Thursday, 29 December 2011

Automatic ReConfirmation Now Available

Do you have guests arrive too early because they forgot the check-in time in the original confirmation or maybe people telephone or email you to re-confirm their booking because they booked months in advance.

Guest Guardian has a new feature of "re-confirmation" to help you manage them. It works like this:-

You can now add a parameter to the system called "RECO", short for re-confirmation and it looks like this:-

RECO 30 days 7 days

30 days refers to how far in advance the arrival day is for reconfirmation, so with the above anyone who books a room with an arrival date of more than 30 days away will get a reconfirmation nearer the time.

The "7 days" refers to how many days before the arrival date the re-confirmation email is sent. For example:-

Suppose a booking is made today for a 3 night stay from 18th August. As 18th August is more than 30 days away this booking will be reconfirmed nearer the time. In fact the re-confirmation is sent 7 days before 18th August (i.e. 11th August).

All reconfirmations are sent manually and the text of the reconfirmation can be anything a business requires. On the day the email is to be sent (eg. 11th August in the example above) a reminder will appear on the "Requiring Your Attention" list of the Guest Guardian Today page as shown.

Note1: Reconfirmation reminders are only created at Booking Confirmation time, so if RECO is added to the system parameters any bookings from that day onwards will be processed by "Reconfirmations", however any bookings already in the system as confirmed will not receive reconfirmation reminders.

Note2: Reconfirmation can be switched off by deleting the RECO prameter or setting to "NO". Any bookings already in the system and confirmed will still have reconfirmation reminders appear on the appropriate day.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Version 1.2 Of Guest Guardian is released

GuestGuardian has been upgraded to version 1.2.

This version has the following changes:


No Deposits:

It is now possible to use GG as an online booking system without taking deposits. GG will accept bookings and mark them as "Confirmed", but the guest confirmation will not be sent even if Autoconfirmation is set on. The business needs to manually send confirmation.

To switch off deposits, in the Params set the deposit control parameter DEPO to NO


Special Events: 

It is now possible to mark days in the calendar as special events. The particular days will appear in the required colour along the top of the calendar. Bookings will not be affected, nor will pricing. Up to 99 events can be created.

To set a sepcial event create an EVnn parameter in the format:-

EVnn 2011-10-30 2011-10-31 339933 Halloween
          startdate     enddate     colour   Title

The above entry would look like this:-


Availability Calendar Colours

It is now possible to set the colours used in the availability calendar to whatever you like. This is only for bookings through the website interface, not business entered bookings through GG. This helps make the bookings screens look more like the business website. 

Define the colours using the CACO parameter as:

CACO D1E3F8 800000
             available booked
The available colour is also the background colour. 

Occupancy Checks

It is possible for someone to enter a booking where the size of party on the booking details does not match the size/occupancy rate of the room or rooms booked. 

GG will now display a message on the "Requiring Your Attention" list when this happens and it will stay there until the confirmation has been sent. 

If Autoconfirmation is switched ON this will be overriden and the confirmation will need to be sent manualy. 

Monday, 12 September 2011

Refunds Issued in PayPal Now Automatically Processed

Guest Guardian will now be notified by PayPal should a refund be issued for a guest payment. The refund will be shown on the Guest Details page in the "Booking" section, as shown below.

Refund Shown in the Booking section of the Guest details page.

It will also appear in the Audit section of the booking.

However Guest Guardian will not change the status of the booking, that must be done manually, for example if the booking is being cancelled. GG records the refund to ensure that account statistics are correct.

An entry will appear in the "Requiring Your Attention" section of the "TODAY" screen indicating that a refund has been sent and that the status of the booking should be checked.

The process for cancelling a booking and refunding a deposit is therefore.

1) Log onto PayPal, find the relevant deposit payment and issue the refund.

2) Log onto GG and cancel the booking.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Extra Checking On AutoConfirmation

Previously when a deposit notification was received from PayPal, if the AutoConfirm flag was anything but NO the confirmation email was sent to the guest.

This processing has been changed so that if the party size does not match the occupancy levels of the rooms booked autoconfirmation will be stopped and a message added to the "Requiring Your Attention" list on the "Today" screen.

For example if 1 person books a double or twin room. Or a family of 3 (two adults and 1 child) books a double or twin. The purpose of this change is to allow the business owner to check the booking and add extra charges if necessary (such as single occupancy surcharge) before the confirmation email is sent.

If autoConfirmation is OFF then the message shown below for "Amy Pond" will be displayed.

If AutoConfirmation is ON then the Paulo West message is displayed.

In the audit trail for the guest a message is logged showing the exact reason that the confirmation was stopped.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Cut/Paste Option For Guest Details

Sometimes a previous guest will telephone and wants to make a new booking, or someone who is currently staying wants to book a room for a return visit. A new "Paste" option has been created to easily copy guest details to the new booking.

To use this facility first you need to display an existing booking, GuestGuardian will remember the last guest booking you looked at. From here click the "New Booking" option and select the date/room as usual.

When you get to the guest details screen, click the new "Paste" button, as shown below.

The guest name, telephone number and email address will be automatically completed for you, from the previous booking.

You can then complete the booking as normal.

