Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"but do I need Automation?"

I was on sales call in Sun River Oregon, and a client at a Ski Shop (un-named) said to me; "but why would I need automation?"

Unfortunately, that was his excuse to leave the discussion and send me on my way. I sat back after and thought about this questions. I was annoyed and confused that somebody working with customers would not have a better understanding of business.

The ski industry has traditionally been behind the technology curve, depending on paper collection of customer data. By adding an automated Kiosk we eliminate errors caused by bad handwriting, employee reading errors, etc. But that is just the start of the process.

By using an automated system, we are capturing customer data: age, skier type, state, zip code, mobile phone #, email address, etc. If all we captured was this data, you would be able to have a deeper understanding of your customer, have the ability to market to them via email, newsletter or text messaging. You can't see the value yet?

If we are using the full system capabilities, we are capturing the boot size, ski type, ski size snowboard type, snowboard size, etc. We can look at each day of the season, and see what your ski and snowboard usages are per day, did you run out of stock on any particular size (help you in your buying goals for the next year). Do you have an abundance of size 7.5 women's' ski boots, why not send a targeted newsletter to all women that wore a size 7.5 boot?

Why do you need automation?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Data is King

I recently read an article on DATA and it reminded me of the business we are in.

We think we write “Reservation Systems” that help customer manage their business better via automation and consistent communication. And this is a powerful change for any small business customer. But at the heart of everything, is the data:

  • What trips are booking best? 
  • What are my top 10 customers, top 25, top 50, etc.?
  •  Which customers took a trip in the month of May, that live in 1-hour dive area?
  •   What were my sales last week, last month,  by each tour run, etc.?

These are just a few of the data sets that we can “mine” for customers.  We all think we know our business, but do we really have the cold hard facts, the data?

Big versus Small

All the big companies depend on data and it is part of their infrastructure. For many big companies, DATA is the business. Google obviously is focused on data in all aspects. Amazon tracks your activities, and markets to you based on the data collected. But what are all the small companies doing? Probably nothing at all.

You don’t have to from 0 to 60 miles an hour, but you do have to start making a move to track your business and eventually, market based on your customers wants and needs.

What are you waiting for?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Game Changer for Ski Rental (all products) Waiver Storage

All our customer need to have their customers sign a "Liability Waiver" for Ski & Snowboard Rentals. The liability waiver is the first line of defense if a customer gets hurt, and they want to take legal action.

What do they do with all those waiver? Most clients keep them for 7 years in a box, stored in a mini storage for safe keeping. If you asked them if they could find a particular “waiver” for a customer from 3 years ago, 95% answer no.

Want a better way?

Rezosystems is offering paperless waivers, built right into our ski & snowboard rental system. During the checkout process, the customer is give the opportunity to read and sign the waiver agreement. The signature can be made with a mouse on a traditional computer or on a “smart device (touch screen computer, tablet or smart phone), just use your finger and sign.

We store the signature and the document in our database. It can be searched and printed at any time, in less than 10 seconds.

The system can have “smart reminders” designed to make sure customers sign waivers before arriving to the shop to pick up. We know if a waiver has been complete or not, if not, we send an email an automated email and a link to read and sign the waiver document.

The time is now to take advantage of automated waivers and take advantage of the “best” Ski and Snowboard Rental System in the market.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Your customers are "Hungry"

We all like to eat.

Now we have made it simple to allow your customers to “add a lunch” order to the trip (fly fishing, snowmobile, kayak, jeep tour, etc.).

Add the LUNCH module and you can “wow” your customer and show them you care about what they want.

The system is easy to use:

·      ·           You build your own menu (copy from your local restaurant, café, etc.)
·         Select what trips are eligible to have lunch (See how easy HERE)
·         When the customer books a trip and it has lunch included, they have a link in their email (click HERE to see the link in the email)
·         When the customer clicks the link, they are given the menu and a location to add a selection, bread choice and notes (See the menu sample HERE)
·         You can add a Guide Lunch too
·         You can also add your customers lunch selection directly from the reservation page (see HERE how to add lunch)
·         The night before, our system will put together a LUNCH report for the next day, and auto emails it to your restaurant, café. Etc.

A complete and easy to use system that can be added to any reservation module.

Your customers are hungry, go feed them.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Better customer service?

