Running a business has, over the last two decades, changed significantly. The way we agree deals has gone from a handshake and a pen to the click of a digital button, physical locations have been replaced by websites and myriad other shifts have meant that for traditional businesses, times have changed dramatically.
Perhaps most notable in amongst the changes, however, has been the way in which customers approach businesses to book. Gone are the days in which staff members sat eagerly awaiting calls with a calendar by their side, replaced with online booking systems which take the hassle out of booking for customer and business.
But what is the purpose of online booking system for your business? Join us as we explain, starting with the basics.
At its most basic, an online booking system is software which allows a potential customer to book and pay for an activity or service directly through your website. That means from the moment a customer decides they want to book to choosing a date, picking a time and paying for the booking, everything is handled online, greatly reducing the workload on your staff and removing the opportunity for double-bookings.
Advanced systems like ours allow customers to book through a variety of methods online, including mobile, greatly expanding the potential for bookings for your business, and better leveraging an increasingly social internet.
In business, sometimes it’s best to leave a functioning system alone. However, when it comes to your booking system, merely functional isn’t good enough. Some businesses employ people who are dedicated customer service staff tasked with handling, managing and confirming your bookings.
With a growth in customers comes increased demands on your staff, longer wait times and a greater chance of mistakes within your bookings. Couple that with the extensive time spent sorting and manually recording each individual booking and you’ve got an exceptionally inefficient system.
Online booking software, on the other hand, takes all of the stress, strain, mistakes and time out of arranging bookings for your business. Once set up, you can control every aspect of your booking procedure and allow customers to quickly and easily book online.
Another one of the benefits of online booking is the added capacity if offers your business in regards to bookings. Rather than being constrained by working hours and telephone capacity, your business can take countless simultaneous bookings at any moment, eliminating the friction that alternative booking systems introduce.
Of course, having an online booking system doesn’t preclude you from operating a more traditional phone-based booking system. It simply means that for customers who prefer it, they can book instantly through their device of choice. For customers and your business, it’s a no-brainer.
Online booking systems have a huge variety of practical applications, especially if your business is one which requires a customer to make a booking.
Going online has helped thousands of businesses across the UK raise their profile, find more customers and get the good word out about they do, so, it makes perfect sense that you’d utilise that increased visibility to drive more bookings.
No longer do potential customers need to call just to find out the availability of your business; they simply need to visit your website. From there, they can book and pay within minutes, letting your guests begin to look forward to their fantastic.
The same goes for booking based businesses of all types, whether they’re local councils, restaurants, kids play areas or tattoo parlours. The benefits of online booking are clear to see and are utterly vital if you’re intending to grow your business in 2017 and beyond.
For your business, electronic booking systems represent a huge lifting of workload from staff and dramatically improves the customer’s buying experience. Customers can make or timeslot reservations through your online booking system and get real-time information on availability – minimising reservation errors and unnecessary complications which can lead to negative customer service experiences.
The uses of online booking systems are manyfold, and that makes them ideal for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Put plainly, if your business takes bookings of any kind, it can benefit from BookingLive software.
BookingLive might be of particular interest to businesses which rely on bookings from courses all the way to waste collection bookings. Imagine being able to pitch your product or service to customers in person and let them quickly and simply book right then and there, making their payment instantly.
With BookingLive you can let customers buy products online where products can be sold alongside your bookings, or upsell your clients with special offers as they complete their purchase.
Over the years, we’ve helped countless businesses turn their online presence into a money generating, reservation booking and customer management hub which drives new and recurring business. Whether you’re an activity centre, afterschool club or a local government, online booking systems can revolutionise the way you operate.
Although customer convenience and reduced staff workload can’t be overestimated, you might be wondering what other benefits an online reservation system like BookingLive offers your business.
Well, for one, they offer a degree of security that traditional booking methods simply do not. These days, online payment channels like Sage Pay and PayPal have become so ubiquitous in our daily lives that the notion of speaking your card details over the phone feels incredibly insecure.
By offering a secure online booking environment, BookingLive not only enables instant payment for your services, but also ensures that all payments are kept entirely secure, helping to build trust within your business.
Another one of the major benefits of an online booking system like BookingLive is the range of devices that your customers can book from. Unlike many competing electronic booking system providers, BookingLive is a fully responsive booking platform. What does that mean? Well, it means that whether you’re booking from a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop or a desktop computer, you’re going to get a booking experience that’s consistently joyful to use.
Quite clearly then, online booking systems are both increasing the present and future of bookings for all kinds of businesses. Though electronic booking was once viewed as dangerous and confusing, tools like BookingLive have opened many eyes to the benefits of online booking.
Today, they’re safer, easier and cheaper than ever for businesses to run and, for customers, they’re an expectation if they’re visiting a website. So, in truth, the question should be, why wouldn’t you use an online booking system?
With more of us than ever browsing, booking and buying online it makes superb business sense, and as businesses increasingly move to mobile, our tools allow both customers and businesses alike to take their bookings on the road.
Couple that with support for analytics software, custom branding, an integrated blog platform and dozens of integrations with major third-party software services, and you’ve got the perfect all-purpose cheap online booking system for your business.