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Validation on arrival. How your sales and finance people will cry tears of joy.

booking system how to ticketing ticketing software tips&tricks Jul 21, 2022

Did you know that nearly all booking and ticketing systems have the option for scanning validation on arrival?

Did you also know that by using this feature can reduce a LOT of administration and paperwork later down the track?

Do you currently use a booking system and use the manifest tool where you print out a manifest daily? Then with this manifest do you manually cross off each guest as they arrive? Well won’t you love to know about these features that pretty much all the booking systems have. For those who know about these features and are unsure about using it, we are about to help convince you to make the transition.

Booking Systems have a handy tool inbuilt that allows you to scan tickets and bookings upon arrival and this is what it means for your business and your customers:

  • Gets customers through lines quickly which means they get to experience your product (no-one likes waiting in lines)
  • Marks it as completed. As each barcode and QR Code  is unique, it means that the ticket cannot be used twice and will alert you or your staff if it is being used again (reduces fraud opportunities).
  • Validates the booking which in turn automatically updates reports associated to it (great if you are an attraction and need to know visitor numbers in-park at any given time) and also marks the revenue sitting against that ticket to now be actualised. This is great if you use accrual accounting and any revenue you have can’t be counted until it’s travelled.
  • Trade partners and distributor validation is one that is slowly evolving, however some OTAs accept a barcode/QR Code back via the API when confirming the booking from your system. This means that the customer will have your ticket in their hand when they arrive for scanning and instant validation. This takes out the manual step of manually finding the booking and checking them in. Some offline travel trade now book via the agent portals which again gives the customer a valid ticket on arrival. Slowly, we are moving the industry forward to reduce travel trade physical vouchers which have to be processed through the system at a later time (ergh admin…).

But, I hear you ask, what happens if someone turns up without a ticket?

Each booking system has ways to quickly manually find the booking in the system. Most have manifests for the day where they can easily search for the name and search fields where the user can put in the name of the visitor and it delivers it back to them. It’s good to know that these search fields can usually search via name, phone number, email and ticket number/confirmation. Once you have found them, you simply change their status to “completed” and the customer is on their way.

You may have seen that there are different ways to scan in customers and it can seem to be

  • QR Code scanners - many booking systems offer a validation app on a smart device that can scan the QR codes generated from their system. By using the specific app, this means that you are logged into the system wherever you may be, and the ability to make/amend/cancel and validate bookings while on tour. This is easy to set up and use. You can use your own device or  purchase some smart devices for your staff to use. This is a cost effective way to use this tool.
  • Barcode Scanners - if your booking system uses barcodes, there can be a little more set up. You will need a barcode scanner (can be wireless or wired depending on what you need). This scanner needs to be connected to a device that is logged into the booking system. If you are a tour company where you need to check people in on the bus, then this isn’t the best option for you, however if you are an activity or attraction where people come to a central point to enter, then this option is great. You can also attach printers (for tickets if needed) and other hardware to suit your requirements.

If you want some more light reading on the difference between a QR Code and a Barcode, please enjoy here.

So why will this make my sales and finance person cry tears of joy?

It means that at the end of each day, the data in the system is correct and the lag time significantly less. Your end of month data should require little to no manipulation in order to be correct (we know of one attraction who would validate the trade vouchers once a month before “end of month” was due. It would take her hours but she was so busy throughout the month, she didn’t have the time available and would put the vouchers in a box under her desk. Occasionally one would go missing. Now imagine the finance person who is trying to invoice trade who has credit? They couldn’t do their job until this was done….it was a snowball effect). We know that once you arrive back from tour with a physical manifest, you need to then go in and update the statuses (and if you don’t, you really should!) in order for your accounts to be correct.

With instant validation, this work is already done for you and you have less tasks to do.

Who wouldn’t cry happy tears from that?

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