There's no denying that using an online booking system can make your day-to-day activities seamless—from managing bookings to communicating with customers. But having a mobile app on top of that allows you to access all of the details of your bookings and take payments from anywhere.
Not all mobile apps are created equally, though. Tour and activity businesses need an app that connects their entire staff to one centralized reservation system so that new bookings and edits are always in sync. A great app will allow you to view your customer bookings and edit availability, check in customers when they arrive, process credit card payments, scan vouchers, and much more. In other words: you need a mobile app that provides everything in one simple solution.
To make your hunt for the right app easier, here are six features you should look for in a mobile app for managing your online bookings.
1. Take payments with an EMV chip-compatible credit card reader
When a mobile app comes with a credit card reader and payments solution, you can accept payments from any location, making the booking process easier for your staff and customers alike.
These days, 80% of bookings are made in-destination. So arm your staff members who are working to attract tourists on the street or managing your ticket desk with a point-of-sale mobile and iPad app that makes it easy to take new bookings. They can take care of transactions securely and print or email receipts to customers. They can even up-sell add-ons like merchandise, additional packages, or gift cards.
But it's not enough to just process credit card payments: to ensure that your business can take payments securely and reduce fraud risk, you need an EMV chip-compatible card reader. An EMV chip-compatible card reader ensures your transactions are compliant with the new mandate by credit card companies—which took effect this past October. If your business is not compliant with this mandate, you will be liable for any fraudulent charges since credit card companies have pushed the liability back to the merchant coordinating the transaction.
For tour and activity businesses, EMV compliance is an extremely critical issue. EMV works by using embedded smart chips in credit and debit cards, enabling much more secure processing. Businesses using non-EMV compliant partners for payments have dramatically increased fraud risk exposure. That's why ZOZI released the industry's first EMV compliant mobile app and payments solution for tour and activity operators.
Read more about how EMV credit cards impact your tour and activity business here.
2. Accept digital waiver signatures
Whether you're running a scuba diving business or a river rafting adventure, you can make it easy for customers to check-in and sign the digital waiver through your mobile app. When you use a mobile app, they will be able to check in and sign the waiver with their fingertip within minutes. This eliminates the need for any extra paperwork, and also ensures all customer details and signatures are stored safely.
3. Check customers in and out
A good mobile app will enable you to keep track of all guests by checking them in and out with the tap of a finger. That way when staff members need to verify if a customer has checked in or how many customers are expected for a given tour or activity, they can do so by turning to the app. It also makes it simple to edit bookings, make cancellations, change start times, and more—right from the activity or tour meeting location.
Furthermore, this will help your team determine staffing needs by having a fair idea of how busy the day ahead may be. For example, a fuller calendar may require having some staff members on call if anybody calls in sick at the last minute. Staff members can have this information at their fingertips when using a mobile app that syncs with the online booking system you use. The mobile app can reveal key data about availability with customer head counts of each tour or activity, and the number of visitors that have already checked in for that day.
4. Scan tickets and bar codes
Typically, the traditional voucher redemption process is a pain for tour and activity businesses. There are multiple steps involved, from redeeming the voucher to manually invoicing. Now, make it a cinch for customers to redeem their vouchers when they arrive at your location. A good mobile app will enable your to scan and document tickets or barcodes from any channel. This automatically syncs to your online booking system, so you reduce the headache and manual work.
Using an online booking system, such as ZOZI Advance, is just one way to streamline many of your day-to-day operations. Take things to the next level with a mobile app that syncs with the system to deliver better customer service and keep track of essential customer data from any location. A mobile app can help staff members stay plugged in to your business without having to return to a desktop computer.
If you're looking for a great mobile app for tour and activity operators that will lower your business' fraud risk, ZOZI just released the industry's first EMV chip compatible mobile app for tour operators. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (888) 611-9694 for more information about the ZOZI Advance mobile app.