The Coronavirus pandemic has brought challenging times to the travel industry and many of the businesses we serve. Many tour and activity operators are faced with uncertainty, fear, and stress dealing with the impact.
During this challenging time, we want you to know that Xola is here to support you.
We’ve compiled a few resources to help.
While there are many things beyond everyone’s control, you do have the ability to take actions that can help curb the financial impact on your business.
Use store credit for cancellations
- You may be seeing a sudden spike in customer requests for information, cancellations, and refunds. Practice empathy, be accommodating, and respond promptly, and you’ll earn customers appreciation and loyalty. For anyone requesting to cancel, start by offering them store credit to use at a later date. Within Xola, you can easily cancel every booking in a timeslot from the roster and choose between refunding to the original payment method, issuing store credit, or refunding customers later. Store credit has the added benefit of allowing your customer to change their plans without impacting your bottom line.
- Be proactive and reach out to all customers with impacted reservations as early as possible. You can easily mass-message customers from the dashboard. Choose whether to notify everyone who has made a reservation for a particular day or message selected events across multiple days using the new dashboard week view.
Review your cancelation policy
- We recommend reviewing your cancellation policy and make any adjustments that you feel are appropriate permit flexibility for guests to reschedule and to protect your business. You can easily manage your cancelation policy by going to Products > Listings > Edit Listing” and scroll to “Cancellation Policy”.
Enable self serve booking management
- Enabling Self-Service for date changes, cancellations and questionnaire edits is a great way to cut down on phone calls and emails. If you have this enabled, it is worth evaluating refund policy on self-serve cancelations. Learn how to configure self service for guests.
Make a blackout schedule
- In times of emergency where you may need to cancel a tour or timeslot, the last thing you need to worry about is new bookings coming in. Easily blackout dates that you know you will not be able to operate from Products > Listings > Global Settings > Blackout Dates.
Set clear guidelines for your team
- There is enough uncertainty, fear, and stress that comes from a crisis. The last thing you need to do is add to that stress because your team doesn’t have clarity on company guidelines or how to communicate your policies to customers. This can be as simple as creating a Google Doc that’s shared internally along with a blog post or public posting that is available to customers, should you want to make that information more broadly accessible.
Create a custom email footer
A Custom Email Footer under Products > Global Settings is a great way to communicate the same message that you want to convey on every email. The footer is displayed on all of your email communications.
Additional helpful resources for tour operators
- In addition, we recommend listening to this episode of the Tourpreneur podcast, which includes a full checklist of tasks to protect your business.
- TripAdvisor published a travel-industry-focused resource page
- Arival published 10 Key Takeaways from “Contending with Crisis” discussion forum