Advantages and disadvantages of computer reservation system
There's no doubt about it; the daily increasing advancements in technology have shifted the world online. Online education, banking, shopping, networking, booking — the list goes on and on.
There's no doubt about it; the daily increasing advancements in technology have shifted the world online. Online education, banking, shopping, networking, booking — the list goes on and on. Similarly, computer reservation systems have allowed the tour and activity industry to sell to anyone anywhere in the world. Customers and travellers can now browse through various tours and activities, book their favourites, add any specifications and pay for the entire experience beforehand — all online. Business remains open 24/7, and work gets done quicker. However, some are yet to make the switch.
Manual tour booking and reservation is still pretty prevalent nowadays. Many tours and activity operators prefer the telephone booking process, occasionally incorporating email. Although manual tour booking is functional, it doesn't allow tour and activity providers to really tap into their full potential. It also may not be the most convenient way to manage and sell tour and activity reservations. Tour and activity providers are now obliged to provide an online booking option for their products and services or risk the absolute certainty of falling behind competitors.
Let's have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of a computer reservation system.
Advantages of a computer reservation system
There are many reasons why the majority of tour and activity operators opt for online booking systems.
1. 24/7 Booking
Opening and closing times for your business go out the window. Thanks to computer reservation systems, business is open 24 hours a day, and customers can browse through your products and services wherever they are and whenever they want. This also means being physically present in an office to accept reservations from customers isn't necessary anymore. The online booking system does it for you, allowing you to focus on other important aspects of improving your business.
2. A more enriched customer experience
Ensuring your customers have a good experience once they land on your page is crucial. Integrating an online booking system allows for a more seamless experience for your customers. The customers are in charge of the whole process, from exploring tours to booking and purchasing to checking in, all completed at a time that suits them best.
3. Reduction in administrative task time
Online booking systems allow you and your staff members to work smarter, not harder. Long gone are the days of tedious filing and the monotonous dreaded task of noting down customer information. You'll be able to automate key tasks such as reservations, payments, report generation, waiver signing, and so much more with computer reservation systems.
4. More distribution, more exposure
To get the desired exposure for your business, simply putting up products and services on a website doesn't cut it. Luckily, online booking software aids in driving more traffic to your website. How? Through channel managers. TripAdmit offers channel managers — API integration with larger distributors and well-known brands within the travel sector. Making your service available on a channel manager increases the likelihood of receiving a booking as it exposes your tours and activities to a much wider audience.
5. Receive valuable insight about your business
Computer reservation systems come along with many beneficial features, including a dashboard of analytics — tour and activity providers can determine the most popular sellers, add-ons, time-slots and seasons. The analytics tell you what's working and what isn't from the customer's perspective. This allows you to improve on the most popular aspects and save time and money on offerings that don't help your business thrive.
Now that we've discussed the advantages of online booking systems, let's head over to the disadvantages and how an efficient reservation system can tackle them.
Disadvantages of a computer reservation system
1. Impersonal booking experience
There's no denying that online booking software negates essential human-to-human interaction. For many customers, this is a significant quality. They want to be greeted warmly and feel tended to. An online booking experience, although convenient and quick, does not allow the same connection that a one-on-one interaction might. However, to offset this, making your website as welcoming as possible is crucial. Include rich media content in each of your tours and activities, and take the time to respond to customer reviews. Going the extra step of uploading imagery taken by a professional photographer will increase the trust factor with online visitors and prompt them to book more often.
2. Internet access is a must
For online booking software, having a good solid internet connection is fundamental. If you sell tours and activities in more remote areas where reliable internet is a commodity, a computer reservation system might not be right for you. However, you can always provide a contact number for customers who don't have good internet.
3. Learning curve for less tech-savvy users
The ideal reservation system should cater to all customers, not just tech-savvy ones. Unfortunately, most reservation systems on the market have not yet realized this, and as a result, their services are packed full of features and unclear starting points for tasks, such as setting up a tour.
TripAdmit has been built from the ground up to be the most evident and concise travel reservation system on the market, with clear user flows and an on-hand team of operations experts to aid you along every step of the way. It is what we pride ourselves on.
After balancing the pros and cons, you might find yourself inclined towards integrating a computer reservation system into your business, that is, if you haven't already. Keeping up with the current market trends will only help your business grow and expand. Online booking software is becoming more and more popular by the day, and reservations and booking within the tourism industry have been shifting online year on year since the early '00s.