Chicago Elevated
Margaret Hicks, Owner

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About Chicago Elevated

Margaret Hicks has zero doubt about her love for her home city of Chicago. She grew up in its suburbs and studied comedy and improv in the city. After a brief stint in New York, she returned home with a renewed appreciation for the Second City—so much that she started Chicago Elevated, a business centered around giving tours of Chicago’s top landmarks.

Hicks describes her tours as “affordable, quirky and energetic walking tours,” adding that they’re, “historical and architectural focused—all downtown within the Chicago loop.” She brings her sense of humor and improvisational skills to every tour she leads, ensuring everyone is entertained, and each outing is unique.

The Problem

Hicks felt her previous online booking partner was too pushy. “They were a little too hands-on, tried to be too involved in my business and pushed their brand—instead of mine—to my customers,” she said.

She felt she was spending more time on administration and customer outreach than she wanted to. “I wanted more control over the back end, and a system that was more automated, streamlined and easier to use,” Hicks said.

The Solution

Peek Pro gave Hicks the freedom, flexibility and automation she was looking for. “Putting my tours into Peek Pro takes just seconds—it’s so fast and so easy, and I have control over my own system again,” Hicks said. “And it’s flexible enough to be used by big or small companies—I don’t even want to think about how much time I’d have to spend on the admin work that Peek Pro does for me, but it’s streamlined my entire operation by at least 20%.”

Features like automated emails and advance payments save her not only time, but anxiety as well. “I can communicate with my customers quickly and easily if there’s a location change or weather issue. And taking payments in advance saves so much time over entering credit card information on-site,” she said. “And I love the mobile app! I can plan out my day and week, cancel or add tour times, text customers and take reservations right from my phone—it saves so much time, six or more hours per week.”

Hicks also loves Peek Pro’s other services, which have helped get her business in front of more customers. “I’ve gotten a lot more reviews on TripAdvisor thanks to Peek Pro sending out follow-up emails without me having to do anything—probably about 15% more, which helps a ton since I’m in such a competitive market.”

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