Tips and Tricks with Groups in Visual Matrix

Tips and Tricks with Groups in Visual Matrix

Groups can be of many kinds. It can be a group of allocation for a wedding where everyone will book and pay individually or it can be a bus tour where you receive the rooming list in advance and one person/entity pays the whole stay.

1. Choose the right Guarantee Type from the Beginning

When you create the reservation, make sure you are choosing the correct Guarantee Type:
There are 3 Guarantee Types:
      - Rm & Tax: if you want all Room and Tax charges to be posted on the group master folio. Any incidental will be posted to each individual folio.
      - All Charges: if you want all charges, including incidentals, to be posted on the group master folio. Nothing will be posted on each individual folio.
      - None: if you want all charges to be posted on each individual folio. Nothing will be posted on the group master folio.
The guarantee type can be updated at any time. However, if it is not setup correctly, issues will occur.
If a group is on "None" and should have been on "Rm & Tax" or "All Charges", the charges from each folio will have to be transferred from each individual folios to the group master folio. Very easy but will take some time for big groups.
However, if a group is on "Rm & Tax" or "All Charges" and should have been on "None", when the guest will come to the front desk to pay, their folio will be empty because everything would have been posted on the group master folio. Instead of transferring from the group master folio, the front desk agent is generally reposting the charge on the individual folio, creating a duplicate. And because Visual Matrix does not alert if a group still has a balance past its departure date, all those charges will stay on the guest ledger balance sometimes for years... until the purge happens and creates a discrepancy.

2. Pick-up the allocated rooms... all at once

Obviously, this is not a process that would be chosen if the rooms are to be booked individually whether locally or with an online URL (Best Western).
However, this is possible for your tour bus, schools and other organizations that book for a whole group. Whether they all pay individually or one pay for all, you can always pick up all the rooms at once and then update the method of payment on each room individually. Sometimes, one person guarantees the whole group but everyone still needs to put their own guarantee either before or at check-in on their individual reservation.
In the case where you want to pick up everything, make sure you change the number of rooms in the "Stay Details" section to the number of allocated rooms of the type you are picking up. Visual Matrix will then creates one reservation for each room.
If the guarantee type is "None", a name will have to be entered when creating the reservation. If you pick up all the rooms at once, the same name will be on every reservation. You can always change them easily on the next step. Read below.
If the guarantee type is "Rm & Tax" or "All Charges", the name of the group contact will be the default one when creating the reservation, and that name will be on every reservation. You'll change it on the next step. Read below.
If a credit card was entered as a method of payment on the group reservation, the credit card WILL NOT duplicate to the picked up rooms.

3. Update the rooming list in one place

Of course, you can always open each reservation one by one and change the name on each reservation individually. However, there is a much better, easier and faster way to do this!
However, the rooming list is a convenient tool that gives you an easy way not only to have a big and complete picture of your group but also to update several of the guest information all in one place, like room number and guest(s) names, add folios or comments.

4. Check In All the Rooms at Once

This is only possible if the Guarantee Types are either "Rm & Tax" or "All Charges" as normally, nothing should be on each individual folios (except some incidentals for the "Rm & Tax") and everything should be on the group Master.
Instead of opening the individual reservation, open the group reservation and check in the group itself. If it is a "Rm & Tax" or "All Charges" Guarantee Types, then the process will include a step to check in all rooms from the group at the same time.

5. Check Out All the Rooms at Once

As it is possible to check in all the rooms at once, it is possible to check out all the rooms at once, and this, whatever the Guarantee Type, as long as the folio of the room is at $0.
Instead of checking out the room from the guest folio, open the group folio and check out the group from there.
You won't be able to check out the individual rooms without checking out the group master from there. If the group master is not at $0 and cannot be at that moment, then you will have to check out every individual folio one by one.
However, make sure you do check out the group folio shortly to avoid a pending balance in the guest ledger.
Good to know!
Only the Guarantee Type updates between the group reservation and the individual reservations once the allocations are picked up. If the tax status or the rate is changed on the group reservation after the allocations are picked up, the information WILL NOT update on the individual reservation. The update will have to be done individually on each reservation.

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