It’s summertime and this is the time your business thrives. Whether you run a kayak or mountain bike rental shop, fishing charter, or have a few rental cabins in the mountains, you are always trying to attract more customers to choose you when making their summer plans. Try these tips to help you not only get more business this summer, but throughout the year.
Be active on Social Media As a business owner, social media is a very important outlet to advertise your services and offerings. If you haven’t already, create a business page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, then fill it with awesome pictures and information about what you offer. Ask happy customers to like your page, follow you, and post comments/reviews on your pages. You should post interesting things daily including images or something cool in the news related to your business.
It’s important to show potential customers your genuine self, and these social outlets are a great way to do that. Try not to be too ‘salesy’ in your posts and responses. Normal folks want to do business with other normal folks, so don’t be afraid to show who you are mixed in with what you do.
Join In! Join other Facebook groups where potential customers might go, and actively participate in comments. More than likely, you’re in business because you love what you do. It’s easy to find other folks that also love the same thing through Facebook groups. Find those groups, and engage with others. For example, if you own a water sport rental business, join groups geared toward kayakers or paddle boarders. If you have a cabin rental in a popular hiking area, join a hiking group. Then answer questions that come up, and be helpful and encouraging. Don’t use the forum to continually promote yourself, but instead be helpful by answering questions or encouraging others when they post about their experiences with the activity.
Leverage Happy Customers If you’ve been in business for a while, you surely have great customers that return year after year. Use them to your benefit to get more happy customers. Encourage them to take a live video stream of their experience – this is an incredible way for others to see what you offer. Make sure customers know it’s perfectly acceptable to take videos or via Facebook Live. It’s the best kind of testimonial.
Encourage reviews and referrals by offering incentives such as a discount on their next trip. Make sure you include links to your TripAdvisor or Yelp pages, so they can easily share their experience with others. Happy customers are usually thrilled to share their experiences with their friends and family.
Keep in touch with previous customers. Build an email list of all your customers, and send newsletters, helpful tips, or special offers to them. It’s a great way to keep your business in the forefront of their minds, especially when their dear Aunt Sally is looking for recommendations. During your off season, send them information about your upcoming season, and encourage them to book early to get the best spot for their next summer adventure.
Make sure your SEO is at it’s best. Most people use Google or other search engines to find adventure, so ensure that your business is at the top of their search list. Make certain that your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is at the top of its game by adding the best keywords to describe your business. This will lead those “Google searchers” to find you first before your competition.
These are only a few key tips to keep your business rolling this summer. Most importantly, if you LOVE what you do, and are passionate about it, then folks will find you and be thrilled they did.
That’s right, we’re listening! We recently made a few enhancements to the booking system, and we’re excited to let you know about them. See what we’ve done below.
Added a Search by Reservation Date to the Reservations report.
The Reservations report is our most comprehensive report that gives you all the details about bookings within a time frame that you specify. You now have 2 options for that time frame: Date of Reservation or Start/End Date. Date of Reservation refers to the date that the booking was actually made by the customer. Start/End date refers to the actual visit date of the booking. This is a helpful enhancement as it will allow you to see how many bookings you had on a given day or set of days.
To access the report, navigate to Frontdesk – Reports in your account. Select the Reservations report.
Additional Customization options on the Home page.
The first view that you see when you log into your WebReserv account is the Home page. This is your dashboard and will list all recent bookings in your system. You are able to customize what columns from the booking that you want to see on this page. We recently added additional options for columns to further customize how you want to view your bookings. New options include:
1. Customer’s phone number
2. Customer’s email address
3. Unit name (if defined)
4. Office Notes
To customize your Home page, click on “customize this page” from the Home page. On the Customize Page screen, drag and drop the desired columns from the Available Columns box to the Selected Columns box. Save your changes.
Here’s a look at the view with all the new options added. This is helpful for many businesses who want to be able to see the customer’s phone number at a glance to reach out to them, or see exactly what rental or camp site is booked for the day.
We always strive to make improvements and enhancements to our booking system. If you have any suggestions, please send us an email to email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!
We recently released an enhancement to the calendar synchronization feature in WebReserv. You can now customize your iCal URL by rental, tour, or room. This upgrade will allow you to sync bookings, per product to your chosen calendar site such as Airbnb, VRBO, or Google. This will make it easier to manage bookings on the various sites you use.
To access the new links in your WebReserv account, go to the Setup →Business Information → Advanced Options. You’ll see the iCal section under External Calendar Synchronization (iCal, Airbnb, Google, Apple and others).
Here you can select which URL you want to add to your external calendar ⇒ choose All or just for a certain product. Copy the URL and paste into your other calendars.
Note: Each external calendar integration will have its own steps to add the URL. See the Help for that calendar for complete instructions.
In addition, you can further customize the data that is shown on the calendar using keywords from the booking. Enter your choice of text and keywords in the Title and Body section of the setup, and this information will populate your calendar when a new booking is made in WebReserv.
