You have decided to select an online booking system to connect to your website and start taking bookings over the internet.
You start to search for the best online booking system and quickly realise that you require some guidance as you find hundreds of different solutions.
This is a step by step guide that will save your time and help you select the best online booking system for your business.
Start with what does your business need? What does your business want?
You have decided to use an online booking system and that decision was made for business reasons.
You can see that an online booking system should increase new sales via website conversion, increase repeat customers and provide more convenient and better customer service.
Your business will save money and time using the online booking systems staff/customer email and SMS notifications and you can make better and more informed management decisions using staff/customer real-time reports.
Sit down with your team and decide what cost you are willing to pay for the system and what are the must have’s in the booking system.
Here are some recommend minimum basic requirements to look for in a system:
- Fast and easy set-up
- Web-based system
- Very user friendly so easy to use for everyone
- Real-time booking for staff and customers
- Payment options (PayPal, credit card, bank transfer, deferred payment processing, cash)
- Australian owned and operated for local customer support
- Downloadable real-time reports
- At least a one month free trial
Once you have locked in these requirements you can then decide on additional system requirements that will help your business.
Here are some recommend additional requirements to look for in a system:
- SMS and email automation
- Mobile device application
- Automatic email customisation
- Integration with 3rd party software such as MS Outlook
- Customised Booking portal
- Every customer has a dedicated booking portal
- Every staff has a dedicated booking portal
Now you have a basic guideline to search for your online booking system.
To help the search here are some important things to consider:
Is it easy to connect seamlessly to my website?
Customers need to be able to click on a “Book Now” button on your website that will take them to the booking page and allow them to create a booking or appointment.
The booking page must be easy to use so your website visitors can make bookings in real-time.
The user experience will be the difference between a sale from your website and great leads going to your competitors.
Custom-Built System V Tailored System
The most effective booking system has been designed for your businesses specific needs so it has been custom-built.
This is an expensive option but if you can find an online booking system that covers all minimum basic requirements and can also offer tailoring you can save money and still obtain a custom-built result.
Select an Australian owned and operated provider that can quickly and cost effectively tailor your booking system around your business.
Important tailoring options include:
- Integration with existing systems such as MS Outlook, CRM, reporting software
- Custom graphics and images in booking page
- Multiple locations or franchises within the system
- Advanced reporting
Selecting the best online booking system for your business may take some time and effort but selecting the best system will save time and money and increase sales for your business.
Take the time to decide on a budget and which features are a must and provides the best user experience for your customers.
Final advice is to avoid making a bad choice I recommend using an online booking system provider that is based locally that can listen to you and understand the needs of your business and quickly tailor the best solution.
Use the online booking system for a month by using the one month free trial so you are completely sure that it is the best system for your business.