Over the last several weeks our team has been working on translating our calendar 2.0 to other European languages. Until now, the calendar 2.0 was available in English, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch and Swedish. We knew that many of our clients in Europe needed to be able to show their calendar in more languages in order to attend to more customers.
We are please to announce that now the calendar is available in German and Portuguese. This is wonderful news for your customers who speak those languages and want to book your products or services. They can now view the calendar in their own native language to provide them a better experience and make them feel comfortable with your business. It’s a fantastic update especially for tours and B&Bs since most of their customers are booking from abroad. “It’s great to be able to provide the system in other languages so that people in Germany, Portugal or Brazil can make bookings without effort”, says Martin Israelsen, founder of WebReserv.
“We have numerous development plans for the system, but since our launch in Europe, we have been focused on making the system work well with European currencies, languages and payment providers, trying to make WebReserv as complete as possible”, concludes Martin Israelsen.
And that’s not it. We are planning to add Italian at the begining of 2014. We hope you will enjoy the benefits of those updates.
WebReserv European Manager
We are pleased to announce that the new WebReserv Booking Calendar now allows you to sell gift cards and certificates online.
Selling gift cards / certificates online is a great way to increase sales, especially during the holiday season. But don’t forget that you can benefit from selling gift cards and certificates throughout the year. Advertise your gift cards to previous customers – they already know you offer a great service, so it is a convenient way for them to offer a personal experience.
If you already have defined gift cards in your booking system, you don’t need to do anything. Starting today, the system will automatically show a “Buy gift card” button in the upper, left-hand corner of the Booking Calendar.
On the gift card page, the customer will choose the gift card option they would like to purchase.
If you prefer to keep your rooms / tours / rentals bookings separate from gift cards, you can easily do that, too. The Booking Calendar can be customized to show either rooms / tours / rentals and/or gift cards. You can even use the new beautiful snowflake themes.
For more information about selling gift cards and certificates using your WebReserv Booking System, please see http://www.webreserv.com/help/giftcard_overview.htm
Just in time for the holidays, we are pleased to announce two beautiful new themes for the WebReserv Booking Calendar. Whether you use the WebReserv Booking System for your Bed & Breakfast, Tour Bookings or Rental Activities, you can use the new themes to get your customers in the holiday spirit. The snowflake themes look stunning on websites and smartphones alike.
To modify the theme for your website, please see our guide on booking calendar themes: http://www.webreserv.com/help/booking_calendar_advanced_features_defining_colors.htm
I often speak to businesses that are somewhat skeptical about taking online bookings. Change can be challenging, and if a business is used to doing things a certain way, it can be hard to make the leap. Businesses are sometimes unsure if allowing online bookings is a good decision or not. Will it make things easier for the business and my customers? Will customers use an online booking system? The answer is a resounding YES! Here are 10 reasons why.
1. Always available . . . anywhere, anytime: A booking system attends to your customers’ reservations 24/7. It allows them to make bookings from anywhere, at any time, even in the middle of the night or during holidays.
2. Easy and instant: Have you ever left a webpage because it wasn’t easy to navigate or confusing to book products/services? Probably so. If a potential customer feels that way about your website, then he will likely take his business elsewhere and book with the competition. An online booking option is usually the simplest and easiest way to allow your customer to make reservations. It will reduce the possibility of losing potential customers.
3. No cost: People love to get things for free, and that is why they most prefer to book online for free instead of calling, especially if they have to spend a fortune calling from abroad.
4. Easy access to availability: Once the customer has seen your products/services, he will then look to see what is available. If a calendar showing availability is not on your webpage, it could frustrate a customer and prompt them to give you a call. This extra step (and extra frustration) could easily be alleviated by having a booking calendar that displays real-time availability on your website.
5. Multi-language: If a potential customer is from another country or doesn’t speak the same language, he may not want to reach out to you with questions via email or phone since the communication is difficult. In this case, having a booking system that is multi-lingual will allow you to reach a wider customer base.
