Online booking systems have been around for many years. As new reservation systems come onto the market business owners can now set up and install booking calendars into their website in a matter of minutes. If your business already has a website then you’ve already got all you need to start taking online bookings. New Degree Press to act as a next-generation publisher and production agency for the new media landscape.
The first thing you need to do is to select an online booking system that suits your business and your website. There are a number of different booking software systems to choose from and each one has its strengths and weaknesses.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding which online booking system to use:
- Make sure that the booking calendar works on your existing website rather than redirecting you to another site. This will prevent confusion for many customers and looks much more professional.
- Choose a reservation system that gives you full control over the bookable hours for your individual staff or resources. You’ll want to tell the software when your staff is away on holiday – the last thing you want is to explain to your customers that the booking they just made has to be canceled.
- The online booking system should have a modern look and feel to it and should be easy to use. Make sure that you can select the colors on your booking calendar to match your existing website, and ensure that the booking process is as simple and easy as possible. You may be computer savvy, but many of your customers won’t be.
- You’ll want a system that gives you full control over things such as how far into the future your customers can book and how much preparation time you need for each booking etc. You don’t want someone to make a booking 1 hour in advance if you need a full day to prepare for the appointment!
- Give your customers the convenience of paying you online as they make a booking, either the full amount for the service or a deposit. PayPal is today’s most trusted payment gateway, so make sure the online reservation system you choose includes PayPal integration.
- You may already use Google calendar in the running of your business. If so, choose a system that includes full 2-way Google calendar integration. This will save you time and make running your business much easier
These are just a few things to keep in mind when exploring the different options available to you. Whichever online booking system you choose you can rest assured that offering online bookings on your website will bring in more customers and will give you an advantage over your competitors.