Kryal Castle is a medieval-themed attraction and hotel in Ballarat, Victoria. Guests visiting Kryal Castle can partake in a wide variety of attractions and entertainment, including jousting shows, axe throwing, face painting, archery, murder mystery dinner theater, and much more. The team at Kryal Castle consists of around 15 full-time staff members and 65 casual and part-time staff and has been serving its community since the 1960s. Today Kryal Castle sees approximately 150,000 guests per year.
Kryal Castle offers a wide variety of daily admission passes, along with annual passes. Previously, Kryal Castle’s booking software was a program that takes a substantial fee on each transaction. The previous software also took guests away from Kryal Castle’s website, which caused friction in the transaction process, leading to a higher than average bounce rate. When reviewing other options, management found that most venue management solutions were significantly more expensive until they came across ROLLER.
An easy switch
Bart Hamilton, Kryal Castle’s General Manager, shares that implementing ROLLER has proven successful from the very beginning. “The onboarding was great to be honest, very clear and succinct, a lot of open communication.”
Bart shares that he has been a part of venue management software changes in previous roles and that the experience of onboarding ROLLER was much more personal. “I've been in a few in my career, few of these software switches and a lot of them, you are basically given a spreadsheet, and you fill it out, and then the data gets inputted, and that's that.”
Instead, Bart communicates that the ROLLER team was fully involved throughout the whole process and provided suggestions for new product ideas. “The ROLLER team were basically with us throughout the whole process, almost working with us and kind of actually giving us ideas on how to run it operationally from what they've seen…the onboarding was definitely one of the highlights.”
A 25% increase in ticket sales
Kryal Castle's experience has only gotten better from there. Once Kryal Castle began selling tickets through ROLLER, sales went up a whopping 25% compared to before. Because guests can stay on Kryal Castle’s website instead of being directed to a new window without Kryal’s branding, Bart says that guests likely assume that they built the booking system themselves, because of how seamlessly integrated it is with their existing website and branding. “Our ticket sales in general, without doing any much, any different things in advertising, we were seeing a 25% increase in ticket sales, which really was only because of ROLLER and the website changes itself, which is huge, to be honest.” - Bart explains.
Cost savings across the business
In addition to generating more revenue, Kryal Castle has enjoyed cost savings as well. What used to take the accounting department around a day to complete in reporting, now takes an hour or two. Multiple departments such as administration or food and beverage now sit in one centralized system, making venue management significantly easier: “We've seen a reduction in basically reporting costs. It used to take about a day to a day and a half of our accountant's week to basically get all the reporting information done, for TryBooking. And now it's pretty much done in one or two hours, depending on how busy we are. So yeah. Administration costs, set up costs. I mean, there are very few things that it hasn't saved us money and it also, at least the benefit of it is that it was able to roll out across all our different departments. So we don't have to run ROLLER on ticketing and then another software on F&B and another software in retail. It pretty much covers all of our bases. So it can all be run from one central system.”
Making a medieval attraction modern
Bart says that ROLLER has helped bring the medieval castle into the modern century: “We've had a lot of feedback about that, that it finally feels like it's stepped into the modern century and, excuse the pun (because we’re a medieval castle) but ROLLER has definitely been at the forefront of that. It was the first thing I changed when I came in. It's probably been the most noticeable difference for anyone that comes through our website, you know, between last year and this year. Yeah, and in terms of the guest experience; I mean, very few people will ever comment on a checkout experience unless it's bad, and we've never had any bad comments about ROLLER. We did around TryBooking. So I guess that speaks volumes.”
Finally, Bart shares his thoughts on those considering ROLLER. “I think: do it. I mean, I've worked with a lot of these; for the price point, it's incredible. But even more so…even if it was more expensive, it's definitely, absolutely competitive with the very expensive software systems you can get, and if you are looking to start a business or bring your business into the modern stage, you couldn’t hope for a better customer service aspect from ROLLER. It’s not a giant corporation that’s just going to tick the box. They’re pretty personable, and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.”
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