The Customer Journey

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This article breaks down the process a customer will go through from landing on our site to making a direct enquiry, receiving and reviewing your offer and booking with you. 


First, the customer enters their basic criteria to search for matches:

Much Better Adventures home page

The customer can then add additional criteria to filter their results:Search results

From the search results, customers can save matching products to a shortlist by clicking the red heart:

Shortlist on Much Better Adventures

They can make a direct enquiry from the search results:

Enquiry filled in

They can also click into your product to read more information and make an enquiry from there.

Click ‘Preview’ on your Products page in Manager to see how they appear to customers.

Product example

On the product page, they can check your pricing and availability for all weeks of the year.

Click ‘Update Availability’ on your Products page in Manager to make sure your pricing and availability data are accurate.

Dates and pricing

Customers can read about you and your business in the product.

You can add and update your company description and owner bio from the Company tab in Manager.

Once the customer has submitted their enquiry, you will receive an email notification immediately, like this:

Direct Enquiry received

Click ‘Reply or Decline Now’ and you’ll be taken to the enquiry in your Inbox in Manager, where you can send the customer a bespoke quote and message.

Please do not ‘reply’ to this email, making an offer to customers can only be done via the site.

Quote page

If you can’t help a customer, please click ‘Decline…’ and leave a reason if you can.

Declining

Your reason for declining will be passed on to the customer. If a reason is not given a customer will receive an email like this:

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 12.44.24

If you can help, click ‘Create Quote’ and confirm the product to offer the customer:
Quoting

Confirm the date and add the price breakdown.

You can add multiple lines to your quote to make it’s clear what’s included.

We do the sums for you automagically:
Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 16.59.06

You then add your personalised message and submit it to the customer:

Messaging

We notify the customer immediately with your quote and message with a link to view your product and company details on the site.

You can offer more than one product to a customer by clicking ‘Create another quote’ once you’ve submitted your first one. Add a second quote

Customers can then reply to you via the site or from within their email inbox:

The offer

Likewise, you can then respond to customers via the site or from your inbox:

Inbox replies
Customers can compare your offers with others they’ve received in one place:

Offers

When the customer wants to book with you, they can do this on the site by clicking ‘Book Offer’ on your thread:

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 13.03.23

When a customer sends a booking request, you will get an email notification immediately with a link to ‘Accept or Decline’ on the site:

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 13.12.52

When you ‘Accept or Decline’ the request you have the option to leave the customer a message regarding the next steps to confirm their booking:

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 13.18.26

When you accept the offer, the customer is notified immediately:

booking accepted

You are sent the customers contact details to get in touch to take payment direct:

Accepting bookings

We will then issue a commission invoice. Payment will be due within 14 days of accepting the booking. Full details on these terms can be read here.


If you have any questions about anything please send them to support@muchbetteradventures.com.

Direct Enquiries generate 5x more bookings

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Hopefully, you’ll have noticed more Direct Enquiries hitting your inbox recently.

We’ve just done some number-crunching and discovered that customers who make Direct Enquiries are 5x more likely to book versus those making General Enquiries. Good news.

What is a Direct Enquiry? 

A Direct Enquiry is sent to you from a customer that has filtered through the browsable part of our site and specifically picked out your product as a good match.

Direct enquiries on MBA

They are expecting a reply in the form of a quote or a decline within 24hrs.

What does this mean for General Enquiries?

Thanks to the positive start to life for Direct Enquiries, we’ll soon be running more experiments and driving more traffic towards our search results to generate more.

While we work on that, you should expect to receive fewer General Enquiries from us (and hopefully more Direct).

How can you get more Direct Enquiries?

We’re constantly honing our search algorithms to make sure our customers see the products they’re most likely to enquire against AND are most likely to respond to their enquiry up at the top.

As well as the usual attribute filters (location, price, availability, facilities and so on), we take into account business traits such as;

  • speed of response,
  • number of bookings,
  • number of previous enquiries,
  • freshness of availability data, and so on. 

This list is not exhaustive but gives a good idea how you might get your products higher up the results list. 

If there are any bookings not in the system be sure to email us about them so we can improve your score and product ranking.

