I recently booked a trip with a company that didn’t have a booking software. I wanted to write about my experience because we often talk to tour operators that don’t understand why they need to have a booking software.
I get it, you don’t want to pay 6%. But you’re losing customers by not having a booking software – and to be honest, I would definitely be one of those customers that you would lose.
What I didn’t realize when I started booking was the company I was trying to book with actually can’t have a booking software. So it’s not their fault. The trip I’m planning is a 5 day hike through the Peruvian Andes to Macchu Picchu, and there’s a limited amount of permits that the Peruvian government gives out. So, all the tour operators have to check that there are permits available before they can let someone book a tour.
I didn’t realize this at the time, however, I knew that people need to book the trips very far in advance, as spots fill up incredibly quickly. Obviously, I was eager to hear back and know that my trip was sorted. The company didn’t have a booking software, so I filled out the contact form, telling them I’m ready to book immediately. When I didn’t hear back within a few hours, I started to check out competitors.
I found a competitor that, though they didn’t have a booking software, had the amount of spots left on each trip on their calendar. Even though this tour was more expensive and didn’t come recommended by a friend, I told myself that if I didn’t hear back from the other one, I was going to book it soon. Within the next 48 hours I had sent my preferred company two contact form submissions and called multiple times, and I still didn’t hear back at all.
My trip was off to a rough start. I was so excited, but couldn’t hear back from the company, and I had no idea if when I did hear back, they were going to say that they were booked up for the rest of the year. I had a narrow slot of when I was going to be able to do my dream trip, and the stress over if it was even possible was driving me crazy.
Finally, after days, I heard back from the company. Yes, there were a couple of slots left on the trip and I could reserve one. I was relieved and excited for my trip. I understand that it’s not their fault that they don’t have a booking software, but tour operators who choose not to have one, please, think about the customer experience and how many people, like me, would be willing to pay a bit more and go with a second option, just to have their trip sorted and out of mind.
Have I convinced you? If you want to get a booking software and don’t know which one is right for you, check out this guide to our 4 preferred booking softwares.
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