Kitty Hawk Kites
Kitty Hawk Kites is celebrating its 30th year anniversary. We give lessons for hang gliding, ultralights, kiteboarding and kayaking in addition to having 15 retail locations offering all types of kites, outdoor apparel and vacation wear. We are located on the Outer Banks (Cape Hatteras) of North Carolina and have recently expanded into Florida.
Our focus going into our 30th year of operations was to increase our customer service for all of our recreational customers. Our recreational customers are those folks who participate in one or more of our outdoor adventures including hang gliding, kayaking, surfing, kiteboarding, and parasailing to name a few. Up until last year, our customers would need to call in or visit one of our retail locations to sign-up for an activity.
We have been using a system based upon Microsoft Access 2000 that worked well for making a phone reservation but was weak on the process of charging the customers credit-card as well as integration into our Point of Sale (POS) system.
Our vision was to have a web-based system that would allow our customers to book their adventure activities online as well as having a distributed access for our reservationist with expanded functionality.
Our vision was realized by implementing Outbound’s Online Reservation System, http://reservations.kittyhawk.com.
We have seen an immediate movement to customers using the web along with reduced call volume at our main office. The addition of online credit-card processing and administrative access from any browser has significantly reduced our administrative costs.
Our customers and our contractors are raving. Our customers enjoy the fact they get confirmation and reminder emails for their activity, the ability to change the date and time of their reservation and the online discounts. Our contractors who run our parasail and jetboat tour operations can now check their daily reservations online without contacting a reservationist as they did in the past. This saves them time and money and allows them to book walk-ins.
A recent hang gliding student had this to say: “I have never been to the Outer Banks and was investigating possible activities online for the area. I found the Kitty Hawk Kites website and clicked on the banner ad showing ‘Online Reservations’. I studied the available activities and decided to book myself and my son for the Hang Gliding Beginner Dune Lesson. Booking the reservation was like booking an airline reservation on Orbitz… Easy! I was excited for my first flight on the dune’s of Jockey’s Ridge just like the Wright Brothers. I must say that if I had to call in for the reservation, I probably would not have done it. I usually determine the strengths of a company based upon their web presence. If they do not have their services online, I move on to the next guy.”