Hotels usually prefer to have online bookings paid for in advance, even if they have been made long before their arrival date. Guests don't like paying for services not yet provided, especially when said services are to be provided long after payment. The feeling of mild resentment can grow on checkout when often they have to queue for their invoice. What to do?
For bookings made through its integrated web reservation system (WRS), Clock PMS provides the tools to lighten your guests' experience without adding to your workload. Let your guests pay nothing, or just a small amount, upon booking and the rest shortly before they arrive. Then use the automated pre-arrival emails to remind them of the expected payment. To you this will mean a quick change of the guarantee policy of their booking so that the system can inform you of the pending payments. This way everybody's happy: you have the reservation guaranteed and paid; guests don't feel the pressure of having to pay for something too early. As for the invoice, they can download it when they need it.
What you need:
- Guarantee policy A requiring 30% (or other, e.g. none) of the total price upon booking, set to apply to WRS bookings;
- Guarantee policy B requiring 70% (or the rest) of the total price 10 days (or other) before arrival;
- Pre-arrival email which, among other things, reminds your guests of the pending payment of the remaining amount;
- Post-departure email which, among other things, informs your guests of the download options for their hotel invoice;
- Nothing more.
How it works:
- A client books online. Depending on the conditions you have set in guarantee policy A, they pay an initial guarantee deposit for their booking.
- Automatically, they receive a confirmation e-mail with a link and login credentials for the Self Service portal, where they can pay their guarantee online.
- The system automatically generates a To-Do task to inform you of the booking.
- You open the booking, change its guarantee policy from A to B, and save it. You may also want to delete the To-Do task so you know you've finished with it.
- Now the system knows there is another pending guarantee payment for the booking, the one defined in guarantee policy B.
- At the set time, Clock PMS automatically sends pre-arrival emails to all bookings and guests are reminded they have to pay for their booking.
- As part of your daily routine, you run the Bookings Awaiting Guarantee report to check the status of pending and overdue guarantee payments and take the measures needed for late payments: contact guests, cancel bookings or whatever else your policy may be.
This is how the pre-arrival e-mail serves as a booking payment reminder. Conveniently, guests don't need to add yet another due date to their busy schedule. Safely, you are assured that you will never overlook a missing payment.
When they check out, guests are usually issued an invoice for their payment at the hotel. For greater efficiency, some hotels e-mail these invoices and speed up the check-out process. With Clock PMS you can save not just time, but effort, too. You don't even have to send out invoices. Guests can download them themselves from the Self service portal they used earlier to pay their guarantee. The automated post-departure email informs them of that.
This procedure can also be used for other online bookings and for telephone bookings. For them you don't even need guarantee policy A. Just set guarantee policy B in their details and go on as before.
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