Online booking, scheduling, and reservations are one of the things customers look for when exploring your website. They are convenient and many customers strongly prefer online booking to over-the-phone booking. Making sure you have a solid software to support your customers is critical in today’s business world, but it can be difficult to determine which software is right for you because of the number of options and features involved in reliable online booking software. Consider some of the following factors when shopping for your online booking system.
What Is Online Booking Software?
Online booking is becoming a necessity for many businesses that offer appointments, host events, or sell tickets. To simplify the process of booking a reservation, many companies are using online booking software.
Online booking software provides a platform where visitors to your website can view a public calendar and schedule or reserve appointments or events. It is an easy and convenient way for your customers to coordinate their schedule with yours.
Ease of Use
One of the most important things to keep in mind when searching for the right booking software is how easy it is to use. You want your customers to be able to quickly and easily reserve spots. Judge the ease of your software on how long it takes you to set it up. If you need extensive technical support to set the software up with your business, it may be too complicated. Customers are unlikely to take the time to figure out your software, especially if there is another business that offers the same service and has an easier booking system.
How Much Support They Offer
You want to choose a booking software company that will offer you reliable support. There are potential customers online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If your booking system goes down late at night, you need a booking software company that will immediately respond and help you. Even just a few hours of waiting can cost you customers – and money.
Keep an eye out for the services they offer and promises that they make to you. Some of the things to look for include: whether they offer free support, how they provide support, whether they have resources to help you learn the software, and how much help they provide when you are trying to set it up. You do not want to work with a booking software company that is going to accept your payment and then disappear when you need help.
Frequency of Updates and New Features
For software to be effective in today’s digital world, it is important that it is frequently updating, fixing any bugs, and adding new features. If the software only releases one version and does not provide an update for a long period of time, the company is likely not as aware of technology trends and shifts as you need for your website. Updates should include fixing any issues or glitches and adding new features. Some features that you should look for include:
- Easy integration with your company’s website
- Ability to adapt, and accept reservations both online and offline
- An effective inventory management system
- Reliable payment processing
- Reports and analytics
- The ability to send out notifications and reminders to people who make reservations
Before starting research on possible booking software, consider the exact features that you need for your specific system so you know when you have found a software with everything you need. If you are considering working with a company that does not offer all these features currently, be sure to ask about the frequency of their updates and any plans for planned developments to their software.
People are becoming more and more reliant on their mobile devices when searching online. It is becoming a necessity to have a website that is compatible with mobile devices. Potential customers are more likely to turn away from your business if they cannot navigate the booking system from their phone. You will seriously reduce your customer base if people can only make reservations from computers. Make sure that the booking software you choose will work smoothly on all mobile devices.
Like all aspects of your website, you want your booking system to have a great design, with both aesthetics and functionality. Customers enjoy seeing images of examples of what you can do for them. Make sure your booking software has the ability to hold an image gallery. Providing images gives customers the opportunity to imagine themselves using your services or products. It is also a good idea to put up pictures of your employees because it makes your business seem more personable to potential customers.
The design of a booking software can play a large part in the number of people that choose your business. Invest in a booking system that has a “Book Now” button in clear view. Make sure the button stands out against the rest of the page and is easy to find. If your customers need to search around to find the place to book a reservation on your system they are more likely to lose patience and go with one of your competitors. Having an eye-catching button with a call to action will encourage customers to book with you.
Easy and Effective Payment Features
One of the most important aspects of your booking system payment. You want all of your customers to be able to easily and quickly pay for their reservation. Make sure your booking system provides PayPal as one of the options. PayPal is a simple payment option that many people depend on. It also gives you immediate, guaranteed payments and makes your business seem more legitimate.
Your booking system should also offer people the option to save their credit card information for next time. The software should be able to reliably keep people’s information safe and secure. If they can store their credit card information on your system, it will be even easier for them to book with you and may encourage them to use your business again next time.