Note: negative points are added when you don’t reply to Direct Enquiries, so if you can’t help a customer please always remember to click ‘Decline’ when you can’t help.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 17.33.42

Also, as they are in the shop window, please also make sure your Products are looking their very best with the latest HD photos, availability and special offers in place for this and next season.

As ever, if you have any questions or suggestions about any of this just email us at support@muchbetteradventures.com.

Trialing direct enquiries

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Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 16.30.35We have just started trialing direct enquiries. We have recently been loading pricing and availability data for many businesses. This new trial is the first major use of this data which, if it proves successful, will allow holidaymakers to chose who gets their enquiry after they have read up a little on the property in question.

During the trial, holiday makers will be shown a selection of available properties for their dates and budget. They can then chose to enquire direct about that product for a particular week.

There are a few subtle differences in how an enquiry will be presented: it will say that it’s a ‘Direct Enquiry’, and will show the dates and property selected. If you receive one of these enquiries, please do take the time to respond or decline as the customer has expressed a direct interest in booking your specific property.

Due to the way we deal with enquiries, direct enquiries will always be the first to be sent out to businesses (by at least an hour), so are a great opportunity to get the first bite of the cherry with someone who is definitely interested in what you have to offer.

You will still receive regular enquiries in the mean time.

We are concurrently rolling out our price and availability editor for businesses to keep that data up to date, and so stop any enquiries for already booked weeks.

As always, we welcome your feedback.

Updating your Price and Availability

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Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 16.26.55

After a few weeks of trials, we’ve launched the ability update your weekly pricing and availability online in your manager area.

Improved enquiries:

  • Only get enquiries for the dates you are still available, and with a closer price match to you.
  • Set weeks you will split the chalet, and weeks you only want sole occupancy enquiries.
  • Set weeks you take short breaks, and weeks you don’t.

We quote for you:

We are trialling direct enquiries right now using this data. We are now showing customers property details before their enquiry is sent out. Meaning they can choose to send a direct enquiry out to you.

It takes no time at all to get started, then editing your availability is easy.

Take a look at your properties and get going now.

We welcome your feedback as always.

There’s been a few changes…

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It’s been a busy few weeks at muchbetter hq. Where to begin!

The major change that was put live earlier this week is a completely re-vamped, re-designed, re-worked Manager – the system businesses use to handle their enquiries and bookings.

It’s been rebuilt from the ground up with the following things in mind:

  1. Speed The new manager is a whole lot faster to load on any connection.
  2. Mobile The old site worked on mobile, but because this new site loads faster, the prospect of answering enquiries whilst out and about becomes a whole lot more appealing. On a ski lift, in the checkout queue, whilst watching telly. Our customers increasingly expect ever quicker responses, so now you can.
  3. Keep it Simple, Stupid Wherever we could, we’ve made the new interface simpler and more streamlined.
  4. Homogonised Design You now see a much closer representation of how the offer looks to the customer. The conversation view is exactly the same as the customers view, as is the product preview.

Some added bonuses

  • Declining enquiries has become easier. There’s a much simpler initial enquiry view that asks you if you want to reply or decline. After choosing either option, you’re taken to the next new enquiry. This will keep your new enquiry inbox clear and we won’t send the reminder email after.
  • Web view counters to see if a customer has clicked to view your site or not.
  • Search for enquiries by name or enquiry number.
  • Get help/give feedback by just hitting the red ? in the bottom right of all pages in your Manager.

We have also been quietly loading accurate weekly pricing and availability for all chalets and apartments (1900 and counting) ahead of some further improvements in the pipeline – more to come on that front soon.

As always, we welcome your feedback in the comments below, or email us!

Chalet owners: Looking to sell your chalet?

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Our friends at Cold Fusion Chalets are looking to open another chalet for the coming winter season.

They are a well established chalet company and currently operate chalets in both Chamonix and Morzine and now looking to open another resort to add to their portfolio.

Ideally they want chalets of a high standard with single or twin bedrooms throughout with mostly en-suite bedrooms. Hot tub and sauna preferable.

Minimum size 12 person chalet (6 bedrooms) up to maximum 20 person (10 bedroom).

Budget is flexible depending on standard of chalet. If you have anything of interest please contact Stephen on +33 670 560 676 or via e-mail on info@coldfusionchalets.co.uk.

