By Ricki Hudson — 17 Aug 2020
During COVID-19 we’ve been listening to tour and activity operators across the world to unpick what booking software features have helped them navigate through the pandemic. From digital payments to contact-free check-ins, we’ve identified these top 5 booking software features that matter the most to tour and activity operators right now.
In this article, we’ll explain what they are, why they matter, and how you can access these features yourself.
What is it? Simply put, cashless payment is exactly what it sounds like. Taking revenue or funds for your tour or activity without physically touching cash. Cashless payments can be managed by a payment gateway and received either through your website or at your point of sale for walk-ups.
Why does it matter? Digitizing all payments removes the hygiene risk of handling cash for both your team, and your customers. You have the added benefit of holding less cash on-premise and risks associated with that. It also enables you to take revenue in advance if you’re taking bookings through your website for future dates. That helps you secure cash flow in the short term to help your business navigate through this period.
How do you do it? Rezdy is integrated with dozens of payment gateways to support most markets. Depending on your region, you can connect through Stripe, Square, Trust My Travel, and our very own RezdyPay. Find out what options are available in your region on our payment gateway page.
What is it? Session management is a booking platform feature that enables tour and activity operators to manage the number of guests, times, and dates for specific tours or activities.
Why does it matter? Session management allows operators to navigate through various lockdown measures that may be in place at your destination. Using this feature, you can restrict the number of people per experience to adhere to your local government advice. It also enables you to maintain appropriate gaps between sessions. For example, if you have physical equipment like a bike, boat or kayak, managing a gap between your sessions in this manner will enable your team to clean these pieces of equipment before the next group of guests arrive.
How do you do it? Rezdy offers session management with all of our booking software products. To learn more about how it works, read our support article.
What is it? Automated messages are the emails that are sent to customers to confirm both that their payment has been received, and any other follow up details specific to the tour or activity that they have booked. For example, what to wear, where to meet and so on.
Why does it matter? Right now customers are looking for reassurance that the products they are buying will be safe for them, and their friends and family.. You can add specific details relating to your COVID-19 health and safety measures in these messages to instil trust in your tour or activity before your guests arrive. An added benefit is that this is also an opportunity to upsell extra products or upgrade guests before they travel. Also, you can send a thank you email easily and request a review for your product through TripAdvisor.
How do you do it? Rezdy offers automated messages on all booking software plans excluding Foundation. The configuration is easy. You can find all the details in our support article. We also offer SMS services.
What is it? Contact-free check simply means checking in a guest digitally without pen, paper or physical tickets etc.
Why does it matter? Similar to cashless payments, it’s simply an additional hygiene measure you can take to avoid your team and guests handling physical items like tickets. As an added benefit, it reduces your carbon footprint by lowering the volume of paper your business consumes. Also, paper costs money, so you save money too.
How do you do it? Rezdy offers a complete QR code solution. If you’re not familiar with a QR code, it’s the small, encrypted black and white square that you’ve probably seen on tickets you’ve bought yourself. QR codes are scannable between mobile devices and an included feature with Rezdy booking software plans. Our mobile app will scan codes and check-in guests. Simple. Better yet, that data will seamlessly transfer that information to the back office part of our software. You can find out more here.
What is it? Vouchers and gift cards are an option for guests to redeem your product in the future for themselves, or someone else, without committing to an actual session or date.
Why does it matter? Offering vouchers or gift cards online will help your business take much-needed cash flow now while you navigate the pandemic. Beyond that, it’s an opportunity to offer this solution when you may need to suddenly cancel planned sessions due to new restrictions related to COVID, rather than a refund of cash. When it comes to COVID, remember that your guests are in this too. You’ll be surprised at the uptake of a gift card rather than a cash refund option as they empathize with your position. An added bonus here (though, not one you should actually plan for), is the redemption of gift cards tends to be around 50%. Which means it’s money for jam. The length of time you need to honor vouchers is dependent on your jurisdiction. So, be sure to check that first.
How do you do it? Rezdy offers gift card and voucher features across all booking software plans. Set up is easy. You can find out more here.
I hope you’ve found this article helpful. If you’re just learning about booking software and how it can help your tour or activity, why not start a 21 day free trial on us. Sign up free here.
Written By – Ricki Hudson – Marketing Manager – Partnerships & Acquisition, Rezdy
Ricki has worked at Rezdy since 2018. Ricki has nearly 15 years of marketing experience, predominantly in the tourism sector. Ricki is passionate about helping the sector grow through strong eco-systems and networks to the betterment of the industry.