For organisations such as activity centres or adventure companies, bookings are vital. But while these businesses depend on full calendars, it’s often the case that managing the admin of these bookings can become laborious, eating into time that can be precious in potentially small office teams.
Manual admin is not only an irritating bug bear for many a business, but it can also be a costly drain on resources and time, negatively impacting the bottom line. The longer it takes to manage your bookings, the higher the cost of labour, and the less time you have to spend on more productive business development activity.
This is where the application of technology such as an online booking system for sports and activities can provide a platform for more efficient internal management, allowing for more productive, less time-heavy processes, and ultimately, greater profit and growth opportunities.
Automated Customer Communication
For those working with sports groups, activity centres, and similar organisations, a common issue is the amount of time that can be lost when communicating with customers.
Communication is a crucial aspect of any booking process and a vital component of the customer experience, but does it really have to be so time-consuming?
Incorporating a booking system with automated email and messaging facilities can save a significant amount of time within the process, without compromising on the delivery of expected service.
Not only can modern email responders within a booking system send personalised confirmation emails to customers at the point of booking, but can also deliver regular follow-up communication at designated points up to and indeed beyond the actual booking has taken place.
For activity centres this can be a huge time saver, as regular contact and reminders of booking details is a crucial part of the pre-activity process, ensuring clients are informed of meeting points and essential details of the activity itself.
Pre-Activity Information Gathering
Activity and adventure centres will typically take a range of different types of bookings, such as:
- Residential or day visits from schools (often recurring year on year)
- Group activities such as adventure weekends, stag or hen parties
- Corporate team building
- Individual bookings by activity
The common link between them all is the fact that there is likely to be some pre-booking information required by the centre, from the lead booker, teacher, or administrator. Things such as:
- Parental consent forms
- Dietary requirements
- Health and safety information
- Indemnity waivers
While imperative that this information is gathered ahead of the booking, chasing it, compiling it, and updating progress can be an arduous task.
However, this can be eased through a well-considered booking management system. Providing access, for example, for the lead booker (maybe the teacher in charge at the school) to their own password protected area of the system, allowing them the facility to upload relevant details as they get it, removing the onus on the management team to get it logged.
It’s a function that goes hand in hand with automated communications – the system being able to trigger reminders to the booker that the information still needs to be gathered.
If it takes 30 minutes to put an activity register together, compiling the relevant booking info, checking for changes or cancellations, and uploading it all to a spreadsheet, and you have 20 sessions in a week then you’re faced with upwards of 10 hours of admin time, every week.
If your centre is open 50 weeks of the year, then that’s 500 hours spent on this task every year.
Put another way, if your staff work 6 days per week, 8 hours per day, then this equates to more than 2 and half months per year spent compiling registers.
It’s a huge drain on time for many organisations. Imagine what you could do with that time being given back to the business.
By investing in activity booking software that gathers relevant booking information and compiles the registers automatically, these are tasks that can be reduced to mere minutes; saving you hours per week in admin that can be redeployed into business development activity.
For an activity centre, or any similar facility, to thrive and survive, bookings are essential. Therefore, effective management of bookings will always be an important responsibility.
Investing in an effective, reliable booking system removes much of the labour-intensive admin within your process, freeing staff, resources, time and budget to focus on the marketing and business development activities that can help your centre attract the customers you need to prosper.
If you’re looking to improve the efficiency of your booking process, and want to enhance the productivity of your business, then find out how the thinkBooker system can help.
At thinkBooker, we specialise in online booking systems for training courses, classes, activities and events – optimised for efficiency, growth and ongoing client satisfaction.
More blogs about booking systems for sports and activity providers can be found below: