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Should I use PIMS?
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French Cricket



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3060
Location: French Pyrénées

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:01 pm    Post subject: Should I use PIMS? Reply with quote

I'd welcome some honest thoughts from people on here about whether I'd benefit from using PIMS or whether it would actually create me more work than I'd save!

Here's the background:

- I've always handled my own bookings, for 2 accommodations;

- from next year I'll just have one on-site property (but it will be flexible, with different sizes/names/prices according to party size). At some point in the year our new off-site cottage will come on line, but all management etc will be done by me;

- I have probably the simplest pricing on the planet - same price all year, 7 nights minimum stay, no discounts, flexible arrival day. So no need for a rate card.

- I send individually written email replies to all enquiries, not a standard template. I use templates at other stages in the booking procedure but they just form a base to which I add personalised bits that are different for every booking.

- all my forms are already integrated into my website.

So the long and short of it is that I'd be using PIMS for the calendar, the To Do list, and the reporting.

Is it worth it for me, or would I spend longer inputting all the info than it could possibly benefit me? What does the team think?
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la vache!



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 11068

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

e-Richard would probably agree that I use the very minimum functionality that PIMS offers to thers. But the fact that the enquiry form is integrated with PIMS means that it is simple to accept bookings and not have to input the booking details myself (except when they come from other sources of course). The details of repeat customers are there on file (I get quite a lot) so that is also useful. I chose it initially to have the calendars on my site and also the pricing - of course my pricing is more complicated than yours.
I find it worth it even though I only use a very small part of it. I've never even got around to look at the stats and reporting, but of course that is all there too....
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French Cricket



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3060
Location: French Pyrénées

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LV, can you explain to a dumbo what you mean when you say that the enquiry form is integrated with PIMS? Embarassed
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la vache!



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 11068

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a dumb question at all FC Wink
The enquiry form on my website is linked to PIMS, it is one of the PIMS forms that you can use. So all the info you ask for when guests enquire is automatically 'there' in your PIMS bookings (name, email address, number of people). You can then send an online booking form with a clever link to your website to get the other info you need.
I've PM'd you...
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7030
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best thing I ever did was integrate PIMS into my website, just as LV is describing. Instead of having to manually enter all the data, 95% of the time, the guests are doing it for me at enquiry stage and 100% at the booking stage. I do have a lot of enquiries that don't come to fruition though, as the dates are booked or other reasons, whereas I know you have a higher conversion rate.

You say you don't do templates, but you could have a basic template that prefills the deposit, balance; all the standard required info and still personalise to your hearts content the rest of the subject matter.

My hunch is that if you're asking, you'll benefit. e-richard lets you try it first too. Don't forget to get a referral code off one of us though if you decide to go for it. Wink


Last edited by Nemo on Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5984
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Play with the free demo version.

I couldn't run our three properties without a decent management system and PIMS fits the bill; I use a lot of its features but I didn't to start with. There is nothing I need to know that isn't within the system, and I don't run the very real risk of copying important guest data incorrectly because it's the guest that enters it.

The biggest pain is if you have bucketloads of historical data you want in the system; there's no straightforward way to upload that, but that's pretty much the case with any system. (Or to put it another way, the sooner you start using a decent management system the better, and choose wisely as you don't want to have to switch to a different one!)

Now I'm off to check my PIMS To Do list to see what's happening in the next week or so. I've already had my automated email from PIMS reminding me what's needed for today and tomorrow.

I can send a balance reminder with a click, or I can personalise it as much as I want. Flexible.
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
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Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only negative that I can think of is that if your guests are filling out a form on your website to enquire, you'll have minimal, if any, information about them to enable you to personalise your response.

I can't see that you would want to have two systems running though; if you're entering guest information, you only want to do that once, in one place. If you want to use the to do list (life saving I'd suggest!) then PIMS needs all the data to create it. Therefore you may as well integrate the PIMS forms and have your guests fill out the data for you.

If I get an enquiry from an outside source, I have to enter data manually, but that is simply the name, email, dates and which property. That's enough to send out the first response. If it gets to the booking stage, then I send out a link to the booking form (hosted on PIMS) and the guests do the rest.
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French Cricket



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: French Pyrénées

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all - and especially LV, who's taken me 'live' through the procedure as a guest would experience it. Very helpful.

I suspect it probably isn't going to be worth it for me. The one thing I definitely don't want to do is to integrate the initial enquiry into a form. Most of my enquiries come as emails, which I like because it's informal and chatty, and that's the style I continue with. (As you say, Nemo, I don't get large numbers of enquiries, and my conversion rate hovers between 95 and 100%, so the bulk of my admin time is spent on booking stuff and general communication with guests). If I used PIMS I'd have to manually insert the data at the point of booking.

And then even if I used the templates as a base for later emails I'd still have to rewrite each one each time - which is what I do now.

So as I thought, it does come down to a calendar, a to do list and the reports. Not really enough to justify it, I don't think.

Thanks again for your input - our 2016 bookings open to past guests on Friday (new guests on 1 September) so it's been good to revisit the idea again at this point.
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Sue Dyer



Joined: 19 Sep 2004
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Location: Belford, Northumberland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can I ask, can the integrated PIMS form be used with PMP and does it depend on what level of PIMS you have to use this. I didn't realise you could do that!
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
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Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Integrated forms come at Gold level. I'm fairly sure PIMS integrates with PMP sites; certainly I've seen the calendar on one and I've assumed the contact form is probably from PIMS too.
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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 1625
Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sue dyer wrote:
Can I ask, can the integrated PIMS form be used with PMP and does it depend on what level of PIMS you have to use this. I didn't realise you could do that!


Great question, I was going to ask the similar myself as my new website is now with PMP it would be great/easier to have my enquiries integrated with PIMS and not via PMP
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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
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Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...love my PIMS Laughing
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
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Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sue dyer wrote:
Can I ask, can the integrated PIMS form be used with PMP

The answer is yes.

But from memory 2 years ago, you need to insert just an ordinary page in PMP, call it contact us or enquiry, but do not use the PMP "enquiries" special page.

You then insert the HTML code given to you by PIMS into a special HTML box in PMP. Do not insert the HTML code into your ordinary text.

Sorry if this explanation is not exactly correct. My PMP trial has expired and its all from memory and hopefully its still the same today or maybe even easier. I sense that PMP have gone from strength to strength - deservedly IMHO.
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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
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Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll try that when I have the moment and let you know if it is possible. Thanks e-R
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems that my PMP test account is still functioning.

Its remarkably easy to insert PIMS code into a PMP page:
When you are editing the text, put your cursor at the point that you want to insert the PIMS form or calendar or whatever and then select the menu point Tools and in the drop down, select Insert HTML snippet. Then simply paste the PIMS code into the pop-up box and save it.
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