No matter what business you hold, cooking-classes, foreign language courses, kayak rental business on the islands, you need to offer your customers with an intuitive online booking process. That means it should be intuitive, unique, and easy for the customers to understand. But have you ever wondered why we need online booking solutions?
Customers nowadays make bookings with smartphones such as reserving tables in restaurants, booking tickets for movies or concerts, with just a tap.
However, while choosing a most suitable booking solution, we need to pay attention to a few things. Like online booking software should not only provide functions that can make consumers’ life easy and convenient but also include the functions which could relieve us from labor-intensive and painstaking tasks. Even the phone-based booking system demands a staff member who is supposed to be constantly available to handle bookings. You might not consider this a problem with customer service staff on hand, but consider the man-hours which would be released by moving to an online booking platform.
10 Must-Have Features for Online Booking Solution
1. Online Booking in Real-Time
Real-time online booking has many benefits. It enables your users to book at their leisure at any time of the day and get immediate confirmation of their reservations. The feature not only gives you freedom from the telephone but also from multiple daily inquiries. But there’s an unspoken rule- For many companies who are taking bookings, if it’s working well, then don’t fix it. Because when we talk about taking bookings, that means many don’t stray from old fashioned telephone-based systems or scheduling tools, which typically requires staff members to coordinate with the client and handle bookings manually in real-time. The online reservation system enables the customers to view all the available dates directly and make a booking. This helps us to get rid of the hassle of answering phone calls and makes it easy for your users to see what’s available. An online reservation system offers your customers speed, reliability, and all the detailed information they need right at their fingertips.
2. Various Currencies and Languages
In recent years, we have witnessed an increase in online reservations wherein the clients look for multilingual online booking system interfaces. It’s apparent to us that the need for internationally operative businesses is on the rise, which is why we need to be prepared. This is obvious that if a customer cannot understand what or how he can do the bookings or reservations because of the language barrier, then he will quit and book further with a competitor. The online booking system not only provides the customers with the choice of different languages but also various currency options. From pounds to pesos, it should offer your customers with their display currency of choice.
3. Multiple Payment Options
The customers who are doing bookings using your online reservation system are not necessarily technical experts. Consider Making your website so convenient to use that even a person who hasn’t ever booked online can come to your website and experience a secure checkout. Moreover, you can capture more sales and increase your revenue by allowing customers to pay with alternative secured payment options. Moreover, as a merchant, it’s completely your responsibility to have the purchasing process under control and reduce the risk of fraud at every step of checkout. Make sure that you provide the best payment security that your customers don’t have to worry about their data. Make sure that payments are processed in a secure and seamless way.
A user-friendly website is the best business strategy of all. So make sure that your payment gateway supports smooth and error-free transactions. Even when a visitor later cancels the booking, he/she should be able to do it seamlessly and the refunding process is flawless as well.
The calendar contains a summary of all the bookings, occupations , capacities, and the turnover for the required periods at a glance. An updated calendar is one of the most crucial things you can do to ensure the best booking experience. Fortunately, it’s an easy process if you have online booking enabled, as your calendar would automatically update when you accept new bookings. The online booking process is efficient and saves time. It eliminates the necessity for the staff members to go back and forth and cross-check the details of the customers with other members. We can manually add or edit reservations, export or import calendar data, and edit reservation settings for more control.
5. Voucher Generation
Vouchers are essential for businesses or we can say they are a smart business strategy. Vouchers or discounts coupons enable you to grow your business and you can target a larger customer base through price promotions, package deals, and discount coupon codes. You can also reward your customer’s loyalty. Always remember that marketing discounts with coupon codes would attract not only new customers but also measures the performance and success of your marketing campaigns. This must-have feature allows you to target your regular customers with hard-to-refuse deals and offers.
6. Social Media Integration
As social media is becoming more and more ubiquitous, it is changing how companies do business. The majority of businesses are using social networks to engage with their target customers and drive more sales through their websites. And the companies who aren’t , are getting left behind. The integration of social media into your booking software enables your customers to link to your top social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. This allows your customers to share their bookings on their social media pages which helps to increase exposure for your brand and potentially generates new bookings.
7. Booking Management via Smartphone and Tablet
Businesses and organizations are witnessing a significant growth in sales from online reservations because of mobile bookings. More and more customers are moving away from PCs to mobile devices and tablets to make their reservations. Nobody today has enough time to sit in front of PCs all day long and do the bookings or reservations. This includes bookings for cabs, flights, hotels, etc. Being able to search for bookings and reservations on mobile devices is the key here. Make sure your booking software solution offers complete search functions, display results, and accept booking information to finalize the booking for excellent user experience. \
8. Channel Management
Channel management features basically allow you to partner with large or small agents or booking companies in different markets. The channel management system maximizes your bookings, increases your revenues and connects you to the markets that are challenging to reach for the customers. Your online booking solution should be competent enough to connect with the maximum number of agents, receive a booking from various available channels in the market, and automatically update availability. Make sure this happens in real-time to avoid over bookings.
9. Cloud-Based Online Booking
One of the most significant problems with current online booking solutions is that they are not cloud based. Cloud- based technology is the dominant force in online distribution today. Through cloud based online booking solutions you can generate more bookings and enhance almost every aspect of running a successful business. A cloud-based solution offers many benefits like it allows you to manage your business remotely while you are on the move and dealing with your customers at the same time. Customers can easily access your website, search for availability based on the minute allotment data, and book instantly, agents can create bookings through the agent portal, and you can also back up all the essential data any time.
10. Reporting Options
The reporting feature is also a must have feature of online booking solutions. With the help of the reporting option, you can get a quick view of your current business status and can tell at a glance what’s going on and where improvements need to be made. Reporting highlights the current, historical, and projected revenue and planning, payment statuses, revenue, occupancy rates. Not only this but also booking per channel can be tracked, delays such as hold times can be identified, total call time can be evaluated, relevant data can be compared to standards and expectations.
Now that you have a clear picture of all the must-have features for your exclusive and intuitive online booking software solution, you should start looking to get your own. Matellio is an eminent online booking software solution development company known for building interactive websites and performance-driven web and mobile applications. Get in touch with us today to get your own online booking software system for your business.