An introduction to online booking systems
“Why don’t you just book online?” – a question that has perhaps been posed to you, or that you have asked others. Gone are the days of waiting in long queues to book movie, theatre or event tickets. You no longer have to go to a travel agent to make a flight or hotel reservation. It’s not necessary to visit a concierge to get a spot on the next tourism activity. And no more back and forths to book an appointment with a doctor or consultant. Almost everything can be booked online today, which is why our team is often integrating online booking systems into new or existing website designs for various businesses. Perhaps it’s a time-saving, cost-effective solution for you to consider.
What do online booking systems do?
Although the idea of an online booking system (OBS) has been around for many years, it’s becoming a necessity for businesses. An OBS is a software solution that makes it easy for people to book and pay for things online – travel, activities, tickets, events, time, etc. Yes, people can (and do) still book for things in person, over the phone or via email, but just as online shopping is on the ever-increasing rise, so too are online bookings.
Online booking systems may not fully replace traditional booking methods, but they are certainly becoming pivotal for businesses to offer to their customers as a booking option. Here’s why:
- An OBS can help a business capture an increased demand for bookings, and therefore enable a business to bring in more bookings. Think about what happens when the phone line is always busy or when emails are unopened – sometimes a booking is never made and a customer is lost forever.
- An online booking is quick and easy to make. There is no frustrating “How about this day?” or “Can you make that time?” back-and-forth communication. This makes people, especially busy ones, happy!
- Customers seek convenience, and it is so convenient to make an online booking when you suddenly remember to do so at midnight when there is no one who will take your phone call. Being “available” for your customers 24/7 is key.
- Being able to book online enhances user experience and improves the user’s overall perception of your brand.
- There is no way of receiving payment for bookings via phone or email, but online bookings offer a safe, secure and simple way to receive money from customers.
- Valuable information that is captured through an online booking form can be immediately integrated into your database. When in-person, telephone and email bookings are made, this information (which is vulnerable to human error) still needs to be manually entered into your database – a time-consuming process!
- The value of digital is that it can provide interesting insights about who is booking, why they’re booking and when they’re booking. This can then be used strategically in various marketing campaigns.
If you would like to look into adding an OBS to a new or existing website, get in touch with us today. There are many options to explore – each with different functions and features to suit varying requirements.
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