Most businesses I work with can easily see the benefits of having an online booking system for their customers because they are customers themselves and use online booking for their holidays, plane tickets, or other activities. What may not be as apparent are the benefits that an online booking system will have on your business internally. Here are few important points that will help you understand why a booking system is so helpful to your own organization.
1. Your customers can make a reservation on their own
The online booking system on your webpage, in a few steps, allows the customer to check the availability, select dates and times, add his details, and make the payment. These steps are all done by your customer without your help, essentially putting time back into your busy day. Plus, the icing on the cake is that your customers will be pleased with your business for the providing this capability.
2. You don’t have to be on the phone all day
Each call or email is a sales opportunity. When you work in B2C you need to make sure you don’t miss your inbound calls and answer emails in a timely manner. Having a booking calendar on your webpage is just like having a call center handling reservations 24/7. The result is that the amount of emails and calls will drop significantly, so you can dedicate time to strategic tasks. Just think – you will even make money while you’re sleeping!
3. Real-time availability – always accurate and up to date
Most likely, the question you hear the most is, “Do you have availability on this date?”. An online booking calendar will show your availability in real time, so it will always be accurate and updated. This will make your day to day operations easier.
4. You don’t need to confirm or remind
Your customers may forget what day they booked or other details about their reservation. You may also spend hours sending confirmations, information, and directions to customers. An online booking system will first confirm the reservation and automatically send your customers the details about their reservation. In addition, the booking system can send a reminder email a few days before arrival to ensure they know what day they are coming and where to go when they get there. This is a simple process that is essential to your productivity and makes happy customers.
5. You can use the information to improve your results
“It’s only if you know how your business is going that you can make the right decisions.” As soon as you receive a reservation, the reservation details including customer information and payment history is recorded in the system. This information is available so you can extract your customer database, review revenue in 2013, or check statistics such as how many people booked a specific product during the last 2 months. These tasks can be completed with just one click.
6. You can find a reservation in record time
Each reservation is associated with a reservation number. This is a huge time saver when searching for a reservation. As a matter of fact, if a customer calls to modify or cancel a reservation, you will be able to do a quick search, find the details, and provide fast and excellent service to your customers. No loss of time + Great organization = Satisfied customers.
7. You always have all the required information
If information is missing in a reservation (telephone, email, name, etc.), you may need to contact the customer again. The booking system ensures that the customer provides all the necessary information and will always be accessible.
8. You solve the issue of no-shows
You surely hate that situation, when a customer booked with you, doesn’t show up, and doesn’t inform you. For you, this is usually a total loss. You lost time and money. Plus, you probably missed the opportunity to book that spot to another customer. A booking system will give you the option to ask for a deposit, and get paid immediately using PayPal or a credit card. It’s easy for both you and your customer, and at the same time it ensures you don’t lose money when there is a no-show.
If you would like to give a chance to a booking system, you can trial WebReserv for free here (or here if your business is based in Europe).
I always appreciate it when a company lets me book or reserve a spot online. You make a good point about how this also prevents the company from having to send reminders or confirmation. I bet this helps free up employees for other tasks because they don’t need to discuss the details of the booking with as many confused customers.