, type the guest's name in into the search bar. As you type, a list of existing customers is displayed that match the provided name. If the customer does not show up, you can click Create New Customer... right below the name. If there is a match, verify that it is the same guest. If you can verify that the customer is a match, double click the name of the customer, and it will be applied to the bill. If the customer information is not in the system, click Create New Customer... to prompt a customer entry form. Enter the guest's information. Note that the notes section is for private guest notes. Those notes live with the customer every time they stay. Create the customer at the bottom when done.
Next, you can type reservation specific notes:
- Special accommodations
- Dietary restrictions
- Additional guest names
- Check in time
- Tax exempt status
Also, you may have custom fields to fill out, such as:
- Housekeeping Notes
- How did you hear about us?
- Reason for stay?
- Dinner reservations
Related ► Creating Custom Fields (Bill Attributes)
Note that here there is no save button when entering in these notes. It will automatically save after every keystroke. ("Paste" does not count as a keystroke.)
If you have notes that you would like to live with the guest/customer, enter those notes with the guest's information.
The next step is to retain a credit card for the customer. To do so, click the Add Credit Card button on the right side of the page under RESERVATION CREDIT CARDS. Enter the credit card number with no spaces or dashes. Enter the expiration date, CVV and billing ZIP. Check the "Assign to Customer" box if necessary. Click on Add Card when done. The page will automatically refresh. You can tell that the credit card is retained because the card type, last four digits of the card on file, and the card holder name are displayed on the page.
If you need to take a deposit for this guest, click the Payment button in the Payments section. The PAYMENT TYPE box will default to Credit Card. This payment type will electronically charge the customer's credit card. You will notice that the last four digits of the customer's credit card entered are shown. Edit the amount to charge the guest if necessary and click Take Payment.
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 guest has booked reservation online. Since you are creating the reservation, you will need to send it. Doing so is easy: click the email icon on the top right of the reservation. Choose the appropriate email template from the list ("Confirmation Email" will be selected by default). Make edits to the email body if necessary; you can edit the following items:
- Recipient's address, including adding additional addresses separated by a comma
- The subject of the email
- The main body of the email
When you are ready, click the Send button at the bottom to send the customized email to your guest! A history of all emails sent is tracked in the History tab at the top of that reservation.
On the Reservation Calendar, you will notice that the reservation exists for the day(s) and room(s) that you booked. The color of the reservation indicates payment status.