When making decisions in your tour business, you’re no stranger to calling the shots. But, when choosing the best tour operator software, how do you know if you’re making the right call?
Tour booking software helps experience providers manage customer information, take payments and organize the bulk of their daily operations.
As a tourism professional, a challenge you might face is how to identify the best online booking system. But thankfully, choosing the right tour operator software doesn’t have to be complicated.
In this post, we’ll walk through how to choose the best tour operator software beginning with common challenges, means of solving them and what to look for specifically when determining the right match for your tour business.
Why invest in tour operator software
Do you face a mountain of emails that feel like they never end in your day-to-day life? How about a string of to-do’s surrounding payments or reporting processes that you’re struggling to tackle?
Working in travel and tourism is not without its perks, but to succeed as a tour operator, you’ll need to develop systems that support your tour business as it grows. Enter: tour booking software.
When considering the benefits , getting set up with online bookings can solve several pain points in your tour business, including:
- a complicated and lengthy booking processes
- challenges around payment gateways and processing
- guests communication falling through the gaps
- double bookings and over-bookings due to manual errors
- inconsistent or inaccurate reporting
What you need from your tour booking software
When you first start taking bookings with your tour business, you might manage your customers and schedule with spreadsheets, notebooks and paper copies.
And, as your tour business grows, you’ll explore website reservation software that can look after the back-end of managing online bookings.
Better manage your tasks with online booking software that pulls all relevant information into one place.
Organize your team
Between bookings, payments and staying on top of customer emails, one of the biggest challenges for small businesses is keeping on top of administrative work. With Checkfront, you have something called the Daily Manifest, which displays the number of bookings, guests and details in one place.
Make it easy for staff in multiple locations to view upcoming bookings to know what to expect on specific dates. Invite your team to view booking times, guest names and remaining inventory at a glance.
The Daily Manifest provides a snapshot of products booked on a chosen date. This includes information on customers and the number of bookings for a specific activity or experience. Individual bookings are called a Product in Checkfront’s booking system, and any Documents or online waiver forms are attached to the booking(s).
This is where online booking software can help you stay on top of the daily tasks you need to accomplish to run your business.
Automate your processes
The problem with a disorganized workflow and staff turnover is that any changes can wreak havoc on your daily operations. Instead of panicking when hiccups occur, tour booking software helps things run smoothly thanks to automation.
Email, customer communication, and processing payments should be top of mind where automation can support your workflow.
Plus, automating your daily tasks can save you hours of your week. Here is a shortlist of the types of email notifications that can help you streamline your workflow:
- Booking confirmation emails
- Customer inquiries
- Date and change requests
- Invoice and payment reminders
- Reminder emails
- Follow-up reminder
- Request for review emails
When inputting template emails, you have the option to use personalization tokens to customize your emails to guests, and you can duplicate these emails to suit your needs. On top of your daily tasks, you will also need a way of attracting visitors online and encouraging them to book with you.
Sales and marketing software
The goal of your sales and marketing channels is to communicate and engage with your prospects. . As a side note, investing in a CRM for tour operators can assist with attracting customers to your website and converting them into paid guests. Here are a few tools Checkfront can support with:
- Content Management System (CMS)
- Customer Relationship Management
- Email Marketing
- Channel Management
- Gift Certificates
- Images & Videos
With the best tour operator software, you can also build payment processing into your workflow with various available payment providers.
And be sure to look at the options detailing the variety of accounting software for tour operators that can help you determine whether Checkfront will work with your needs.
Save time and hassle with online payments and deposits
With point of sale payments, you can automate this part of the booking process for your guests and make it easier to manage your business goals. Checkfront makes payment reminders and processing easy with variety of options. Choose between payment gateways and simplify the payment process for your guests with automated invoices, reminders and
- Point-of-Sale (POS)
- Balance payment method
- Revenue management
- Payment reminders
- Payment processing
- Point-of-Sale (POS)
Store documents in one place
Whether you offer accommodation, rentals or guided experiences, online waiver agreements can grant you peace of mind while making the check-in experience easier for guests.
Once you learn how to use Waivers to streamline the experience for guests, you’ll save time and paperwork while also improving your booking workflow.
Keep your reporting up to date
Reporting and analytics help you make sense of your day to day operations and find trends over time. With this data, you can see how your tour business is performing, when your busy season ramps up and discover your most popular tour and activities.
Helpful reports and sales insights
- Sales reports
- Demographic information
Whether you’re a small tour operator or just starting your experience-based business, the best back-office tour operator software acts as an assistant or supporting team member, reducing your workload.
Look for a booking system that offers notifications and email templates to help you automate the repetitive tasks that you and your team do. It’s also helpful to invest in a system that allows you to personalize your notifications among your customer base.
Essential tour operator software features
Ideally, your booking software — once set up — should make your life easier. Automatically add new customers, send emails and look after payments with ease.
Your tour booking software should leave few gaps in your workflow.
Versatile integrations make life so much easier. With over 49+ integrations, Checkfront enables you to run your business in a way that makes sense to you.
You likely won’t need every integration in order
There will probably be times when you’ll need or want to get in touch with Tech Support to help you solve a problem. Even if this isn’t your first experience with online booking software, how do you know if your support team is there when you need them?
Look for a booking system that helps you automate the daily administrative tasks that can free you up to do what you and your team do best.
Finding a perfect match
When choosing tour booking software, invest some time into the learning and taking advantage of available resources. For many experience providers, getting started is one of most challenging parts of adopting a new online booking system.
But, similar to anything worthwhile, it will require your energy and time to get set up, but once you do, you’ll gain your time back — tenfold.
Ultimately, you want to a system that delivers everything you need and provides you with a robust online booking platform to grow alongside your tour business. If you need support or want to find out more information, get in touch with us.