To make sure you're getting the most of your Collins software, please make sure you've read through the following tips…
#1: Always make sure that your 'In Progress' bookings have action labels on them. This is the crux of helping you convert provisional bookings and can save you so much time by instantly seeing what stage the booking is at. If your booking actions are out of date and you'd like to change them, here's how: Adding/Editing Booking Labels
In your main enquiries page, if you scroll down through your left hand control panel, there is a 'Booking Labels' section. This will give you an overview of how many bookings are tagged with each action label.
#2: Along with labelling your Enquiries, you can also set Follow Ups for yourself - Here's how you can set a reminder for yourself
i.e. if you’re awaiting a deposit from a customer, you can create a label called ‘Awaiting Deposit’ which you can label the enquiry with. Then set a ‘Follow-up’ for a future date. On that day in your Enquiries page > check your Notification Centre > Follow-Up Required > here will lie a list of your Reminders for that day, treat it like your ‘To-do list’.
#3: Always assign a confirmed booking to a table. By assigning a booking to a table as soon as you confirm it with the customer, this will save you from double booking areas and forgetting about customers. How to do this when in the booking details page: Assigning a Table/Area to a Booking
If you regularly book out a group of tables as an ‘Area’ you can set up the Area as a Zone in your Admin - Adding/Editing Zones.
If you have not assigned a confirmed booking into a Table, when in your Diary view, these bookings will lie in the ‘Unassigned’ row. From here, you can nice and simply drag and drop your bookings into the required table.#4: When taking Enquiries/Bookings manually, you must always take either an email address or phone number or you won't be able to save. We always recommend taking at least an email address as this will create a Profile for the Customer whereby you can make notes, add labels i.e. VIP, Regular, No Show etc. It will also show if they have made any past or future bookings at your venue. This helps provide a little snapshot of the customer for your reservations team. This profile can only be created with an email address present. You can also then send confirmation emails through the system, so that you have a record of the booking being confirmed/cancelled etc within Collins.
#5: Don't forget to send a confirmation email when the booking is confirmed. If you don’t have automatic confirmation set up, confirming a booking within the system will NOT send an email to the customer unless you have specifically set it to do so - Here's how to automate your Confirmation emails for Enquiries
If you don’t set your system up to send automatic confirmation emails when you ‘Confirm’ an enquiry in the system, ALWAYS remember to send a confirmation email via the 'Messages' tab when in the booking.
#6: If you are sending emails manually through the system, you can create Templates and add Menus, pictures, leaflets etc to your system. When you create an email (Messages > Compose Email) you will have two fields with drop down boxes containing all your ‘Attachments’ and ‘Pre-defined messages’ so you can easily attach/insert into the body of the email. Pre-defined Messages can be any templates of text that you regularly copy & paste into emails i.e. Terms and Conditions, Confirmed Message, Fully Booked Message etc
#7: Keeping an eye on your Notification centre and keep it up to date - Clearing old Notifications.
If you have Auto-confirm set up (Real-Time bookings), do make sure to regularly check your Notification Centre for 'Auto-confirmed Notes'. These are any notes that the customer wrote in the Special Requests box at the time of booking.
Remember, once seen/actioned, you can clear your notifications with our mass notification clear button. On the left side of your Enquiry List there are tick boxes, simply tick the bookings you wish to clear the notifications from and then click on the CLEAR NOTIFICATIONS button at the top of the page. Simples!
#8: Use your 'Find a Customer' tool. Has the customer booked with you before? When adding a new enquiry, if you put their name/email address or phone number in the 'Find a Customer' field, Collins will bring up any records matching the search and if you then select it, it will generate their details for you, making it super fast to add their booking in!
The system will also display a ‘Profile’ about the customer; any customer labels, DOB, any comments about the customer i.e. No show/Previous complaint/Likes Table 2, and if they have any past or future bookings this will display at the bottom of the profile.
#9: Card Authentication - instead of taking deposits which you may then need to redeem on the day/night. You can authenticate a customers card and keep the details in Stripe so that if they don’t turn up for the booking/violate the terms and conditions then you can claim the required amount from the card. This is a functionality that comes with the system, ready for you to use. Here is some more information on Card Authentication
For Auto-confirmed (Real-Time booking) you can also Authenticate the customer's card before they book to be able to bill them for no show or late cancellation - Here is a guide on how to set this up.
#10: To see a list of your Bookings for that day, you can print off two types of Runsheets from your Diary and Runsheet pages > Download/Print. If you are entering runsheet notes, pre-orders and payments on bookings regularly then you’ll need to print off your Customised Runsheet - this then gives you tick box options of all the details you can see on this.
If you don’t need to see much information and simply want to print off a nice short list of bookings in order of Arrival Time, download your ‘Short Runsheet’.
And, if you have a Guestlist Booking Type you can print off a Guestlist Runsheet. - this will include any Guestlist names requested and runsheet notes.
Remember, the more of these top tips that you can start to integrate into your working processes the more efficient the system can be for you!
IMPORTANT: Something not looking right? Think it might be a bug? Please use our 'Report an Issue' button, located at the bottom right side of every page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org This will instantly go to our support team who will be able to take a look at it straight away.