Making More With Your Course Booking System
With professional training providers facing growing challenges in an ever-more competitive environment, investing in a course booking system can provide the automated tools to improve productivity while increasing profitability and revenue potential.
Automated Technology Achieves More with Less
Consider the processes that need to be delivered when taking bookings and managing delegate placements for any given training course. For starters, this might entail:
- Confirming the booking in the first place (How many calls and emails did it take?)
- Sending out course details
- Adding delegates to the course register (The lost hours of spreadsheet compilation)
- Recording delegate information
- Sending out reminders to each delegate
- Taking payments, chasing payments, sending out invoices
- Capturing client needs (dietary requirements, etc)
How long does that process take per delegate? 10 minutes? 15? 20?
Now multiply that by all the delegates that you manage.
Consider that the person carrying out these tasks will, invariably have some responsibility for business development, is this admin burden really a good use of their limited time?
Let’s see how that could be better managed by an automated course booking system.
A Quick, Hassle-Free Booking Journey Encourages More People to Book
Is this similar to your booking process?
- Find the course details on the website
- Fill in an enquiry form
- Wait for a response to tell you that there is availability
- A call or email to confirm if you want the place
- Make payment or give payment details
- Receive a confirmation email
Consider how many opportunities you are giving that person to abandon and book elsewhere.
The more barriers that you put up, as a training organisation, the more likely it is that the customer is going to give up and try another provider.
An online booking journey puts your client in control, guiding them quickly to the course they want, and, importantly, to the confirmation and checkout.
Confirmations and Reminders
Confirmation and reminder emails play a crucial role in the booking process, providing a route to valuable (and brand enhancing) engagement with your clients, as you onboard them to your products, services and company as a whole.
But if you’re still managing this part of the process manually, how much time is this eating into your day?
Automating these emails eliminates this admin, making for a more cost-effective use of time, and ultimately, a more profitable sale.
However, it should also be feeding in to the customer experience that you are offering your clients. Far from de-personalising the experience (a claim sometimes made against automation), your email flow can enhance the engagement between customer and client, from keeping them informed in personalised, brand consistent emails from confirmation to reminder, even to post-course thanks for attending messages.
Compiling course registers can be one of the most time-consuming tasks in training course management; albeit a highly important one.
For many organisations, this means a person or team of people manually putting together reams of spreadsheets, and then having the additional task of updating and amending due to new attendees and cancellations, probably right up until the date itself.
It can take hours of laborious time in front of the computer, when there are plenty of other tasks that also need to be taken care of (setting up the rooms, liaising with trainers, organising travel, accommodation or catering, and so on).
This is a load that your booking system should be carrying – automatically capturing delegates and updating the course lists with their details. Maintaining these lists in real-time; when a new delegates books, they’re on the list immediately. When they cancel, they’re removed.
The registers should even be able to add in specific information as it is captured – dietary needs, for example; ensuring those running the course have an up-to-date and accurate picture of those who will be in attendance.
What once might have taken hours, can be achieved in seconds.
Payments, Invoices and Purchase Orders
One of the obvious advantages of applying an online booking system is the ability to take payments, securely, painlessly and automatically, at the point of sale.
Great for revenue, great for cash flow, great for the bottom line.
For many transactions it negates the need for sending out an invoice that you then may have to wait for, and invariably chase.
Of course, there are often scenarios, when working with organisations on account, for instance, when invoicing or managing purchase orders is still a requirement. Your booking system should still be able to provide a platform to streamline the process, reducing the time spent on managing payments and increasing the speed with which the money comes into the account.
From instant reports that can identify outstanding payments, to payment reminder emails sent automatically. Your booking system could even have invoice generation tools, purchase order management, or be integrated directly with your existing accounting software – reducing the manual transfer of information, automating the invoice process from booking to issuing to chasing.
An online course booking system, with a full suite of automated tools, can transform your business when applied correctly. A system that will do the heavy lifting and laborious tasks, releasing time and resource back into the business that can be deployed to help your brand and bottom line grow.
Of equal importance, the system itself should be working as a powerful business development tool; providing a slick and efficient booking journey that encourages customers to book onto your courses, keeping them informed and engaged. And bringing in a regular stream of profitable revenue, morning, noon and night.
Want to learn more about how a course booking system can improve the productivity and profit in your business? Get in touch, or sign up to receive our white paper on how your booking system should be benefiting your organisation.
At thinkBooker, we specialise in online booking systems for training courses, classes, activities and events – optimised for efficiency, growth and ongoing client satisfaction.