Destin Vacation Boat Rentals
Heather Thomas, Owner
of bookings online
recapture rate with
man hours saved
About Destin Vacation Boat Rentals
Heather Thomas’ father-in-law, a long-time Destin charter boat captain, established a legacy for fishing charters in the area. Heather and her husband, Chris, decided to leave their corporate jobs and take over the family business. They quickly realized that there was a need for a boat rental service in additional to fishing charters.
For eight years, Heather and Chris have used their knowledge of Destin’s waterways to run Destin Vacation Boat Rentals. The couple remains dedicated to providing great customer service and sharing their love of fishing and boating.
For years, Thomas kept track of reservations by paper, using personalized calendars for each of Destin’s locations. This proved to be inefficient and time-consuming. “The customer’s information wasn’t secure and we’d have to carry multiple books for our different locations.” Tired of the hassle, Thomas decided to make the switch to an online booking partner.
However, her previous online booking partner created a whole new set of issues that directly affected her sales. “The calendar would conflate the manifest for each location, which made it hard to see what boats were available,” she said. “Sometimes employees would turn away customers because they thought a free boat was unavailable” thus losing potential business.
Her previous online booking partner also made it difficult to refund customers. “I’d have to logon to a separate website just to authorize refunds, and with no weekend support I’d have to wait to resolve any issues until Monday.”
Thomas decided to make the switch to Peek after speaking to a representative. “We wanted an online booking partner with a seamless system that can help us manage our resources and process refunds easily,” she said. “We also wanted to fully establish our online presence. Peek definitely has the tools to do that.”
Thanks to knowledgeable and accommodating Peek employees, Thomas successfully transitioned to Peek. “Patrick, [a former Peek employee] was awesome! she said. “He was patient and answered my questions all the way through the training process. I also spoke to Caroline [another Peek employee] and she helped me a lot too”
After one year with Peek, Thomas has seen a boom in sales and bookings. In the past year, overall sales has increased by 37% while online bookings increased from 28% to 40%. She credits Peek’s effective resource management. “We always know what boats are available because we can see individual manifests for each location. This helps us maximize our revenue.”
Thomas’ favorite Peek feature is Clone Bookings, which saves her valuable time on the backend. “Former customers call asking if we still have their information. It’s so useful that we can clone bookings from previous years! We usually do about 3-4 clone bookings a day.” She’s even found a clever way to maximize the Clone Bookings feature, by utilizing it as a shopping cart. “Sometimes customers want to rent a boat and a jet ski on the same day. Instead of making two separate bookings, I just clone the original booking for their jet ski rental.”
Thomas also appreciates Peek’s Abandoned Bookings feature. One week into their slow season, Thomas already has a 14% recapture rate. “We offer incentives to potential customers by providing a personal promo code in the email,” she said. “People even reply saying that they’re excited to book!”
Using Peek’s Smart Reviews feature, Thomas has doubled the amount of reviews on TripAdvisor. Smart Reviews also proves valuable in other ways, by improving business operations. “We use the negative reviews that Peek captures to train our staff,” she said. “Since it’s hard to be 100% aware of every issue, we also use them to keep an eye on all our locations. We like that we can immediately address negative reviews.”
If questions come up, Thomas knows she can reach out to a member of Peek’s Partner Support Team. “I can easily pull up the chat box and have a response to my question within 5 minutes—even on the weekends!” she said. “The chat box also helped us make the transition from our previous online booking partner.”
Thomas also receives valuable advice on how to optimize all of Peek’s features. “I love listening to the webinars,” she said. “I learn new ways Peek can help me grow my business.”
By integrating with Stripe, Peek ensures the customers’ information is protected. “Everything is PCI compliant, which is important to both us and our customers.”
Thomas is extremely satisfied with all of Peek’s features and is eager to share her success with other businesses. “I’ve already recommended Peek to four other companies.” she said. “I love how Peek is always evolving to fit the needs of the partner.”