Whether paid for places on a course, the hire of a meeting room or a consultation that could lead to a sale, bookings are the means by which the revenue flows into the business. Which is why an effective online booking system is so important to success and growth.
In this article we look at how to boost your revenue through an effective, and crucially, speedy, booking system.
A Speedy Journey
The fundamental goal of your booking system is, for fear of stating the obvious, getting as many customers as you can to make a booking or create an appointment.
Getting these customers to the confirmation page (or check out) as fast as possible should therefore be a key feature of your booking process.
Today’s consumer is invariably used to accessing websites and other digital platforms in both their home and work life. A familiarity that comes with a certain expectation level.
Ensure your website and booking system are fast loading, on both desktop and mobile.
40% of web users will abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, with every 1 second’s delay costing potentially 7% in revenue [source: Neil Patel]
If a customer clicks BOOK NOW, only to find that the site offers up the loading wheel of doom* before the page opens up, there’s a strong chance that they will be taking their business elsewhere.
Remove The Obstacles
Having a clunky, slow booking journey, which puts up unnecessary obstacles en route to the check out, is a surefire way to get a customer to abandon ship and head elsewhere.
Of course, there are going to be some standard requirements to any booking: your name and email address; a payment process. Plus, you will likely want to capture some data that can improve the personalised customer experience.
Most reasonable people understand this, and will be happy to proceed.
But there has to be a balance.
13% of online booking abandonments come because the booking process is deemed too slow and over complicated, with every unnecessary field costing you potentially 10% of your bookings [source: Vizlly]
Consider the information that you need to capture at the point of booking, and leave the rest for your post-confirmation engagement.
For instance, the automated email function within thinkBooker, one of it's key features, allows essential information to be simply gathered post-booking confirmation, making for an unhindered journey to the check-out while ensuring all essential information is securely gathered.
Making it Fast for the Returning Customer
Providing a simple and fast booking journey is key to delivering a high-level of customer experience that’s crucial to encouraging repeat business.
And, repeat business is vital to the ongoing revenue and growth of your business.
Returning customers need far less encouragement to buy from you next time around if they had a positive experience previously, and the more often they return, the more they are likely to spend, with one study showing that returning customers typically spend up to 40% more on their 5th visit to a business.
However, there’s another factor at play here as well.
Repeat customers who are given continued positive experiences are more likely to become a powerful sales and marketing outlet for the business, offering word-of-mouth advocacy about your service.
Creating an environment that makes it even faster (and easier) to make a booking as a returning customer can certainly help achieve this panacea. A reason that each new customer not only has a fast initial journey, but are automatically set up as account holders on confirmation so that when they return they can simply login, view details and history, and re-book in a secure environment with pre-populated fields.
*Not a real term!
At thinkBooker, we specialise in online booking systems for training courses, classes, activities and events - optimised for efficiency, growth and ongoing client satisfaction.
Browse the site to learn more about course booking systems, sports booking systems, event booking systems and more, or get in touch directly to find out how we can help you.
For more tips on boosting conversions via your booking system, have a look through the blogs below:
Why Reducing Barriers in the Booking System Leads to Better Sales
10 Ways You Can Improve Your Online Booking
4 More Ways Your Booking System Can Increase Conversions