With an expanding business and no online reservation system, Zoar Outdoor chose Resmark Systems so their customers and staff could make reservations in real time from any location with no fear that the requested dates and times were available. And with Resmark Tour Operator Software the customer automatically gets an email confirmation and information to make their outdoor experience more enjoyable.
Zoar Outdoor-- Northeast’s Leader in Outdoor Adventure
Since 1989 Zoar Outdoor has offered the best in New England white water rafting, kayaking, zipline canopy tours, canoeing, climbing and biking. Based in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, Zoar is only two hours from Boston and just three hours from New York City. Zoar offers adventures and instruction for all abilities, from beginners to high adventure enthusiasts and their experienced and engaging staff sets them apart from the competition.
Expanding Business and Industry Changes Brought Challenges
Zoar was rapidly growing and they could see the industry trend toward online travel reservations. The custom software they were using previously was old technology and did not have an online reservation system or any automated marketing features. The staff was growing and needed to access the reservation system and the customer database from diverse locations to be more efficient.
With all of their data on their server, Zoar also worried about security with their old software, and if the system went down, the downtime was becoming more and more costly—in terms of time and money. Also with several people making manual reservations at the same time, there was constant fear that the day and time booked was not available. Often they had to call the customer back and figure out a new date or time.
Zoar Chose Resmark for Experience and Hosted Platform
Zoar chose Resmark because of their strong experience and understanding of the outdoor adventure market. Zoar was confident that Resmark’s management and staff had the expertise and a vested interest to keep the software updated and current with new features and functionality.
Since Resmark’s Tour Operator Software is a hosted platform, Zoar did not have to worry about buying and maintaining hardware or software. Zoar likes that the Resmark support staff is responsible for keeping the system up and running and available at all times, rather than worrying about it themselves. The hosted system also has state-of-the-art security features to ensure that customer information is safe and downtime is minimal.
New Reservation System Saves Time and Money
The new Resmark online reservation system has not only saved Zoar time and money, but it has allowed them to expand their business 35 to 40 percent with little or additional staff. Reservations can be done quicker and more efficiently. Zoar estimates that they save 5 to 10 minutes per reservation with Resmark; and since 38 percent of their business is now online, the savings are significant.
Previously even if a customer booked online, they would have to print out a confirmation manually. With Resmark the whole process is done automatically, including the confirmation email to the customer.
The online reservation system has been especially good for their growing zip line tours because they can be booked and confirmed with very little lead time. They also used Resmark’s marketing features to promote the new business when it was first added.
Automated Emails Help Stay in Touch with Customers and Get Feedback
Zoar has started to tap into the automated email features of the Resmark system to stay in touch with their customers. They have set up custom emails to remind customers of upcoming events. For example, if a group of customers booked a rafting trip with Zoar, Resmark will automatically send them all an email reminding them of the other activities that they offer.
Zoar has also increased the response rate on feedback forms by more than 3 times since using Resmark, and they have used the feedback from the forms to make improvement to the business. For example, they have eliminated nuts from all meals and food products because of customer feedback. They no longer have to ask the question and worry about as many customized meals.
In addition, Zoar sends out automated emails to remind customers to post their pictures and comments about their activity or trip on Facebook or YouTube, taking advantage of the powerful marketing benefits of social networking. And since it only takes the Zoar staff a short time to set up the emails, it is a cost effective marketing tool.
Financial Reporting Made Easier
Using the Peachtree reporting feature in Resmark, Zoar can input revenue figures directly into the system. This feature has saved them 4 or 5 hours a month.
Future Plans Using Resmark Tour Operator Software
Zoar sees more and more of their business being booked online in the future using the power of the Resmark online system and help them increase their profit margin as the business grows. Zoar also plans to use the reseller features of Resmark to partner with hotels and other travel agents with related service to grow the business. In addition, even though Zoar has started to use the automated marketing features, they plan to be more sophisticated and use more of the marketing functionality in the future, especially in the area of social networking.