If your appointment based business already has it’s own website then utilizing an online booking system is a terrific way to attract clients. Website booking systems let your customers book and pay for your services 24/7, and so are surprisingly easy to setup and use with little technical know-how.
Online booking systems have many advantages that can boost your businesses bottom line. The most obvious advantage is an upsurge in bookings. Customers who may not have booked your services will book on impulse, instead of continuing their web search and booking with another business that does provide the convenience of bookings online. These days everyone is comfortable with using the Internet to book and purchase services, so if your business doesn’t provide the capacity for online bookings then you’re passing up on new business.
To start out offering online website bookings on your website you need to first choose an online reservation system. Most booking reservation systems charge a little monthly fee which can change from $20 per month around $100 monthly for enterprise solutions. Prices are often determined by the amount of services you provide, and the number of staff/resources your business has.
Many online booking systems allow your customers to pay for bookings using an online payment solution. When choosing an online booking system ensure that PayPal payments are supported, as PayPal is the most trusted and trusted payment gateway today.
Before selecting which website reservation system you’ll use make sure you try a demo of what the booking calendar can look like for your customers. Booking systems vary greatly in the technology they’ve been built with, which means you want one that’s user friendly and looks good on your site. The booking experience that an online reservation system provides will be the difference between completed bookings and abandoned bookings because of an outdated or un-friendly user interface.
You would like to make the booking experience as easy and straightforward as you possibly can for your customers. Don’t choose an online reservation system that forces your customers to generate accounts before completing a booking. It is a big turn-off for your customers, and will result in many abandoned bookings. Additionally you don’t want to force your visitors to enter line after line of personal information that you don’t even need. An excellent online reservation system should enable you to choose what information you collect from your own customers when making bookings. It is important to request only the information you will need, since long booking forms may also result in abandoned bookings.
Other features to check out for in an internet site reservation system are email and SMS/text appointment reminders. Automated appointment reminders will reduce no-shows, saving your organization money while providing a handy service to your customers.
Many businesses today use tools such as for example Google Calendar in running day to day activities. If your business falls within this category you then should choose an online booking system that has Google Calendar integration. Some online reservation systems let you integrate with Google Calendar using “calendar feeds”. Calendar feeds can only update your Google Calendar one-way, and there is a long delay between updates which means your Google Calendar is not always up to date. If using Google Calendar is essential to your organization then choose an online booking system which has full two-way Google Calendar integration, allowing you to modify bookings directly within Google Calendar and in addition ensuring that your Google Calendar is definitely up to date.
Lastly, ensure that your online booking system is powerful and flexible enough to handle things such as staff leave, custom working days/times for the staff, and non-working days for when you’re closed for business. The last thing you want can be your customers booking times when your organization or a staff member isn’t available.