There won't be any pedal- powered bookings for Cycling Gems

CYCLING GEMS organise cycle touring holidays all over the world, from Bruges to Africa. The UK-based company is run by cycling enthusiasts Geraldine and Neil Goldsmith who "aim to provide holidays for those who want to cycle and have a holiday".

Cycling Gems wanted to implement a booking system "to reduce administration to a minimum and to provide a modern presence which everyone expects these days". Neil went on to explain, "since we started Cycling Gems we have only known our online booking system, BookingLive, rather than paper-based systems. We wanted to start off in the modern era with a website presence and online booking capability. We also wanted to have the ability for customers to book via mobile devices".

Neil goes on to explain, "our [Cycling Gems'] booking software choice was a no-brainer! We had selected BookingLive previously for the company we were associated with and had worked the BookingLive software successfully before."

When asked what the best thing about having a booking system in place is for Cycling Gems, Neil stated "for us, it's about having a quality presence and being able to add tours quickly. Equally important is that we can download all the essential information we need about customers (for example medical conditions) which we need to have with us on tour. This makes life so much easier that in our previous existence where we had to transcribe everything from manual forms."

BookingLive's online booking software for activities and tours is configured so admin users can easily set up forms which can be completed by customers quickly and easily. This is an extremely popular feature throughout the BookingLive community and is something which BookingLive have been continually investing in to ensure it is the best it can be.

In terms of challenges, Cycling Gems have found setting up bank accounts and merchant accounts for ecommerce the most frustrating of tasks. "There are so many scams out there that banks are rightly cautious about who they deal with. Fortunately, BookingLive’s partnership with Sage Pay gives us a payment engine the card companies trust". Due to BookingLive's partnership with Sage Pay, there are often a number of discounts and deals available, so it is worth checking out www.bookinglive.com/integrations/sagepay for more information.

Neil summarises Cycling Gem's booking software experience by commenting"we would not have set up Cycling Gems if we did not have access to a high quality, secure website with a good e-commerce engine. In this day and age, if you do not have an internet presence you won’t exist. We have to be able to provide customers with easy access to our offerings and an easy way to book online. That's why we chose BookingLive.".

Cycling Gems were kind enough to share some advice with other businesses who are looking to set up an online booking system...

"Everything depends upon your business needs and your requirements. You need to find out how the potential systems operate and what you can do with them. Although there are lots of packages out there, not all of them work the same way. But it’s not just software, you have to think about the hosting and all of the software and technical support. We need a managed service. Although we are both technically competent at IT, we want to concentrate on running cycling tours, not dealing with hosting companies, or trying to work out how to load new versions of software. That's why we chose BookingLive.

We'd also recommend getting a good website design. BookingLive's partners Skylark have given us a modern looking site which everyone has complimented us on."

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