Don't make these mistakes with online booking - the 5 most common mistakes
Are you under the impression that starting an online booking system will make your life easier? Think again. If you don't avoid the most common pitfalls, it can quickly become a headache.
Keep reading to learn how to sidestep the top five mistakes when it comes to online appointment booking. By following these tips, your online booking system will be a hit, just like the one in the picture above.
Online booking alone won't do all the work for you
Don't make the mistake of assuming that an online booking system will do all the work for you. It's just like having a physical store or an online shop - it requires the same marketing efforts as your products and services. Imagine how many potential customers wouldn't know about your physical store if they didn't know its location. Promotion, marketing, and information are critical for increasing your bookings.
While launching an online booking system can be a fantastic idea, it could turn into a disappointment if you don't attract new bookings. Consider if you, as a consumer, would feel comfortable making an online booking on your website. Would you book a massage online? Most likely, the answer is yes, and you'd be happy to do so. However, when it comes to something like visiting a cafe or having a spontaneous lunch, customers might not be inclined to make a booking unless there's a special benefit involved, such as securing the best table in town.
To ensure your online booking system is a success, follow our five-point checklist and avoid these common mistakes.
Avoid these five mistakes with online booking
To avoid mistakes, follow a simple approach: test, market, and provide benefits to your clients.
- Neglecting Testing: Don't let a lack of testing be the downfall of your online booking system. It's vital to take a step back and test it from a customer's perspective. Without proper testing, you risk losing potential customers in a matter of weeks due to simple mistakes like forgetting to publish the calendar, not making enough time slots available, or neglecting to add necessary contact information.
- Lack of Communication: Don't leave your online booking system to chance. Make sure your customers know about this new option by actively promoting it. Launch a marketing campaign to raise awareness among your clientele, just like you would for a new company.
- Overcoming the First Booking Barrier: According to studies, many customers find the first online booking experience daunting. However, once they try it, over 90% of them will become repeat users. To encourage first-timers, consider launching a campaign that provides exclusive benefits to those who book appointments online, such as discounts or special product packages.
- Maintaining Availability: Don't give your customers a reason to head to your competitors. Keep your appointment calendar filled with availability at all times. It's better to have more options than less. If needed, adjust your booking schedule to fit in with your customer's preferences.
- Simplifying Booking and Managing Cancellations: Streamline the booking process for your customers by minimizing the required fields during the booking flow. Research shows that every additional field reduces the likelihood of a new booking by up to 80%. On the other hand, when dealing with cancellations, it's essential to implement a policy that discourages frivolous cancellations by not providing full refunds for unsubstantiated reasons. Make it easy for your customers to book and effortless for you to manage cancellations.