In a digital era, your customers can already do online banking, schedule flights, stream movies and make online purchases for most retail items. They have the same expectations when booking a service.
Customers don’t want to phone to make a reservation or fill out a booking form and wait 24-48 hours for an answer. An online booking system will allow your business to secure the appointments and meet the immediacy of their requests.
In a very competitive online market, online appointment scheduling is a necessity for the service industry. Don’t let your customers book online with a competitor. Learn about the benefits and the tricks if you can start using online booking for your business today.
1. Convenient for You and Your Clients
The online booking system on your website, Facebook page or app, allows the customer to check the availability, select dates and times, add their personal details, and make the payment for the reservation. These steps are all done by your customer, which means it’s putting time back into your busy day.
It is convenient for your customers as well because they no longer have to wait on hold to make the reservations when you are busy. They get instant satisfaction of having a guaranteed service for later, no hassle of standing in phone queues or waiting for confirmation.
2. No Errors Allowed
With an online booking system, you avoid all the possible misunderstandings that can happen when a customer books an appointment over the phone. Your customers may fail to remember what day they booked or other details about their reservation.
The good thing about your business utilizing an online booking system is that you can personalize emails that will automatically confirm the reservation and send your customers all the details they require about their appointment (date and time, address, person they will have the appointment with).
In addition, the booking system can send a reminder email a few days before arrival to ensure the customers know what day they are coming and where to go when they get there. This is a simple process and makes happy customers.
3. Sell Vouchers and Run Promotions
Attracting new customers and keeping existing customers happy is easy with an online booking system.
Rewarding existing customers is a great way to ensure they come back and providing new customers with incentives will ensure your booking rates grow rapidly. With an online booking system, you can run promotions for your customer and also create vouchers that can be redeemed online by your customers.
4. Send Automated Email and SMS Reminders
With an online booking system, you're able to send customers automated and customizable SMS and email confirmations and reminders for the reservations. By increasing your interaction with customers you're boosting customer satisfaction and you will see a decrease in cancellation.
5. Easy Cancellation
Many people do not feel comfortable when they need to call and cancel their reservations or appointments. An online calendar gives your customers the opportunity to cancel the appointment without having to speak with someone over the phone or eye to eye with the service provider.
For the business owners another benefit is that an online booking system reduces the number of cases when customer don't show up for their appointment.
6. Builds Trust
If users notice anything malicious when on your website, they are very likely to leave the website that is why it is in the interest of any business to instill trust in the user to make them comfortable using your website.
Online trust should be placed at the top on the list of priorities when integrating your online booking engine with your website.
A secure online booking system will allow your customers to make a reservation with your business without fear that their information will be stolen or hacked. Otherwise, a frustrated client will simply find another service provider if it’s too difficult or unsafe to make their reservation using your website.
7. Improve Client Communication
Never miss another booking due to poor communication. Online scheduling features include automated appointment confirmations and reminders, even thank you emails.
Appointment reminders will decrease no-shows and allow ample time for rescheduling, this way you can keep your schedule booked. Your pricing, payment and cancellation policy can be easily communicated through the automated emails, which will reduce miscommunication or awkward conversations.
The time previously spent doing the above mentioned office tasks can now be transferred to allow for more meaningful face time with your customers; this will increase the level of service you provide.
8. Open Around the Clock
Customers who want to book an appointment don't want to wait until your office is opened; an online booking system attracts new customers, manages existing ones and takes bookings online 24/7. It is convenient for clients as they can book an appointment from the comfort of their home after a long day at work.
An online booking software on your website or app could be the main reason a potential client may choose you rather than your competitor.
9. Build Customer Loyalty
Customer satisfaction generates loyalty, and that’s good for business. Improved customer relationships, with an online booking system that is integrated with a CRM (customer relationship management) system. Most of the online booking systems will have lots of features and functionalities that will help your business with the customer loyalty scheme.
By giving customers what they want, they will want to return time and time again.
10. Focus on Measuring Customer Satisfaction
Measuring customer satisfaction can help you reduce the number of unhappy customers.
Would you like to know which services are most appreciated by your customers or which offers are less popular? An online booking system will be able to give you swift and straightforward statistical tools where you can analyze the best performing services/products and determine your business KPIs.
An online booking system has a feedback function which will allow you to define strengths and areas to improve. You can also easily send follow-up emails asking for feedback to help further your business. With analytics and statistical data, you can find out your customers' preferences and you can adjust your offers or increase the demand of select services with targeted marketing.
Customer satisfaction should play an important role within your business. An online booking system that is connected with a CRM system will help your business to measure customer loyalty, identify unhappy customers and increase revenue.
Also it can be a key point of differentiation that helps you to attract new customers in competitive business environments.