The final guest booking will also have the secondary email address and postal address completed from the original booking if they are available.

Making it much simpler to create new bookings for previous guests.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Entering Bookings Manually Is Now Even Faster

A new Icon has been added to the "accepted booking" screen to allow a jump straight to the deposit payment screen, and from deposit payment through to "Send Confirmation".

This makes it even easier for the business owner to enter a booking taken over the phone or by email as it saves keep going back to the guest details screen for the next function.

The simpler  screen flow is now this:

Enter the booking details as before:--

When the "accepted Booking" page is shown click the new "Deposit Paid" icon:--

You can then add the deposit details as before:----

but on the deposit paid screen there is now a "Send Confirmation" icon:

This takes you through to the send confirmation process.

Send the confirmation as before.

And there it is all done. Much quicker and simpler than before.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Allow Final Balances to be paid via PayPal

A new GuestGuard feature has been implemented to allow guests to pay their final bill using credit/debit cards via PayPal.

There are two ways to access the screen:-

1) On the "Show Guest Details" screen in the booking box there is a "Pay Balance" button, next to the Total Outstanding.

"Pay Balance" now appears next to the outstanding balance.

2) Via a direct link using the roomcode= parameter, as below
The roomcode parameter allow a B&B to set up links on their own PC (for example in Bookmarks) so that guest bills can be accessed directly without the need for logging on to GuestGuard.

When the roomcode parameter is used the bill of the person currently occupying that room will be displayed. A person is considered to occupy a room from 1pm on arrival day to 1pm on departure day, this allows this link to be used during the morning of departure.

The Balance Payment screen is shown below, the top of the screen is displayed as per set parameters, the same as the deposit payment screens.

Roomcodes for your business can be found under controls>>>Update rooms

All PayPal outstanding balances paid using this method will automatically be deducted from the guest bill once payment completion notification is sent from PayPal and a notification of this payment will appear in the "Items Requiring Attention" box of the Today screen. PayPal fees for the transaction will be recorded and both the amount and the fees will appear on the control>>reports>>Income Report

The "Check-out" process will still need to be completed, although the amount will be zero.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Automatic Recording Of PayPal Fees

GuestGuard now automatically records all PayPal fees for GuestGuard processed payments.

The fees appear on the monthly income report against each transaction and totalled in the summaries at the bottom.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Delay Items "Requiring Your Attention"

Sometimes items that appear on the "Requiring Your Attention" list of the "Today" page cannot be actioned immediately but the fact that they still keep appearing on the list can be a nuisance.

For Example: A guest is planning a holiday and asks you to hold a room for them for three days so they can finalise their plans after which they will pay their deposit. By entering the booking into GuestGuard the appropriate days/rooms are shown as "pending" in the online calendar stopping other bookings.  However the "Awaiting Deposit Payment" reminder constantly appears in the "Requiring Your Attention". 

The new "Delay" facility, accessed by clicking the small clock icon in the delay column allows the Action Date of that particular item to be set to some date in the future.

The effect is the reminder will disappear from the list until the new action date is reached.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Guest Registration Cards - Pre-Printed

GuestGuard has a new feature which will pre-print Guest registration cards with names and addresses ready for arrivals.

All the guest then needs to do is check the details, fill in their car details and sign, speeding up check-in.

Just click the "Print Reg. Cards" icon and all the cards are generated for that day in PDF format ready for printing onto 6" x 4" index cards.

Example cards are given below. In addition, for a small fee guest registration card printing can be formatted to any layout required by the business.

GuestGuard Blog

This blog is now available from the GuestGuest menu bar, as the far right icon.

The "Audit" option has been removed from this bar and is now available on the controls/reports screen.

"One Click Processing" has been added

A new icon has been added to the "Today" page "Requiring Your Attention" box.

Previously to action a change it was necessary to click the Guests name to display the guest page and then click the correct icon to action the task.

The one click icon allows the required page to be reached directly by simply clicking the icon next to the appropriate guest.

Much simpler and quicker.

GuestGuard - Looking after the admin while you look after the guests

Welcome To the GuestGuard Blog.

GuestGuard is the product of a 2 year development project to design and build the best guest management system for B&Bs, Guest Houses and small hotels. The problem with many guest management systems is that they are developed by IT people with no tourism industry experience and aimed at large hotels for maximum financial return.

GuestGuard is different because it was developed by someone with 20 years experience in commercial IT working for some of the biggest companies in the UK, IBM, Cap Gemini, Tesco, but who has run one of the top B&Bs in the Highlands Of Scotland for the past 7 years, Pottery House Loch Ness.  

With many guest management systems the user knows the tasks they need to perform each day and then have to find their way round the system screens to accomplish this. GuestGuard was designed from the outset using the "Work Flow" principle, put simply the system keeps track of all the tasks that need doing each day and has one simple front page which lists all these tasks with easy access to the relevant screens.

GuestGuard allows the small business to:

  • Accept online bookings including deposit payments through an existing website
  • One click processing for all day to day tasks
  • Produce professional looking bills for guest check-out
  • Easily keep track of all income with monthly reports for audit/accounting
  • Audit trail of all activities and 3 level security with multiple user ids

Keep up to date with current changes on GuestGuard here,