Top 10 Benefits of using an Online Booking System for your Tour and Activity Business
If you have been doing things manually, it can be intimidating to switch to an Online Booking System especially if you think it takes away that special human touch and the control you have over your business. In this article, we will highlight the most compelling benefits of an Online Booking System that will help you pivot from your current booking process and help you find the right online booking software.
It can be overwhelming to choose an online booking system with so many options available in the market. But selecting the right one is crucial for your success, since it is a big commitment and an instrumental one for your business. The right online booking system with the latest technology and an exceptional customer support system will pull you out of the past and bring you to the modernized world.
Here are the Top 10 benefits of an online booking system that can transform your operations and help you reach new heights of success:
1. Your business is open around the clock
There are approximately 8,760 hours in a year and as a Tour or Activity Owner, you want your business to be open for exactly that amount of time. You most certainly don’t want to miss out on an opportunity just because of an availability issue. An Online Booking system will make your business accessible at all times for your customers. You can sit back and relax and focus on other important decisions while your online booking software takes care of your bookings. Research shows that switching to an online scheduling platform greatly increases the total amount of bookings.
2. No longer answering phone calls
At Zaui, we have seen many use cases where a lot of complex issues are solved by just making the right information available to your customer in real time. As an Activity or a Tour business owner, you might be working with a lot of moving pieces and it can take up to half of your or your employee’s day to provide key information over the phone to manage the bookings and appointment scheduling. An Online Reservation system streamlines all of that information regarding spaces, seats, timings, dates, etc., and will make it available for your guest or customer in real-time. The customer can then select what works best for them to create a direct booking and it will be automatically logged into your system without you lifting a finger.
3. More bookings, fewer cancellations
There is an endless back and forth in managing bookings manually with always a possibility of a cancellation or a no-show. The no-shows and cancellations make the scheduling process inefficient and less profitable for the business.
An online booking platform can lift that weight from your shoulders making the entire process effortless and efficient. Here is a fun fact: the availability of information in your online booking system will help customers have a more fulfilled experience which makes them more likely to show up. Another feature that can further increase the chances for your customers to show up is the automated reminders to their phones and emails. And In case the customer decides to cancel, the online booking system will automatically open up a spot for other customers which will significantly decrease the unused spots in your reservation system.
4. More upselling opportunities
How many times have we all been to a burger joint for just a nice juicy burger and have ended up getting extra fries, a dip, or a milkshake? Those are all the add-ons we could have missed out on if they were not placed in front of us. As a Tour and Activity Business, you might have many such opportunities that your reservation system will automate for you. You can combine as many activities as you want in different packages and promote as many add-ons as you want. It will not only increase your revenue but will also provide your client with exactly what they want. You can also add the fun extra elements that you previously wished to add but didn’t have the time or ability to for example some memorabilia pieces, fun merchandise, or photo packages, etc.
5. Secure and fast payments
In simple words, an online booking system will put money in your pocket quicker and will have the capability to detect fraud and solve any disputes. Many times we are faced with a challenge when a customer creates a booking but doesn’t show up, especially if there is no prepayment involved. With an online booking system, you can opt for a partial or a full upfront deposit to secure your bookings. An automated system will make it a seamless process to handle payments with a secure payment gateway. In case of a no-show, it even allows you to keep a certain amount as compensation, which can minimize your losses.
6. Everything is online
Everything is Online which means you don’t have to be in your office to access the information, it is right at your fingertips at all times, all you need is internet access and that’s it. You can access and manage your calendar on the go. You can stay updated on the reservations you have booked at all times. =
7. Make informed decisions
Which time of the year is the most profitable for your business? Which activity has the most amount of no-shows? Which seller is the most popular for the guests? You can get all the information that is necessary to optimize your strategy if you are using an online reservation system with an analytics reporting dashboard.
An analytics dashboard with robust insights will help you make informed decisions regarding the pricing structure, service packages, important add-ons, and much more.
8. Make bookings accessible through resellers
One of the most important features with huge potential for your business is the Channel Manager feature of the Online Booking Software. It is that one feature that will allow you to resell your bookings on multiple platforms and channels.
The right Online Booking system will do all the heavy lifting for you to automate your distribution and make your bookings accessible via thousands of channels and resellers.
9. No more human errors
Mistakes are inevitable if you are doing things manually. An 8 that looks like a 6 or that missing note from your notepad, can all cost you money or a potential customer. An automated tool like an online reservation system will make these mistakes a thing of the past. However, if a customer makes a mistake, it is possible that the system might not detect it but at least you are safe from your end.
10. Say hello to the new self service portals
It takes a while and a lot of work from your end as well as the Online Booking system support team to customize the system based on what works best for your business. But once all that hard work is done, it provides all the features of a self-service portal that will provide your customers with the top-notch personalized service that they desire from a Tour and Activity Service provider. You might still need customer care service to handle some special scenarios. But as you keep customizing your system to manage those unique cases, the customer support queries will become few and far between.
In the Travel and Tourism industry with so much competition, it has become inevitable to switch from your pen-and-paper system to an online booking platform. Regardless of how big or small the business is, travellers around the world expect every transaction to be online. They expect a seamless experience with easy-to-find tours and activities and a user-friendly platform to create their bookings.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. An online booking system will not only reduce the manual work and automate your resources, there are so many other cool and amazing features that will help you scale your business and enhance your potential. If you are looking for an online booking platform, our team of Zauians can help you. Simply book a demo and we will guide you through every step of the process.
If you are new to the world of online booking systems, here is a free Buyers Guide. It will guide you through the essential steps as you search for the online booking system.