Your Website-Bite Sized Winning Strategies (1of10)

Great websites a winning strategy.

10 Bite sized winning strategiesA winning website is a worthwhile investment. Like it or not your customers will form a view about you and your property based on what they see and how they interact with your website.

The first thing a potential customer will do is look for your website, on finding it they form a view about your property and service, you have a winning strategy if the third thing they do is make a booking.

What you need to do to create a winning website ?

  1. It’s now well established that customers select accommodation with their heart first and their head second. So make sure they fall in love with your website, it’s about an emotional connection. This means big impact, great looking photos and engaging text that is short and to the point.
  2. Understand what it is that your customers want and make sure they find it writ large on your home page. For a farm stay, a fabulous rural panorama or some cute animals, a seaside retreat might have a high impact photo of the beach/sea and a party town hotel some nightlife photos – it’s all pretty simple.
  3. OK, you know what they want and you have given it to them, now they want to book. To achieve maximum bookings make it easy to book. Your online booking button must feature prominently on your home page (“above the fold” – no need to scroll down to find it) and on every other page in a very similar position. You will lose bookings if you make it hard to find your booking button.
  4. Keep it simple, engaging, attractive and easy to navigate. Make a point of asking your customers what they think of your website, don’t be precious about the website it’s not for you it’s for your customers.
  5. Regular updates are critical to keep your website fresh and relevant, a handy way to do this is through a blog.
  6. A great website is a winning strategy….. a rubbish one will lose you bookings.

(look out for next weeks bite sized winning strategy “Customer feedback and Reviews”)

Cleaning Report

365.294: VacuumBecause we know that running your own accommodation means having to do a million things at once, at Freetobook we’re always coming up with new innovations to make life easier for you. Our recently added Cleaning Report will help you manage check-ins and check-outs, add notes for cleaners, and print out any requests for today or tomorrow.

You’ll find the Cleaning Report by logging into your Freetobook account and going to the “Diary” Tab then the “Reports” SubTab. Click on the “Cleaning” option and you’ll see this:

cleaning_report_screenshot

Select the fields you want included then click “Generate Report”. Once the report shows you can create a PDF to print for your cleaner (or for yourself!)

You can add notes to any booking by clicking on the booking in the “Diary” Tab. At the bottom of the PopUp you will see “Additional Information.” Click “Modify” to add or edit Requests, Cleaning Notes, Check In/Out times. These notes will then appear on the Cleaning Report when you need them to.

 

Extras get you extras

booking_extrasIn an era of rising costs and tighter margins, it’s more important than ever to add value to your bookings. It make sense to offer paid extras that will enhance your guests’ experience and earn you extra money.

With freetobook you can add extras to your customers’ bills. These can range from charges for pets to bar bills, meals and chocolates – the possibilities are limitless. It’s free format, so you add in the extras and then apply them to a customer’s bill.

How does it work? There are two steps:

Step One: Add your extras into the freetobook system.

Broadly speaking there are two types of extras. The first type can be pre-booked online: these will show to your customer as they book online. The second type is variable expenses consumed during stay.

To create your extras, click on the “Availability” TAB then the “Booking Extras” SubTAB:

booking_extras_screenshot

If the extra is going to be offered online, you can add a description and an image to make it even more attractive. You can also request information relating to the extra. For instance, if the extra is an airport pickup you might ask your customer for their flight details and arrival time.

Where the extra is not booked online, you don’t need to put in descriptions and images but you do need to make the display name clear, as this is what will show on the customer’s bill. You can leave the price blank and complete the amount when you add it to their booking in step two (this is good for bar bills or other variable amounts.)

Step Two: Attach extra or extras to the customer’s bill

If the extra was booked online, it will already be added to the confirmation, as the customer booked it when they booked the accommodation.

Otherwise, to add extras, click on the booking in your “Diary” TAB. You will notice “Extras” just below the yellow box. Click Modify to add, delete and edit extras added to the booking. All extras will now be on the bill. Click “Summary” button at the top of the page to see the extras added. To print, click the “Print” button at the bottom of the summary page.