Taking a booking request
Bookalet provides a high degree of flexibility to allow you to customise your setup to either take an booking in real time or to take a simple booking request. In this article we will look at how bookalet is configured to take a booking request and then the process that is followed to manage that booking request once made.When set up, bookalet will provide your website with an Availability Calendar and Booking Request form that blocks out the customer's required dates but subsequently requires your agreement prior to the booking being confirmed. This can also be combined with an online payment option with the use of Stripe, PayPal or other payment gateways.
Start by logging into your account and clicking on the “Administration” tab on the left hand navigation panel and then click “Publish widgets”. Then navigate to the “Calendar and booking form” section.
First you need to decide whether you are publishing a single property form or multiple properties by checking the appropriate radio button. You will also need to decide how many months of the calendar you wish to display. You can check what your form will look like on your website by clicking on the “Preview” button. When you’re happy, simply copy the line of code generated and add it to your own website. If you don’t look after the website yourself, it’s a really easy job for your web designer and will only take a few minutes. When anybody visits your site, an Availability Calendar and Booking Request form will appear. It will look something like this:
The holidaymaker then selects the date on which the holiday is to start, chooses the length of the holiday and then clicks the “Continue” button.
The guest will then fill in information regarding any optional extras they require along with details about themselves, before finally agreeing to your terms and conditions. They will then see this page on your website:
The Booking Request has now been made, the Availability Calendar has been updated and an email sent to both you and the holidaymaker.
When a holidaymaker makes a booking request using the bookalet system, a series of emails are generated. The notification email that bookalet sends to the property owner is shown below:
The notification email that bookalet sends to the holidaymaker is shown below:
The default setup for bookalet is for you, the home owner, to approve any booking before they become confirmed bookings.
Consequently, the next step is for you to review the Booking Request and either approve it or reject it.
Log into your bookalet account and then click “Bookings” in the left hand navigation panel. You will then be presented with a page displaying all your Active bookings:
To review the full details of a particular booking, click anywhere on the line of the booking. In this case, we are interested in booking ref 19/07/202 made by Guest Test. Clicking on this takes one through to the Booking Detail page shown below:
You can now use the “Manage Booking” box on the right hand side to either “Send a booking confirmation” or “Reject booking request”. This time we will accept the Booking Request which generates an email or word document which is subsequently sent to the holidaymaker:
The email details how payment of the deposit (and balance if due) should be made. In this case, the bookalet system has been set to allow payment by cheque or by PayPal/Credit Card.
When the holidaymaker clicks on the link “online facility” in the email, they are directed to the following page:
You can set the different payment types you are willing to accept in the Administration panel by clicking “Payment methods”. In this example, payment is to be made via Barclays ePDQ, Stripe or bank Transfer. When the holidaymaker, clicks the “Pay Now” button in the Barclays ePDQ section, they are directed to the following page:
They can then pay using a credit/debit card.
Once payment has been made, a notification email is sent from Barclays to the property owner and to the holidaymaker with details of the payment.
Furthermore, the booklet system also sends an automated email informing the property owner of the payment:
Instead of giving the holidaymaker the option to pay by credit card/PayPal, you may have chosen just to accept payment by cheque or bank transfer. If this were the case, you would have needed to record the payment in the system once you have been satisfied the funds had been transferred to your account.
bookalet also sends the holidaymaker an email thanking them for their booking and informing them of payment receipt. If required, you may also attach a word document or .pdf file to this email giving directions and holiday information to the holidaymaker. The email is detailed below:
The bookalet system automatically updates the booking status and changes the details in the Booking Details page. It also records all the booking payments and history associated with the booking:
Hopefully, this has given you a brief overview of how to add an Availability Calendar and Booking Form to you website and how bookalet helps you manage the whole booking process.
In "Taking an online booking" we will explore how to take real time bookings and payments.