How online booking systems save time
July 6, 2022
One of the many advantages of an online booking system is that it saves your business time. As well as automating tasks and streamlining processes to aid business growth, they make booking easier for customers. They save both businesses and customers time.
We’ll explain the 12 ways that online booking systems save time, so you can focus on the things you love.
- Customers can book 24/7
- Reduce the number of phone calls
- Show your availability in real-time
- Automatically send appointment reminders
- It’s easy to analyse booking data
- User-friendly interface
- Detailed customer profiles
- Eliminate no-shows
- Marketing is made simple
- Payments and invoices are taken care of
- Improved employee communication
- Deal with fewer customer queries
1. Customers can book 24/7
Online booking systems save time because customers don’t have to wait until opening hours to make a booking – you can use an online booking system 24/7. They are the fastest and most convenient way to schedule an appointment or activity, which is why they are growing in popularity.
If a business doesn’t have an online booking system, customers may choose competitors that do. The ability to book online is the new standard.
The flexibility of booking whenever you like means that businesses can increase sales and make money overnight. Customers can view available appointments, choose their preferred slot, fill in their details, make the payment and receive a booking confirmation from the booking system. With no need to interact with office managers or salespeople.
2. Reduce the number of phone calls
All kinds of businesses, from leisure centres to training providers have to battle with the constant ringing of the phone. Although this signals that there’s good demand for a service, taking phone reservations can be a lengthy process. Relentless interruptions mean that staff can’t focus on their tasks and productivity is low.
Online booking systems save time because they reduce the number of phone calls made by customers. In fact, customers prefer it. Research has found that 75% of Millenials and Generation Z avoid phone calls because they’re time-consuming – we don’t blame them! People prefer faster communication. What’s faster than a phone call? Booking online.
With the option to book online, customers will be more satisfied as they won’t have to wait in a phone queue. The online booking system will automatically send a confirmation email and people can add the appointment to their digital calendar. Time is saved once again as employees would usually send follow-up emails after phone reservations have been made.
You may find that some customers aren’t tech savvy and prefer to speak to someone. In this instance, an online booking system can still save you time. Add the new booking through the system and confirmation messages will still be sent. You’ll also be able to see all bookings on your dashboard to manage capacity.
3. Show your availability in real-time
Whether it’s via phone or email, businesses often get the same enquiry – “What is your availability on this date?”. It takes staff a while to check the diary and form a reply, and during this time the slot may become unavailable. With this manual method, you can’t be confident that the information you give is 100% accurate.
Online booking systems limit these types of enquiries and give customers a better chance of securing a slot that they want. Using an online booking system, people can browse available slots in real-time. The dashboard is automatically updated whenever an appointment is sold. As a result, double bookings are a thing of the past.
With an online booking system, employees save time and customers aren’t left waiting hours on end for a reply to their email. Everyone is happy and everyone has a more efficient experience!
4. Automatically send appointment reminders
Something else that costs a business time is reminding customers about their booking. This involves repeating the time and location of the meeting and information about what customers need to bring. After all this work, it can be tough when they fail to show up to their appointment.
An online booking system saves time because it can automate reminders to email and SMS 24 hours before the booking. BookingLive’s small business solution will send automated reminders via email 24 and 2 hours ahead of the appointment time. This is proven to reduce no-shows, saving businesses money. To take your reminders a step further, you can design bespoke emails using an online booking system’s Mailchimp integration. A perfectly crafted email is bound to capture customers’ attention and makes a business appear professional and trustworthy.
5. It’s easy to analyse booking data
Managing and analysing data is a key activity for business success. It helps you understand what is working well and where to improve. Typically, people may export thousands of data entries into spreadsheets and get bogged down in the numbers. It can take hours on end to pull insights and understand customers’ buying behaviours.
Online booking systems save time because they make it easy to analyse booking data. Information is displayed on a clear dashboard and data is tracked in a way that suits you. The software will log appointment and customer details, payment methods and more. It’s easy to pull out the figures that matter the most such as revenue performance against the previous year or insights on the most popular service.
Saving time on data collection and organisation means that businesses can focus on implementing strategies to drive growth.
