Testing and Troubleshooting your Calendars and Booking Journey
This article is intended to provide a handy guide to testing and troubleshooting various parts of the SuperControl account set-up. You can use it to check that your guest booking journey is as you expect it to be from start to finish, before you have your final account Health Check (if you re Onboarding) and put the SuperControl calendars on your website. You can Test and Preview the Guest-facing calendars, prior to embedding them on your own website. From the calendar preview, you can then follow the entire guest booking journey, and place a Test booking. You can then manage your Test Booking to ensure that you have set-up any automated emails correctly, and that you are comfortable with managing Website bookings from start to finish.
A. Previewing your Calendars and Pricing
- Create your Calendar Key, following these Instructions until the end of Step 5.
- You can now click 'Preview' next to your newly saved calendar.
- You will now be able to see a preview of the calendar you have just created. This is what will eventually be embedded onto your website. You can preview the various types of calendar (individual, grouped, mobile) and then select a span of dates you are interested in.
In the example below, the dates selected have the correct weekly price showing, and we can also see that a discount has been set-up to apply automatically. If this was what was intended, then you can proceed to click 'Book Now'. If not, return to the Price Planner and edit the price band spanning these dates or amend/remove the discount in the 'Discounts' tab of the property.
Troubleshooting Pricing & Availability- If you choose a start date and a short break duration (or a stay of longer than 7 nights) and there is a price missing, you may get the message shown below. This message means that you have allowed this length of stay within the Short Break Band covering these dates, but have not entered the Price for that Short Break in the corresponding Price Band. In the example below, a 4 night Weekend Price is missing.
- You should therefore return to the Price Planner for the Property, click on the Blue Price Band covering those dates, and add the missing price(s). In the screenshot below, the red arrow is pointing to the missing price.
- Note that you should normally still include, for example, a 1 night price, even if you don't offer 1 night says. a single night won't be bookable if you configure your short break bands with a higher minimum nights stay, but it is still needed if you wish to offer stays of longer than 7 nights, since the system uses the weekly price + short break price to quote for longer stays. Thus, a 1 night price is required to quote a price for an 8 night stay.
The instructions below apply for properties that have been set-up on a 'Book Now' basis. If your enquiry is set-up as an 'Enquire Now' property instead, follow these instructions in your Calendar Preview instead, clicking on the 'Enquire Now' button in your Calendar preview.
B. Placing a Test Booking
1. Using the Calendar Preview, you can now go ahead and place a test booking, as if you were a guest.
To do this, choose a start date in your previewed calendars, your number of guests (checking that the combinations of Adults and Children you could select are as expected), and click 'Book Now'.
2. You will then be directed through to the Booking Cart. Here you should see the correct price for the stay, less any applicable discounts, as well as the correct booking options you have set-up for that property and time period.
In the example below you can see two Booking Extras, a Dog Fee, that the guest can choose for an additional charge, as well as an 'Electric Car' option, which is not chargeable. The discount that has been set-up to apply automatically also shows here.
Troubleshooting Booking extras- If you do not see a Booking Extra option, make sure that 'Show on Website' is ticked next to that Extra in Properties- Booking Extras- Edit, and for the option that should appear, but isn't, check the areas indicated by the RED ARROWS below. Each of these can be the cause of a booking extra not appearing for a particular span of dates.
If these are correct, but the expected option still doesn't appear, also check that you have added a Maximum Quantity and Price (if applicable) for the extra within the 'Booking Extras' Tab of the individual property. In the example of the 'Firewood' option, this had been correctly set-up as an Extra, but no quantity was present (indicated below by the RED ARROW) in the Booking Extras Tab for this property, which is why it did not appear when making the test booking. The Electric car had a quantity but no price, so appeared as a non-chargeable extra, and the Dog Fee has both a quantity and a price, so appears as a chargeable option.
If an extra should add automatically, a quantity to add automatically should also be entered in the 'Default' column. To save any amendments, click the 'Floppy Disk' icon to the far right of the amended option.
The Booking Form
3. Pressing the 'Place Booking' button on the Booking Cart, will take you through to the Booking Form.
Here, you can fill in the mandatory details required to place a booking, and check that any custom Booking Form Questions appear correctly. You also are required to assent to your Terms & Conditions before a booking can be placed.
4. Once you have filled in your Booking form's required fields, you can now place the Booking. Choose a Payment Method such as 'Bank Transfer' in order to place the booking without having to make a real card transaction.
Troubleshooting Booking Form Questions- If your custom booking form questions aren't appearing, go to Properties- Booking & Enquiry Form Fields. The screenshot below shows (highlighted) what you should see for a question to appear correctly on your Booking Form. It must be set to show on either the Booking Form or both the Booking and Enquiry forms, it must be set to 'Show to Customers', it must be set to 'Show on Site' and must not be an Archived Field. If any of these is not the case, just click 'Edit' to the right of that option and amend accordingly, then Save.
Troubleshooting Payment Options- At the bottom of the Booking Form pop-up you will be able to choose between various Payment Options.
- If you have a Payment Processor integrated, you should see Visa/MasterCard as options. If you do not see these, but have integrated with a Payment Processor, go to Admin- General Details, and see if you are able to tick 'Visa' and 'MasterCard' in both the first column and in the 'Show to Public' column. If you cannot do this, and the boxes appear greyed-out, then your payment processor integration is not yet finalised.
- On this page, you can also select any other payment options you wish to appear on your Booking Form, such as 'Bank Transfer' or 'Cheque' by ticking them in both columns. You can also add any Custom options that you require. If you also wish to offer Paypal, you must enter your Paypal email address in the box below, and this will make that option appear.
- N.B. The 'Pay By Card' option in the list is unrelated to any Payment Processor integration. It should be ticked only if you wish to offer the option to pay via an External Card Terminal. If it is selected as a booking form option, no payment would be taken at time of booking.
Managing your Test Booking
Once you have placed the booking, you will be taken to a summary page, showing the information that you have just added. A Booking Summary will be emailed to the address entered as the 'guest email' in the test booking as well as to the address(es) specified under Admin- General Details to notify you as an Admin that a booking has been received.
The template to which this automated summary is appended is whichever template you have specified under Emails/Letters- Edit as 'Use for Online Booking Summary'. You can if you wish nominate a different template by unticking this option in the current template, and ticking it in a new one, or you can Edit the current Template as you wish, using tags to pull through any guest or booking-specific information.
The Booking Summary table appended can also be edited to an extent, for example to add Bank Transfer details.
You can then go to your 'Recent Bookings' section, or use the Magnifying glass Search tool in the top right of the account to navigate to your new booking.
In your Test Booking, you can then go through the process of managing it from start to finish. For example, you can mark off receipt of payment, for the deposit and then the balance, and check that any Automated Emails that you have scheduled with triggers (such as a 'Deposit Paid' email triggered to send once the deposit is marked as paid) send successfully.
Note that automated emails do not send instantly once the criteria for their sending has been met. They are batch sent, so will typically be sent within 30 minutes or less of the criteria for their sending being met.
It is a good idea to use your test booking to familiarise yourself with Editing a booking (for example changing guest numbers, prices or moving it to a different property and dates), and to try recording a refund via Bank Transfer.
When you have finished with your test booking, you can then Cancel it, and make the dates available again.