13/05/2016 - Posted by Emily Healey
Any business that takes bookings can benefit from using an online booking system. We’ve put together a list of common types of businesses that make use of online booking systems and how they get it working for them. Online booking systems can help even the smallest business by offering a professional, reliable, easy to use way to manage bookings. The trick is in utilising the right features for your business so you get the most out of the system.
By far one of the most common types of businesses to utilise online booking systems is restaurants. They can store all their reservations on the system, use this information to roster staff and track hours worked to make, they can store other staff or customer information in the database and much more. You can even use an online booking system to organise advanced food orders with payment for quick pick up or takeaway orders.
Whether you offer accommodation, local bike, bus or walking tours, or anything else in the tourism industry that requires booking, an online booking system is a great addition to the business. It’s easier for people in other time zones to use to plan their holiday, it gives travel agents a more professional way to facilitate bookings on your behalf and it can store all the customer information you could possibly need.
Businesses that organise and host recreational activities including fishing charters, paintballing, and wine tours and the like, all benefit from the use of an online booking system. Often these businesses offer private group bookings or more open ones where anyone can book a spot, but both types can be made available through an online booking system. It makes group bookings especially easy to organise as customers can select the time and date suitable for their group without having to call.
SPORT & LEISURE
Another type of business that benefits from the use of an online booking system is sport and leisure companies. Booking gym classes, hiring sports courts and fields, or participating in group lessons for things like surfing or kayaking can all be done through an online booking system. As well as bookings, the system can accept prepayment and gives you the opportunity to upsell certain things like hire equipment and protective clothing.
Even the smallest venues, theatres and cinemas use online booking systems these days and it works for any ticketed event. People really like the security of booking tickets rather than hoping the event hasn’t sold out by the time they arrive on the day. If it’s a seated event this can also give customers the choice where they sit, and it gives you the opportunity to upsell food, drinks, merchandise or other things like a beanbag or picnic blanket for an outdoor film or concert.
An increasing number of health practitioners are using an online booking system to handle their appointments. Even if most appointments are still made over the phone, an online booking system is a great way to manage those appointments as well as patient information. GPs, physiotherapists, psychologists, dentists and more are all starting to offer online bookings for services such as initial consultations or routine check-ups.
HAIR & BEAUTY
Hairdressers, barbers, nail technicians, beauty therapists and masseurs were some of the first kinds of service providers to take advantage of online booking systems. They usually offer a range of services that can be booked and prepaid, often with your choice of staff member. This allows the business to keep track of new and repeat clients. The system will also automatically send the client a text when their appointment is coming up which helps reduce the amount of missed appointments.
Another group of early adopters, trade businesses get a lot out of online booking systems. With the majority of their business taking place on the road, having a mobile-compatible online booking system that they can use to keep track of their schedule and customer information is a huge advantage. GPS is usually integrated into these kinds of systems to both track and assist drivers in getting to and from jobs.
If you’re an accountant, lawyer, justice of the peace or any other service provider an online booking system can help you stay organised. While most follow up appointments are made over the phone, short consults can be better managed with a booking system. If you offer limited time for consultation work an online booking system can minimise the amount of incoming calls you receive in regards to that work and make it easier to gather any client information you require prior.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
One of the top types of businesses to use online booking systems is those providing educational classes or training courses. Language classes, driving schools, even tutors can use an online booking system to manage bookings and get more business through the door. As these businesses almost always have set class times it is really easy to set up and once being used it allows the student’s record, progress and personal details to be managed really effectively.