Reply from your inbox

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The eagle eyed among you might have spotted a new feature release last week: You can now reply to offers and comments direct from your inbox.

It’s been among the most highly requested feature from businesses and holiday searchers alike and is already showing a huge increase in the number of comments each offer is receiving – almost 2x the amount infact!

It’s a double win:
In order to allow replies to offers for the  holiday searchers, we’ve had to show a lot more information about the offer within the email. So instead of having to click through to the TripWall online, they can view all the holiday details, photos and prices direct in their inbox. This has the added bonus of allowing them to forward the emails direct to their fellow travellers.

The only restriction on these emails from a business point of view is that you still have to make the initial offer from within the manager system, but in order to respond to holiday searchers questions, hitting reply in your inbox is all you need to do.

And a bonus for the ski businesses is that you can easily respond from the chairlift 😉

A better TripWall

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Hot on the heals of our email to reply release came the new TripWall. We’ve created a more streamlined TripWall for holiday searchers to more easily share, compare and book offers.

new tripwall

We’ve deliberately not added any new features to it, but we have made it much quicker to load, easier to use on a mobile or tablet device and simpler to do the important things: Ask questions & book holidays!

It will also serve as a new platform for us to add the next set of features we’re working on. These features will be easier to implement and iterate on the new platform, which makes for happy developers, and ultimately happy customers.

As always, thoughts and comments welcome!

It’s good to talk

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We have just launched a simple calling service to allow businesses to call customers when the customer is happy to take calls – after an offer has been submitted.

How does it work?

First off,  the customer must allow the business to contact them. They do this with a simple checkbox when they send their replies:

callme-screenshot

If a customer has done this,  the business will be able to speak to the customer by calling our special callback number (UK or French national rate numbers) and then enter a special six digit number when prompted:

callbutton-screenshot

A phone call is logged in the comments stream along with the enquiry.

The customer is able to revoke the calling ability on a per enquiry basis. If this happens,  the call button will disappear and the code will deactivate.  We do this to protect our customers privacy and give them the power to enable and disable calls.

We don’t charge for the call service ourselves, the only charge will be for dialling the local rate landline callback number – a significant saving over calling an overseas mobile number!

As always, we welcome your feedback and comments!

Enquiry form enhancements

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It’s been a busy few weeks for the dev team. You might have noticed that we’ve been working away on the enquiry form. It’s all change! Our ultimate aim is to only send out enquiries to businesses that will respond.

new-enq-form

Front end changes

  • A large single form – A/B testing has shown it to increase the number of enquiries we get.
  • Chalet facilities can be chosen.
  • Travel plans are captured.

Matching engine changes

  • The engine works on preferences rather than absolute matches. This is a major change and should now mean enquiries are more relevant to the businesses receiving them, whilst not completely discounting those without all of the requirements.
  • We only send enquiries for flight inclusive packages to businesses who can offer them.
  • Family specialists will no longer receive enquiries from adults only groups.
  • Large group bookings will be sent through if you have enough total beds in one resort rather than limiting to beds per property.

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments or email us direct – hello@muchbetteradventures.com (this is the first of hopefully many changelog blog entries as we try to keep you up to date with what’s going on at muchbetter hq!)

For Businesses: Top 10 easy wins to get more bookings

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Are you looking for ways to improve your conversion rate on Much Better Adventures? Top businesses convert 14% of the enquiries they reply to. We’ve taken a close look at those companies and have shared 10 key things that work well for them below. If you’ve got advice of your own to share, feel free to contribute in the comments below.

 

1. Pitch Perfect Products.

Make sure you have all your accommodations and/or tours loaded correctly as individual products.

  • The better your products are set up, the better we can match enquiries to you.
  • The customers will get all the information they need to request a booking without having to ask too many questions.
  • Take a look at your products and put yourself in the position of a customer – would you be ready to click book?
  • Check: Is your accommodation or tour accurately displayed on the map?
  • Check: Do you have a lot of good quality photos?
  • Check: Does the description make it easy for a customer to fully understand your accommodation, services, and key features?
  • Edit: You can add/edit your products here. Too busy? Our team can also help you edit your products, just drop us an email.