What Your Tours & Activities Restech Can & Cannot Do When It Comes to SMS
Claim: "My Reservation System Already Offers SMS"
Dissecting Your Currently Available Features
We see it way too often between tour and activity providers: You prepare a list of features that you want your reservation / booking system to have and SMS is on top of the list. You are hoping that you can automate the text messages that you're currently sending to your customers manually.
So you go into a demo with an Account Executive and obviously ask a million questions. Amongst them, you ask "Do you offer integrated SMS?", to which they will likely say "Yes, of course!". So you get excited, you sign up and right when you're in the middle of the integration and data migration, you realize that SMS functionality is very limited. You're disappointed, but it's too late to change your mind, so you stick to it regardless. We wanted to stop this and set the right expectations, before you get your hopes too high. We've done some research and took the time to dive deeper into the most frequently used reservation systems amongst tour and activity operators, preparing a list of features that you're probably expecting, and providing in detail what each can and cannot do.
So, What Can My Restech Do?
Let's just preface this by saying that we are not trying to judge the booking software companies below as they already do A LOT. Your current reservation systems act as a reservation portal, operations dashboard, channel manager, and much more. Tour and activites reservation software has allowed operators to easily sell on a website, connect to their preferred partners, and manage their operation from one place.
Now, when it comes to communication, each platform is unique and offers their own way for you to be able to communicate with your customers. Every single one of the systems below has the ability to automate emails after a booking is made and after the activity is over.
Isn't sending an Email the same as sending an SMS?
You would think that sending a message via SMS can't really be all that different from an email, but it most definitely is! SMS messaging allows not only fast and easy delivery of messages of any kind, but will actually be seen, read, and responded to before a person would even consider checking their email inbox.
So, What Can't My Restech Do?
A lot of reservation systems still don't offer the ability to communicate via SMS with your customers. This has changed in the past couple of years as operators are increasingly demanding this functionality. To be fair, some booking systems already send communications via SMS, but these probably won't work in the way you are expecting.
For example, many of these reservation systems will allow you to send a text message, but you will have to trigger it manually.
Others can send automated SMS communications, like a booking confirmation or reminder text, but lack the ability to customize the actual content of that message.
Some will even allow you to send both customized and automated SMS messages, but you can't really customize this on a product basis which is very important for a lot of operators.
And what we've found is that all of them restrict you to 1-way messaging where you can't see if and how customers responded to that message.
All systems analyzed below lack the benefit of a 24/7 smart chatbot to answer all of your customers frequently asked questions with the quality of a human interaction.
What's more, a lot of these software companies will also restrict who you send messages to and what countries you are trying to reach (especially difficult for operators with international bookers).
For example, after the activity is over you are likely looking to ask customers for feedback on their experience and for these to post a review on Google or TripAdvisor. Depending on what software you are using, some reservation systems will automatically send an SMS with a link to a review platform, like TripAdvisor, for example. Yet, if you wanted to change that and ask customers to provide a review on Google, you can't. Now, even if you could, because most reservation systems can only send 1-way SMS communications, you can't ask them to rate the tour before you send that link. And because you are lacking a messaging history you can't really see if messages are even sent or how customers are reacting to these messages.
In conclusion, while each reservation system is unique, with so many amazing features and benefits, they lack one key feature: fully customizable, fully automated, 2-way SMS messaging . . . and our Smart Chatbot, of course.
See What SMS functionality Your ResTech Offers
Below is a list with a number of reservation / booking systems and channel managers. Click on your specific reservation system below to see what it can do alone and what else you could if it was connected to TourOpp GO!:
Conclusion: How is integrating TourOpp GO! any different than what my Reservation System already offers?
TourOpp GO! is designed with you and your restech in mind. We act as an integration that works with your current reservation technology and basically give it SUPERPOWERS!
Think of it this way, Bokun, for example, can be your reservation portal, your operations dashboard, your channel manager, and a lot more. But, TourOpp GO! is your solution to communicate with clients. Yes, Bokun will send customers emails before and after the activity but, by adding TourOpp GO! to your existing Bokun account you can engage with customers via fully automated, fully customizable SMS communication. Thus resulting in more bookings and more reviews! Who doesn't want that?!