Love City Excursions
Katie Zachary, Co-Owner
About Love City Excursions
In a location as beautiful as the US Virgin Islands, it’s hard to not want to spend a lot of time on the water and enjoy the natural beauty of the Caribbean. Those aspects appeal to Katie and Joe Zachary so much that they’ve lived there for 10 years. They’ve both always had a passion for the water, and worked for boat charter companies until deciding to branch out on their own.
From their passions and the stunning land- and seascapes around their home islands, Love City Excursions was born. Running a boat charter business that takes visitors out to see the most picturesque spots of the USVI above and below the water has been a labor of love for the husband-and-wife team since 2015.
The Zacharys’ first foray into online booking didn’t go as well as they had hoped. “[Our initial booking platform] was so hard to use,” Katie said. “And not only for us on the back end—it was really confusing on the front end for our customers too.
“Plus, they would make changes to our own website without even telling us,” she added. “I’d have to take the time to call them to have them fix it, and it’d take days for them to get around to it. It seemed like they didn’t really want my business.”
The Zacharys started looking for a new online booking partner, this time knowing what to look for: a platform easy to use on the front and back ends that would save them time—and a partner who was attentive to their needs.
One of the first good signs that Katie saw when they switched to Peek Pro was how helpful the onboarding and support teams are. “We get great communication from everyone we work with at Peek,” she said. “Eric is always helping us with new features that get released. We were the first ones on the new booking flow and deposits was a game changer for us since it makes our charters more accessible to customers—and it means fewer phone calls to answer.”
All of the new and old back-end features and automation add up to huge time savings for the Zacharys. “Peek Pro saves us at least 3 hours a day on administrative work, especially with the calendar and availability,” Katie said. “And the mobile app—we use it every day for payments, and have it ready when groups arrive.”
Katie also cites Peek’s low credit card fees as a boon, as it helps ease pain points in Love City’s payment model. “We didn’t even take credit cards before because of the fees, but now we can offer that ability, and it really makes customers feel more at ease about booking with us,” she said.
Using credit cards also allows them to utilize online booking, rather than via phone and email. “We still see a lot of emails to get details ironed out,” Katie said, “but I almost always direct customers to our site to make the booking. It’s so much more simple for all involved, and 95% of our bookings are now done online.”