SA company uses sms to improve service in hospitality industry


safarinow.jpgAn innovative South African-based online accommodation booking service, SafariNow.com, is using an SMS service to boost service excellence in the tourism industry.

The company deployed SMS alongside email notifications to alert accommodation providers of new online booking enquiries. The messages direct establishment owners to the SafariNow website in order to complete the booking process. This improves the general quality of service within the hospitality sector, by ensuring quicker turnaround times in converting enquiries into confirmed bookings by customers.

Says Riaad Nordien, technical manager at SafariNow: “We looked for something that allowed for a quicker response time and found SMS to be the most effective way.”

The SafariNow travel booking website has booked over 1 million bed-nights since its launch in January 1999. It offers international and domestic travelers a means of searching, selecting and securing bookings with a range of establishments, in a number of African destinations. By viewing booking options from B&B’s and backpackers to guesthouses and safari lodges, travelers are able to make informed travel plans and secure their bookings via the Internet, or by calling the company’s customer service centre.

“Once an accommodation owner or seeker registers on the website there is an option to receive SMS notifications. What we have found is that there has been a significant uptake of the SMS alert service among both our clients and customers. A total of 65% of all our business communications use SMS,” added Nordien.