Over the past decade, the way in which customers interact with businesses has changed dramatically. The introduction of social media and smartphones has revolutionised the customer journey. And so, customer behaviour has altered too.
The digital landscape offers the customer more choice, flexibility and value for money. They can engage with your business on their terms. No more waiting for your shop or salon to open. No more being tied up on the phone trying to make or reschedule an appointment. No more feeling pressured into buying something.
They can use the internet at their leisure to shop around, research and compare to make an informed decision. The ball is in their court.
One of the biggest digital tools helping businesses be part of that process is an online booking system. In short, it is software that allows potential customers to book and pay directly for a service any time night or day, wherever they are. But how does this benefit you?
Benefits of an online booking system
Having an online booking system in place for your business will:
- Reduce your workload (and that of your team)
- Remove the chance of double bookings & admin errors
- Boost sales more quickly
- Increase attendance
- Make you (and your team) more productive
- Improve customer service
- Help grow your business
By not being tied to the phone waiting for appointments to roll in you (and your staff) can get on with other activities.
Having to pay as soon as the booking is made means customers are more likely to show up than if they have to pay on the day. Reducing no shows will give you confidence that your time is not going to be wasted.
Bookings can be made simultaneously by more than one person meaning less customer complaints about not being able to get through on the phone line, instantly improving customer service.
Online booking will take away the stress, pain, mistakes and time spent arranging appointments for your business. Once you’ve set it up, it puts the ball back in your court!
You can control when you’re available and for how long; which services can be booked and how much they cost; whether you offer refunds or ask for a deposit. It’s your booking procedure.
What if my customers are not tech savvy?
I say pah! Which you might think is harsh, but if most of your customers have a smartphone then they are more tech savvy than perhaps they realise.
Most online booking software is straightforward to use. It’s designed with ease of use in mind, to make it as simple as possible for them to make bookings with you.
It’s down to you to educate customers on how to use the new booking procedure, essentially training them. Do not let this put you off.
You could do this in the form of:
- A step by step guide
- A video demo posted online
- An in person demo face to face with the customer
Yes you’ll probably have a very small handful of people who genuinely can’t get to grips with it, but as I said if they have a smartphone or contact you online (by web or social media) then they should be able to tap a few buttons to make the appointment they want. Stick with it.
What types of business should have online booking systems?
Literally any appointment based business will benefit from having an online booking system, such as:
- Beauty Therapists
- Business Coaches
And so on!
So if you want to manage your time more effectively, be more productive and bring in more revenue go digital!
If you want some advice on which system to use or need help setting it up I can help you with that. Simply click here to open messenger and start the conversation.