We’re always eager to explore the numerous ways our clients benefit from the SimplyBook.me system. This case study offers a detailed insight into one such user experience, stemming from a candid chat between Dirk Klostermann of Alpakadorf (Alpaca Village) and Jan Drawert, our Head of German-speaking markets.
Situated in the Braunschweig region, Alpaca Village curates unique experiences centered around these adorable alpacas. However, with the increasing complexity of managing numerous resources and service providers, the need for a robust booking system became clear.
Realising the administrative challenges, Dirk Klostermann acknowledged the pressing requirement to refine the scheduling and booking dynamics, ensuring enhanced service delivery. The solution? Integrating SimplyBook.me, a cloud-based booking platform celebrated for its user-friendliness and efficiency, tailored for both administrators and customers.
This case study delves into the transformation journey of Alpaca Village post their relationship with SimplyBook.me, highlighting the real enhancements in their operational processes and client interactions.
One significant attraction for potential customers has been the Alpaca Concept Store. Introduced this year, this establishment serves as a gateway for those unfamiliar with the online booking realm. Complete with a café and many alpaca-centric products, it’s rapidly becoming a favoured meeting point. This setting is particularly advantageous for older clients booking a family experience, ensuring they receive optimal assistance during their booking journey.
The Interview with Dirk Klostermann of Alpaca Village:
Can you explain your business in a few words?
We offer exclusive events with alpacas such as hikes, children’s birthday parties, photo shoots or weddings.
How do you mainly market your business?
Most of the marketing is now word-of-mouth. We use Google Ads a little bit. Almost all bookings are made through our website. We see from the traffic that people mostly search directly for us or alpacas in the region. Through SEO we also get a lot of organic traffic.
Who is your target clientele?
Very different depending on the activity, but with a focus on young families.
Do you have many regular customers?
The number is growing. However, this is exactly the reason why we have now opened an alpaca concept store with a café: we need an alternative for our regular customers than just alpaca walks.
What percentage of your bookings are made via the booking website compared to taking them in person?
95% is through the website. We have an email address and a telephone hotline (brand new now the shop itself). But again, we try to encourage customers to book online.
Why did you start looking for booking software?
For us, each alpaca is a resource, each guide is a service provider who masters a list of alpaca activities specific to them (the services). We currently have over 20 service providers, 30 alpacas and dozens of activities. Long story short: manual planning would take several hours of time every day and would be prone to errors. Plus, as a client, I love the ease of online booking with PayPal payment!
Why did you choose SimplyBook.me?
The market is small for our very specific requirements. When evaluating tools, I really liked the concept of the customer only being shown the times when any service provider is available. This is perfect for alpaca walks.
Was it easy for you to implement at the time?
Yes. We set up SimplyBook.me before we built our website. Therefore, we were also able to adapt the website or the business model to the tool in many places. Sounds silly, but seamless tool integration is both a good UX for the customer and an efficiency booster for us.
Did it solve all your business needs?
Not at any point. We were quickly on the premium package, not because of the number of bookings, but because of the customized features, but it’s still missing a lot.
Do you also use the system for payment processing?
Yes, 90% of the time. We offer PayPal and Stripe. 90% use PayPal, 3% Stripe and 7% fail. We contact each of the 7% and get a transaction out of almost 50% of those leads. This proportion of the target group is very analogue on the move and then pays either by online banking, cash in shop or bank transfer slip at the bank branch. With SBPay, we would still like to see a good integration of SEPA transfers.
Do you use the administrator app?
Yes and no. I (just like the other administrators) never use the app, but I love the app because all the guides use it. There are far too few features for administrators, but for guides the push notifications for new and changed bookings are worth their weight in gold.
Do you ask your clients to download the client app to facilitate recurring bookings?
No, I think the span between recurring bookings is too long for that with alpaca walks.
What do you like most about SimplyBook.me?
The administrator app, the combination of service provider, service and resources, the individual functions.
What do you like least about it?
The functions I am still missing:
- Payment by bank transfer
- Cancellation management (create vouchers, refunds) -> in the worst case we have to manually contact dozens of customers in one day during a storm
- Lead use of failed payments (abandoned cart function, automatic emails after x days of open payment)
- More personalisation for gift cards (e.g. whether print or by post)
Have you used our customer support and if so, were you happy with the support you received?
I have always been delighted.
Would you recommend SimplyBook.me to your friends?
Yes, in fact I’m already on it and tell friends alpaca farms about the possibilities.
Alpaca Village Braunschweig’s journey with SimplyBook.me showcases the transformative power of digital solutions in enhancing business operations, particularly in the niche sector of alpaca experiences. Their adoption of our platform not only streamlined their complex booking processes but also enriched the customer experience. In an ever-evolving digital world, stories such as this highlight the significance of choosing tailored solutions that directly address unique business challenges.
We’re grateful to Dirk Klostermann and the team at Alpaca Village for sharing their experience and are excited to support them as they continue to grow and serve their clientele. We’re reminded that regardless of the industry or scale, the right tools can make all the difference.