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30 November 2018 / by Gareth Hill

Your Booking System and Customer Retention

When you think of the reason for introducing an online booking system into your business, clearly the prime objective is to take as many bookings as possible.

However, if generating new customers is your only consideration,  you’re potentially missing out on the long-term benefits of brand loyalty and customer retention. A good booking system will help you retain customers at every step of the way.

What is customer retention and why is it essential?

Customer retention can include a wide range of activities all geared towards fostering a loyal client-base that come back and buy from you on a repeat basis. It’s a cornerstone of business growth for a few reasons:

  • Repeat customers are up to 10x more likely to buy from you
  • It costs significantly less than marketing to find new customers
  • They will spend up to 33% more than new customers
  • They are 50% more likely to try a new product or service

Source: DCR Strategies

In addition to this, they offer valuable word of mouth recommendations and referrals to friends, family and colleagues.

booking system and customer retention

How can your booking system help retain customers?

There are 4 clear customer retention strategies which can be implemented via your booking system:

1.  Make your brand consistent during booking

Sending clients off site to a generic looking 3rd party platform can have a negative impact on the booking experience and devalue your brand, especially when customers are already familiar with it.

Having a booking system that remains within brand guidelines and the look and style of your site ensures your brand identity throughout the journey, and the client is presented with a professional, consistent and easy to follow booking process.

Your website booking system needs to be more than just a functional service if you want to maximise your clients’ experience and potential to remain loyal to you.

2.  Keep customers informed after they book

Personalised and on-brand emails with all key booking information provide a service to the client and creates the perception that you value them, and their business.

Personalised reminder emails, sent out automatically at given triggers, can create the sense that they remain in your thoughts, which adds to client value perception and keeps customer engagement high. This can increase customer retention at the earliest stages - by preventing drop-out before the booking.

3.  Follow up with customers after the event

Post-booking thank you emails or feedback surveys are a really important part of a customer retention program. It’s a fundamental piece of customer service, which gives the customer a chance to review their experience. If it was anything less than brilliant, now is your chance to fix things and get a second chance. If the customer was delighted, follow-up emails round-off a positive experience and can even be the ideal time to offer another, relevant booking, while memories are fresh. Follow-up emails are also a potential time to offer customer rewards for repeat bookings.

4.  Use insight to guide future interactions

Your booking system can offer powerful insight into the preferences and behaviour of your clients, enabling better ongoing communication with personalised recommendations.

Within the thinkBooker system, there is an in-built secure and GDPR compliant CRM database that stores all key client information, booking and buying history.

However, the data gathered through your booking journey can also offer a powerful tool for delivering personalised service; adding to the high-level customer experience that can set you apart from the competition. A personal shopper system, for example, that collects clothes sizes, style preferences, or even favourite beverages can all be used at the appointment to help make the experience memorable, valuable and geared towards retaining loyal customers happy to spend their money with you.

5.  Remember bookings are just the first step

Your booking system is in place to take bookings from clients in an easy, efficient fashion. But that’s just the starting point.

Applied correctly and with the appropriate functions built-in, your system provides a powerful business tool to enhance customer experience, empower your brand and provide the personalised and user-friendly service that keeps your customers engaged, feel valued and more inclined to return to you in the future.

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.

 

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