We all know how important customer service is in today’s competitive market.

Utilizing surveys to give your customer a chance to “speak out” might be an easy solution to improve your customer service. We all know the major hospitality chains automatically  send you a survey asking about your stay. Do we have to have it limited to only a hotel stay? Why not see if your customer that took a raft trip, or rented  skis in your shop, etc. enjoyed their experience?

Every customer contact is an opportunity to improve your relationship. Why not send an automated email asking for their opinion by clicking a survey link? Maybe include a “Like us on FaceBook” link in the email or on top of the survey page?

Survey response will vary and will typically be a ‘low” number (.05% to 5%). But one thing we know, a disgruntled customer will respond if given the opportunity. This is an OPPORTUNITY to manage a problem, and turn an unhappy customer into a happy customer. You will also have a lot of responses from super happy customer.

We have one creative customer(a fly fishing guide operation), is tracking 1 question (Please rate your overall experience with your Guide?) over all guides for the year, and offering a bonus to the guide that has the best rating at the end of the year.

Survey systems are a great way to improve your customers service for little or no investment.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Software as a Service

We have taken the plunge, and decided to offer Software as a Service in addition to our full purchase (Own it) option.

For years we have sold our software as a stand-alone solution, added to your web site, with all the data and customization made on your server. We still feel this is the “best” solutions for customer, to get the best value and have 100%  control over your software solution.

But recently, due some customers selecting to build web sites on “ Closed System” (WIX, Square Spaces, etc.), we felt that offering a solution  that addresses these customer’s needs was important.

Software as a Service will have a startup fee and a monthly rental fee. Fees will be depend on the version (Fly Fishing Reservations / Management System, Ski Rentals, etc.). Sample cost might be a $200 startup with a $50 a month rental fee.

The software will run on our servers and customer will access it by clicking  on links from the your site. When the client lands on the booking page, it will match your web site and client won’t notice they left your site and landed on a new one.

We can fully customized the sites to match all your special request (The startup fee covers this work). All customers will checkout 100% using your Authorize.net credentials (or other gateway), so all the monies go directly back to you in the normal time frame.

If you looking to get your “online booking” solution jump started, look at software as a service for a fast, low cost solution.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Big Data, only for Big Companies?

I work in the world of small companies. Individual business owners that typically serve the public in the experience of outdoor activities or vacation activities.

Most are small companies employing 1 to 20 employees and doing less than 1 million dollars a year in sales.

So a lot of the hype these days is about  the collection of data and data analytics. Obviously the grocery store is collecting millions of bytes of data about what you purchase, when, why, price points, time, days of the week, etc. As is Amazon collecting and analyzing every possible data point with respect to your buying habits.

But what can at the small Fly Fishing  Guide operation do with the data? A small property management company renting 20 properties in a tiny Colorado town? PLENTY !

Obviously the 1st  step, is to make sure you collecting the data by using a reservation system that collects all the relevant information you need (or want) from your customers. The beauty of a reservation system, is typically, the customer is doing the data entry for you. make sure you have a developer, that add or adjust fields, so you can collect the best data available.

When you have the data (a season, a few months, a year, etc.) you will need a toot to "data mine". Basically, you want some "filters" so you can select or slice you data into useful segments. Again, your developer should be helpful in helping design these filters. An example might be: Select a date range, All customer that came in the month on Aprilthat fished the Rio Grande. This seem so simple, but when you consider that the Rio Grande has a great Cadis Fly hatch in April, then you can select a group of customers, that most likely experienced this event. Now we grab their names and email, and send them an email in late March with an offer to "Book a Guide Trip" now . Imagine you book 10 new trips for April ($3,500) with a simple search of data and direct customer contact?

Another example. We know that customers often want to return to the same property (home, condo, cabin, etc.) they booked during a previous vacation. You look at your reservation for the next upcoming weekend, and notice you have a nice property, that is vacant. So you run a quick data search, and pull the name of every customer, that  stayed in that exact property, in the last 3 years. Now we shorten the list to everybody that stayed there, but is in a 3 hour or less drive radius (zip code data). Now we send them an email, offering 10% if they book today. The result is only a $550 sale. But the process can be done in less than 10 minutes. Not a bad return on 10 minutes of work.

Take control of your business and be a proactive and successful marketer, but data mining your customers data.