There's stiff competition for attention in the tour and activity industry. Customers have far more options than time, so to thrive your company needs to provide a customer experience that inspires repeat visits and positive reviews.
Customer experience includes the actual activity, but it’s more than just the hour or two they spend with you. The experience begins the first time the customer encounters your company and continues well after they've gone home.
Great customer experience involves providing flexibility, increasing options, and removing obstacles. Here are a few examples of how online booking software can help improve the customer experience at every stage:
1. Customers Can Book on Their Terms
Some business owners still make customers book on the company’s terms. “You must call two weeks in advance between the hours of 10am and 2pm.” “You can only book in person.” “You have to send an email.”
With online booking software, the customer is in charge of the experience. They can book online, over the phone, or in person. Booking can be on the day of the activity or weeks in advance. But don't think that means your schedule becomes a free-for-all—admins can set parameters for how soon before an activity a booking can take place and how far out your activities are available.
2. It’s Easy to See the Schedule
Online booking software takes the guesswork out of scheduling for customers. The software can show, in real time, what appointments and equipment are available. Instead of calling the business, or going back-and-forth via email, customers can see their options and pick the perfect time. The process is transparent, simple and removes a massive obstacle.
3. Flexible Payment Methods
The days of the “CASH ONLY” sign are numbered. Imagine your customer’s relief at not being confronted with an astronomical ATM fee just to do business with you. Or how delighted they'll be to arrive with the booking already paid, ready to embark on the activity.
With the right booking software, customers can pay ahead online, with a card at the moment of sale or even in cash if they really want to. The more flexibility you offer, the better the customer experience.
4. Reminder Emails Keep Enthusiasm Up
Comprehensive online booking software includes the ability to automate emails before and after the activity. Customers receive a thoughtful reminder of their upcoming trip, with some tips for what to expect and what to bring. These emails keep the customer excited for the activity, set expectations and improve their in-person experience.
5. Customers Can Make Changes
The same flexibility the software brings to booking and payment extends to last-minute changes on the day of activity. If the customer wants to add a person to their party or reschedule, they may be able to handle the change themselves through the software. But even if they need to speak with you directly, you'll immediately know whether you can accommodate the change, so customers won’t have to wait while you flip through printed (or handwritten) pages or squint at spreadsheets.
6. Follow-up Emails Continue the Positive Experience
Like the reminder email, follow-up emails can be automatically generated and sent after the activity. These emails give you an opportunity to thank the customer, ask for reviews and offer a discount on their next booking. This level of attention makes the customer feel appreciated and assures them that you value both their business and their feedback.
You're in the business of helping people have a good time. The right online booking software support that mission from the moment a customer decides to book with you to the moment they become a repeat visitor, and that's a win for you both.
Want to learn more? Download our free ebook, Grow Your Business One Experience at a Time, to see how you can increase bookings by exceeding customer expectations.