For many service-oriented businesses, accurate and timely reservations certainly are a necessity to ensure 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, but also for the capability 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 a vital element of many service-based groups, is generally seen 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 method require a considerable amount of staff time, it also does not give customers the opportunity to book their reservations when it’s most convenient for them. Many individuals simply do not have enough time to call in a reservations or appointment during normal business hours. This may result in two different scenarios: The individual can either book the reservation online (if the company offers this program), or they might leave a voice message, in which case the provider must take the time to follow up with the individual (and possibly engage in a game of “phone-tag” until a specific reservation time is agree upon). Most will agree that the former is the more desirable of these two schemes.
An online reservation system is generally your best option for these service-providers to automate and improve their booking processes. Commonly known as Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud-computing applications, this technology is accessible through any Internet connection and typically will not require any installations, downloads or expensive hardware. Both service provider and its own customers access is very much the same as any Web page. 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 makes it possible for customers to book reservations online, it also give service providers and their employees 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 this information 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, without long-term contracts.
BENEFICIAL TOP FEATURES OF ONLINE RESERVATION SYSTEMS
The functionality within many online reservation systems is what makes a fully-automated booking system possible.
? Online customer self-scheduling. This allows customers to book their reservations at their own convenience and anytime of your day, even during non-business hours. It can be a convenience to providers and their staff aswell, as it can significantly decrease the number of calls and e-mails from customers seeking reservations.
? Automated e-mail and text message reminders. Sent automatically by the machine in front of you scheduled reservation time, this feature can reduce the quantity of “no-shows” by over 50 percent.
? Online payment options. If given the choice, many customers would pay for their services concurrently they book them. Additionally, folks are less likely 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 applications have even standard reports that users can easily create and analyze.