Once you add the URL to the chosen calendar, then when you receive a booking in WebReserv, it will be shown on the calendar on the day of the booking. Viola!
You’ve been asking for it and here it is. We are proud to announce that we just integrated a new payment gateway to our booking system. This is a great news as it will allow you to receive automatic online payments no matter where your business is based in Europe (check the list of the supported countries here). Also, it will make your booking process more automatic and very easy for your customers resulting in more reservations and less manual processes.
What is Braintree?
Braintree helps businesses of all sizes, from small to large enterprise, accept and process payments to help maximize business opportunities and revenue growth. Companies around the world benefit from the technology and service of Braintree coupled with the scale, backing, and confidence of the PayPal network. Braintree allows you to sell where and how you want with a flexible and scalable platform. Plus, get paid quickly — most payouts happen within two business days of transaction settlement.
With the same cost per transaction than Paypal, Braintree goes further in the integration with your WebReserv booking system. Using Braintree you can manage all your transactions and refunds directly from the WebReserv control panel. Also, from a customer perspective the payment is as simple as adding the credit card details and there is no need too leave the booking page. 100% integrated, flexible and safe, doesn’t it sound like a great new feature?
Besides, Braintree provides clear insights for your business with their own seamless control panel you can access easily from any device.
Braintree know that a good service is also important. Any problem with your transactions? Braintree gets your questions answered quickly by a real person.
Want to sign up with Braintree? Easy! Click here and start receiving online payments in just a few days.
For general information about online payment in WebReserv, see our help file here.
How to synchronize Braintree and WebReserv?
Once you have created your account with Braintree you will need to set it up in your WebReserv account. To do so, first of all, login to your WebReserv account.
Once you’re there, click Setup – Business information – Payments, then under Payment processing select Credit card – Auto process
Then go the field Payment Gateway and select Braintree and add your Merchant ID, password 1 and password 2.
Now you just need to setup the deposit you want to get for each product at the reservation time. To do so, click Setup – Products and reservation rules – select a product – Tax/deposit and setup your deposit. You can choose between charging the full payment, a percentage, a fix amount or other options.
Congratulations, your payment gateway has been setup; you can now receive online payments with your reservations.
We hope you will enjoy the benefits of that fantastic new feature on WebReserv. Feel free to contact us for any additional question.
We wish you good business
The WebReserv Team
Want to make the most of your WebReserv booking system? Check out 3 amazing features and try them for FREE with a GOLD account trial.
The Gold account is the most advanced account in WebReserv. It unlocks all options and features of the system and allows you to make the most of the system. Let us present you 3 features of the GOLD account that really can take your business to another level.
1. Email customization: Convert your emails into a marketing weapon
When a customer makes a reservation through the booking system, WebReserv automatically sends him a confirmation email. This is a great feature because it gives your customers instant notification, all the details of their reservation and the assurance that they have successfully made the booking. But, can you do more? Can you improve the customers experience even further? The answer is yes, Read the rest of this entry »
As a tour or rental business, you likely have fixed times that you allow your customers to book. Since you want to allow flexibility to your customers, you will want to offer a choice of time slots. This is a great idea and your customers will appreciate the options, however, it may be challenging to manage your inventory if the time slots overlap.
The WebReserv Tour setup for Segway, kayak, or bike tour and rental companies offers many great features that are essential to your business. One of those is the ability to manage overlapping tour times and availability. This means that if you offer tours or rentals at different times, the system will automatically reduce availability over all the time slots that have an overlap. See the example below of how this feature works.
ABC Segway Company offers a 2 hour tour of the city. The start times available are at 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 1:00 PM. They want to be able to offer all these times for their customers to choose from, but they only have a total of 10 Segways in their inventory. In the WebReserv system, the company uses the Fixed Weekly Schedule reservation type to set up their time slots. The typical setup will look like this: Read the rest of this entry »
It seems like there is never enough time in the day to get everything organized. But getting your systems ready for the spring and summer season is one of the most important tasks. Your time is valuable so we’ve picked the top 5 tips that will help you get more customers.
1. Update your rates.
The online booking system will only allow customers to make a reservation if it can find valid rates for the season. To check your rates, log on to your account and go to Setup – Rates. You should have rates at least until the end of 2014 or 2015.
2. Update your business description.
Updating your business description is critical. Customers favor businesses with comprehensive descriptions of the business and each product or service. To update your listing, go to Setup- Business Information – Description.
3. Update your pictures.
It is said that a picture says more than a thousand words and it is especially true for online shoppers. Review your pictures and update new pictures if necessary. The more pictures you have, the better. Ideally, each picture should have a resolution 1024 by 768 or greater. Don’t forget to add a description for each picture so that your customers will know what they are looking at. To update your pictures, go to Setup – Business Information – Pictures.