we are ready for another Zak release. You will see it, but it is a very rich release.
To be honest, we wanted to add even more, but we have decided to publish only a first part of all the new functionalities we’ve developed.
The second part is already at 90% and at the end of this post we will tell you what you can expect in a few weeks.
Let’s go back to the new release: the official publication date is set for the 22nd of March. What have we developed this time?
1. Big Improvement of the Planner
2. HRS as native Channel of ZAK
3. Email Branding Module
4. Digital Signature on the Online Check-in
After a long time, a refresh of our Planner was needed. We have taken into consideration all the advices you have generously given us over the years, we have kept them well and finally we’ve managed to satisfy many of your requests:
1. For each day of the week, an “alert” icon warns you about pending reservations, overbookings or reservations with room change.
2. Weekends are now highlighted in the body of the planner. In addition, we have provided new settings to choose the most pleasing color contrast, as we have found that it depends on the background color.
3. We’ve added a menu to filter the type of reservations directly on the planner. For now you can select offers and unpaid reservations, but we will create new type soon.
4. We’ve also improved the general look. We are investing lots of energies to improve the whole Reservations area.
5. We have greatly improved the performance of the reservation “zoom”, when you opened it with a single click. The zoom is an excellent tool introduced in the latest release, we have still worked to make it more performing.
This release introduces native connectivity to HRS on Zak. Perhaps it is useless to remember, but HRS is one of the most important OTA and we are glad to manage it from now, directly on the Zak Channel Manager.
The connection is in Beta phase, so it will be free for a while!
However, we recommend to activate it only if you have a good knowledge of the product (Zak and Zak Channel manager).
We are working hard on it to improve it!
Email Branding Tool
This news is very interesting. This topic was also discussed a lot on our Forum: it’s not professional to communicate with your customers by letting Zak send emails from the address: “noreply AT wubook DOT net”.
Here’s the solution: you can now configure Zak to allow him to send emails on your behalf, even relatively easily.
Please pay attention to two aspects:
1. From now on, we will remove the opportunity to open the email client directly from our pages (Outlook, Thunderbird or any other email client). We’re receiving many tickets about this topic: mostly of the time the malfunctions depends on the email client itself because of its personal setup.
If you want to send emails using your name, you will need to activate this new tool module or copy and paste manually
2. For transparency and fairness, we want to inform you that we have decided to include the Email Branding Tool in the Essentials package. Therefore, since it is not part of the Basic package, it is not a free feature.
Digital signature on Online Check-in
Here’s another interesting new feature. It now becomes possible to configure the Online Check-in page to allow your customers (you can also make the choice mandatory) to leave their signature.
You know for sure,what happens when a parcel has delivered to you. The couriers ask you to put your signature on the “touch pad”, right? The principle is basically the same, but with something more.
When a guest leave his/her signature, this it is automatically included in all Registration Cards (Italy, Spain and Generic).
In other words, after the great feature (including the upselling of extras) of Online Check-in, this new opportunity brings us very close to a total automatic system. The check-in process can even become fully automatic. For example, by setting up the Templating / Messaging system, you can invite your customers to provide all the necessary details, without any need for the classic face to face “document check”.
Finally, a rundown of other features included in this release:
1. For those who have chosen Zak Booking Engine, migrating from the WooDoo one, it is now possible to import feedback.
2. The Corporate Area has been enriched with a smart search, as you have suggested on our Community Forum (thanks!)
3. The name of the customer now appears on the tax documents; this improvement is also the result of requests from our Comminity Forum!
4. Alongside the old Google Snippet for Web Analytics (still very popular) we have also added the new version: gtag.
5. We have 100% revamped the style of the Search Reservations page. A big step forward!
6. The same restyling was also made for the recap page of the last reservations (and we are slowly refreshing all the others, including the reservation page).
7. The “shield icons” relating to the Reservation Guarantees are beginning to appear. In the next release we will complete that important process started with the introduction of the Reservation Guarantees. We are very excited about these developments. We really hope that they can even become a reference for the market.
8. Group Reservations on YouBook? Now you can immediately choose the Room Setup when entering the reservation (twin, double etc).
9. Zak booking Engine: the room names are rendered and integrated on our graphic much better. So, even in the presence of long enough names, they won’t appear broken anymore.
10. Sytar: using the Price Mode we now exclude (most of all at the graphic level) the opportunity of editing prices and derivative products. This not only helps to avoid mistakes, but it definitely simplifies your work, because the choices are fewer and therefore much easier to select.
Also on Sytar, we added a Reset button, to simplify and speed up multiple operations.
11. Among the Reservation Guarantees, we added another specified amount, after the percentage or fixed amount: we’re talking about the classic first night.
12. We have developed a new Payment Gateway on Zak: PayZen. It’s a little more limited than Stripe, but it can easily be used for pre-authorization and even future billing.
Finally, we don’t want to bore you by telling how much work we have done to make everything faster and more stable, but just to give you an idea, we spent a whole night just to optimize our database.
And now? What should you have to expect from the next release?
A lot, on several sides.
First of all, the next release should come out very soon (we have already completed many developments, as we said at the beginning). Those will probably be the new development involved
1. Mini site
2. Reservation Guarantees: 100% automation
3. Adding Extras quickly (on each page)
It is probable that in the next release we will also be able to publish these very requested features:
1. Zak Booking Engine and Widget: Multi-Property
2. Zak Booking Engine and Widget: multi-building properties and apartments
Plus many other news about our Zak Booking Engine.
At this point, we will devote all the energy necessary to finally build our first Restaurant Package, which we hope will be ready with a first version within few months.
You know it better than us: we can’t stand still!