I would much rather delegates and their companies booked directly with us for their courses
, as it ensures that we get to speak to people ahead of time who know what they need to learn. And I would much rather that potential hotel guests took a look at our web site, and decided whether to book based on what they see there
, and any questions that they phone or email to ask. We have niche/quirky products - some customers love us, but what we offer simply isn't right for others.
Intermediates are often frustrating, because they take substantially more time to handle and process as they pass questions back and forth, and they're often doing no more than following a "Book Well House" instruction from a client who's company policy is "all training from X" or "all hotels from Y", so X and Y simply subcontract. And in the process they insist on charging us a percentage, and/or they charge the company they're booking for a fee. Commission.
We've just had what is, I suspect, our largest ever commission bill from an intermediate booking company, and for once I'm celebrating. And that's because this one is different - the intermediate company has done what it's supposed to, and brought customers who wouldn't have come through our doors otherwise into Well House Manor
, and it's fair that they get their fees - even though a higher percentage than we're used to - in this case.
We don't want many empty rooms. We don't want to turn people away - especially regulars or course delegates from rooms. And that gives us a small problem, because the two things we want naturally work against each other. Solution? Fill the gap that can't be easily bridged between the two requirements with another product. Thus - the decision to offer some
of our accommodation on LateRooms
Laterooms provides an easy interface through which we can advertise remaining space a few days ahead. We're using different booking terms - you'll need to pay when you book, and you'll probably need to stay for at least two nights, and the booking can't be cancelled for example. Customers won't be regulars - they'll be people who find us through the Late Rooms consolidation service, and they may not have heard of Melksham before - they may be here simply because we're a convenient touring base. There will be/often is additional availability
on our own web site - you can see that at the Well House Manor web site
. We don't offer rooms on Late Rooms until it's - err later in the booking window, and we'll always accept single night bookings direct on a "first come, first served" basis - that's our core business.
Am I worried about existing customers booking though LateRooms? Not really... corporate customers rely on being able to book fairly well ahead and occasionally amend their bookings. Many existing leisure guests want to just stay the one night. If the different product is the right different product for some of these groups - for example if they decide to stay on Friday or Sunday night as well as Saturday, that's good alternative business.
You won't find our rooms offered through any other consolidated booking sites. With our own booking plus LateRooms, we're currently near-full for the earlier part of each week, and for Saturday night, and we want to be able to offer our regular customers - our ambassadors - the reassurance of being able to get in. (written 2013-06-23, updated 2013-06-29)
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articlesM102 - Well House Manor - booking system 
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Online hotel reservations - Melksham, Wiltshire (near Bath) - (2008-02-24) 
Hotel Guest Surveys - (2008-09-28) 
Melksham Hotel Rates - (2008-11-25) 
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Easy pricing, quick and easy checkout - (2013-01-15) 
Should a hotel accept guests who book for just one night? - (2013-07-11) 
Getting the best hotel rates - customer and hotelier viewpoints - (2013-07-27) 
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Dangerous Dogs and Hotel Marketing - (2007-05-19) 
Advanced Python, Perl, PHP and Tcl training courses / classes - (2008-02-25) 
Kiss and Book - (2008-05-07) 
July to December 2008 - Open Source training schedule - (2008-07-01) 
Training Passports - booking a training program - (2008-12-09) 
First courses for 2010 - (2009-07-10) 
Printed Directories - the start of the updating season - (2009-08-12) 
Public Open Source Training Courses running this summer and autumn in Melksham - (2010-04-27) 
Age limits for Well House Consultants Open Source courses? - (2011-02-22) 
Visa, MasterCard and American Express - changing payment profiles - (2012-02-01) 
Training course and hotel room prices - 2016 - (2015-12-31)
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