Arctic Reservations

Arctic Reservations

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Arctic Photo Kiosk

Arctic Reservations started with a product for guests to exchange photos following their trip. Capturing and sharing photos of the beautiful and exhilarating moments of a trip allows guests to walk away with a tangible reminder of their experience. Today, we are returning to that original focus by adding a new product to the Arctic family. I am pleased to introduce the Arctic Photo Kiosk software.

The existing photo sharing features built into our reservations have been tailored to multi-day tours, while our latest product aims to bring photography functionality to day-trip outfitters. The Arctic Photo Kiosk software is designed to monetize trip photography by offering a comprehensive solution for processing, organizing and presenting photos to guests.

Throughout the day as guests go out on adventures, let your photo staff and/or guides capture magic moments. Feed these photos into the Arctic Photo Kiosk software, which will touch up, resize and group photos. When guests return from their adventure, they can browse photos either at on-site kiosks or once they return home through a special photo e-commerce website. They can select single photographs, or whole sets, to have digitally delivered, printed or burned to CD. The software will manage everything from initial upload of photos through order fulfillment, including offering comprehensive reporting and extensive customization.

Our on-site hardware makes uploads blazing fast and can power touchscreen kiosks, where guests can browse photos as soon as they return from their adventure. Use HD television screens featuring teaser slideshows to get guests interested in their photographs.

Arctic Photo Kiosks also has a powerful backend, capable of handling hundreds of thousands of photos. We put a lot of effort into creating a robust framework that will enable us to rapidly develop new features both for the photo software, and down the road, in new products.

Arctic Photo Kiosks was initially deployed by a California-based outfitter in the spring, and we saw it’s success as hundreds of orders and thousands of photos were processed in the first months of their season. Today, we are excited to make the software publicly available. For more information, including features and access to a demo e-commerce page, head over to the new Arctic Photo Kiosk product page.

Keep All Client Emails in One Centralized Place

For the last three years, a highlight of my work at Arctic Reservations is facilitating our annual Arctic Summit. This one-day conference provides us an opportunity to connect with the outfitters who use Arctic Reservations. During the Summit, we share updates on features added over the last year and hear input for what new ideas and tools should be prioritized going forward. This input has been invaluable in making Arctic Reservations a intuitive, user-friendly, and innovative system.

At last week’s Arctic Summit, we highlighted new features such as the ability to further integrate Arctic Reservations with social networking sites (sharing reservations, photos, etc.) and new cost modeling tools to analyze operating margins and increase profitability. But we also walked away from the Summit with ideas on improving our system even more, ranging from refining the booking process to managing tasks associated with a trip.

We were especially excited about the prospects of one of these ideas and have already implemented it for all the outfitters using Arctic Reservations. Since Arctic was created, it has kept a detailed email log for easy access to past customer interactions, but only those sent through Arctic Reservations. Now, outfitters can configure Arctic Reservations to also store day-to-day email exchanges with customers no matter what email service they use. Each customer record will have a thorough and detailed history of all interactions, helping outfitters offer exceptional service by tracking all customer feedback and requests. No longer will you have to switch between Arctic Reservations and your email client to look for a message received from a specific customer.

This feature is available on all Arctic Reservations installations under Email > External.

Thanks again to all the customers who attended the Summit. We look forward to implementing more of your feedback in the coming months.

Arctic Reservations at AOA Conference in Reno

Thank you to everyone who attended our webinar. For those who are still interested in learning how technology can boost your business, you can watch the recorded version at your leisure.

For those wishing a more personal and hands-on introduction to Arctic Reservations, we’ll be at the America Outdoors Association Conference in Reno next month. We’ll be in booth 404* providing demos, conversations and most importantly, some peace amidst the trade-show chaos.

For our outfitters currently using Arctic, please stop by! This is a perfect time to take advantage of our referral program. If you bring someone who would benefit from Arctic to our booth and they sign up, your account gets credited on your next invoice.

We also intend to come and cheer you on at the bowling tournament. Also, if you’re feeling extra sneaky, you might try and get us to play for your biggest rival. Three horrific bowlers will be available at the trade-show, and we know how to throw gutter balls like no one else. I’m just saying.

*If you were wondering if there was any connection between our booth number and the 404 “Not Found” error message you get on the internet, please note that we have a distinctly nerdy sense of humor. That being said, we promise you’ll be able to find us at the conference!