6. User-friendly interface
Online booking systems are intuitive. You can quickly locate a booking by searching for a customer’s name or booking ID. This saves you time as you won’t need to trawl through the whole database. Customer service is improved as you can effectively find a customer’s details if they enquire about their booking.
BookingLive is easy to navigate and understand – people from all technical backgrounds can use our online booking system. Since it’s easy to pick up and learn the software, time is saved in comparison to choosing other providers.
7. Detailed customer profiles
Online booking systems save you time because they store all the information you’d ever need about a customer. When customers make a booking, they will answer questions about their name, email, address, phone number, marketing preferences, and any additional information you’d like to collect. If you run cookery classes, you may want to know about any allergies or skill level. If you want to become a tutor, you can benefit from collecting data on education level, subjects they’re interested in and goals, for example.
You can view this information whenever you like in a detailed customer profile. Wave goodbye to disorganised spreadsheets!
8. Eliminate no-shows
A major thing that wastes business’ time is no-shows. If a customer had rescheduled or cancelled their booking, at least employees could spend their time on other duties instead of sitting and waiting.
Online booking systems allow customers to reschedule or cancel with ease. They can either log into their booking account or click a link in the booking confirmation email; which is much more convenient than ringing the reception desk.
Read our blog on how to manage last-minute appointment cancellations to make the most out of this situation.
You can also ask for partial or full deposits to deter the dreaded no-show further. It’s easy to set deposits on specific services or for certain customers that are prone to skip their appointment.
Online booking systems are proven to reduce no-shows, which will save businesses time and allow them to be more productive.
9. Marketing is made simple
Running marketing campaigns takes up a large chunk of time. You have to factor in market research, brainstorm a strategy, and align your different channels for a start.
Although you can’t establish an online presence and build a brand overnight, an online booking system can help save you time and speed up the process. How? With automation.
BookingLive can automate many marketing tasks. This can range from creating personalised email newsletters that are automatically sent to the relevant customers to pulling TripAdvisor reviews through to your website.
Another feature is that you can embed your booking link in your social media profile. This saves customers time as it shortens the number of actions they need to take before making a booking. This convenience is likely to lead to more sales – it’s a win-win!
Automation frees up employees’ time so they can work on developing business strategies and complete tasks that they love.
10. Payments and invoices are taken care of
Sorting through receipts, chasing invoices and analysing cash flow isn’t the most thrilling of tasks. Whether your business has a dedicated finance team or you’re going it alone, everyone can agree that crunching the numbers takes time.
You may already use accounting software in conjunction with other tools. However, switching between different systems can get confusing and will slow you down. BookingLive has the solution.
Our online booking system can integrate with over 3,000 applications using Zapier. This includes payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal as well as accounting software such as Xero and Quickbooks.
Online booking systems’ integration with accounting software means that you can improve efficiencies. Everything is in one place and many tasks will become automated – saving you time. The tedious tasks of sending invoices and setting up payments are taken care of, so you can focus on growing your business.
11. Improved employee communication
Miscommunication or slow communication is often a barrier to productivity. Especially when it comes to capacity and resource management.
Without a booking system, team members may have drawn out email threads and phone calls about their availability. There may be disjointed systems in place, and people may be uncertain about where they stand.
With an online booking system, employees can sync their calendars and view the available resources. This includes information on who is on holiday, when people have scheduled meetings and more. Time is saved because employees no longer need to have these unproductive conversations – they can view the information they need, whenever they need it.
12. Deal with fewer customer queries
As well as making phone reservations, customers may ring the reception desk to ask questions about the services you provide, or perhaps quiz you on optional extras. Again, this leads to a long conversation which doesn’t always result in a sale – using up a lot of time, and no benefit is gained.
When you use an online booking system, customers can view detailed information about the booking. You can include as much detail as you like, such as FAQs, videos and pricing structures. Time is saved because customers receive the answers to their questions, so there’s no need to pick up the phone. Providing this high level of detail will build customer confidence and persuade them to make a booking.
Join BookingLive and start saving time today
BookingLive offers a leading booking solution to help you manage your appointments, save time and boost efficiency. Automating admin tasks, sending reminders, processing payments, and assisting your marketing strategy are some of the many capabilities.