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Scan and Go: Use QR Codes to Streamline Your Business

Last updated on February 9, 2024
7 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • QR codes are an easy-to-use tool that will improve your operations.
  • Use them to broaden your reach and make your business more efficient.
  • These codes are free and simple to create!

Skill Level

Beginner, Intermediate

QR codes are a type of barcode that are scanned with a smartphone to take someone to a specific website link. They can link to pages such as your website, social media, or your book form. 

As a tour operator, there are many ways to use QR codes to your advantage. They make it easy to share content or allow a customer to make a quick booking. And, while QR codes have been around for decades, they increased in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, which means the majority of your customers are already familiar with them. 

This guide will cover many options for how you can use QR codes within your business. 

8 Ways to Improve the Guest Experience with QR Codes

Each business has different use cases for QR codes. Below are a few popular ways they can increase efficiency and boost bookings.

1. Make it Easier for Tour Guides to Collect Tips

In our increasingly digital world, more and more people choose not to carry cash, which can often make it difficult to tip their tour guide or instructor after the activity. To make tipping easier (and more likely!) tour guides and activity staff can create QR codes that link to their unique Venmo or other payment app, allowing customers to easily scan and send tips. 

Many tour guides carry business cards with these QR codes or are able to include it on their name tags or at the tour’s ending location or storefront.

Pro Tip: Looking for more ways to increase tips? Tour guides should practice their “tip speech” — the quick spiel they give to guests at the end of the experience. Thank customers for joining the tour and slip in a quick reminder about how to leave a tip. Remember, tour customers in most cases are already planning to leave a tip.

2. Reduce Wait Times for Walk-Up Customers

If your business typically has a lot of walk-up or last-minute bookings, QR codes are a great way to keep the line moving. Post a QR code at your location that takes customers directly into your booking flow where they can complete their booking on the spot.

This particular use is great for admission-style businesses like farms or museums!

3. Make Check-In a Breeze

With FareHarbor’s QR code scanning feature, checking guests in is easier and faster than ever for you and your staff. It also eliminates the need for physical tickets. 

To use this feature, simply:

  1. Download the FareHarbor app on your mobile device. 
  2. Enable QR code scanning for each of your items. 
  3. Scan customer tickets with your smartphone or tablet. 

4. Collect More Reviews

Put up a QR code at your location that brings customers to the review site of your choice. The best time to get feedback from your customers is right after they finish your tour or activity, so a QR code will encourage more realtime reviews. 

Put this type of QR code on your tour bus, in business cards, on fliers, or any other printed material you pass out as well. 

5. Market Your Offerings Through a Variety of Channels

While there are many ways to streamline your operations with QR codes, they are also a tool that can help spread the word about your business. 

In any printed marketing materials, such as posters or brochures, include a QR code that leads potential customers to your website. This can be especially helpful if you have local partners, like a hotel or another operator’s business, as they can pass out these materials to locals and visitors. 

6. Fill up Your Tours with Affiliate Bookings

If you currently work with affiliates who prefer physical marketing materials, like menus, pamphlets, and magazines, QR codes allow them to direct customers into a booking by simply scanning the code within the marketing materials. 

Once a customer scans the QR code and makes a booking, the affiliate is tagged and any commission you owe the affiliate is tracked on your Dashboard. This is yet another channel to advertise your experiences and bring in more bookings. Learn more about this affiliate feature here.

Pro tip: Limit when your affiliates can book your tours and activities by implementing our affiliate rules feature. Strategically control which days, weeks, or months affiliates can or cannot book to help fill up your availabilities and maximize your earnings.  

7. Boost Followers on Your Social Media Channels

Looking to increase your social following? Create QR codes that direct customers to your platform of choice. If you decide to use this method, be sure to post often and have an engaging feed. Get tips for growing your social following here.  

8. Improve the Guest Experience with Accessible On-Site Wi-Fi 

If you offer your customers free Wi-Fi at your location, set up a sign with a QR code that automatically signs them in – no more asking for the password!

How to Create QR Codes

As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can use QR codes to benefit your tour business. And, luckily there are several free generators available to you online. For example: 

When creating QR codes, be sure to pay attention to whether the code is static or dynamic. Static codes cannot be changed, so if you’re planning to include them on printed materials, make sure you won’t need to change the link anytime soon. 

QR codes are easy to implement and are a great tool for your business. See below for a few more digital tools you can use to improve your operations. 

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