6 reasons why your business needs an online booking engine
As the tourism industry becomes busier and more competitive, tour and activity operators must think about how to take advantage of the new opportunities presented to them. It has now become vitally important for businesses to utilise online platforms to get new customers and grow their business. This blog post outlines 6 reasons why a tour and activity provider should have online booking software integrated on their website in order to maximise bookings and increase revenue.
1 Quicker path from search to booking
With more and more people searching online for tours and activities, it is crucial you make it as easy as possible for potential customers to book with you online.
The path from initial search to booking needs to be as short and as easy to navigate as possible. If not, your potential customers will simply click away from your site and complete their booking elsewhere.
If they have to make a phone call or send an email to complete their booking, it is seen by the customer as a barrier to booking, and could possibly result in you losing a customer.
A booking engine, integrated on your site, can make completing the booking much simpler for your customers and result in an increase in bookings.
2 Take bookings 24/7
Your customers don’t limit their online browsing to office hours do they? You need to be able to take bookings at any time of day or night. This is especially true for the tourism industry as potential customers might even be in a different time zone when conducting their initial research online.
The facility to take bookings at any time is crucial for tour and activity operators today and an online booking system on your website will you allow you to do this.
Also, every booking that goes through your online system means one less phone call or email you have to deal with to confirm the booking.
If your bookings are going through your website it frees up your valuable time to concentrate on other areas of the business.
3 Reduced cancellations
By using a professionally designed booking engine you can decrease the amount of cancellations and chargebacks on your account.
A common reason for cancellations is when the customer realises the time and/or date they have booked no longer suits them. By giving them an easy option to make changes to existing bookings you can dramatically decrease cancellations and keep your customers happy.
Other features of an online booking engine can also help reduce cancellations.
An effective payment system will mean customers who book will be more committed to the booking. Also, the opportunity to prominently display your cancellation policy during the booking process should reduce the amount of cancellations too.
4 Build your marketing database
Marketing to existing customers should be an important part of your strategy to secure repeat business.
With all your bookings centralised on an online booking engine, you can build your customer database. As you take bookings, the software can capture customer details and you can learn more about where your customers are from and what kind of tours and activities they like.
This means you now have information that allows you to communicate with them in the future and use their captured details to do so more effectively. You can then offer your loyal customers discounts, promotional codes and special offers.
By understanding and staying in touch with your customers in this way you give yourself a greater chance of securing returning customers and making them happy.
5 Improved service to customers
Your customers are the most important part of your business. Every contact a customer has with your business should be a good experience for them.
The booking process is no exception and possibly even most important as it is the moment you confirm a sale. A booking engine can be used as a customer service tool with features such as FAQ’s and a ‘what to bring’ section. If a customer trusts you are providing all the information they need in their decision making process, they will book your tours and activities.
This ensures the customers experience is the best it can be, which can lead to an increase in referrals from happy customers and an improved brand image.
6 Increased revenue
Lastly (and certainly not least) is that, simply put, an online booking engine will increase your revenue.
By offering potential customers the ability to book directly on your website you are increasing your chances of securing a booking. By increasing the amount of bookings you take, revenue will also increase.
Having the control over your availability of your tours on your booking software can fill up those empty spaces or seats. Increased passenger numbers means increased revenue.
It is important to consider the costs of setting up your booking engine, but it is more important to consider how the software can increase your sales and fill those empty seats. Nearly everything in business has a direct cost, but a booking engine is not just a piece of software to simply deal with your existing bookings, rather a tool to increase the amount of bookings you take.
If you are a tour and activity operator, these 6 reasons show why you need booking software on your website. We understand there is a lot of research to be done in finding the right booking solution for any business. We understand that each and every business is unique and requires an understanding of that business before you can choose the correct booking engine.
Contact us at Vivit Booking Solutions and we will show you how our booking and payment solutions can work for your business.
Visit our website to find out a little more about how we work or click the link below to sign up for a free trial and take the first step to increase your sales with more bookings