o two customers are alike when it comes to your rental or activity business. Here a few examples of the type of customers you'll likely get year after year.
- The Planner - This is the customer that is planning their family activities a year to six months in advance. They want to get a jump on your most popular rentals or activities, and are ready to reserve their spot as soon as possible.
- The Group - Families and friends travel together, and these customers make plans to book several of your rentals or participate in a fun group activity together. The Group will often have one customer that is booking, but needs to check with the rest of the group to confirm availability and payment.
- The Last Minute - These folks are spontaneous. They roll into town for their vacation, and choose to show up at your boat shop hoping for that last minute availability.
Knowing that you will get these types of customers and others, you need to be ready for them. That is why your booking platform should give you booking options.
Read along to learn about these types of bookings, and why they are useful to your operations.
The Confirmed Booking
This is the standard booking status, and ultimately where you want all your customer bookings to end up. Customers go to your website, see availability, book and pay for their activity. Confirmed orders can also be added through the back office, too.
Why confirmed bookings are important: A booking that is confirmed shows commitment from the customer, and collects payment (deposit or full amount depending on settings) right away so great for your daily sales.
The Pending Booking
The pending order also known as a booking request depending on the circumstance. Check out the variations below.
The Booking Request
When you need to verify availability of a tour or rental, you can mark your web orders as a booking request. In this case the customer does not get a confirmation, but rather a message saying that the request has been received. The confirmation message will follow later. The booking system will check and hold the availability for a booking request. Payment information is taken, but not processed. This allows you to review the request, and either confirm and collect payment or decline the request.
The Pending Order
You can also create pending orders through the system. This is a back office task that an employee or owner will perform. Pending Orders can be created for all rental or activities you offer, not only the items you have set as request for web bookings. A pending order will check and hold the availability of the rental item(s), and can be confirmed and paid for at a later time.
Why pending bookings are good for your operations: A pending booking is great when you have to verify availability of a rental or activity. This is common if you work with other rental or tour operators, and provide your inventory to them. It is also useful if you share inventory between your own activities such as a packaged option that is using several of your resources.
A Quote is an order that is created by you through the system. Different from a pending order, a quote does not check or hold availability of the rental or activity. Quotes can be sent directly to the customer via an email and include a link to book. Quotes sent in this way have an expiration date/time and allow the customer to review, confirm, and pay for the booking.
Quotes can also be created in the system to serve as a temporary order, and be confirmed later by you. Both options are great for the customer that may need to discuss the details with other family or friends before confirming the booking.
Why quotes are beneficial to your business: The quote will automate the process to allow the customer to complete the booking. Quotes are also handy to create a temporary order in the system if a customer needs more time to confirm and pay for the rental or activity.
BookingCentral gives you these booking options to choose from. If you are a current customer, you can enable them in your account by going to Settings - Orders.