California Dreaming – Online Booking Boom in the Golden StateFebruary 19, 2014, Paul Hazon
If all the leaves are brown and the sky is grey, you’re probably California dreaming. And why not? With dozens of accommodation, tour, rental businesses and wineries across the state, Checkfront is helping to lead the way in customer driven online bookings.
Just like the great California Gold Rush of 1848, business owners in the tourism and rental industries are flocking to Checkfront to bring their online booking presence into the 21st century.
Technology has come a long way since the Gold Rush days and California is home to some of the top tech companies in the world. As our lives become busier and busier, the need to operate a business while on the go is becoming more and more important. Just ask the good folks at Chateau St. Jean in Sonoma, db Autosportif, University of Surfing and San Francisco’s very own Local Tastes of the City Tours, all of whom are utilizing Checkfront’s iOS app for managing bookings and even processing credit card payments while out of the office.
With more than a quarter of smartphone users in the US owning an iPhone, it only makes sense that many Checkfront clients are also utilizing Apple’s Passbook facility, which allows a user to add their booking confirmation to the Passbook app on their phone. As the user approaches their destination, their booking automatically pops up on the screen ready for check-in.
Db Autosportif is an example of one such business and their partnership with Checkfront is continuing to flourish.
“Checkfront has really managed to take an element of our business off our minds” said Danielle Stroble. “Now that our customers can complete the reservation process directly through our website, we can focus on our relationship and provide the best experience for the client. The incredible support we received in the initial set up of our Checkfront reservation system was crucial to the success of the project, allowing us to move forward with our launch much more smoothly.”
Facebook, who also calls California home, is another platform that Checkfront has integrated with in recent times. In fact, businesses can not only embed their booking portal directly into their company website, but they can also embed one in their Facebook Page too. With all these amazing features at their disposal, it’s no surprise that Checkfront’s customer base is buzzing with more bookings than ever before.
B. Bryan Preserve is a great example of a company which fully utilizes the technology and features available through Checkfront with their Point Arena based African wildlife reserve.
The reserve offers accommodation and daily tours to its guests through Checkfront’s seamless booking portal on the company website.
“Posting prices in the booking window has much improved the communication with prospective customers, saving time spent on the phone and engaging in negotiations”, said Judy Mello.
The iOS app on both the iPad and iPhone has proved invaluable when managing bookings on the go, along with Checkfront’s integration with Google Calendar for viewing bookings without being logged in to Checkfront.
Integration with the popular payment gateway Stripe has also enabled the reserve’s customers to serve themselves and allow the staff to spend more time looking after the animals and running day to day operations.
I paid for the first year of Checkfront in the first 24 hours of use, without having to pick up the phone
It’s a similar story over at the University of Surfing in San Francisco. Being a popular attraction in the Bay Area, the company phones were constantly ringing off the hook. There must be a better way, they decided, and business owner Matt Cole came across Checkfront via a simple internet search. He took the 21 day free trial for a spin and hasn’t looked back.
“I paid for the first year of Checkfront in the first 24 hours of use, without having to pick up the phone,” said Matt. “We haven’t answered the phone in something like seven months!” he went on to joke.
Like many business owners these days, Matt offered Groupon-based discounts which inevitably led to a dramatic increase in the volume of incoming sales calls. Thanks to Checkfront’s built-in voucher redemption system though, Matt was able to record a message on the company voicemail pointing customers to the website where they could quickly and conveniently redeem their code in order to purchase a surfing lesson.
And there you have it. As California has moved from Gold Rush to Urban Rush, Checkfront continues to embrace new technologies and move to the forefront in online booking facilities, providing our customers with exciting new innovations and profit boosting self-serve tools.
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