Creating an online booking system within your business or organisation is vital for enabling a more efficient workload for your staff and a more convenient user experience for your customers.
Assuming that you make the right choices, of course.
In this article we’ll offer some guidance to help make your booking system, processes and customer journey right for your particular needs.
Considerations for a New Booking System
Introducing an online booking system into your business requires some thought. A cursory search on Google and opting for one that looks like it’ll ‘Do A Job’ and doesn’t cost much money, is not the way to go, and devalues a system that should be a cornerstone tool for improving your profitability and efficiency.
And, if you really want to understand the value that a new system can offer, then you need to give some thought as to what you want the booking system to do.
- What processes are currently being done manually that could be automated through a new booking system?
- How much time will each of these automations save in the business?
Consider, also, how the booking system should be able to offer benefits to your customers.
Is there anything in the current booking process that creates a barrier or hindrance which can ultimately lead to incomplete and abandoned sales?
- Time-lag between an email enquiry and a response?
- Only able to take bookings during working / office hours?
- Too many questions or stages in the process before getting to the booking confirmation?
If your new booking system offers ways to overcome these hurdles and provides a platform for more profitable sales, then it’s an investment worth making.
Your booking system should create a positive impression of your brand and the identity of your business
When your customers are using your booking system, they’re engaging with your business and your brand at a point where they are looking to make a transaction.
Deviating away from your brand identity at this point can be jarring for the customer, which can undermine the overall user experience and provide a chance for the client to have doubts about booking. It may seem a small thing, but consider this:
(source: Lucid Press).
Of course, it’s not just about having your logo and other brand identities festooned across the booking journey. The system also has to work well for those who will be using it.
- Making it easy for visitors to search and find what they want
- Keeping the system available to use 24/7
- Ensuring it’s easy to use on all devices of all sizes
- Making the process from search to confirm fast and simple to navigate
- Use language that’s engaging, welcoming and in keeping with your company tone of voice
- Showcase your products in their best light, enticing the visitor to make a booking
- Keep the client engaged throughout the process, with automated confirmations and reminders
- If you take payments for bookings, ensure the process is simple and offers a secure online environment.
When creating a booking system in your business, you need to also ensure you’re creating the right impression for your customers, encouraging them to book with you, use your services; and keep coming back to you time and time again.
Your booking system should be addressing pain points and improving operational efficiency
Having taking the time to consider the requirements you need from your new booking system, identifying the pain points you need to resolve, you should then be exploring platforms that offer features to help you overcome these issues.
Key to this, from an operational perspective, will be to find a solution that makes your processes and your business more efficient.
Inefficient, laborious and time-sapping processes, weighed down by long-winded manual admin tasks can have a negative impact on your business.
- Be an inefficient use of your team’s talent and time
- Be monotonous and demotivating, which could result unhappy employees and higher staff turnover
- Drive up costs and make you less competitive in the market
- Create a slow sales journey that discourages customers
- Have a negative impact on company profitability
Any booking system that you employ in your business should have the tools to address the pinch points in your processes that cause inefficiency.
- Lightning-fast reporting on sales and booking numbers
- Automated communication to clients
- Automated, real-time registers for courses, classes, camps or events
- Fast access to booking data to deal with queries
- Integrations with accounting, CRMs or marketing tools
- Simple and efficient product management
When you invest in a booking system, you’re investing in a business-critical tool that should provide a platform that helps you get more value from your bookings. This might be generating more bookings, increased customer retention and greater revenue.
Of course, you may already be at capacity on your bookings, but finding that your operational resources are stretched. And this is where some of the true, under-the-bonnet value comes from best in class booking software.
Because, a booking system that can truly deliver for your business, will not just offer amazing customer experience, but will also provide a platform that’s continually driving greater efficiency, higher productivity and more opportunity for sustainable long-term profit.
At thinkBooker, we specialise in online booking systems for training courses, classes, activities and events – optimised for efficiency, growth and ongoing client satisfaction.
Read our insight into recommended features for your booking system here: