Flow Reservation FAQ
Flow Reservations is an internet application which allows you to create and manage your website content, trips, reservations and customers. Flow Reservations was developed on Adobe's Cold Fusion 11 platform.
Flow is for Small and Large Outfitters Flow will handle the demands of large, high volume companies and it is affordable enough for small companies to use. The main advantage of Flow Reservations is its ability to transform your website into a powerful selling machine. With a new Flow Reservation website you'll have the tools to compete in today's online market.
What does this mean to you?
Simply stated - thanks to the Cold Fusion platform on which it is built, Flow Reservations is a viable and complete website management application currently available to tour operators and outfitters. It is database driven, affordable and secure. It will effectively manage your company's sales along with your new dynamic website. It was built with the sole purpose of providing your business enterprise the tools required to maintain a complete web based sales system in today's internet environment.
Your Flow reservations site will be hosted on our secure web servers and help is available at all times. Our programmers can access your site to make fixes easily. You will be able to easily upgrade to new versions annually in order to adapt to future internet trends. Cold Fusion code is widely used and will not be discontinued down the road.
How important is it to accept online reservations?
Most companies that have switched to Flow Reservations in the past year have experienced exceptional growth in their overall bookings. Almost 60% of their existing and new clients booked online in the first year with their new system. Most of your existing and new clients won't even contact your company by phone prior to reserving your trips. Flow is easy to use and has a short learning curve!
Can I promote and sell my trips 24 hours a day?
Think of all the time you'll now have to spend on marketing and running your trips. Manually processing credit cards is no longer required! Your website now becomes a 24 hour sales agent.
Today's online customer expects fast results. They wish to search for an activity online that looks fun, find out information and availability about that activity, book the trip and share the info with their friends... within minutes! A large number of clients book their trips late at night; they don't want to call you during your business hours. Some clients book with their smart phone or tablet during lunch breaks. Flow gives you the tools to cater to this fast crowd, and look professional while you are at it!
How Secure is Flow?
No doubt most clients prefer to book trips securely online. PCI compliance mandates that your staff handles credit card information securely within accepted guidelines. With Flow most of your clients won't even give their card numbers to your staff. Your Authorize.net Payment Gateway keeps the info secure. PCI compliance is a breeze with Flow. Our Web Servers, Staging Servers and Development servers are located within a secure environment which includes redundant power sources, fire and earthquake proof equipment, security and video monitoring and redundant connectivity.
Does Flow only accept Credit Card Payments?
Flow can accept PayPal payments as well. Flow's back office can accept and record cash, checks, trade, vouchers, coupons or anything else you can think of!
Why is it important to have a database driven website?
Without making this seem boring, Flow is the only outfitter reservation system that currently allows you to manage your web content this way. Your database of clients, trips, schedule and page content is all written into your site's marked-up html code. This makes your site secure, fast and robust... for you and your client. Your BEMA (Back End Management Application) is essentially part of your public site, all written into the code of your site. They interact efficiently and effectively, allowing you to access your bookings from any internet device, post data to your site and have it post to multiple areas of your site.
If you change a price on a trip, with static code you would have to find each place on your site to change this one price... this could take hours! Flow lets you edit information and post it anywhere on your site in seconds.
Our integrated database also makes it easy for your clients to book trips. They can navigate your site quickly, search for availability and pricing, add to trips, book trips all without a log-in requirement. How many times do you back out of a system because it requires you to create a user name and password to proceed? Clients from Flow Reservation companies always comment on how easy and fast it was to book their trips. This is another reason to go with Flow... keep your clients happy so they keep coming back with you.
How does Flow compare to other reservation systems?
Your Reservation System should be a valuable asset for your company... not a liability.
Until recently, online reservation systems were very expensive... and most of them didn't work too well! To make up for this, most system vendors required you to rent from them or pay them commissions. Some of these systems would rent in excess of $1000 per month for large outfitters.
Besides the ongoing high cost with renting an important asset like your reservation management system, when you rent a reservation system from a third party carrier, your website is detached from your reservation system. When a client visits your site and decides to book online, the last thing you want them to do is leave your site and complete the reservation another third party site. This process is slow and confusing to your clients. If a client is midway through a reservation and backs out, your site may not allow that person to get back in order to review material, etc. It also wastes your time as an owner or office manager.
Is my company too big (or small) to use Flow Reservations?
Flow reservations will fit any sized company with any number of trips and clients. The robust platform and server will power a large company, or a small company. The price for Flow is the same for any sized company. It is built to handle a heavy load. The price to transition your current site to a Flow based site depends partly on your current web design, that's why we need to look at your current site and get a feel for your ideas before a final price quote can be given. There are also factors such as tech support, set-up, customization and add-ons that also affect the price. It normally takes a only few days to give you a quote for your new Flow Reservations application.
Can Flow increase the profitability of my business?
By now you know our answer to this is yes! In ways that you might not consider, Flow will help your staff to become more productive. We don't recommend changing your entire company to a "virtual" office where clients can never speak to a real person. We do recommend that you spend your time on stuff that improves the workplace and your bottom line. Your office staff can now help sell trips by keeping your new website up to date instead of stuffing envelopes. During busy periods your system will handle the high volume of inquiries by creating a new avenue for clients to book your trips.
Don't hire extra staff to handle your phone calls or make your interested clients wait on hold ...Flow is there to pick up the slack!
How can Flow help me in today's ever changing World Wide Web?
Flow Reservations will position your company to collaborate with new internet cloud applications, without the need to redesign your entire site for every new thing to hit the Web. Once you choose Flow, you will have the tools to maintain some very important aspects of operating your business in today's online environment:
What are the options for my new website?
We can match the look and feel of your existing web site to easily handle all the features of Flow or we can redesign your site to have a brand new look! Once your site is set up, it can be managed by anyone in your company that has basic computer skills. We'll help you get started and then you'll be surprised how easy it is to run your entire site and reservation system from any internet connection!
I prefer to keep my old site and just add online reservations to it, can I still use Flow?
A Flow Reservation widget can be embedded into your existing site to allow your clients to book trips online. Though not as functional as the full version, you might choose this option if you do not wish to alter anything on your current site. You would still have a back office to manage your reservations and a public side reservation portal for your clients to use 24 hours per day.
What are the advantages of switching my site to Flow?
Let's put it this way ... If you don't get online, you are losing customers every day. Real online reservations make your company look professional to potential clients. Studies show that shoppers trust companies who accept secure online payments more than those who require you to enter credit card information on a static form or give credit card information over the phone. Do you feel comfortable giving your credit card info to a night clerk answering the phone at a hotel? Wouldn't you feel more secure booking a room with a reputable company that allows you to book online?
Is Tech Support available?
Flow offers the most complete and affordable solution for the small to large tour company. Our system is designed to handle any tours and packages you offer. We can also customize the system to meet your specific needs. Initial technical support is provided with the purchase of the system. Any occasional system bugs will be fixed at no charge. Ongoing technical support or website design can be purchased in blocks or paid for as you go.
What is ColdFusion?
Adobe® ColdFusion application server enables developers to rapidly build, deploy, and maintain robust Internet applications for the enterprise. Adobe ColdFusion 11 introduces a multitude of productivity enhancing features, deeper integration with the Adobe Flash® Platform, and simplified integration with enterprise environments that enable developers to rapidly build enterprise-ready Internet applications.