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For users of the TourCMS tour operator ecommerce platform

Hi,

Just going through the final stages of configuring TourCMS for a golf tour business. This will involve moving from Microsoft tools.

My question how do you old hands use e-mail.

Do you move over to TourCMS to send emails once you have an enquiry to track all activity and use other ( e,g Outlook) for more general - no enquiry specific e-mails? Currently all e-mails are via Outlook

 

Thanks for sharing your experiences

 

Mel

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Hi Mel,

We don't use TourCMS for sending emails at all to be honest. Instead, we use Outlook for all our emails.

This is because it enables us to keep all emails to and from a client or supplier in the same place (rather than having sent emails in TourCMS and received emails in Outlook). Also, many of our client emails need attachments which isn't an option within TourCMS.

We do however use the Advanced Note Entry system in TourCMS to generate emails to clients. We save several templates in the system (eg. reservation reply, booking confirmation, balance request etc.), using various TourCMS tags to automatically enter things like the tour names, dates, client names etc.. We then paste these into emails when we need to write to the clients.

We then always add a Note to each booking when we have sent an email (eg. reservation request email sent on 14/8 with booking form, conditions, flight quotes). That way you keep all your emails in one place, but still have a record in TourCMS of what you have done.
Sometimes we also paste the full text of the email into a Note when we feel that is useful or important information to have showing in the system.

Hope that helps.

Cheers, Ralph
Hi Mel
We use a real mixture. Most general communication with guests is done by individual emails but standardised things like payment chasing, holiday information sending is sent through Tour CMS - this means we can all see what has been sent to each booking and when. These type of emails dont really need replies from the guests so there is not the issue of storing seperately, but you could use Ralph's idea of copying into notes any relevant replies. You could also cc yourself in on any TourCMS emails so you get a copy in Outlook and this way you get the info from the booking into the standardised email very simply.
The benefit of the system is that is is flexible and you can see how it works best for you.
Hope that's of help
Vicki
Hi, we do use tourcms for outgoing emails, from the advance note entry system, as the tokens pick up all needed information and we can create some very useful email templates, also the full choice of email addresses relating to the booking are all there. We have set it up to have a copy of each tourcms generated email automatically arrive our outlook inbox so all filing, sent and received, is always together. We find tourcms emails very useful and flexible.
Attachments are not possible so still have to use outlook for emails needing an attachment, however the tourcms emails certainly cover most of our daily reservation needs and works fine for us. The emails can look a bit long & messy by the time you have added your bonding logos and all the rest in though, but that's something I perhaps need to spend some time on!
Thanks everyone - great food for thought. I was working on the basis of the key emails would be issued via tourcms. Think the link would be to copy to outlook - and similarly copy any key emails back into the notes. Thik will start with this approach and see how it goes.
Thanks again
Mel
You can now add attachments to outbound emails :)
Hi all,

Am I being dumb? Where to you store the documents to then add as attachments?

Ed
Hi Ed,
As the functionality currently stands, standard documents you associate with a booking can be added as attachments.

e.g. Configuration & setup - Booking templates - RTF

More improvements coming though!

Cheers. Alex
Hi Alex,
I luckily realised the attachement yesterday. Are there any chances for the future to generate pdf from the templates on the fly and attach them to outgoing emails. For example for invoices or tour-vouchers? It should not be possible for customers to edit/change these documents.
By the way we managed now within tourcms to set up a really satisfying customer communication flow with the email templates - it's functioning very efficiently. And we had quite a load of communications during the last days. We are really happy with that.
Unfortunately it is not possible to save the created rtf documents within a booking. For invoices we need to sent by postmail, we create pdfs from the rtf and save them locally. (we are lucky we don't need to generate Invoice Numbers - just use the booking number). But to have the orginal sent invoice data attached to the booking - we just email the email invoice to our internal email account which we are using for customer who don't have email addresses.

So luckily all data are attached with the booking and most important for us - the info is not somewhere on a local pc - but accessible from all over the world. This way also the agents in the call center have important information at their fingertips when customer calls.
The same applies for the workflow set up.
Thanks and hope it helps.

Doris
Hello Alex,

I agree with Doris that documents could better be send as PDF.
But then it gets little more comlicated because we (and many with us I believe) use a specific background for the PDF documents. So this background should be added before sending by e-mail.

I could be an idea to let the TourCMS users edit their rtf documents and allow them to upload and attach to a specific booking. Furthermore it would be fantastic if more attachments could be attached to an e-mail.

Have a nice weekend all!

Regards, Luit
Yes - we have more plans for the attachment concept

a) Component specific
b) Resend previous invoices
c) Upto 3 attachments per email
d) Able to attach your own outbound attachment (from your local PC)

Will have a look at PDF generation too!

Cheers. Alex
Hi Alex,

I have started to use the email and RTF functionality. Works very well. Here are some quick comments for future development:

Email Templates:
1) Would be good if we could also create the title of the email in the template and include fields in it. For ample, we send a lot of emails to the same tour operator client and we include their reference number in the title to make it easier for them to look up.
2) Would be good to be able to see copies of the emails and date in the record.
3) Would be nice to include an image (logo) to make them look more professional.

Attachements:
1) This is a big one for efficiency, contracting and to be a paperless tour operator. We need the ability to attach to records and suppliers:
a) Suppliers: Their annual contract
b) Components: Proposals, Contracts, Confirmations and Invoices.
c) Customer: Requested itinerary and so much more

Thanks, Charles
Hi Charles

- Images - yes you can do that - in HTML - that is fine (ask us for help if you would like some)
- If you go to the notes section - on bottom of the individual booking - if you change the dropdown you can see outbound emails that have been sent relating to that booking

Yep - we are working on the rest.... getting there!

Cheers. Alex

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