By Taz Bareham — 29 Mar 2018
Your manifest is the key to the smooth running of your tour or activity. Are you structuring it in the best way?
Watch this webinar to find out the latest features of the manifest:
If you run any sort of tour or activity business, you need to know exactly who is going to be there, and any particular requirements they might have.
It might raise the question for you: how hard can it be to just create a list of people for each event? Surely I could do that in Google Calendar or Excel or something? This poses some big risks, and you can very quickly become disorganized if you have things written down in different places and, if important information gets lost, you can end up with some very dissatisfied customers. For example, if you misplace the bit of information that one of your passengers is vegetarian and you forget to bring the vegetarian snacks along, they are going to end up hungry and grumpy.
Good formatting on your manifest involves just a couple of things. First of all, it needs to be easy to read. This means using simple fonts and making it clearly structured. You also want your template to be customized and tailored for use by different people. For example, the tour guide is going to need a different manifest than the driver who is picking people up.
The crucial element in any manifest is to include the right information. This obviously means full name, date and time of activity, pickup location, activity information and drop-off location.
However, you might also want to take it a step further and include customers’ special requirements. For example, if a customer has any food allergies, you might want to be aware of this. Remember that if your tour includes food, depending on the laws where you operate, you might be legally required to ask for this information for liability reasons. Other information might be specific to equipment, if they are renting something from you. For example, if you offer bicycle rental, they might want to hire a tandem, or if you offer car rental, you might want to ask them whether they want to specify manual or automatic transmission.
Rezdy lets you set up a manifest as well as customize it so you can make sure everyone can use it easily and everyone has the right information.
The first step is to customize the fields that you ask the customers. This helps you when you are gathering information from them initially. You access this through the Inventory tab and ‘My Products.’ From here, you can select the product whose manifest you want to customize. Once you have chosen the product, you skip ahead to the ‘Booking Info’ tab where you have the opportunity to show particular details on the manifest as well as the basic information like first name, last name and contact details. There are two fields available on the manifest when making bookings – one lets you collect information from just the person making the booking, the other lets you collect information for each individual participant. Once you have collected the information, you can tick a box that makes all of it visible on the manifest.
Moving down the page, you will see a field that says ‘other manifest fields.’ This is where you can add the additional information for each customer which will be visible on your manifest.
At the bottom of the Booking Info tab are your custom fields. This is where you enter the specific questions you want to ask your customers, such as dietary requirements, or if they have an emergency medical contact. On a less morbid note, this is where you could also ask if they have a particular pickup time or location!
The very first option is a Check In button, which is a new feature to Rezdy. It puts a check in button on your manifest next to each customer’s name which you can use to check them in once they arrive. You can choose to add a time stamp next to each customer’s name when they arrive. This is beneficial if, for example, you have another staff member picking up the passengers in a vehicle, like a boat for example, because they can see as it updates in real-time who has arrived at the front desk and who is left to arrive.
The manifest feature also allows you to hide certain sections of the data depending on who is looking at it. For example, if your pickup driver is looking at the manifest but is only responsible for a small section of the activity, you would not need to show them the dietary requirements section, just the pickup time, location and number of people. Similarly, the tour guide (for example) would not need to know about pickup locations, so you could hide that section for them. You can then print the manifest based on how it will look for a given person, so you can print the driver’s manifest and then the tour guide’s manifest with the relevant information from the same place – just hide and unhide the relevant data as needed.
You can also rearrange the data fields in the manifest, as well as hiding and displaying certain sections. If you wanted the customer’s pickup location to be the first field that is displayed, which might make the manifest easier to use for the pickup driver, then you can click and drag that field to be the leftmost field. It functions exactly the same way for whichever field you want to display first. Once again, you can print them all from the same location.
We do recommend setting up your staff as users of your Rezdy account, because that way they can access the manifest and tick off arrivals, view customer info and access all the other relevant information on a phone or a tablet. You can change the permissions that each staff member has, so it works the same as printing off a manifest for each of them.
The benefit of structuring the information-gathering this way is that you only need to do it once and, more importantly, your customers only have to answer your questions once. It makes you look a bit disorganized and unprofessional if you have to ask them multiple times because it looks to them as if there is a breakdown in communication within your business.
Once you have collected the data, your manifest integrates with your calendar in Rezdy. You can go into your calendar, click on the Manifest button in the top left corner, and then filter it based on the date, so you can look at who is coming to which activity on which date, as well as information relevant to each customer that you have collected.
Please check out the webinar at the top of the page for a full step-by-step walkthrough of setting up your manifest in Rezdy. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to give you a call and help you out!
The manifest feature will reduce the time your staff needs to prepare a tour. As everything is automated there will be fewer errors, less admin work and more time to focus on the quality of your tours and activities. Your customers will have easy access to all the information they need to have a great experience with you.