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A message from our CEO – Nick Robinson.

Next Thursday (24th February) we plan to move all instructors over to instant-book – the aim of this change is to increase your income from our platform. From that date onwards you will no longer need to accept a booking, the customer will be able to automatically book you.

Currently 25% of you already use this feature and as a result have received more than 50% of all Maison Sport bookings so far this season – it’s clear customers love it and ultimately those instructors do too. They have spent less time sending messages and have received a larger share of the bookings.

To benefit from this change, it’s imperative that your calendar is kept up to date, and any lesson requirements you have are properly reflected on your profile. You should be able to add all of your requirements to ensure you only receive bookings you are happy to deliver, in order to avoid having to cancel customer bookings (and save you time responding to messages). We are making a number of updates to the instructor admin area to help you with this change, including the following;

·  New instructor calendar.

·  Calendar launched in the Maison Sport instructor mobile app.

·  Ability to choose how close to a lesson you wish to get booked (launching Wednesday next week).

·  Calendar sync (sync your iCloud/Outlook/Google calendars) with Maison Sport.

·  For those who only wish to offer off-piste lessons, you can now select this as your discipline (if you don’t want to offer lessons for lower ability levels you will need to remove skiing/snowboarding from your profile – launching Wednesday next week).

With instant-book you will continue to have full control over your bookings, and if any customers go against your rules we are happy to back you up, and ensure you only take bookings that match your settings. 

Why the change?

At the moment our business model isn’t sustainable – we are losing money on every customer, clearly this isn’t something we can do in the long term. You may have sensed from time to time the frustration from the Instructor Community team with regards to declined bookings, or message responses saying “sorry I’m not available”. This is due to the passion they have for making this platform work for all instructors, and to do that we have to turn Maison Sport into a sustainable business. We believe by removing ‘request to book’ we will be able to deliver 20 to 30% more bookings to you, improving our conversion rate enough to ensure our business can survive over the long term. 

This isn’t a decision we have made lightly, we have received a huge amount of negative feedback from customers on the ‘request to book’ feature. Customers don’t want to wait for up to 36 hours for the booking to be accepted, or worse, declined. At the moment we lose over 20% of customers at the checkout page, when they realise they may have to wait 36 hours for the booking to be confirmed they leave and book with a ski school instead.

Customers that do proceed to send a ‘booking request’ see it as a sure thing, as they’ve seen their chosen instructor as being ‘available’ in the search results, whilst they are happy to wait for it to be confirmed, they don’t expect it to be declined. When a booking is declined we often then lose that customer, so far this winter we have lost €700k in bookings due to instructors declining – if this were a smaller number, we would likely have been able to continue to offer ‘request to book’ as an option, but at this level it’s not possible.

When we built Maison Sport, this wasn’t our expectation, we thought instructor availability would be kept up to date and also thought customers would understand that a request may be declined – however this just has not happened.

We are here to help

We feel the system can work for almost all instructors, so if you are worried it won’t, please get in touch. We are aware some instructors may be reluctant to make this change and I would encourage those instructors to reach out to the instructor community team, who will be able to help them find a way to make it work. 

We will send a reminder message the day before the change goes live on the platform, in the meantime please get in touch if you have any questions.