Steve Baird is the Managing Director of Bogong Horseback Adventures, an award winning family-run business that offer horse riding holidays in the spectacular Australian High Country of North East Victoria.
Bogong Horseback Adventures have been providing packhorse tours into the Victorian High Country for over 23 years.
As time went by, Steve realised that his marketing and booking process was becoming outdated.
“We were running email campaigns and print media advertisements, and directing customers through to our website to get in contact with our office. We would accept bookings by traditional email and wait for cheques in the mail.”
Soon enough, Steve recognised the need for an online booking system – not only to simplify payments, but to keep up to date with modern marketing practices.
“As it’s a specialist product, much of our market is widely dispersed, so we realised that online bookings are important. If we hadn’t done anything about it, over the years we would have been pushed out of the marketplace. It’s a matter of staying where the market is heading.”
“If we hadn’t done anything about it, over the years we would have been pushed out of the marketplace.”
Steve started to research possible solutions to bring his business online. At first, it seemed like there was nothing out there that would work for Bogong Horseback Adventures.
“We looked around for a few years and tried a couple of booking systems, but there weren’t any suitable products. A lot of them were focused on accommodations. We tried to manipulate a few of our options in the past, and became frustrated because they just couldn’t meet our needs.”
“We looked around for a few years and tried a couple of booking systems, but there weren’t any suitable products.”
Ease of use was an issue.
“The booking systems we looked at were clunky, very difficult to integrate into the website, and simply didn’t look professional enough. One of them was supposedly tour focused, but it wasn’t cloud based, so that was inconvenient.”
Steve and his son, Lin, conducted a detailed analysis of the options available to them, and found Rezdy to be the best fit.
“Due to the unique nature of our products we needed to figure out whether various systems would work for it. We filled out a spreadsheet with all of the possible contenders, and looked at the aspects of the booking system that were most important to us; appearance, cost, levels of customer service, and our customers’ experience of the booking process. Rezdy floated to the top.”
“We filled out a spreadsheet with all of the possible contenders, and looked at the aspects of the booking system that were most important to us… Rezdy floated to the top.”
Steve then implemented Rezdy into his website.
“Rezdy is easy to use and integrate into the website. Also, our product is very photogenic, so I like how we can use photographs to highlight different products.”
“Rezdy is easy to use and integrate into the website…”
With Rezdy, Bogong Horseback Adventures can market themselves effectively online.
“I suspect that Rezdy has certainly increased sales because people are making the decision to book quickly, without talking to anyone. We used to have conversations with our customers before they made a booking, but now we get so many customers who have never spoken to us before – they just book themselves in through Rezdy.”
Rezdy has helped Bogong Horseback Adventures scale effectively.
“Our business has continued to grow with Rezdy, and the vast majority of our bookings are now online.”
“I suspect that Rezdy has certainly increased sales… the vast majority of our bookings are now online.”
Bogong Horseback Adventures has sped up their cash flow with Rezdy.
“Thanks to Rezdy and our payment gateway, our payments are always prompt and there no issues. Our customers also feel secure giving their credit card details.”
Steve likes the way the Rezdy product is continually developed.
“I think it’s terrific that there is ongoing development, and that Rezdy uses conversations with their customers to set priorities for these improvements.”
The recent effort Rezdy has put towards expanding online distribution for tour operators is another improvement that Steve likes.
“Getting more traffic to our website is always a challenge, so we have looked at a few of Rezdy’s distribution channel partners. I’m planning on connecting to Viator because we have very good reviews on TripAdvisor.”
Customer support is also not an issue.
“When we comment on the support forums, we get a quick and helpful response.”
Steve recommends that other horse riding operators give Rezdy a try.
“Have a very good look at it. It was difficult to find a suitable online booking system for our segment of the industry, but I found Rezdy to be a very good fit.”
“It was difficult to find a suitable online booking system for our segment of the industry, but I found Rezdy to be a very good fit.”