Bright businesses have been benefitting from bookings for a while now to help manage their workflow and also encourage conversions online. Even making bookings for free consultations and appointments goes a long way to help move prospects onto the next step.
Booking a room, space, table, slot or appointment? Or just limiting the number of people on the premises at any one time? Your booking system can be a nimble thing. But first, just ask yourself this.
“Do you want it to make a booking? Or request a booking?”
Make a booking
Solutions where the system makes the booking, rely on having pre configured availability plumbed in. In simple terms, you need to tell the system what slots are available to be booked. That way, the system can go ahead and offer those slots to web users.
You can get a booking system that works independently of your website (and your website can them just ‘talk’ to it). Or you can simply get a system that sits right there on your website. If people book in person or over the phone that’s no problem, a good solution will let you easily update and manage this in the back end.
You have full control over the availability and can also decide whether to take full payment, part payment or no payment.
Request a booking
‘Request a booking’ works a little differently. It’s slightly simpler to set up. There is often still a calendar with time slots and all the availability options you’d expect. However, when the user books online, a notification is sent to the business. The business can then check availability and reply by email, message or phone, to confirm the meeting, or maybe suggest another time.
So perhaps this offers more flexibility for the business. An ability to be agile. But the flip side of that coin is that it’s more of an administrative burden of course. No doubt you have enough on your plate, so maybe harness some clever tech to do the heavy lifting.
Whatever solution you prefer, for the benefit of test and trace (and your future marketing self), you can ask whatever details you need during checkout. Don’t go overboard though. Less is more with forms. Get more advice on how to create user-friendly forms.
Speaking of forms, this brings us onto another neat suggestion…