The purpose of an online booking system is to allow potential customers to book and pay for your services through your website 24/7.
Why do I need online booking system for my small business?
It means customers can make appointments 24/7 without the hassle of calling you to find you are unavailable or with a client. It means customers can look and see availability immediately and select a time and date that suits them without to-and-fro with someone on a phone. You are offering an enhamced customer service.
As a small business owner, your time is best spent on delivering your service or product. If you don’t use an online boking or appointment system as your business grows you will use an increasing amount of you time on admin and emails.
A good online booking system manages all this for you and sends automates messages, reminders and manages cancellations.The investment in an online booking system will buy you time; time to take more booking and increase your revenue. That can only be a good thing.
What actually is an online booking system?
An online booking system is a web page where clients can book appointments with you 24/7.
Generally, your client will be presented with a calendar showing your availability and they can choose the time and date that suits them best to book in and see you for their desired service.
In addition you can set up payment so that clients can pay for services online at the time of booking, pay a depoist, or alternatively you can simply take the booking and have payment on arrival. There are also subscription options to allow monthly or weekly payments to be set up. It’s flexible with endless possibilities.
You can set up services such as dog walking that can be booked, or hotel rooms. The page shows real time availability and allows clients to select times most convenient to themselves.
It can also be integrated with external calendars such as google calendar, or other booking systems such as Air BnB so no conflicts arise.
What kind of business need online booking?
Anyone who has customer interaction. Anyone who wants to free up more time to spend on their core business. Anyone who wants to offer customers a better experience of their business.
It can be for appointments for services such as medical or beauty treatments or course; the collection of goods that aren’t easily shipped for example food takeaways or flower collection. Online booking also works for hotels, holiday cottages and even event or conference room bookings.
Does my small business really need an online booking system?
- It extends your availability to 24/7. The purpose of an online booking system for customers means convenience, and therefore a better customer experience.
- Customer information is secure. There’s no need to store names and numbers in a spreadsheet or ona piece of paper. This reduces any risk of GDPR breaches or data leaks.
- Reduces your workload. You no longer need to spend your time taking customer bookings. This means you’ve got more time to deal with your core business.
- Helps you stay organized. Nearly all booking systems allow you to view daily calendars, manage staff if you have any and also let you view how many spaces are left.
- Prevents cancellations and no-shows. Most systems send automatic email reminders to your customers. This massively reduces the chance of no-shows. If your customer does need to cancel they can contact you easily and in some cases reschedule online.
- Everyone is online nowadays, so if you want to offer a convenient booking method and get more appointments, online booking is the most efficient and affordable option for businesses of all sizes, and specifically for small businesses.
- A booking system for small businesses can boost your bookings and increase customers, without even having to answer phone calls.
- Online payments means people are more likely to turn up if a deposit or full payment has been taken for your service.