5 Signs You Should Invest in Online Booking Software (Part 1)

27 May 2014     |    Taz Bareham

Most modern tour operators already have an automated system which allows them to manage online bookings. And if you’re still processing bookings the old school way, you may be constricting your business growth.

Here are some signs that it’s time to invest in booking software.

1. Your customers have to call you to check your availability

While they may be aware what times your tours run, they won’t be able to check whether a spot is available without calling in. This is extra work for them, as well as for you.

Online booking software will automatically update your availability and block out tours that are fully booked. It can also block out certain dates that you won’t be available – for example, if you’re planning a holiday and want to close your doors for a few days.

2. Your customers have to give you their credit card details over the phone

No one likes to hand over their sensitive data without some type of security in place. Having customers give you their credit card details over the phone – or even worse, via email – makes your business look unprofessional. You don’t want them worrying about their details being stolen and misused because you’ve jotted it down on a piece of paper.

Online booking software will use secure payment gateways that ensure no sensitive data can be hacked or tracked. A badge that states the page is secure will give customers the confidence they need to make an online payment.

3. Your no-shows and cancellations face no consequences

Because they tend to pay on the day, your cancelling customers cost you money. You could have filled that seat with a paying customer or at the very least charged them for their cancellation.

Without booking software that allows deferred payment processing, you can’t hold their credit card details until you know what to charge them.

4 . Customer data is stored in multiple places

If your customer’s contact information & purchase history is sitting in different spreadsheets, written on pieces of paper or saved on a PC back at the office – anywhere but at your fingertips when you need it the most – then it’s time to invest in booking software.

Your booking system should centralise your data so you know where to look to find something. Managing your customer data doesn’t have to be complicated. Having all of it in the one place keeps things organised.

5. Marketing promotions are difficult to manage

Managing promo codes and vouchers with daily deal sites can be a painful administrative task when done manually. A good booking software will simplify the process by automating it, and allowing you to easily track what has and hasn’t been redeemed.

If you are interested in educating yourself on your online booking options, the information in our Buyer’s Guide to Online Booking Software Selection for Tour Operators can prevent you from picking software that doesn’t suit your tour or activity business:

online booking guide

Stay tuned for our next installment for the complete list of signs! Subscribe here so you’ll be notified via email.