Learn more about online booking systems, what they are, how they work, and if you should be making use of them.
What is it
A tool or feature that can be added to most websites that enables many different types of services to be booked online by the end user. The general premise is applicable to a variety of different industries, but they all essentially work in the same manner. It could be booking an MOT for your car, a holiday let or beauty appointment at a local salon.
How it works
An online booking system ties together several different services in order to offer an online booking facility. The following features are all directly connected:
- Services – Listings on your website for available items to book
- Availability - Standalone or linked calendar
- Payment – Connected to payment gateway to take deposits or full payments
Customers are able to view live availability, then book a suitable slot themselves. Some services require a deposit to secure the slot, others might require manual acceptance. An online booking system is simply transparency of service availability, which empowers customers to secure the booking themselves.
This feature can be a huge time saver, especially when it comes to helping smaller fledgling business to scale. A huge amount of time can easily be wasted taking bookings over the phone, taking card payments manually via a terminal, discussing availability. If the customer is able to do all this themselves without picking up the phone, this can free up staff to get on with their jobs and increase productivity.
In terms of organisation, having a single calendar with all booking data is a great way to ensure you’re not relying on post-it notes, remembered appointments or personal diaries.
If you’ve got a service which involves manually booking in customers, ask yourself how much time you spend juggling appointments and calling customers. Inefficiency can result in parasitic losses for your business. In addition, if customers can book your services 24hrs per day – they don’t have to rely on your opening hours to book.
Feel like you could benefit from this sort of service? Get in touch with our team for more information.