4 Tips on how to pick a reservation solution that works for you

Travel Planning Notepad lrg

There are so many options out there and it can be daunting to dive into the world of software.

Just browse the internet and chances are that a lot of solutions will cater to your needs, so how do you pick one? Instead of diving in the deep end looking for The One, we suggest you keep it simple and start by eliminating the masses using the following tips.

TIP 1: Make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves

First off, get your team together and brainstorm about what you’re looking for in a reservation solution. Make a list of features that are crucial, and features which would be nice to have. Using your crucial features you can quickly start crossing off those which don’t offer what you need.

Not sure what features are out there or what it actually is you’re looking for? Have a look at our blog post on 10 Features to look for in a reservation solution.

TIP 2: Find a local software solution

By “local” we don’t mean it should come from a farm near you, but more like the same time zone or country. This is helpful because you want to be able to reach the support desk when you need to, maybe even visit them or have them visit you for them to understand your operations and configure and customise your system to suit your needs.

Even if your products are straightforward, it’s easier when their language is your language, their currency is your currency, and their GST calculations are applicable to your finances.

TIP 3: Investigate what similar businesses and others around you use

What do other activity operators in your area use? Or operators that offer similar products to you? Try to get in touch with them and ask if they are happy with what they’re using.

What about the information centres in your area, does their system integrate with the solution you’re looking at? This could enable them to simply book your products without you having to answer the phone and spend precious time explaining which trips are available and how much they cost, to then have them hang up on you because they want to discuss it with the customer. After which they might call back again to actually make the booking or ask more questions… That could all be avoided.

TIP 4: Talk to solution providers

After you’ve shortlisted a few solutions by the power of elimination, get in touch with them! Explain what your wants & needs are and see what they have to say. Discuss particular issues you’re trying to tackle, and maybe try it out or get a demo to see if it suits your current processes.

The hardest thing about a new solution is you having to adapt to it. Change isn’t always comfortable. Let their team guide you through the implementation and become the best friend at a support desk you ever had.

Success Story – Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs pools web med

They believe the natural thermal waters provide therapeutic benefits. Their goal is to provide a high-quality destination and enhance the quality of the greater Hurunui District.

The history of their therapeutic waters date back hundreds of years and since its public ownership in 1970 it has grown from a simple bathing area to multi-million-dollar attraction that pulls in over half a million customers a year.

Hanmer Springs were struggling to manage their various business operations and growth. They not only ran the award-winning pools, but they also ran a visitor information centre and a rapidly growing day spa.

As a result, they couldn’t capitalise on opportunities to develop customer relationships. Basic customer details like customer’s address, telephone number and number of visits were not recorded. Also, bookings from the same customer were all treated entirely separately. If someone was buying two packages or more than one treatment, there was no link to show both bookings. They knew this system was inefficient and costing them money in person-hours.

They needed to boost efficiency and streamline the business. Specifically, Hanmer Springs needed a point-of-sale system, a reservation solution and a visitor information centre system tied together with a database management capability. Above all, they needed integration – all systems had to work as one.

The IBIS Business Management Platform allows Hanmer Springs to use simple, fast processes to free-up their time to focus on growing the business. Thanks to the integration of IBIS Technology’s flexible modules, Hanmer Springs can manage reservations, admissions, retail sales, café sales, spa scheduling, manage a membership program and an e-commerce shopping site.

Hanmer Springs
Hanmer Springs pools jump web med

Now Hanmer Springs uses IBIS Technology to gain insights from their data, uncover opportunities, and have more time to focus on their customers. As a result, operations are more efficient, and repeat business has increased.