How can Arctic Reservations Serve your Business? Find out on November 1

Arctic Reservations was developed by a community of outfitters looking for a technological solution that worked for them and helped them provide amazing experiences for their guests. This community continues to guide the development of Arctic’s comprehensive software packages and we continue to provide intuitive, easy-to-use solutions to administrative and marketing challenges, big and small. Are you wondering if you might be a good fit for Arctic Reservations? Then join us on November 1 at 1:00 pm EDT and find out! We’ll talk about how technology can best grow your business, allow your guests to market for you, and free up your precious time. In addition, we’ll cover common mistakes outfitters make when implementing technological solutions. Many ideas we’ll talk about will be useful no matter what system you use or if you’re not quite ready to make the switch, so everyone can benefit from attending this webinar.

Looking forward to meeting everyone in cyberspace (and thanks to everyone who has already registered!)

Cheers,
Ronda
Director of Business Development

For Arctic Reservations, Fall is When We Start Heating Up!

So far, it’s been a fabulous year at Arctic Reservations and I want to thank all of our outfitters for the suggestions, comments and support you’ve given us. After working on Arctic for the past five years, I’m excited to have the opportunity to grow our community, build on the fantastic software we’ve created together, and enhance business and marketing practices so that you can continue providing amazing experiences for your guests. I have seen the role that technology plays in growing businesses, regardless of the economic climate, and we are continually incorporating new and useful technology into our products so that you are always on the cutting edge of business software.

I’ve brought on two wonderful colleagues so that, as we grow, our customer service, business development and product innovation will continue at the high level of quality you’re accustomed to. Ronda Ansted, our new Business Development Director, is skilled at streamlining processes and ensuring that technology works for people (and not the other way around). Bridgit Welch, our Marketing and Sales Director, has an impressive history of sustainably building a strong customer base, allowing us to build on our solid foundation. The three of us are gearing up for the American Outfitters Association conference in December, and planning a dynamic Arctic Summit for our core outfitters. At our Arctic Summit, you’ll get a sneak peak at upcoming features and learn how to best leverage our tools to your best advantage. More details to come…

In the mean time, check out our new about the company page to meet the team members in more detail.

Yours in adventure,
Nathan

E-mail Triggers, Booking Agents and more

We have rolled out a number of exciting new features in Arctic Reservations over the last several months. We want to briefly highlight some of these new features here:

  • Automatic e-mail triggers – Send invoice reminders, launch reminders and launch follow-up e-mails automatically by creating and configuring custom e-mail triggers. With extensive configuration options, you can custom tailor and send e-mails to specific customers at certain times. Alternatively, automatic e-mails can be saved to the outbox for a quick manual confirmation before sending. This reduces time spent on invoice reminders or launch notifications for office staff, and helps boost customer relations by staying in touch with guests.
  • Booking agent support – Booking agents can now book reservations through the online system. Commissions can be tracked automatically in Arctic for easy reconciliation.
  • Keyword manager – Review, edit and delete the list of keywords being used within Arctic, as well as getting quick access to the customers associated with each keyword.

The above list highlights just a few of the many ongoing changes and improvements we have been working on. In the last year, over 572 updates have been pushed into the live version of the software. With a list of new features in development, we are excited about what’s next and will be highlighting it here soon.

New Module: Complete Reservation

This post is one of a series, highlighting old new features (these are additions to the software that have been made in the last few months, but were never described on the blog). For more information, view the original post.

In the past, one of the most time consuming tasks for reservation staff of rafting and adventure companies has been collecting and entering guest information, either into reports or into their reservation system. This is especially true for overnight trips, where a substantial amount of information is required. Often, the process would require printing forms, postage, waiting for a response and then deciphering the guest’s handwriting to type the information into the reservation system.

A new module for Arctic Reservations, called Complete Reservation, helps cut down on waiting time to collect such vital guest information and, more importantly, saves your reservation staff time in terms of having to enter that information. Once a guest has booked a reservation, the staff simply sends them an e-mail containing all the trip details and the invoice. The e-mail will include a personalized invitation URL, that will allow the guest to visit the company’s website and fill in all their guest information.

All this works through the My Module functionality of Arctic Reservations, which allows you to integrate Arctic with your company website. Through an extensively customizable template system, the website will match the design of the rest of your site. In addition to booking new reservations and sharing photos, this website can be used by guests to access trip details, download invoices and liability agreements and enter all needed personal/group details.

