For over 30 years, Langara Fishing Adventures has earned a reputation as the destination of choice for serious salmon seekers.
Their all-inclusive vacation packages provide 5-star access to one of the world’s top sport fishing and marine wildlife destinations: Langara Island, in British Columbia’s remote Haida Gwaii archipelago, 20 nautical miles south of Alaska.
The logistics of providing a world-class experience in such a remote location is daunting — minor oversights can quickly turn into trip-ruining complications. For Langara, the ability to collect and access the right information about their guests, at every stage of their experience, is crucial to the success of their operations.
“The way we look at it, our guests are here to catch fish, and we’re here to catch happy customers,” said company CFO Scott Mehlenbacher.
With the cost of a five-day trip to Langara, customers could literally go anywhere in the world. What sets Langara apart is their ability to reel in and delight many of the same customers year after year.
“Our lodges are full of people who used to bounce from place to place, or lodge to lodge, and are now five, 10, 20 year veterans of Langara,” said Scott. “These are grown men and women, and when they come here, they’re so excited – it’s like they’re waking up on Christmas morning.”
The secret to Langara’s success? First and foremost, it’s Langara amazing location in one of the most bountiful fishing spots in North America. Guests can fish for five species of salmon — or halibut — and they’re almost guaranteed a catch, said Scott. Plus, Langara Island’s spectacular natural scenery and wildlife are always on display.
Most important of all, however, is Langara’s amazing guest care and their clever use of CRM to drive personalization across the entire guest experience. From the moment a guest departs on a chartered 737 for Haida Gwaii, and across their dining and accommodation — “we absolutely spoil them,” said Scott, adding, “Maximizer is a crucial tool to help us meet and exceed our guests’ expectations.”
When Langara first bought Maximizer 18 years ago, they customized it out the box to manage the many details associated with each guest’s stay. But there were a couple teething issues.
“At first, we weren’t using it in the way we were supposed to,” he laughed. “Each person had their own Maximizer. I think that’s when Byard, our Maximizer business partner, said you should probably centralize your database.”
Shortly after coming on board, Scott got Maximizer in order. Now Langara uses it for their whole operation, not just sales and marketing. Boot and cruiser-suit size; fishing license information; emergency contacts; guide, room and boat allocations; plane manifests; dietary requirements and much more — “it’s all recorded in customized fields,” said Scott.
Then in the Fall of 2017, Langara decided to take the next natural step: move their on-premise CRM to cloud. At first, like so many people, Langara thought, “if it ain’t broke, why fix it.” But the more Langara looked, the more management became convinced that they “needed to get with the trend.”
Scott had been working double duty, taking care of the company’s IT and finances. Despite just buying a new server, he wanted to move some processes to cloud to lighten their IT workload.
“It felt natural to lead with CRM. Like a giant rolodex, it just works naturally in the cloud,” he said, noting how CRM is process-light and thus consumes minimal bandwidth, while integrating well with their other cloud apps.
They picked December, the quietest time of the year to move. “And it went absolutely seamlessly. I hardly had to do anything. Tim, the tech guy at Maximizer, knew exactly what he was doing,” said Scott.
“Having our conversion over and done with so quickly and effortlessly was a huge win for us.”
Now settled into their new cloud solution, Scott says they couldn’t be happier. They face a lower IT burden with automatic access to leading edge features and integrations. Updates that used to take half a day twice a year now occur all the time without them even knowing.
Having cloud CRM also empowered their team working remotely.
“All decked out with Maximizer”, their team at trade shows in Las Vegas were able quickly to call up addresses or trip history on their iPhone and iPad, enabling them to register new guests on the spot.
Meanwhile, with new satellite internet, Langara staff at the lodge can see what was charged before, and negotiate rates on site to lock down repeat business when guests are feeling great and are in the mood to come back next year. Because of help from Maximizer CRM Live, Langara is able to rebook over 50 percent of its clients up at Langara Island.
“I’m so thankful that we decided to do this,” Scott said, adding they should’ve moved to cloud “a long time ago.”
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