Early on in the pandemic, The Campbell Group relied on TrekkSoft to communicate with thousands of customers and process refunds. As the year went on, they made sure to plan out COVID compliant processes and planned all their marketing campaigns in advance so that they were ready to reopen as soon as the British government allowed.
When travel was allowed again, all the measures the company took during lockdown - offering free virtual tours to engage with their social media followers, issuing refunds to everyone who requested them and meticulous forward planning - allowed the company to bounce back stronger than ever, achieving pre-COVID booking numbers once again.
When the pandemic caused a nationwide lockdown in the UK back in March 2020, Jailhouse Tours lost a total of £80,000 due to a high volume of cancellations and refunds.
Communicating their rescheduling and refunds policy to thousands of customers was simplified through TrekkSoft, and using TrekkPay allowed them to seamlessly process refunds at a large scale.
At the same time, running heritage attractions is a costly affair. Despite being closed, the company had many overheads to cover such as taxes, building maintenance, and insurance. As lockdown continued the team used the time to plan their reopening strategy, taking their cues from other countries who also battled with the pandemic.
Forward planning played a huge role in the company’s successful navigation of the pandemic.
They planned for social distancing and other measures to ensure that they were COVID compliant, so that they could open as soon as the government allowed.
Apart from planning for reopening, they also adjusted their marketing plans to cover the 2nd and 3rd lockdown. As they received more information from the government, they changed the launch dates for their marketing plans, updated booking times as well as updated their standard operating procedures to remain COVID compliant at all times.
During the lockdown, Jailhouse Tours also used virtual tours to engage people on social media. When asked why they did not charge for these virtual tours, Joel said “We wanted to deliver value instead of asking for value.”
They also worked on improving their customer experience, from the moment a lead interacts with their website, all the way to the day of the tour. A main priority for them was to update their website and booking system.
When they were allowed to reopen for business in June and July, The Campbell Group found that their booking numbers had returned to regular pre-COVID figures.
Joel attributes the good performance over summer to the value they offered customers - issuing refunds no questions asked, offering free virtual experiences and engaging with followers on social media.
The steps they took throughout the lockdown also generated a lot of customer loyalty for the brand. This turned into financial gain when they noticed that people who joined their virtual tours on social media also booked in-person tours when they were allowed to travel again.
When the 2nd lockdown came about, they experimented with their messaging - encouraging customers to postpone their tours and leaving out the option for refunds - and found that it dramatically reduced the number of refunds requested.
Moving forward, the team will continue to prioritise the user experience on the website and hopes to use TrekkSoft’s API to streamline the booking process for users.
Having all their products already set up in TrekkSoft, together with all the planning they’ve done for sales and marketing, they’re ready to quickly launch marketing campaigns and take bookings as soon as travel is allowed again.
“Most of our business comes from social media and 90% of our bookings are done on the website. It is important that we keep the user experience as seamless as possible”
Joel Campbell, CEO at The Campbell Group