The Internet is here to stay, and many businesses have made their first leap to the Internet with a web site, and many are now moving forwards using the Internet, not only as an advertising and promotion platform, but as an active business platform.
You may have asked yourself why so many small businesses are so interested in getting an online booking system on their web site.
Here are 4 good reasons why!
Open 24/7 to receive reservations
Many customers surf the Internet outside of business hours and they are more likely to make reservations on the spot that trying to remember to call back the next day.
Statistics show that more and more bookings today are made during the evening at home online. The reasons for this are two fold. Firstly, many companies now monitor and control Internet access in the workplace, and secondly, nearly every home today has an Internet connection and a PC or laptop.
If your normal business hours are 9 to 5, then you have no one to take bookings after 8:00 pm, and this is when we now know most online bookings occur.
An Online booking system allows you to receive booking 24 hours a day; therefore, your booking service is always open.
Minimize your workload
If you are not using an online booking system today, then you may still be processing all your bookings manually. A good online booking system will handle all the aspects of the booking. It must, at a minimum, do the following:
Automatically ensure that bookings can only be received when you have availability:
1. Get ALL the information required during the booking process so you dont have to waste time asking for more information
2. Send out an automated email to the booking party as a confirmation of the booking
3. Automatically update your availability when the booking has been processed
A good booking system will do all this.
Also make sure your booking system doesn't just handle the online bookings, but handles email, phone and walk-in bookings as well.
This is not just the domain of large companies.
When a customer is booking a car or an apartment for their holidays, its very common to have extras that the customer can choose. For apartment rentals it might be a welcome basket, for a car rental company, it may be a GPS system.
Your booking system should allow for the easy addition of extras so that you offer your customers all your great features and options.
For the fully comprehensive business, you may want to integrate an automatic payment system. With this in place, you reduce manual workload even more, and you provide your customers with a complete easy and safe way to both book and pay for your offerings.
There are of course even more advantages, but the above list should at least get you thinking about whether you should have an online booking engine or not.