This blog post was written with the help of Stephen Cassidy, Quality Assurance Specialist at TrekkSoft.
With the holiday season coming up, do you plan to continue driving bookings while you're on holiday? With an automated booking system like TrekkSoft, you can.
There are a few things you'll need to do to setup your reservation to function smoothly while you're on holiday. Once that's done, I'll share ideas on how you can also run promotions and flash sales to make the most of the holiday season (and last-minute gift shopping!).
Setting up your reservation system
1. Determine your holiday calendar
For companies to take some time off during the Christmas and New Year period, you need to make sure that your schedules are closed and that no bookings can be made during this time.
For TrekkSoft users, you can block out these dates on your Schedules.
Go to Schedule & Manifests > Manifests & Trip Lists. Then, scroll down the page or use Schedule Filters to find the date(s) you want to block out. When the correct activity and time slot has been located, simply click on the Block button beside it.
2. Apply yield management to certain departure days and times
For those who want to maximise opportunity over the holidays, you could consider adding extra schedules and/or charging more over the holiday season.
Say your regular activity runs 3 times a day and costs €35 per person. You could add an extra departure time and charge an additional €10 per person during the busy period. Of course, this depends on the forecasted demand for your activity during the holiday season.
With an existing schedule already in place, TrekkSoft users can easily make updates.
Firstly, block out dates you would like to charge more for, just like how you did previously. Then, copy an existing schedule and change the name of the schedule to something like “Christmas Special”.
Next, adjust the start and end date for the "Christmas Special" then add the extra departure time and/or change your prices accordingly.
Setting up automated communication
3. Update email signatures
A great way to get into the festive season is by adding a simple festive greeting your email signature. If you want to dial it up a few notches, why not dress up in a festive outfit, snap a fun picture of yourself and add it to the end of your emails?
4. Set up "out of office" emails
Here's a friendly reminder to set up an out of office email while you're on holiday. You can easily set this up with Gmail or any other email service you use.
5. Add festive greetings to marketing emails
A great way to embrace the festive season is to add some holiday cheer to your newsletters, automated booking confirmation emails and more.
This is really simple to set up in TrekkSoft. Go to Design & Pages > Templates and click on the Emails tab to find and edit the booking confirmation email template.
If you're running special holiday-related tours, remember to update ticket templates for those to reflect the fun season.
Not sure what emails to write? We have 7 email templates you can start using today!
Promoting holiday offers!
6. Sell gift cards on your website
Gift cards are a great way for loved ones to gift experiences to one another. You could sell gift cards for a fixed sum, for example €50, or create gift cards for a specific activity.
To set up gift cards in TrekkSoft, go to Shop Item and click on Gift Card. To create gift cards with a fixed sum, simply enter the value of the gift card. For gift cards applicable to specific tours, set the value of the gift card to equal the price of the tour and restrict the gift card to that tour only.
Next, you'll need to set up the confirmation email and the template for the Gift Card. You can do this by going to Design & Pages > Templates.
Finally, to add gift cards to your website, go to Products > Shop Items and select the Shop Categories tab. Then, click on Add Category. Give the category a name, for example, “Christmas Gift Cards” and save it. Then drag and drop your gift cards to the new category.
Lastly, generate a widget code for the gift cards under Design & Pages > Website Integration. Copy this code and paste it to the part of your website you would like to display gift cards.
7. Run a flash sale!
Excerpt from a blog post written by CEO of Bus2Alps, Jon Fauver.
Why should you run a flash sale? The simple answer is because flash sales work!
Flash sales work just as well for travel as they do for toys and electronic gadgets. A well-run flash sale is a great way for tour and activity companies to pay it forward to your customers and earn their love.
When you get people in the buying mood, they are more likely to book more than just the discounted trips. Most people don’t travel alone, so if someone scores a discounted seat on your trip, there is a good chance they will bring a friend who will book at full price.
To get started, define the goal of your flash sale. Is it to kick-off the start of the season, boost their brand, attract new customers, build customer loyalty, launch a new trip, or fill up empty trips during the off-season?
Then, you need to identify your customer segment and create an irresistible offer.
Pick a time and date that works for them and keep the time window short and concise. You want to create that "I can't miss out" atmosphere amongst your target segment.
Finally, create a marketing campaign to promote our flash sale.
Looking for a reservation system that can automate processes and increase bookings? Look no further!