Tour Operator Sofware Success Stories:
Nantahala Outdoor Center

Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) more than doubled its online reservations the first year using Resmark tour operator software. NOC has hundreds of employees, therefore training is always a big issue. With Resmark the company cut training to less than a third of the time it took with the previous system saving time and money. The ease of selecting and booking adventures made it possible for all employees to use the system effectively.

Natahala Outdoor Specializes in Human-Powered Recreation

Nantahala Outdoor Center’s headquarters is located near the Great Smoky Mountain National Park at the intersection of the Nantahala River and the beautiful Appalachian Trail where the business has shared the outdoors with millions of guests since 1972. The world-class staff, including past Olympians, leads whitewater rafting and kayaking trips on the Southeast’s seven best rivers: the Chattooga, Nantahala, Nolichucky, French Broad, Pigeon, Cheoah and Ocoee rivers. Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) also offers other expeditions, including expert advice and instruction in mountain biking, wilderness medicine, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and hiking in the US and internationally.

At NOC guests expect the highest quality service and top-notch equipment, along with an adventure to match every experience level. NOC headquarters, located on the banks of the Nantahala River, is a complete outdoor destination with lodging, restaurants, the famous Outfitter’s Store and bike shop.

"Training has always been expensive and time consuming for NOC in the past. Because Resmark is so intuitive, employees can be trained on the system in less time, allowing more focus on product knowledge and customer service."

Leigh Boike
Guest Relations Manager, Nantahala Outdoor Center

Resmark More Stable and Flexible than Previous Software

NOC has used both off-the-shelf commercial software and internally developed systems in a search to find a program that met the needs of the business and customers. NOC had upwards of 10 IT employees on staff to support the development, implementation and everyday use of the in-house system. The reservations office was only able to schedule guest itineraries . All other reporting, setup and resource changes went through the IT department.

The previous off-the-shelf software had stability issues. It did not allow NOC to enter online and social media outlets as desired. The software was antiquated in design, making it difficult to train employees.

Resmark Delivered More Business, Seamless Web Integration and Ease of Use

A short time after implementation of Resmark, NOC’s online reservations skyrocketed from 350,000 to more than 1.3 million representing more than 25 percent of the business. Last year visitations at NOC were up more than 14 percent, even in the down economy. In addition, the Resmark reservation system and NOC website became completely integrated with the same look and feel, a significant step for NOC’s branding efforts.

The previous reservation system required more focus on training rather than on the actual products and customer service. Using Resmark tour operator software, the reservations team now spends more time on soft skills and product knowledge than on use of the reservation software. Due to Resmark’s intuitive and visual system, NOC employees can focus on customer service and matching the best adventures to the individual wants and needs of the guest.

In addition Resmark’s ease of use allows NOC to decentralize control to the operations managers, providing the front line employees the ability to make changes as needed. River Outpost Managers can now quickly react to a sales spike by creating new trips to meet the demand. For example, when the sun is shining in Atlanta, NOC knows that they will have an increase in business, including increased traffic on the website. The sales and operations teams can easily work together to maximize sales opportunities via Resmark.

Personalized Support During Setup and Daily Use

NOC offers a wide range of activities and products, therefore a significant effort was invested in selecting a new reservation system. The largest concern was that migrating to a new system would require massive efforts to setup and implement correctly. Resmark was intimately involved with NOC through the entire process ensuring a smooth transition to the new reservation system. Furthermore, Resmark’s excellent customer support allowed NOC to maintain the creativity and variety of the adventures offered.

Resmark Systems wide experience in the adventure travel industry is definitely a plus according to the NOC IT staff. The IT department is now operating efficiently with two staff rather than the former ten it required to maintain former operations. The IT department is now more capable of anticipating NOC’s needs, and response times have improved significantly.

NOC Gains State-of-Art Customer Relationship Management with Resmark

Prior to the implementation of Resmark, customers received limited information concerning their reservation with NOC. Now they utilize the automatic email feature to send personalized communication to each customer before and after their trip. In addition they can collect ample customer data to improve the overall business and customer service through automated surveys.

Guests are now armed with more information before and after their trip leading to an increase in customer satisfaction. NOC’s staff is better prepared all around, leading to a heightened customer experience. All pre-trip information is automated and ready allowing NOC staff to spend more time welcoming their guests. NOC sent more than 300,000 emails to customers and potential customers over the past year with no additional staff.

NOC also improved integration of lodging, restaurants and photo memory packages. In the future the plan is to offer complete experience packages to all customers leading to a more simplistic reservations and billing approach.

NOC plans to utilize the lead generation and customer profile function of Resmark in the near future.. This will allow NOC to automatically generate more leads from the website and send personalized emails as follow-up. This is another area where Resmark tour operator software is capable of yielding considerable cost savings and increased efficiency.

Social Media Added to Marketing Strategy

"The quality of the software and the customer support has been a big plus with Resmark. The support team stuck with us through the entire implementation process. They were like part of the family because they were so interested in our success. It has been a give and take partnership, we have listened to them and they have listened to us and both have benefited."

Kevin Sission
CIO, Nantahala Outdoor Center

NOC has begun using the marketing capabilities of Resmark to drive customers and potential customers to the NOC Facebook page as part of their social media and branding strategy. Automated emails are used to remind targeted customers of promotions offered on the page. This year the plan is to further integrate Resmark’s marketing capabilities into the overall social media strategy.

“Resmark really gets it with social media,” said Kevin Sisson, CIO for NOC. “They are constantly making improvements that have been the key to our success in this area. The past two years would not have been as successful without Resmark.”

Stability of the Resmark Software is a Plus for NOC

The NOC IT department is amazed at the stability of the Resmark software. Downtime has decreased and the IT department has spent very little time maintaining the system allowing more time to spend on customer service and system productivity. The IT staff says that it speaks to the quality of the code and the expertise of Resmark as a company.

Accounting is More Efficient with Resmark Tour Operator Software

NOC’s previous reservation system created many challenges for the accounting department. Accounting ran reports within the system, exporting them into Excel. This process was time consuming and required three to four spreadsheets with a holding account to balance at year-end.

Resmark’s improved accounting process mean is only takes one person 15 minutes to run GL reports—saving time and resources. Aslo Resmark and NOC’s accounting system use the same GL codes; therefore, the data is imported directly, increasing the accuracy and timeliness of the financial data..

Futures Plans Using Resmark Tour Booking System

NOC plans to expand the business by offering more adventures through partners in the coming year. Expanding the business through the resale of partner activities is a great way to increase revenue and provide a larger variety of itineraries to meet every customer’s expectations. Resmark makes this possible.

The agent feature in Resmark allows NOC to easily integrates product offering and services with partner hotels and resorts. This feature has provided the opportunity to partner with the many resorts around the region. Using Resmark’s agency booking system and reports, NOC can also encourage resale efforts with partners through offering promotions and competitions. Going forward NOC will continue to expand their business with these partners.

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