Best Practice for Tours and Activities: Customer Payment and Booking Confirmations

Best Practice for Tours and Activities: Customer Payment and Booking Confirmations

Throughout the planning, development and execution of your distribution strategy, you need to recognize the importance of connecting with a diverse range of agents. This allows you to maximize your exposure on the global market while increasing brand awareness with a variety of travel segments. There are benefits to working with different types of agents. For example, when it comes to customer payment and booking confirmation, partnering with large agents can be advantageous. Large agents often have the ability to accept multiple types of currencies, allowing you to book your tours with international travelers. Individual suppliers may have a hard time accepting these different currencies, so this is a pivotal partnership to create within your distribution network.

The payment and booking confirmation process is an important component to consider when it comes to finalizing your distribution strategy. The average traveler may not be considering whether they are booking with an agent or booking directly through you, as their top priority is typically getting the best deal possible on their tours and activities. Their experiences will directly impact your business, whether you are responsible for the payment and booking confirmations or not. Ownership of this process is a pivotal part of the branding process.

Who Has Ownership of Your Customer Payment and Booking Confirmations?

Factors to consider when determining who has ownership of your customer payment portals and booking confirmations:

  • Do customers realize who they have booked with?  Customers may not even be aware that they are booking through an agent. Ownership can be determined simply by who is perceived to be the booking party.
  • Who do customers pay?  If a customer pays the agent directly, the agent is assuming greater ownership over your tour and activity company. This perception of ownership increases if the customer has opted to purchase a vacation package that includes one of your tours.
  • Who are they dealing with when they have questions, issues or concerns? If travelers contact you directly when they have questions or concerns about your tour, then you assume greater ownership over the branding process.
  • Who sends the booking confirmation? If the booking confirmation comes directly from you, it will increase your ownership over the process. Conversely, if the agent sends the booking confirmation, the traveler is more likely to assume the agent is the owner of the product.
  • Who introduces your staff on-site? The person or party who introduces your staff will be perceived as the owner of the product.

It’s okay if you discover that many of your agents have ownership over your tours, but it’s critical that you make sure that they are delivering the standard that you want for your business and for your customers. In many respects, the agents are an extended branch of your business. If they are not treating your customers right, then that is going to reflect poorly on your brand. Showcase what your brand is about to the agents that you network with, and verify that they meet all of the same standards.

distribution ready customer payment

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