What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of an Online Booking System?

For many companies that take bookings, there’s an unspoken rule – don’t change what isn’t broken. When it comes to taking bookings that mean many don’t stray from old fashioned telephone-based systems because it’s worked for many years so.

It shouldn’t come a surprise to find that there’s a better way of doing things. We speak, of course, about online booking. Online booking systems work by providing a secure and customisable booking platform by which your customers can see availability, book and pay all on your the booking system that’s been implemented on your website!

As a leading 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.

We’re aware that sometimes, the benefits of such a change 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.

 

Advantage: An Online booking system saves your staff time

When you think about the workflow of your customer service staff, it becomes clear that an awful lot of time is taken by 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 that a member of your staff is constantly available to handle bookings, something that isn’t the case with 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 tasks in their time.

 

Advantage: Removing the bottleneck of phone booking systems

With a phone-based booking platform, you’re introducing a huge bottleneck online booking systeminto 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 and if someone calls when you’re on the phone this could lead to a loss of a customer due to them unable to get through to you.

Online booking 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. That kind of booking availability can be a huge boost to your business. Taking bookings all around the clock will allow customers to book 24/7.

 

Advantage: Greater sales and marketing synergy

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 having your booking system implemented and placed on your website with all your content, will result in customers being more likely to make those impulse bookings which brings in that extra revenue.

 

Advantage: Increased revenue thanks to upselling

In any business, you’re going to face immense competition, which typically leads to something of a race to the bottom, price-wise. That’s why it’s so important to upsell your customers. That might mean a meal included on a tour, a life jacket on a water sports activity or teas and coffees in a meeting room.

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 way online booking platforms help to grow your business and an extra revenue stream for your business.

 

Disadvantage: Can come at a cost

Many Online Booking Systems, for all their advantages, do come at a cost. However, there are free ones around, but you won’t have as many advantages with these.

Some charge you per transactions, whilst others (like BookingLive) charge a flat monthly fee, so you’ll always know how much you’re paying – however, if you overbook your monthly booking limit you would have to either pay for the extra bookings or upgrade your plan. Custom made online booking platforms will charge you a hefty lump sum up front, as well as recurring costs for bug fixes and support.

 

To find out more about our pricing click here. 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.

Online booking systems open your business up to a range of opportunities, 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.

To see what our current customer’s experience of an online booking system then watch this video!