There is a dramatic change in the way business is done, thanks to the evolution of the internet. Business deals are no longer closed with a click of a pen but with the push of a button. Huge buildings with warehouses and storerooms are no longer necessary for a company but having a website is. Among the most important changes is the customers’ approach to reach businesses. They no longer want to pick up a phone and make calls or swing by to the store to pick up things they want convenient and hassle-free booking which is offered by an online booking system.
What is an Online Booking System?
Before you go ahead to know the benefits and challenges of an online booking system it is essential to know what it means. In simple terms, the online booking system is an application or software that helps customers to book and make payments for a product or service the business offers using the internet. Many businesses these days are online-only with many benefits and challenges being an online-only brand. But having a reservation system online helps customers to decide regarding their booking choices on their own without having to rely on executives to do the same. These booking systems are growing rapidly and now offer mobile bookings which increases the benefits for the business and customers who use it as well.
Advantages of online booking systems
Businesses strife hard to earn profits and for that to happen it is necessary for them to move from traditional reservation to an online booking system as there are highly beneficial. Some of the advantages are:
The business is available 24/7: In a traditional business model if it is closed for a day due to any reason the customers will have to wait till it opens to do business with them. The same is not true when there is an online booking system in place as it is open to clients every day, 365 days a year. For example, if you want to get a ticket to Wimbledon you can do so at any time of the day. The customers can book a product or a service based on their schedule and not when the business is open giving them the freedom to do it any time they want. A business having an online system can maximize their sales potential as there are no limited working hours.
Can browse through options: Another great advantage of having an online booking system is that customers can check the list of available options before they make a decision. For example, if the customer wants to book a vacation he/she would like to not only look at the flight information but also hotel information too. The company website can give a list of all the available options with an ability to filter based on customer preference helping them narrow down choices. When the customer gets what he/she wants there are high chances of business with you rather than with your competitors.
Reduces no-show: Clients who book their reservations online are more likely to show up as they would have financially committed themselves by paying at the time of booking. Moreover, even if the customer does cancel within the stipulated time it opens a slot online for others to reserve it thus optimizing your reservations.
Business is no longer tied to phone: Phone booking systems or other types of booking systems have some major drawbacks like customers have to call during office hours only or if the line is busy it goes to voicemail, etc. But with the reservation systems being hosted online, these issues can be resolved. For example, you can easily book tickets for the next laker’s game, if you see this, and that too completely online. Using the online booking systems they can book tickets any time and anywhere boosting your revenue. Thus having a booking platform as a business strategy makes a lot of sense.
Can get insights into your business: An online booking system gives you an analytics dashboard that can be used to grow your business. It can give a clear picture of what is working and what is not working and create a strategy around it. It also helps to understand the needs of the customer and focus on offering what they want and increase the business potential.
Makes for faster payments: In an online booking system, the customers will have to make prepayments for using the product or service your business offers. That ensures there are no missed payments, no-shows, etc for the business and thereby increasing the income. Another advantage of online payment is it is convenient for the customers too as there are many payment options available and they can book quickly and easily and not have to worry about paying while using the service giving them the luxury to enjoy the activity.
A company can remain competitive only if it is online, as customers like to do business only if they see it on the internet so that they can check the reviews and customer feedback. Lacking online presence means that your company is losing out on many sales opportunities as customers no longer book using telephone books but take the help of the internet. They like to see the product or service that the company offers online and also find relevant information about it before purchase, hence it is essential to have an online booking system to ensure that you are not behind on the latest trend in business. Moreover, if you are still in the telephone booking mode the concept is almost dying leaving you behind in a competitive market.
Better customer service
Having an online booking system ensures that your employees’ workload is reduced as they are not tied to the phone taking bookings and they can focus on providing better customer service. These systems are so designed that the bookings are in sync and the latest availability is updated ensuring that there is no double-booking or other such issues providing better customer satisfaction.
A business without an online presence is likely to miss out on many opportunities, having a high-quality booking system is not only necessary but essential for it to stay relevant and competitive.