Caribe Shuttle provide affordable travel routes throughout Costa Rica & Panama. In addition to daily transfers, customers can choose from a wide variety of tours and activities packages – everything from sailing to bungee jumping and horseback riding are offered.
As the Co-Owner & General Manager of Caribe Shuttle, Carlton Whitesides focuses on managing the day-to-day operations of the business.
When he joined the business over two years back, they operated one winning transfer, which went from Costa Rica to Panama. While they had no problems filling seats, Carlton realized that there had to be a better way of managing reservations.
“Our biggest challenge was keeping track of all of our reservations. Each van has up to 10 or more people in them, and we travel through 2 different countries. We were using Google Docs, so we would open up a new Google Doc for each shuttle route for a particular day. As you can imagine, this meant we had hundreds and even thousands of separate reservation documents for the business.”
“Our biggest challenge was keeping track of all of our reservations… we had hundreds and thousands of separate reservation documents for the business.”
The process that Caribe Shuttle had in place required intensive administrative upkeep, as Google Docs is not built for managing reservations. In addition, processing payments was a major hassle.
“People would send us a request through our site, and we would send them an attachment – a credit card form that they would have to fill out, scan, and send back to us via email in order for us to process their reservation.”
He knew this wasn’t ideal. If he didn’t change this process with a new reservation system, it would stifle the growth of the business.
“Trying to manage more shuttles with Google Docs is not possible. We would have tried to expand our products, made lots of mistakes, and had very unhappy customers – not to mention my agents would be working twice as hard as they do now.”
Carlton decided to start looking for a solid reservation system that would back his business operations.
“If you don’t have a good reservation system, you’re not going to get very far, because it’s the heart of the company. We needed a foundation for this company to grow on. This was going to be the most important thing that I could do for the company, so I immediately started looking.”
“If you don’t have a good reservation system, you’re not going to get very far, because it’s the heart of the company.”
Knowing that it was such a vital decision to make, Carlton took his time researching his options.
“I spent 6 months looking for the right online software that was flexible enough to make it work for us. I probably went through 10 different programs, and spent 3-4 weeks on each one to try and make them fit.”
Because of the nature of the business, and its location being in Costa Rica, one of the key functions he was looking for was the ability to accept credit card details without charging straight away.
“There are virtually no online payment gateway services that work with banks in Costa Rica. So, it is not ideal to have our customers charged immediately when booking. We need to make sure we can fill the request and then make the charge and send the confirmation.”
After a close examination of each reservation software, Carlton finally decided that Rezdy was the right choice for him.
“I kept running into road blocks with the other systems. I even went from Rezdy to another one, and then back to Rezdy – I did this twice. I finally decided on Rezdy because it just fits us better. There’s a lot of flexibility to modify the booking form for each shuttle/tour, and the Rezdy Vault was key, because it gives us the ability to take reservations and securely accept our customer’s credit card details without immediately charging them.”
Carlton signed up and began implementing Rezdy into his business.
“I added all of our shuttles, and all of the tours that we offer from third party services. Then, I sat down with my agents and showed them how to use it. It’s very easy.”
What impressed him most was how easy it was to use.
“I like the simplicity of Rezdy. It’s intuitive, it’s a very clean, efficient experience for our customers, and it’s very simple for my agents to learn how to use.”
With Rezdy, Caribe Shuttle can efficiently accept online bookings and process payments.
“Rezdy has taken something that’s complicated and made it easy. It makes your life easier, and makes it a lot easier for people to make their reservations. I often hear from customers, ‘I booked with you because it was easy to do online’. And that is a big reason why our reservation process has gotten so much better.”
“Rezdy has taken something that’s complicated and made it easy.”
In fact, Caribe Shuttle has experienced significant growth after implementing Rezdy.
“Since we started using Rezdy, our business has grown by about 60%, and I would say our online reservations have gone from 25% to about 70%. It’s been a huge increase.”
“Since we started using Rezdy, our business has grown by about 60%… It’s been a huge increase.”
Caribe Shuttle now uses Rezdy as the foundation to manage all reservations that come through.
“We use Rezdy extensively. Before Rezdy, our main product was the one shuttle – we now have 6 different shuttles going of our own. We have 80+ products, over 100 agents in the system, and process anywhere from 20-50 orders a day.”
Carlton is so happy with Rezdy that he would recommend it to other shuttle and transport operators.
“If you’re looking for an easy to use piece of software that you can learn and start in a day, if you want to increase your sales, if you want your customers to have a good booking experience, and if you want to be able to keep track of all your reservations, then this is the right software for you.”
“…if you want to increase your sales, if you want your customers to have a good booking experience, and if you want to be able to keep track of all your reservations, then this is the right software for you.”