“We were astonished that we received our first request for a weekend spa package within a few minutes of going live! And requests have been flying in ever since.”
Tracy Lawrence, Internet Marketing Manager, Ragdale Hall
Short notice availability or low room occupancy is probably the bane of any spa manager’s life – especially in times when demand is high. Having searched high and low for an effective solution Ragdale Hall decided to work with gappt, and within weeks of going live achieved the following results:
- over 380 new booking requests (average of over 6 additional enquiries each day)
- more than 20 000 web visitors opened the quick request panel added to Ragdale Hall website
- 200 phone calls made via the gappt-powered Ragdale Hall mobile app
- over 4000 app downloads
We caught up with Ragdale Hall’s Tracy Lawrence find out how they are doing and what their guests’ feedback has been so far.
1. Can you describe in one sentence (a few words) what gappt is?
“The people – friendly, efficient, personable, extremely clever geeks!
The technology – the only solution that fits with a well-known, reputable spa like Ragdale Hall.”
2. What was the original need which drove Ragdale Hall to contact gappt?
“The main objective of the Ragdale Hall app is to fill spa day and spa break spaces, which is why I contacted gappt after finding them online offering app technology to help fill salon spaces.”
3. What did gappt deliver to you?
“gappt provided us with the Quick Request panel on our website. It’s like a shop window for our late availability so we can advertise selected time slots, treatments and offers and tempt in anyone coming to our site. Web visitors can now immediately see what’s actually available and make a booking request. It’s very slick and helping us to convert a significant amount of web traffic into booking that otherwise we may not have had”
“We also chose to go live with a Ragdale Hall branded mobile app to allow our clients to subscribe to availability notifications, and further engage them with the Ragdale Hall brand. Our brand is very important to us, and the level of flexibility and control gappt offer to take our brand mobile is second to none.”
4. What have the results of using gappt been at Ragdale Hall?
“We’re really pleased with the download numbers and engagement, 25% of users who got in touch with us via the app have gone on to book a spa day or overnight stay at Ragdale Hall.”
5. What – if any – is the difference between gappt and having a bespoke solution built?
“gappt technology is constantly evolving and improving, in fact since we went live at the beginning of January, there have already been updates to improve on what is already a great product. The gappt team are very innovative and the updates are given to their clients quickly and efficiently, making gappt a great solution for an independent business like Ragdale Hall.
During the planning stage of the app, I spoke to various companies able to offer us a bespoke solution. The quotes we received for bespoke solutions were extremely expensive as was the cost for any future development, meaning a bespoke app was just not an option for us.”
6. Did you ask for any additional functionality?
“There were a few small additions/adaptations to the functionality that AJ [gappt co-Founder] and his team willingly made for us to ensure that the whole web and mobile solution was suitable for what we have to offer here at Ragdale and to meet the expectations of our guests.
We are also working on a whole new app feature with gappt that will allow us to set up automated notifications to guests who have an impending arrival. This feature means our guests will receive key information at their fingertips before their arrival. We will also use this feature to build excitement and improve customer relationships.
The feature will have many benefits to both our guests and the in-house teams who deal with check-in and arrival. AJ and myself have began discussing the finer details of the feature and we’re both excited to get it launched (hopefully end of March) and test it out.”
7. How did the implementation go? (ease and speed of set up)
“The implementation of the app was very smooth, everything happened when gappt said it would. The training offered both over the phone and via gappt’s website is detailed, easy to understand and extremely helpful.”
8. What do you think about the management of the system (user console)?
“The management system again is really easy to use, even for those members of the team who haven’t used a CMS [content management system] or similar before. Layout and navigation is really user friendly.”
9. What’s Ragdale Hall clients’ feedback re using the app and late availability functions?
“Client feedback has been nothing but positive. Easy to use, great that they’re notified of the availability, much better than having to navigate several pages of website etc. Also had people saying it works well on multiple devices.”
10. Did gappt solve any other problems (which you haven’t thought of before)?
“The team at gappt have been great. AJ/Menno before launch and the support team afterwards have dealt with any queries/problems quickly and efficiently. The whole team is accessible and very easy to work with.”
In summary Ragdale Hall wanted to:
- Advertise and fill short notice availability without relying on third-party marketplaces which undercut revenue (e.g. Treatwell, Lastminute.com etc.);
- Sell high value packages which combine treatments with rooms (overnight stays, spa breaks), special deals and other services directly to a select audience;
- Make booking enquiries easier to deal with for both clients and front-of-house thanks to two-way messaging function – no calls, callbacks, waiting lists etc.
Without having had to make changes to their existing processes or systems, Ragdale Hall boosted revenue by catching up with changes in consumer behaviour and communication preferences.