Active Education Group Provide the Ultimate Booking Experience

ACTIVE EDUCATION GROUP (AEG) is a provider of children's holiday activities programmes run at multiple locations across the UK. Working with schools, parents and children, Active Education Group were looking for a capable booking system that could provide a high quality user experience.

One brand of the Active Education Group, Ultimate Activity Camps, was set up to provide holiday activity camps for children aged 4-14, which run Monday to Friday during school holidays.

"This year Ultimate Activity is running across 17 locations which are all loaded on to BookingLive. For each location there are at least 3 different activities. Although this is more simple in terms of the product we're offering, it's a more complicated process for a booking system to process", explains Luke, Marketing Manager at AEG.

Over the past 3 years Ultimate Activity have increased their locations by about 7 per year. "We've experienced rapid growth and this is down to the fact that we deliver what we say we're going to deliver: quality activity camps". Luke adds, "We have a strong customer service ethos, which is backed by our drive to make life easy for parents."

In terms of busy periods, Luke explains that "summer holidays account for 85% of our business. Our business has high volume peaks. For instance we might take 25 bookings a day, but next week we could run an offer that will mean bookings go up to 260 a day, so the booking system needed to be able to handle these peaks."

Luke says "We offer a flexible service, our customers need a flexible booking system and we needed a flexible service. As parents can book by the day or week, or any combination of days, having a flexible booking system for our customers was definitely at the front of our decision process".

When looking for a booking system, AEG had a list of additional criteria in place. "Above all else we wanted a self-service booking system that provided an excellent user experience and allowed our customers to book 24 hours a day. We wanted something that felt like it was familiar, with a user journey akin to well-known businesses such as Easyjet. We also needed something that was relatively simple for busy parents to use."

AEG did their research and found BookingLive to be the best fit for their business. In terms of the booking journey, Luke explains "competitors [other than BookingLive] have the booking process the other way around, customers have to enter their details first. We wanted customers to be able to select their product and then enter their details once they were happy to go ahead with the booking. BookingLive is very logical in terms of the booking process.

It is not just AEG who are happy with their BookingLive booking journey, their customers appreciate it too. Ultimate Activity sent out a survey to all their customers, asking them to rate the booking process. "Overall, BookingLive scored 4.07 out of 5" Luke announces, not a bad score at all.

"Now we have BookingLive in place, half of our bookings happen between 4 hours: 7pm and 11pm. In fact, 10-11pm is the busiest time for our business in terms of bookings. This makes sense as the majority of people who make bookings are busy, working mums", shares Luke.

When asked what advice AEG would give to other businesses who are looking for a booking system, Luke advises "make sure it works for your customers and understand their needs, as they're going to be the ones using it. Booking systems are what people want, people want the flexibility to book 24/7. Our customers are busy working parents who want to make bookings outside of business hours and BookingLive allows them to do just that".

"Although BookingLive is the only online booking system we've had, we can compare it to our competitors' systems and see that it's superior. It provides great developments, allows us to process childcare vouchers and our bespoke grouping programmes allows us to manage children on our camps with enhanced ease."

In the next year alone, Ultimate Activity are aiming to increase from 17 locations to 25. As well as using BookingLive for Ultimate Activity, Active Education Group use a simpler version for another of their brands - Schools of Sport - and are looking at setting BookingLive up with their third brand, Varsity International. AEG are also planning significant growth, with the intention of adding more brands which they are aiming to manage with the assistance of BookingLive software.

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