Details entered automatically appear in the appropriate customer record, and a notification appears on the home page log, allowing you to review the details and ensure that all information is correct.

The information collected can range from basic details (contact information), to extensive food preferences and emergency contact information. And the module can be configured to collect different information for different trips.

Of course, due to the variety of group types (families, couples, groups of friends), the module seeks to accommodate all configurations. For families, most details entered are common to all guests (such as contact information). While, for a group of friends, each person can fill in their own details. And the primary contact can view who still needs to enter their information, and even send them a personalized link to the website as well.

This new module will help increase efficiency and help ensure all guest details are accurately collected, while freeing up office staff to pursue new reservations, instead of spending time collecting data. If you are interested in trying this new module or adding it to your installation, contact a sales representative.

Season Three

As it is now entering peak season time for many rafting companies, it is exciting to announce that this is the third season that Arctic Reservations has helped different rafting and adventure companies manage their reservations, trips, customers and billing. And although the blog has been quiet recently, the software has been anything been static. There have been new features and new reports introduced, as well as new modules developed and many improvements to the interface for the software.

But the blog has been neglected, so over the coming few weeks, I will aim to write posts highlighting many of these (already older) new features.

With our third season underway, I would also like to personally thank our existing clients for their feedback. It has all helped craft Arctic Reservations into – at least in my opinion – an exceptional reservation management program. And, in addition, there are still many ideas yet to be implemented, giving us a clear development road-map for the software for the coming seasons. It will be exciting to see what comes next…

If you haven’t tried out Arctic Reservations, let me encourage you to take a look through our demonstration version.

New Security Features

A number of new security features have recently been added to Arctic Reservations, to ensure that all data is kept secure and to help prevent malicious login attempts. This effort to increase security is due to the recently released credit card module. Since Arctic Reservations now handles important financial information for customers, it has become increasingly important to protect that data.

The first big change is an invisible one. The site now does more logging of activity and login attempts, to help identify unusual behavior or brute force attempts to gain access to the website. The software continually reviews this data using a number of strategies (including access frequency, etc), and will block access to certain users based on the perceived threat. This effectively prevents a brute force attack, where a hacker tries to gain access to the software by guessing passwords.

The second change involves offering a number of new options for controlling how users login to the system. Now below the login form is a link to show advanced options. These advanced options control how long a user will remain logged in, whether the session can transfer IP addresses and whether data should be cleared on browser exit. In addition, administrators can set defaults for each of these options from the settings page. When these new options were added, we lowered the default login duration and enabled IP address specific login, both of which help to boost security. More details on these options can be found in the new FAQ category.

Remember that security is also a huge responsibility of the end user. We can continue to add more and more security features, but if you pick “password” as your password, they will do no good. So just as a reminder, remember to pick a secure password and don’t provide your password to anyone (not even Arctic Reservations support). Some tips for secure passwords include:

  • It should not be a dictionary word.
  • You should include a number or symbol in your password.
  • Don’t use anything that can easily be guess about you (e.g., your zip code, your birthday, your address).
  • It should be at least seven characters long.

New Module: Credit Card Processing

Our credit card processing module has recently undergone extensive beta testing and I am happy to announce that it has passed all the tests with flying colors! One customer has now been using the module and have processed almost 300 transactions.

The credit card module allows you to seamlessly process credit card transactions within the Arctic Reservations software. This means that when processing a payment, you never have to leave Arctic Reservations. Just type in the card information and instantly get approval information from your processing bank. Upon approval, Arctic Reservations will automatically add a payment item to the invoice. And of course, when processing follow up transactions, you can easily access saved credit card information for the particular customer. And finally, the software offers extensive tracking and reporting information, as well as the necessary transaction tools to run refunds and void transactions that have not been settled.

Of course, this has all been implemented with thorough security precautions. All transactions must go through 256 bit SSL encryption and data is properly and securely stored on the server. Finally, extensive logging is performed to make sure only authorized users access the transaction information.

Currently, the credit card module has been setup to work with SkipJack as a payment gateway. This means that SkipJack will provide merchant services and act as a middleman between transactions performed within Arctic Reservations and your bank. Eventually, we will consider supporting additional payment gateways, but we judged SkipJack to be a good starting point as they offer low cost gateway services as well as reliable service.

Credit Card Processing Sample