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What to Look For in Your Next Booking System

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Researching your next booking system can be a long, arduous process. At some point you probably have found yourself on review platforms such as Capterra or G2 to compare the various booking and reservation management solutions that exist today. Whether you’re transitioning from a previous booking system or looking to adopt one as a new business, the question still remains – what exactly do you need to look for in a booking system?

To aid in your search, we break down the top qualities you need to factor into your decision:

1. Costs

The first factor in most of your business decisions likely comes down to “how much is this going to cost?” Within the software industry, you’ll encounter different pricing structures, each with their own pros and cons. Here are the most common models to consider:

  • Tiered pricing – This tends to be the most frequent pricing model used among SaaS (software as a service) companies. At its core a tiered pricing structure provides several options or packages that contain different combinations or features at various prices. This generally is broken down into a monthly payment plan but allows you to select the package that best fits your business.
  • Commission pricing – As the name suggests, in this type of model you, the business owner, are required to pay a specific percentage to your booking software provider whenever a guest completes a booking. While you might only be charged when a booking or reservation is completed, these commissions can also be hurtful when you experience high volumes of transactions. Additionally, depending on the provider you choose, the rates can also change year over year, making the variable costs each year difficult to predict.
  • Booking fees – This is the pricing model used by FareHarbor. In some ways it’s similar to a commission-based model, however, in this scenario, a booking fee is transferred to the guest at checkout. Generally speaking, this is a free booking software, omitting the need for any monthly payment plans or upfront costs. The main consideration for your business is determining if a booking fee will affect your customer’s ability to purchase. Fortunately, nowadays, customers are well accustomed to paying a service or booking fee for their purchase, using websites like Fandango, Ticketmaster, and other ticketing services.

2. Customizable Features & Functionalities

Customizable solutions are the next important factor when it comes to choosing a booking system. The tours, activities, and attractions industry is very diverse, so the features and functionalities you’re looking for can vary from tour operator to tour operator. You may also have several employees at different levels who need to access your booking software for various needs. 

At FareHarbor, we understand that no two businesses are alike. That’s why we’ve worked tirelessly to create the only platform flexible enough to support all of the specialized needs of your tour, activity, attraction, or rental business.

For example, FareHarbor’s Seating Assignment feature allows you to build and integrate seat maps, whether you are running a boat cruise, dinner show, axe-throwing lane, and anything in between. Another feature that our clients love is the flexible payment options we provide – from selecting the deposit amount for specific items and splitting payment across customers, to even offering Bluetooth EMV readers to streamline in-person purchases. 

3. Ease of Use

At the end of the day, a booking software should make life easier, not harder.

FareHarbor was designed specifically for tours, activities, and attractions businesses with an intuitive customer interface to ensure your business is up and running in no time! When you join FareHarbor, we build your Dashboard alongside you to ensure your business needs are met, and we schedule a training to walk you through every last detail. Clients can also schedule re-trainings in the event your business has new employees or you simply need a refresher!

Lastly, you can access your FareHarbor Dashboard through any web browser or by downloading our mobile app for iOS or Android devices. For more tips on getting the most out of our services, check out the 7 Ways FareHarbor Makes Life Easier For Tour & Activity Operators.

4. Customer Service

The last factor you need to consider before you make your final decision is the quality of customer support and service from your next booking software provider. Outside of the features and functionality, what ultimately separates one booking system from another is the people behind it. 

At FareHarbor, we take immense pride in providing the industry’s best customer support (with reviews to prove it!). We offer friendly 24/7 multilingual support, and are always accessible by phone or email! In addition to connecting with our great team, you can also access an extensive online Help Center for your most common questions, which is a great solution for those looking for self-service. 

We know choosing your next booking system is a big decision. We’re here to help! Get a demo today to see what we can do for your business.

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