Imagine two businesses, both offering the same high-quality service at the same price. The only difference between them is that one of these businesses lets you book their service on their website 24/7, while the other requires you to ring up during office hours only. Research shows that in the majority of cases, most people would choose the business with online booking. If you don’t currently have a website booking system, here we discuss the benefits of having one.
- Online bookings offer better CX
One of the underlying principles of great customer experience is to make things easier and more convenient for your customers. Putting a booking system on your website does exactly that. With online booking available, customers no longer need to telephone to make an appointment, saving them not just the cost of the call but also the inevitable and much-dreaded wait in the call queue. It also means they can make a booking at a time that’s convenient for them, rather than having to wait for your opening hours.
What’s more, online booking systems can also generate email receipts and send out email and text message reminders. If your service is conducted via video chat, for example, if you are an online tutor, the booking system can also send a link to the meeting.
- Open all hours
While it’s great for the customer to be able to book services via your website, it’s also very beneficial for your business. Although your company might be somebody’s first choice, if they need to make an urgent or last-minute booking and your business is closed, they may choose a different company. This can happen if you rely on making telephone bookings.
With a website booking system, you can take new bookings all day, every day, without having to do anything. The system will take care of it for you. What’s more, as the system can send out reminders, it also reduces the potential loss of income from customers not turning up.
- More convenient for you
Telephone bookings can be highly inconvenient for businesses. If the phone rings, you will have to stop what you’re doing to answer it. This not only slows you down but can also be irritating for any customer you are dealing with at the time. Of course, if you don’t answer it, you may lose out on a new booking.
Once you make a telephone booking, you will then need to process it. This might require you to write down customer details, add dates to a calendar, write the customer a confirmation email and so on. With a website booking system, all this work is automated. Customer details are added to your database, the booking is added to the calendar and confirmations and reminders are sent for you. As a result, you can get more work done and won’t get so many phone calls disrupting your day.
- Improves organisation
Aside from cutting down your workload, a booking system also does an incredible amount of organisation for you. By automatically adding bookings to your calendar, it immediately prevents you from making double bookings as those dates and times will be unbookable online.
Rather than having customer information written down in notebooks or on a spreadsheet, they will be in a searchable database, so you can find details easily. What’s more, it’s not just the customer that can get reminders, you can too. As a result, you have less chance of missing an appointment and letting a customer down.
Adding a booking system to your website
There are various ways to add a booking system to your website. First of all, you can embed a third-party booking system. While these are paid-for solutions, their benefit is that they are designed for specific types of businesses and provide the kinds of services that those businesses need. For example, you can get platforms that are specially designed for booking holidays. These let customers choose from a wide range of options and crucially inform other parties, like the hotel and airline.
A free alternative is to install a booking system plugin. If you choose one from the WordPress repository, these are free and guaranteed to work with your WordPress website. They come with a wide range of functions and are suitable for lots of different types of businesses.
If you are a service business that needs to take customer bookings, a website booking system can have many benefits for your business. It makes things more convenient for you and your customers, enables you to make bookings 24/7, cuts down your workload and keeps you organised. If you run a WordPress website, check out our WordPress Hosting plans.