Tyler Soulé, Co-Owner
About H2O Adventures
After working as a whitewater rafting guide for 10 years, Tyler Soulé knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life. He had already been paddling various rivers and rapids since 1989, and wanted to not only continue making a living doing so, but share his passion for it with as many people as possible. He felt could do it better than the company he’d been working for, so he said goodbye to grad school and started running H2O Adventures with his brother, Daniel, in Lotus, California—right on the bank of the American River.
“What makes us unique is that there’s no timetable to get down the river, no ‘take out time,’” Soulé said. “It’s the client’s trip and the client’s schedule, not ours.” That perspective adds to the great experience he provides to his customers, which is about more than just getting them down the river.
Soulé purchased an existing business, and he started out using the online booking system the previous owners had used. After about 2 months, he decided he wanted to look elsewhere. “I felt like it was rough on the back end, and wasn’t very intuitive for the customer either,” he said. His inherited online booking partner also lacked a lot of functionality. “They kept talking about everything they wanted to build, but nothing was coming any time soon. I wanted a partner who was fully functional.”
Some of the features Soulé had in mind were automated email communications with customers, a mobile app, monthly reports and other features that would help save time and increase bookings. “We also wanted to be a green company,” Soulé said, “to eliminate as much paper as possible, including check-in forms and waivers. Features like that would help the environment and serve as time savers all at once.”
After further research, Soulé and his co-owner decided on Peek as their new online booking partner—and haven’t looked back since. “Peek Pro is feature rich, even beyond what we were looking for. The mobile app pretty much is my office now, since I can run things from anywhere—I’ve booked and managed rafting trips from the slopes of Tahoe. The customers are automatically set up with everything, and they don’t even know I’m not in the office.”
Soulé’s team also uses the Peek Pro mobile app for internal communications, scheduling, tour manifests and checking in customers. “All that and free digital waivers definitely hit the mark of making us more green,” Soulé said. “And it’s super easy to send our monthly reports to our insurance company and to local river organizations. All told, the massive amount of automation saves us over 20 hours of work every week.”
That also includes automated emails. “We don’t even have to think about confirmations or follow-ups, and it benefits us in several ways,” Soulé said. “The follow ups put the fun experiences our customers had back into the front of their minds, and we’ve seen a big uptick in online reviews, by about 30%—and they’re all 5-star ratings.”
Beyond automation, Soulé praises Peek Pro’s operation on his own website. “The front and back ends are both vast improvements over what we had before,” he said. “It’s so easy and intuitive for customers to book that we get a lot more successful conversions, probably 40% more.”
According to Soulé, his overall impression speaks to Peek Pro’s diverse and helpful features that he now can’t imagine living without. “My background is in rafting,” he said, ”not in business or tech, so I love that Peek Pro makes the entire business side of the operation incredibly easy, whether I’m in town or on the go.”