The website we created for luxury yacht charter holiday specialists Sunseeker Charters was the second, completely custom, website we’d created for a company in this industry – the first being the site for McMaster Yachts. With the Sunseeker Charters project however, we were also able to use our expertise to create a tailor-made Client Portal named “ON|BOARD”, so that their clients, Sunseeker’s own staff and even the captains of the vessels available for charter, can manage every aspect of the charter holiday. In this post I’ll walk you through some of the features, so you can get a feel for how ON|BOARD is now pivotal to everyday tasks at Sunseeker HQ in Poole, Dorset.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, the ‘front-end’, this is the user facing side of the client portal. It’s the only part that Sunseeker Charters’ customers interact with. And it’s what Sunseeker Brokers and Captains use the majority of the time to check up on details of each charter too. All the screenshots below show the pages from the Sunseeker Brokers’ perspective.
Main “My Charters” Screen
Once a Broker (or a client) logs in, they’ll arrive at the “My Charters” page. For a client, they’ll only see details of their charter, but a Broker will see all the charters that are currently active. The image below shows the screen with the ‘search filter’ only showing charters booked on the yacht “In All Fairness”. This filter is instrumental for staff, as it allows the Broker to filter down into the data quickly, as there are usually around 15-25 charters on the main screen, which can be a little overwhelming. As you can see from the screenshot below there is consistency between the look and feel of the ON|BOARD client portal and the main Sunseeker Charters website. Keeping the transition from the website into the client portal as seamless as possible was very important. Each charter is represented by a ‘block’ (with the above image showing details of just one charter). And in each block the following information is displayed by default:
- the name of the client
- the payment status of the charter
- the dates and location of the charter
There’s also more really useful information that is hidden by default to prevent overwhelm on the page. Let’s take a look at that below.
Easily see outstanding actions
If you need more details, by simply clicking the red “Required Actions” button, Brokers can see what information they are waiting on from their client. This can range from things like:
- the payment having not yet been made
- details of guests needing to be added to the charter
- the client not yet completing the itinerary preferences form, the travel info form or the food preferences form.
Previous to the ON|BOARD client portal area, clients would have had to complete paper versions of all these forms. Now they can be completed easily on a tablet or smartphone from the comfort of their living rooms.
Drill down into more details
There is also a “More Details” button, which, when clicked, expands the block to reveal more detailed information about the charter. This allows the broker (or the client) to:
- see the captain’s contact details
- see the broker’s contact details (if they’re the client of course)
- manage guests
- manage food preferences
- manage travel info
- manage itinerary preferences
- download the contract for the trip
- download the itinerary (once uploaded by a broker)
I won’t show screenshots of all the pages behind each of the points mentioned above, as many are quite lengthy forms.
We built the ON|BOARD client portal within WordPress, so this just goes to show the flexibility that’s available with WordPress. ON|BOARD is hosted on a dedicated IP and makes use of an SSL certificate to ensure all the data is safe and secure. Here’s a quick overview of how the back-end looks when Sunseeker Broker’s login to the admin area to carry out tasks like:
- uploading the contract for the charter
- changing the status of the clients payment (overdue, paid, pending etc)
- assigning the client to the correct yacht for their charter
- leaving specific information about the client’s preferences
- setting the date and time for the charter to commence and end
- adding a new yacht that’s available for charter
- …and loads more!
Once logged in, everything is controlled from within the “Charters” link in the navigation area on the left hand side. The image below shows the list of active charters, how a new charter is added, how Brokers can quickly filter charters by status (paid, overdue etc), yacht, location and even the Broker who is managing each charter. Once a Broker actually “adds” or “edits” a charter, they have a much wider range of options, which we have grouped neatly into easy to use tabs, which this image below demonstrates.
Managing Yachts, Locations & Food Preferences
If a yacht needs to be added or even removed from ON|BOARD, it’s easy for Brokers to do just that. Each Yacht is simply a category that can be added or removed (shown below). Charter holiday locations are handled in exactly the same way, as you can see below. Food preferences can also be manually added via the back-end. This is particularly useful if a Broker has a client on the phone and needs to run through the questions with them there and then.
Daily Digest Emails
One final feature we set up for the Brokers is a daily digest email. This is a summary of all the activity that’s taken place within the client portal, sent straight to the Broker’s inbox at 8am as they start the day. From here they can easily see what tasks they need to focus on for the day ahead.
Once we had a working demo set up we invited two of Sunseeker Charters Brokers to our offices to demo what we had. We could tell from their feedback that ON|BOARD was going to make their lives so much easier and that it would become the tool they use the most at the office to help them manage their upcoming charters.
In our line of business the relationship between our clients, our captains and ourselves is paramount to the work we do. Once a charter has been agreed, the planning of it can take several weeks and involves all three parties to communicate quickly and efficiently. Emails used to suffice, but as the business has grown, we wanted to find a way to reduce the amount of time emailing and streamline the entire process. What we wanted to create was a unique online space where our clients could upload their travel information and preferences, so our captains could view the information as and when required. We approached Authentic Style to come up with a platform that could achieve this and as with any project we’ve undertaken with Will, we were impressed by how clearly he understood what we needed. They have produced a secure way for our clients to connect with us, resulting in a quick and efficient use of our time in the office. This was the second time we relied upon Authentic Style and it went so well, we’ve got project number three in the design stage! Great job. – Jon Rowe, Sunseeker Charters Broker
ON|BOARD is playing a key role as Sunseeker Charters look to grow, offering luxury charter holidays to the world’s most privileged. It goes without saying that we are delighted to be working alongside them helping them get the most from digital.
Would you like us to work on a similar project for your business? Just get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss your requirements
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