Zip Line Ditches Two Booking Systems for One Point-of-Sale Solution
“I’d never been on a zip line and I had never rock climbed, I was just looking for a summer job,” says Kris Gagnon, now the General Manager of Monkey Trunks Adventure Park. No one would’ve guessed that, though, as he directed course changes, refinements and expansions right after taking over in 2011. Kris was instrumental in launching two of Monkey Trunks’s three locations in New Hampshire and Maine.
All of Gagnon’s priorities for the last three and a half years point to one goal: creating fantastic memories for his customers. It’s his job to eliminate any friction from the Monkey Trunks experience. In Kris’s mind, guests shouldn’t have to worry about where to park or how to book a tour. He wants to make everything so simple that “all they think about is the experience when they’re on the course.”
Unfortunately, Monkey Trunks’s multiple booking systems kept getting in the way of Kris’s objective. The company was struggling to maintain two systems in parallel: one that would handle all the walk-up business, and another for back office tools.
Supporting various platforms merely created double the trouble for Monkey Trunks. “There was no communication between our reservation system and our point-of-sale system,” Gagnon notes. “It was causing us to overbook timeslots because there was no way for someone on the phone to know that a staff member was booking someone at the front desk.”
With two systems and no real-time availability linking them, booking customers was like playing Russian Roulette for Kris and his staff. Before long, fighting constant fires with disgruntled guests lead to frustrated employees.
“You guys have a lot of the same goals that I have for our company…that’s what stands out the most to me.”
The Bigger Picture
Monkey Trunks stood to lose too much by maintaining its two systems. If things continued down the same path, Kris guessed that Monkey Trunks would soon take a hit on social media and review sites.
He warns, “If you slip up in any aspect of your business, someone is going to comment on it online.”
By 2013, Gagnon knew that Monkey Trunks could not control the chaos created by its two distinct booking systems. Looking back now, he reflects, “If we had stuck with that same operating procedure while we were trying to grow, it would’ve impacted people’s decisions about whether to come to the park a lot more.”
A New Way
Imagine managing close to 15,000 bookings, on two systems, across three locations, without any real-time coordination. Now factor in the number of employees at each of these sites that must learn to operate both platforms.
Almost every day, Kris would interact with customers that couldn’t get on the course due to booking software snafus. “It was stressful,” he remembers, “it’s a let down on our end because we don’t want customers to have to experience that.”
He needed one solution that could unify all of Monkey Trunks’s bookings from every channel: walk-up business, online reservations, and phone calls. A unified system would simplify the life of each Monkey Trunk guest and staff member.
Success With Xola
Kris found a solution in Xola. The software was so easy to use that his business operations improved practically overnight. With such an intuitive system, Kris didn’t bother organizing training sessions for his staff. “Ninety-nine percent of people can pick it up with no problem,” he explains.
Paired with its ease-of-use, Xola’s powerful software enabled Kris “to see the benefits immediately.” Armed with Xola’s credit card swiper, cash register, and printer, Monkey Trunks now serves walk-up customers with increased speed. Over-bookings are a thing of the past with one platform to sync all reservations. Needless to say, Kris and Monkey Trunks’s customers are all delighted.
But when Kris chose Xola, he knew he was investing in more than just a booking system. “Usually the sales person loses interest once you’ve made a purchase,” Kris explains, “but with Xola, my gut told me that these guys would be there the whole way.”
His intuitions were on the mark. With every interaction, Kris has witnessed Xola’s willingness “to go above and beyond.” From the get-go, he’s “seen a responsiveness that’s really carried through the entire experience.”
“I can see how innovative the whole team is,” Gagnon observes, “that’s part of the reason I went with Xola.” For him, joining Xola was about believing not just in the present product, but ultimately, the future of the software.
“You guys have a lot of the same goals that I have for our company,” he says, “that’s what stands out the most to me.”