For many service-oriented businesses, accurate and timely reservations are a necessity to make sure proper service and a confident customer experience. From tour operators and boat-rental providers to managers of athletic fields and facilities, these groups must have a proven reservation system set up, not merely for internal scheduling processes, also for the convenience of their customers. Traditional reservation procedures often appear short in both regards. And it’s for these reasons that many businesses, organizations and people are incorporating online reservation systems e into their operations.
THE ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE RESERVATION SYSTEM OVER TRADITIONAL METHODS
Booking and managing customer reservations, although an essential element of many service-based groups, is normally viewed as time-consuming and tedious. The original types of scheduling reservations doesn’t help refute this statement: It usually involves booking reservation over the phone and by e-mail, then recording and managing the dates, times, services and customer contact information in separate appointment books, files, spreadsheets or folders.
Not only does this technique require a considerable amount of staff time, it also does not give customers the opportunity to book their reservations if it is most convenient for them. A lot of people simply do not have enough time to contact a reservations or appointment during normal business hours. This may result in two different scenarios: The person can either book the reservation online (if the company offers this option), or they might leave a voice message, in which case the provider must take time to follow up with the average person (and possibly engage in a casino game of “phone-tag” until a specific reservation time is agree upon). Most will concur that the former is the more appealing of these two schemes.
An online reservation system is normally the best option for these service-providers to automate and enhance their booking processes. Commonly referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud-computing applications, this technology is obtainable through any Web connection and typically will not require any installations, downloads or expensive hardware. Both service provider and its customers access is in the same manner as any Website. Like online data storage and document uploads applications, online reservation systems are securely housed online rather than confined to an individual computer terminal or network. This characteristic not merely allows for customers to book reservations online, in addition, it give service providers and their staff the opportunity to access their reservation calendar and customer details from any Internet connection, a valuable benefit for all those individuals who must have access to these details from outside their office.
As with most SaaS applications, online reservation system providers usually charge a monthly fee to utilize their service. Many implement the “pay-as-you-go” option, with no long-term contracts.
BENEFICIAL TOP FEATURES OF ONLINE RESERVATION SYSTEMS
The functionality within many online reservation systems is why is a fully-automated booking system possible.
? Online customer self-scheduling. This allows customers to book their reservations at their very own convenience and at any time of your day, even during non-business hours. It can be a convenience to providers and their staff aswell, as it can significantly reduce the number of calls and e-mails from customers seeking reservations.
? Automated e-mail and text reminders. Sent automatically by the system prior to a scheduled reservation time, this feature can reduce the number of “no-shows” by over 50 percent.
? Online payment options. If given the choice, many customers would purchase their services at the same time they book them. Additionally, folks are less inclined to be “no-shows” if they’ve already paid.
? Record-keeping and reporting. Since online reservation-scheduling systems centralize all inputted information, locating and gathering details on customers and their reservations is much simpler than sorting through paper appointment books and spreadsheets. Some software applications even have standard reports that users can easily create and analyze.