You know that you need a booking calendar on your website in order to remain relevant to your customers and to make it as convenient as possible for them to reserve their tours and activities. The problem is, there’s many options available and you don’t know which one to choose. Here’s 3 questions you need to ask yourself before you make your final selection:
There’s nothing more frustrating to a customer than booking a tour and finding out shortly after that it was oversold. They are left without a spot on the tour, and it doesn’t look great for your overall brand. This can happen easily if you implement an online booking system that does not update in real-time. For example, you will want to find a booking calendar that allows all of your distributors and agents to sell your products and update the availability instantly. If a hotel sells a spot on your tour at the same time that someone books directly, your booking calendar should instantly update in order to reflect the latest availability. A booking calendar the minimizes the risk of overbookings is beneficial for your administrative team as well as your customer service team, and most of all, it’s the best option for your customers.
When site visitors are browsing your online booking calendar, they are probably interested in completing their reservation at that moment. You need to be able to not only accept online bookings, but also implement a booking calendar that accepts payments. Your booking calendar should sync to a secure payment gateway, allowing you to accept payments from your customers at the time of their reservation. You also might want to consider a booking calendar that accepts various forms of currency, since many of your customers may be traveling from different countries. Accepting payments online is a pivotal part to remaining relevant in the travel industry, which is increasingly relying on online and mobile bookings in order to survive.
You need to know what happens immediately after a booking is complete — not only within your business but also with your customers. You will want to select a booking calendar that automatically feeds customer information and booking materials into your manifest, giving you the most updated information about your tours at any given moment. Some booking calendars still require tour operators to manually update their records after an online reservation is complete. This can be time consuming and can lead to clerical errors. An automated system is the more desirable option for your business. In addition, your customers should receive an automatic confirmation e-mail with the details of their reservation. You should be able to personalize this e-mail within the booking calendar in order to provide the most useful information about your tours and activities.
To find out more information about the features you both need and want in a booking calendar, download the booking software’s Buyer’s Guide today.