How do you take bookings in your business? Are these bookings important to the success and growth of your business?
If the answers are yes, and you haven’t considered introducing a booking system, think they’re too expensive, a luxury item, or not relevant to your particular business model, then read why you should seriously reconsider this viewpoint.
Your Customers Want a Booking System (Even if they haven’t told you)
Your customers want a convenient, fast and easy to use experience when it comes to booking a course, hiring a room, making an appointment or other such item; much as we have all come to expect thanks to the proliferation of online services and mobile devices into our everyday lives.
Given that 85% of the UK adult population own a smart phone (source: Deloitte), and more than half of all consumers use their mobile device during at least some part of their buying journey (source: Checkfront), it really doesn’t take too much of a leap to understand that if they are presented with a simple, single-step process to make a booking, they will be more likely to the book with you, than the company down the road still reliant on their website’s contact form.
Booking Systems Increase Your Booking Rates
80% of customers are willing to buy or book from a company that offers excellent customer experience (CX) (source: Capgemini).
How many bookings have you lost because it’s taken a day (or more) to get back to an enquiry? Or because your phone line was busy with another caller? Or because your offices were closed?
What if you had a simple, effective and reliable booking system available on all devices, at all hours of the day? A system that allows your customers to book in a matter of minutes, at a time convenient to them, rather than you?
Increasing Your Revenue Opportunities
Think of your booking system as an extension of the sales team. Not only is it available to take an order (booking) at any time of the day, but it’s also the perfect vehicle for upselling opportunities.
Adding extras to the booking is a tried and tested way to add a little bit more return to the order, with no additional effort.
Higher Spending Customers
While the upsell features can certainly boost the revenue and value of each booking, this is not the only way in which a modern booking system can facilitate revenue growth and higher returns.
For instance, while the overwhelming number of customers opt for a company offering great CX, they will also be more inclined to spend up to 50% more (source: Capgemini). In other words, a user-friendly booking system can garner customers who are more inclined to spend more of their money with you. Plus, they’ll be more inclined to endorse the experience to friends and family – fuelling the all-important word-of-mouth marketing.
Furthermore, your booking system can be the great gateway to delivering the kind of personalised customer experience that generates more revenue.
By using your booking system to capture the data that’s essential to providing a personalised service.
But aren’t we all a bit resistant to providing personal information in this way?
Apparently not, according to a study by Episerver, who cite 90% of consumers being more than happy to provide data if it guarantees better personal service and experiences.
The average spend of customers who use personal shopping services, for instance, can be up to 4x higher than traditional in-store customers (source: BoF).
A Booking System Reduces Operational Costs
The process of taking and managing bookings, calendars, resources and appointments is essential but can be a major drain on time and operational cost.
Mainly this is because organisations are clinging to traditional methods; which equals a lot of manual admin.
Think of the time spent managing a phone enquiry, an email response, logging the booking information into the diary or whatever manual booking process you have (Excel?), the email to confirm the booking, the taking of payments, the reminder email or call, and the compiling of spreadsheets for booking registers, customer lists and so on and so forth.
Now imagine a world where all of that is taken care of by an online booking system.
A booking system is not a luxury item.
In a world of digital ubiquity, the need to demonstrate that you are customer-centric in your approach is vital. Your booking system should make it easy for your clients to find what they want and book it in a way that’s convenient to them, in terms of device, platform (online or offline) and time of day.
Customers have certain expectations about the companies and organisations with whom they choose to transact. Ensuring the best levels of customer experience on your digital platforms can be the difference between whether they choose you or the competition.
Providing them with an online booking system that meets and exceeds their expectations will increase long-term booking rates, while improving operational productivity. Bringing higher revenue, better margins, and a loyal customer-base happy to give you their money.
At thinkBooker, we specialise in online booking systems for training courses, classes, activities and events – optimised for efficiency, growth and ongoing client satisfaction.