6. Great experience: The reservation process is the first, direct contact a customer has with a business, and it is important to make sure this first impression is a positive one. If your customers are able to book, pay online, and receive a confirmation of the booking within 5 minutes, they will certainly remember it as a great booking experience. This will often translate into more business as customers that have a good experience will tell their friends and family. Word of mouth is a powerful sales tool for any business.
7. Transparent: Transparency is critical when it comes to the Internet. A booking system will show prices, taxes, options, fees and accepted payment methods. Your customers will immediately know all the important details, including cost of the product/service, and how to make the payment.
8. Meets customers’ expectations: The Internet keeps evolving. Today it is possible to do almost everything online. You can book a hotel, rent a car, or buy a computer. Your customers are accustomed to doing most everything online. The same is true for making a reservation – they will expect to be able to do it online. If you do not provide this option, it will reflect poorly on your business.
9. Control of the process: When you purchase or reserve something you certainly want to control the process. You want to be able to book at your convenience, find the dates and times that work best for you, and not have pressure from anyone else to tell you how do it. It is your money and time after all. This is exactly what online booking allows – control and freedom.
10. Easy access: In 2013, more a 25% of the Internet visits were made with a mobile device or a tablet. The percentage for 2014 will likely increase, too. Even if you are a small business, you must have the expectations that most of your customers will use these types of devices. Most booking systems available today are responsive and will allow your customers to book directly and easily from smartphones and tablets.
We are very excited to announce that a new version of the WebReserv Booking System will be released on October 1, 2013.
The new version includes 4 great, new features that will make it even easier to manage your online bookings.
Wait list for tour reservations (tour booking system)
The new version includes a waiting list feature for tour reservations/tour bookings. With the wait list, customers can sign up to be notified if a booked tour becomes available, or if new time slots are added. Plus, the notifications to your customers are automatic, so no extra work is needed on your part. The wait list feature is currently only available for schedule-based reservations, and you must be using Booking Calendar 2.0. A future version will include a wait list for hourly, daily and nightly reservations.
To enable the wait list, go to Setup – Products & Reservation Rules – select Tour – Schedules. In the Schedules setup, set Allow customers to waitlist to yes.
Once you have enabled the wait list, customers can sign up on the wait list directly from the Booking Calendar. The wait list feature works on all devices including tablets and smartphones.
You are also able to view and modify wait list requests. To do so, go to Frontdesk – Waitlist.
You can modify or delete each individual wait list request.
Language Support – Administration System
The new administration system includes full support for French and Spanish. By default, the booking system will automatically select the language based on your browser settings. However, if you want to use a different language than the one selected, go to Setup – Users to choose the appropriate language.
Language Support – Booking Calendar
The Booking Calendar 2.0 now includes support for French, Spanish, German, Dutch and Swedish. The Booking Calendar will automatically change the language based on the customer’s browser settings.
You are also able to override the automatic language selection in the Booking Calendar. Please see our online help for more information on how to override the language setting.
We have improved the PayPal payments page, so it won’t be blocked by the pop-up blocker in Chrome.
We have great news for all mobile users: It’s about to get a whole lot easier to find and book tours and rentals directly from your smartphone.
The WebReserv mobile app has passed the final beta testing stage and will soon be released to the iTunes App store.
The new app gives enables your customers to conveniently find and book using their smartphone. We designed it to make it easy to search nearby attractions by activity/type, distance or location.
Many customers already use Yelp or Google Places to locate nearby attractions and activities. Yelp and Google can show your website address and phone number, but they can’t show availability, pricing, or let the customer book online.
The WebReserv App solves that. By using the WebReserv App, your customers can find you and complete a booking in minutes.
The new app includes all the important information, including description, pictures, map and reviews.
Of course, it includes full booking capabilities:
We anticipate the iOS app to be released to the App store next month and expect to follow up with an Android app later this year. Stay tuned!