Do you keep a waitlist during your busy times?
If not, you may be missing out on valuable revenue. Here’s how to get the most out of customer waitlists.
Earn More Revenue
If your business has high enough demand that you are often at or close to capacity during your busy season, use a waitlist to fill your maximum possible number of spots after the inevitable changes and cancellations that occur during the course of business. Minimize lost revenue while demonstrating goodwill to potential customers by doing your best to accommodate them.
Better Insight and Forecasting
Even if you are unable to accommodate people on your waitlist and can do nothing about the over-demand for a particular time or day in the short-term, you have gained valuable information about demand for your tour or activity. With automated booking software, once your tour is 100% full you get no further information. Could you have doubled your capacity? Could you have raised your prices for those dates? Should you have scheduled extra staff to handle the bump in demand? Was it a special occasion like a public holiday, festival or a spell of really good weather that drove increased demand? Use waitlists to gain valuable insight into what your revenue could have been if you knew total demand for your product on a particular day. Use this information to help forecast and plan your capacity, staffing and other resources to accommodate the higher volumes your data predicts.
How to Implement
First of all, ensure you have a clear cancellation policy and that this is made available to guests at the time of booking as well as on their confirmation and itinerary.
Ensure you have a waitlist policy. Give a reasonable amount of notice to wait listed customers – they need to plan their vacation after all. Inform guests on the waitlist of the latest possible time they will be contacted if a spot frees up for them. Obviously the lead time required will depend on the nature of the tour or activity.
Advertise that you keep a waitlist. Make it clear on your website and booking engine that just because a tour or activity is currently ‘Sold Out’ does not necessarily mean the end of the line. Provide information on how customers can contact you to inquire about activities that are fully booked.
Build waitlist management into your daily operations. Keep track of all your wait listed people with reservation software such as Zaui Software and have your reservations team reach out to them at the appropriate time whether they can be accommodated or not. This is a valuable touch point opportunity where you can build goodwill with potential customers, who in turn may be inclined to spread the word on social media if they have a great experience dealing with your company. Propose alternative times or days to guests that can’t be accommodated. Consider offering a discount in the form of a promotional code to select another date or time, or to encourage them to return at a later time.
Integrated customer waitlists are one of the many features of Zaui Software. To learn more check out www.zaui.com.