If you’ve partnered with an online reservation platform, you’re likely already experiencing many of the benefits, including new mobile customers and an increase in revenue.
But how do you know if you’re taking full advantage of their offerings? As you start planning for 2017, here are five ways you can do more with your online reservation partner:
1. Receive Rate Recommendations That Unlock Additional Revenue
How do you know how much to charge online? You don’t have to guess or follow the lead of competitors across the street.
Your online reservation partner can provide a suite of rate recommendations to maximize revenue, whether your facility is full to capacity or has empty spaces. These recommendations are based on a number of factors, including your current rates (online and drive-up), online demand for your facility, online demand in the neighborhood, and more.
Even if you are at capacity most of the time, there is likely still an opportunity to make more money. You can experiment with different offline and online rates and allocate inventory accordingly.
For example, let’s say your existing drive-up rate is $15. To maximize revenue, you can set your online rate at $15 and increase your drive-up rate to something slightly higher, say $17 or $18. Since demand is high, some drive-up customers will pay the higher rate. Even if you see fewer drive-up customers overall, you open yourself to more online customers–they pay the original $15 rate and feel they are getting a deal when they see the drive-up rate.
If your online reservation partner isn’t providing rates already, reach out and ask for their recommendation.
2. Consider Installing Scanner Technology to Fuel Repeat Business
Installing scanner technology is an investment. A scanner can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $12,000 for two lanes, and software adds an additional $99-$160 a month. But don’t let the upfront cost deter you immediately. You can see a quick payback due to an increase in revenue. How will it lead to more revenue?
Drivers love scanner technology–it makes parking paperless, ticketless and seamless. And when it’s a great experience, they are more likely to return to your facility. In fact, full scanner integration has been proven to drive growth by 5-10x compared to non-integrated facilities.
For more specifics on scanner technology, check out this case study.
3. Reach a Bigger Audience Regardless of Location
As the mobile audience gets bigger, you want to make sure you’re on the map with enough inventory to fulfill demand. It’s an easy way to drive awareness among drivers without needing to rely on signage or visibility.
In other words, online reservations level the playing field. If drivers didn’t know about you before, they will now see your facility on the map online. If you already have decent drive-up traffic thanks to signage and visibility, you can still benefit from a bigger online audience.
In both scenarios, they’re more likely to return again and again if they have a good experience.
4. Get Real Insights and Feedback from Customer Reviews
If you’re looking for feedback from customers, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on secret shoppers. You can actually receive customer feedback from reviews gathered by your online reservation partner.
Accessing your reviews is a great way to discover issues you weren’t aware of and reinforce what you’re already working to improve.
You can learn more and see real customer reviews from an online reservation partner here.
5. Use Online Revenue Data to Support RFPs
An often overlooked benefit of working with an online reservation partner is that they can help strengthen your responses to RFPs.
Want to prove to a potential client that you’re committed to increasing their net operating income? Talk to your reservation partner about creating online revenue projections for a certain location. You can also lean on your online partner to pull data and create visualizations of your success with online reservations at other locations to help strengthen your bid.
These numbers are hard evidence of your success and capabilities. It also proves that you’re forward-thinking and taking advantage of opportunities to increase revenue.