Thursday, May 15, 2014

5 Ways Your Business Can Save With Online Booking

Online booking systems are becoming more and more ubiquitous nowadays, from booking flights and hotels, to reservations at restaurants. But they can be used to help all kinds of businesses discover what people in these industries have already discerned: online booking for your business can save both time and money.

Here are some of the ways we've seen FlexBooker used by many different business types to save:

  1. No more back and forth with your customers. You know the drill - your customer calls you to schedule an appointment but you're servicing another customer, so they leave you a message asking for an appointment at a certain time. When you check your messages you find that the time is already booked (without an online booking system, how would they know?) so you call them back, leave another message. Eventually you get a hold of each other and go back and forth with them getting a time that works for both of you. In all, this can take quite a while for just a single customer. Multiply this each time it happens, which can be many times a week, and you realize quickly that your business is wasting hours every week dealing with a situation that can be cut to zero by online booking. By making your schedule available online for booking, and using a system that reflects your schedule in real-time, you save potentially hundreds of hours a year. That's a huge saving!
  2. Reduced no-shows. No matter what type of business you run, no-shows are awful. They leave a gap in your schedule where you should be earning revenue, but are instead left idle and unproductive. A good online booking system will cut no-shows dramatically for you with features such as email and SMS text message reminders for your customers that are sent out automatically for you. Your booking system should also allow you to take no-show fee authorizations, meaning your customer enters a credit card to book but is not necessarily charged, and then give you the power to charge a no-show fee to the customer if they miss their appointment.
  3. Improve website to customer conversions. People are looking for your website to be more and more functional these days. If they are visiting your website looking for a service, and can actually book that service (getting a confirmed accurate appointment time without having to call you or wait for an answer to an email) they are far more likely to actually book. This dramatically improves the conversion for your website. After all that's the whole point of your website when it comes down to it.
  4. Special events drive more business. We all know that special events drive both interest and customers to our business. Your online booking system should be able to handle both your open schedule for normal services and also allow you to publish special events (at special days and times, with their own attendance and payment rules) directly on your website booking widget. This way customers interested in you will see your special events, and be able to book right from your website, too.
  5. Coordinate your staff. If you have multiple staff members at your business, coordinating holidays, breaks, and shared resources is time consuming. If a staff member goes on vacation, what do you do with their existing customers? The result is lots of phone calls to clients with existing bookings trying to reorganize or reschedule with other staff members. An online booking system that handles these changes automatically for you not only saves you lots of time (there's no repeat back and forth yet again from point # 1), but also saves your reputation by keeping your customers happier.
An online booking system that really works for your business can be invaulable, and save your business many hours a week in time, which amounts to truly meaningful cost savings. It can also improve your reputation with your customers. It's a winning combination all around.

FlexBooker is reinventing the way customers make appointments at businesses in the service sector. Built on the idea that accepting online bookings should be as painless as possible, FlexBooker is designed to fit seamlessly into existing business practices by using ubiquitous technologies, such as email and SMS, to drive customer engagement. This means that customers can be up and running accepting online bookings in less than 15 minutes, as opposed to the industry norm of hours or even days. FlexBooker customers span a wide range of industries, from photographers to personal trainers. More information can be found at