Still working without an online booking system or struggling to understand the benefits of using one?
Now is the time to start educating yourself on the benefits of an online booking system. The travel booking landscape is rapidly changing. Mobile bookings are having a greater impact year on year and your customers expect you to be online.
This is no longer the case. Cloud computing has ensured that online booking systems are extremely affordable, with monthly subscriptions costing as little as a day’s wage bill for a minimum wage employee.
1. Increase Bookings
An online booking system leads to more sales. Without one you can be like a leaky pipe, where small drips of water are constantly being lost. At first this doesn’t seem like a big deal. The trouble is that a consistent small drip from a number of places can create huge loss over time.
This is the same with bookings. When you consider that 39% of bookings are made outside normal office hours and that only 1 in 3 people leave a voicemail when they ring, there is a huge potential for lost bookings.
Let’s consider the pipe analogy a little further…
Every day you receive emails about your bookings, this requires you to get back to the customer often with long delays between each email. Naturally some drop off and you don’t hear back from them.
This is normal, right?
Wrong! These customers may have been impatient and wanted to secure a booking, they too are stuck for time and may have simply booked another service. That’s a lost booking that was yours for the taking and like the leaky pipe over the course of a year this can be very expensive. Say you get 10 leads per day and only 4 actually end up booking, even if 2 of those lost – booked with someone else – that’s 730 lost bookings per year!
That’s a lot of cash.
2. Let Your Customer Do The Work
Is your business taking over your life? Spending all your day in your inbox? There is a better way…With a booking system you manage all your bookings through a central point. Yes, that’s all your bookings. It includes online bookings, bookings received over the phone or walk ups.
You don’t even have to be there to check how everything is going. Most booking systems are web based so you can check in on any internet connected device to track and manage your business.
Mobile is VERY important now. Everyone is going to have a smartphone. And yes it is important for your business too as Google is now prioritizing websites with mobile functionality.
A good booking system will do a lot of this work for you and should allow simple mobile booking for your customers. This will save you a truck load of time and money with a web developer on how to get your website ready.
So how else can it help you?
Well a good system will also allow you to assign and roster staff to your activities so you’re not stuck beating your temples on a Sunday night with the company calendar. This takes a lot of the headache of running the business from you.
3. Reduce Costs
“there might be something to this online booking thing” but…”I don’t have the budget for this!”.
Are you sure?
We’ve already given the example of the 730 bookings you could be losing per year. If each activity is worth $50 (2 x $25) that could be equivalent to a whopping $36,500!
If this doesn’t grab you maybe you’ve considered hiring seasonal staff to deal with the workload during those busy summer months. Well that’s really expensive. Think about it. Even if a college student helping out in the office costs just $8 per hour that’s over $50 per day or nearly $2500 for two months.
Is this really necessary?
Could you be more efficient with an online booking system.
The cold hard facts are that an online booking system can help reduce staffing costs by 20-30%, depending on your size of business and increase efficiency by more than 50%.
That means that even if it’s just YOU, you’re saving a truckload of time, which could free you up to spend more time marketing or just put the feet up.