As a business owner, you already know – sometimes the smallest decisions are the ones that make the largest impact. So it probably won’t come as a surprise when we say that the simple practices in this post come with big returns.
1. Rebook, don’t refund.
Whether it’s bad weather, flat tires or unruly children keeping customers from your tour, a good general policy is to offer to rebook before you refund. You’ll be surprised how many more customers you can retain with a simple policy change like this. Here’s why it works:
- Customers are often more flexible than you’d expect, and will leap at the opportunity to switch times, days or even activities to prevent having to research and book with another company.
- You’ll have an opportunity to upsell. Now that the customer’s locked in, it’s a great opportunity to offer add-ons or activity upgrades.
- Winning the online conversion battle is hard. Rebooking gives you the chance to retain (and impress!) a customer that already chose you once.
Of course, there’s always situations where rebooking isn’t an option. Maybe the customer was only in town for a few days or maybe they simply changed their mind. There’s plenty of scenarios where refunding becomes the better option. But before you get there, offer to rebook.
Since we designed FareHarbor in Hawaii, where a large portion of the tours are water-based, we built rebooking to be as simple as possible. Whether booking into a new day, a new activity or rebooking into a gift card for future use, it’s always just a few clicks away.
And if rebooking isn’t an option, FareHarbor also offers completely free-to-you refunds.
2. Accept payments in full.
As a business owner, you’re always looking to strike a balance between what’s best for your customer and what’s best for your business. With this policy, you’ll be making an easy choice for both. Why? A paid-in-full ticket feels like a clear cut guarantee, whereas a partial payment can feel inconclusive. This one’s all about building trust and it does a great job for both sides.
- Requiring customers to pay in full is a proven conversion booster, as it gives the customer increased confidence in their reservation.
- It helps reduce no-shows. When the activity is fully paid for prior to arrival, the customer is more invested in the purchase.
- For activities or rentals with a higher price tag, this is a great way to qualify customers and simplify the payment process.
3. Move check-in tasks from pen and paper to online.
One of the biggest advantages to using an online booking system is a streamlined check-in process for both you and your customers. Done correctly, this allows your staff to spend less time managing reservations by hand, and more time creating an awesome experience for your customers.
- If your business requires waivers, use a digital waiver service to secure all liability forms before guests even arrive. This will help speed up the check-in, especially for large parties with multiple people.
- Create and send a unique reminder email for each specific activity. Rather than a one-size-fits-all email, create an individual email for each separate tour or activity.
This gives you the ability to prepare customers or the exact activity they’re booked into – whether that means a different meeting location, warmer clothing or to bring bottled water.