Product & Design
minute read

Tern Product Updates - February 5, 2024

At Tern we believe in a balance between new features and improving the product as it exists today. In today's post we dig into the dozens of updates we've made based on advisor feedback.
Written by
Molly Johnson
Published on
February 5, 2024

On our January 25th webinar we launched five brand new features that stole the show. Believe it or not, that's not everything our team has been up to. While we LOVE launching new game changing features like credit card authorization we also love responding to your feedback and making the existing tools better.

With the busyness that comes with launching five new products we've fallen a bit behind on telling you all about the quality of life updates that have been! So in this post, we're catching you up! There is a lot to cover so let's jump in.

Improvements to Advisor Terms and Conditions

Last week we heard about an unfortunate situation where a client had initiated a chargeback in a different system. As a part of that, the client noticed their Terms and Conditions had been updated recently and demanded to see a copy of the specific version they had signed. While this is never nice to hear, we were thrilled we could help! The advisor said: "Before Tern I never would have had that, but thanks to Tern's version tracking I was able to show them exactly what they signed." It's stories like these that really motivate us at Tern!

"Before Tern I never would have had that, but thanks to Tern's version tracking I was able to show them exactly what they signed."

This week we've made our T&Cs product even better with some small updates: 

  • New feature to print or save terms as a PDF, showing when last updated, aiding in better record-keeping. Before the Terms and Conditions view didn't print well making it hard to use as evidence.
  • To help with situations like the advisor was dealing with above we now show the date of modification on the T&C view. When combined with Tern's snapshot feature which tracks exactly which version a client agreed to this makes it far easier to use the consent record as evidence if needed.

Saved Terms and Conditions for Suppliers

When we launched credit card authorization in late January one of the top requested features was the ability to save Terms and Conditions per supplier. There were also requests for more options to include supplier T&Cs and for better visibility into the terms and cancelation policies that have been entered. Well we listened! 

  • We've now introduced a new file upload option for supplier terms and conditions, adding versatility beyond the previous web link and custom text options.
  • We added a modal that allows to view the cancellation policy text you've added, streamlining the review process without needing to navigate away.
  • The biggest update: Tern now saves T&Cs to the supplier automatically. So unless the T&Cs have changed for that supplier you no longer need to update it every time! This should be a huge time savor and was one of the top requested features in our Facebook community.

Updates to make moving booked trips easier

We know that a lot of advisors are adding existing trips to Tern. In some cases these are already authorized / booked. That meant for every activity in Tern adding the information, marking it as paid, and then clicking "exclude from authorization".

  • Now, when an item is marked as paid, it's automatically excluded from the credit card authorization process. This saves precious time and reduces errors so that the client doesn't accidentally authorize things that have already been paid.

Credit Hold for Rental Cars

Transportation Items now have a credit hold option.

One of the things advisors love about Tern's credit card authorization tool is how easy and clear it is to manage credit card guarantees / holds for hotels. Another top requested feature from the community was the ability to have a credit card hold applied to rental cars.

  • We've added the ability to do a credit hold/guarantee on transportation!

Introducing Trip Packages (previously payment groups)

Tern has had the ability to combine many activities into a single package for months but we found the terminology of "payment group" confused people. These really represented packages. We rebranded payment groups to Trip Packages to make it more clear. We also made a host of other updates:

  • We introduced a new dedicated edit page that lets you manage all aspects of credit card authorization on the trip package level. This is great for managing things like tours and cruises where many activities are authorized together.
  • New section added for including confirmations and receipts within trip packages, improving organization and access to crucial booking details.

Big updates to Forms

This is HUGE. One of the biggest challenges advisors have shared with us about the Tern form product is that clients will start a form, think they submitted it, but actually hadn't. This led to a lot of confusion.

Advisors can now access partial form responses from within Tern.
  • We're so excited to now expose partial form responses to advisors. This eliminates the frustration of a traveler thinking they submitted a form and the advisor having to chase them to actually click submit.
  • This is an awesome marketing tool to engage leads that start completing a form but drop off. This is also useful for understanding what drop off points exist in your forms enabling you to optimize them for better conversion.
  • We know how important phone numbers are to your business. That's why we've added phone number to the responder field for every form. That will automatically populate the Tern CRM.

Improving the advisor experience

"Since I've been using Tern, I'm really enjoying building itineraries again" 

One of our favorite posts from our Facebook group this week was an advisor who said: "Since I've been using Tern, I'm really enjoying building itineraries again" There are a million little things that add up to make Tern feel magical and we try to add some of those polish elements each week.

  • One of the little annoyances that our team had while navigating Tern was the fact that you had to click back to the itinerary to see the publish button and the fact that there were unpublished changes. Now, regardless of the tab you're on within a trip, options to publish or preview the trip are now always visible, simplifying the update process.
  • We now default rental cards to overnight bookings. This allows you to enter both the start and end date without having to check the overnight box saving you a click every time and reducing confusion.
  • We get it, you know a lot of people and 10 contacts per page just wasn't enough. We now show 100 contacts per page. No more annoying "next, next next" clicking to find the right contact.

Itinerary Improvements

The Tern itinerary is getting a facelift. We're committed to enabling advisors to deliver the most useful and beautiful itineraries. We've made a series of updates (with more coming soon) based on advisor feedback.

  • We added hover states to the overview tab so clients know each item is clickable. Previously, this wasn't obvious.
  • We now show per-person pricing on the itinerary so they can see the pricing model.
  • We removed the umbrella from empty days making it cleaner and less distracting when an itinerary has empty days.
  • We now support embedding loom videos on the itinerary. Making it much easier to give your clients a personalized walkthrough of their itinerary from within the itinerary itself.
  • We have improved the efficiency of the itinerary loading experience dramatically. Text no longer takes longer to load. Rich text with many images / embeds used to be very resource intensive on the browser and in some cases caused issues on mobile. These now render instantly thanks to some incredible work from our engineering team.
  • All links in text fields will now open in a new tab so clients don't lose their place.

Coming Soon

We're continuously working to make Tern more user-friendly and efficient, based on your feedback. Stay tuned for more updates, including the much-anticipated feature for breaking down credit card authorizations into smaller payments. Thanks for your support, and keep the feedback coming!

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