If your business is situated around customer bookings and you also already have a small business website then it’s easy for you to start offering your visitors the convenience of online bookings. Using an online booking system on your website is a great way to attract new customers. Your customers will benefit from the convenience of having the capacity to book online, and your businesses bottom line will reap the benefits of an increase in customers.
To start offering bookings on your own site you first need to choose online booking system software. There are many reservation systems available plus they vary in features, price, and ease of use. The program must first be installed on your existing website. The booking software will then either take your customers to a separate website to perform their reservation, or will allow your customers to book right there and then on your existing site. Generally, it’s better to choose a booking system that works directly on your existing website. This eliminates confusion and looks a lot more professional.
You will want the booking experience to be as simple as possible for your customers to avoid bookings being abandoned before they are completed. Therefore it’s usually easier to choose an online booking system it doesn’t force your customers to create accounts with them – your visitors simply want to create a booking, not create accounts with booking software companies. It’s good practice to only require the minimum information required when coming up with a booking. Therefore, choose booking software that let’s you determine just what information you ask from your own customers at booking time.
Online reservation systems can include many useful features that will help you manage your bookings. You will want a system that enables you to efficiently view bookings on a calendar and generate reports such as bookings by date. In the event that you already use Google calendar in your organization then you may want to decide on a booking system that integrates with Google calendar. You may also choose a reservation system that will let your visitors make payments online to complete their booking. PayPal integration is a must for online payments, as it is the most well known and trusted payment gateway today.
As you know, staff availability is an unpredictable thing. Staff may go on leave, take time off work with illness, etc. Therefore, it is critical to select a booking system that’s flexible enough to handle all these forms of situations.
Generally, an online booking system will require you to define the standard availability for staff/resources. Be sure to choose software that let’s you override availability for special cases like staff leave, holidays etc.
There are lots of great online booking systems available today. If you don’t already offer your customers the convenience of online bookings then try it today and see how it will help both your business as well as your customers.