Are you on the market for tour reservation software? Choosing the right online booking software is an essential step in running a tour or attraction business.
You want to find a system that meets your team’s needs and helps you drive more sales — all while growing alongside your company. Yet with so many options available, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed.
In this post, we’ll talk about the seven key features to look for in your tour reservation software to ensure you make the right choice.
- 1. Is it easy to use?
- 2. What’s the level of automation?
- 3. Does it meet my team’s needs?
- 4. Does it integrate with my current tech stack?
- 5. What kind of reporting features does it offer?
- 6. Will it grow with my company?
- 7. Will I have 24/7 customer support?
What is tour reservation software?
Tour reservation software, also known as tour booking software, is the simplest and most efficient way to manage your bookings.
It’s a system that allows operators to accept bookings through their websites. Once installed, it keeps track of all reservation activity for you and even sends automated confirmation emails when a booking is made.
Why is tour reservation software important?
Tour reservation software is an essential piece of the puzzle when running a tour or attraction business. Here’s why:
- It turns your website into a 24/7 booking engine. Your guests are expecting a quick and easy booking experience. They want to be able to book their experiences on the go, especially while they’re on vacation. If your website doesn’t offer them a good booking experience, they’re likely to seek out a competitor that does.
- It helps you drive more direct bookings. A delightful booking experience will entice guests to hit the “Book Now” button instead of continuing to shop elsewhere. Then, you can rely less on third-party resellers and focus on driving more bookings through your website.
- It ensures you don’t get overbooked. That’s right: Booking software will keep track of tour availability in real-time ensuring that your guests never book a listing that’s already sold out.
- You can automate guest communications. Manually sending emails one by one can take up a lot of your time. After writing so many emails, there might be discrepancies between them, which doesn’t make your company look very professional. And what if there’s a weather-related delay? You can’t walk away from your desk because you need to be in constant communication with guests.
- It streamlines your business operations: If you could manage all of your bookings, tour guides, and inventory from a single system, wouldn’t that make your life easier? Tour reservation software makes things easier for you on the back end so that you can focus on providing the best possible customer experience on the front end.
When do you need it?
If you just started your tour company, you may not feel the need for booking software just yet. Perhaps you’ve only received a handful of bookings and you’re managing them manually.
As word gets out about your new tour business, more customers will start to show up. At some point, your booking volume will reach a point where you can no longer manage it manually.
If managing your bookings is causing you to negatively impact your guest experience, it’s time to switch over to booking software like Xola.
It may also be time to switch over to a more sophisticated booking solution if you feel like your business is in a slump. Perhaps you’re no longer a newcomer, but your business isn’t growing at the rate you aimed for.
Booking software can help your businesses grow in more ways than one. It will optimize your website to drive more bookings with strategically placed “Book Now” buttons and a mobile-friendly checkout.
Some software solutions offer additional features to boost sales.
What to look for when choosing tour reservation software
Here are seven questions to consider before making your final decision.
1. Is it easy to use?
It’ll take some time for you, your employees and your guests to become familiar with the new system — but it shouldn’t take too much time. You want to invest in software that’s relatively easy to learn. That way, there will be little to no downtime during the switch, and you can easily train future employees in just a few days.
2. What’s the level of automation?
One of the key reasons to invest in booking software is to automate tedious booking-related tasks, such as reminding guests to sign digital waivers before their tour and asking for reviews after their visit. Both of these tasks can be automated with the right software.
3. Does it meet my team’s needs?
Before you begin searching for software, it’s a good idea to talk to your team. Ask them about their needs and pain points in their respective roles. Once you analyze their responses you’ll have a much better understanding of what your team needs from tour reservation software.
For example, if you run a sailing tour company, your skippers need to have an updated guest roster before the start of the tour. In that case, you’d want to find a booking software that makes it easy to share customer information with your staff.
4. Does it integrate with my current tech stack?
Consider the tools you already use to run your business, such as your email provider and accounting software. Ideally, you’d choose software that integrates with your existing tool set.
5. What kind of reporting features does it offer?
Tour reservation software should make it easy for you to tap into revenue, resource, and customer satisfaction data. Having access to in-depth revenue reports, NPS surveys, and resource planning features will help you make strategic decisions about tour listings schedule, new hires, and future investments.
6. Will it grow with my company?
Consider the features and functionality your company will need in the next five years. Now ask yourself if the booking software you have your eye on will meet those needs. It’s best to choose a booking solution that is customizable and powerful enough to grow with your business. If not, you risk outgrowing it and having to invest in a new software all over again,
7. Will I have 24/7 customer support?
If something goes wrong with your booking software, you want to be able to contact someone as soon as possible — even if it’s after business hours. One of the key things to look for in your tour scheduling software is the level of customer support offered. For example, does the company help you set up the new software? Will you have a dedicated account manager? You want to feel supported if anything ever goes wrong.
In sum, there are a few key features to look for in your tour reservation software:
- Ease of use
- Customer support
Remember to also talk to your staff about their needs and consider the features you may need three years from now.