For many companies that take bookings, there’s an unspoken rule – if it’s working well enough, don’t fix it. When it comes to taking bookings, that means many don’t stray from old fashioned telephone-based systems and scheduling tools, which typically require members of staff on hand to coordinate and organise bookings manually in real-time.
Needless to say, there’s a better way of doing things. We speak, of course, about bringing appointments online, accepting payments and implementing online bookings. Online booking systems like BookingLive work by providing a secure and customisable booking platform by which your customers can see event availability, book and pay directly via credit card all on your site.
As a supplier of online booking platforms for customers both big and small, we’ve seen the impact an online booking platform can have on a business, boosting sales and greatly simplifying the booking procedure for both customers and staff.
We’re also aware that sometimes, the advantages of online booking systems might not be immediately obvious. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to share with you the advantages and disadvantages of an online booking system.
When you think about the workflow of your customer service staff, it’s plain to see that an awful lot of time is taken up handling phone calls from people looking to book, explaining options to customers and managing schedules.
The demands of a phone-based booking system require a member of your staff is constantly available to handle bookings. You might not consider this a problem with customer service staff on hand, but consider the man hours which could be released by moving to an online booking platform.
Because BookingLive is fully automated, if there’s space available for a given date, your customer can choose their options, pick a date and time, pay and receive an email confirmation without any human interaction on your end – freeing up your staff to do more valuable things with their time. That’s a huge advantage of online booking platforms, and one which can greatly benefit your business.
One of the major advantages of online booking page is that with phone-based booking software, you’re introducing a huge bottleneck into your business that can prevent customers from placing their bookings with you.
Most telephone booking systems rely on customers calling during office hours, but for many people, they simply don’t have the time to book whilst they’re in the middle of their work day. Not to mention the fact that only one caller can book at a time, unless your operating multiple phone lines (which, in turn, require more staff to deal with). This will not only free up your time but also may open up a new revenue stream.
No matter which way you cut it, that’s a bottleneck that can stifle success and reduce revenue.
Online booking and appointment scheduling platforms like BookingLive, on the other hand, offer the distinct advantage of letting customers book anytime and anywhere they see fit, on whatever device they’re using. It means immediately removing any bottleneck within your booking procedure and unlocking the true potential of your business.
There’s no disadvantage to be found from boosting your appointment booking availability, so don’t hold back on making an online booking platform a part of your online business strategy.
How often do you find yourself saying “all our information is on our website” a day? We’re willing to bet that it’s more than a handful. These days, our websites are more than mere contact information for our brick-and-mortar locations, they’re huge repositories of information regarding our business, what we offer and more.
So, why not offer the opportunity to book alongside that compelling copy? By making your customers leave your product page or website in order to place a booking order, you’re introducing unnecessary complications for your customers, cutting their chances of making the kinds of impulse bookings which bring so much revenue in.
Today’s customers aren’t discovering companies through telephone books, and they aren’t finding information about your products and services by sending off for a catalogue. No, they’re increasingly finding out everything they need to know about you’re offering by heading online and via mobile apps.
There’s no shortage of reasons why that’s the case, but you’d be missing out on a huge advantage by not making the most out of the tremendous opportunity the internet offers businesses. By integrating your booking platform with your product pages, you can go where, increasingly, all of your customers are.
As telephone booking trend slowly dies, the competitive disadvantage of not having an online booking platform will widen, leaving you and small businesses especially behind. So keep up with the booking trend and move online.
In any business, you’re going to face immense competition, which typically leads to something of a race to the bottom in regards to price. That’s why it’s so important to upsell goods and services to your customers. That might mean a meal included on a tour, items available to hire for an activity or a follow on course.
Online booking platforms like BookingLive introduce upselling into the booking process, letting you offer context specific items and offers to customers who might have come across them otherwise. It’s just another advantage of online booking platforms, and another way to help to grow your business in an age of internet-first bookings.
One of the major disadvantages of online booking systems is that, for all their positives, they do come at a monetary cost – don’t believe all the promises of free trials or free online booking systems.
Some charge you per transactions, whilst others charge a flat monthly fee for booking services, so you’ll always know how much you’re paying. Custom made online booking platforms will charge you a hefty lump sum up front, as well as recurring costs for bug fixes and support.
Ultimately, the benefits of an online booking system for your business far outweigh the small monthly cost it would take to implement one, but the notion of cost is something you’re going to have to come to terms with. To find out more about our pricing click here.
Though internet access is widespread these days, it remains true that one of the major disadvantages of online booking systems are their reliance on internet connections. In order to book through an online booking system, your customers will have to have access to the internet. This can be on their smartphone, tablet, computer, laptop or any other internet-enabled device.
That’s why at BookingLive, our system enables you to maintain telephone bookings, plugging the information directly into our system so you can easily maintain and manage your bookings, even from non-online bookings.
Online booking systems open your business up to a range of opportunities including maximising social media, from saving your staff time to a new revenue stream through offering to upsell items. So keep up with the online booking trend today and contact us, where a member of our staff would be more than happy to discuss how we can help you implement an online booking system.
Go to our home page and see how you could benefit from an online booking system.