If you’re a local service business owner, chances are you’ve either considered an online booking system or have spoken with a company who provides one.
You may have even asked a few questions that couldn’t be answered to your satisfaction. A robust online booking solution should support your business’s unique needs, improve your efficiency, and increase your number of booked appointments or classes.
Here are 6 common myths about online bookings—and 6 answers that explain how the best business management software suites can dispel them.
1. “My clients are in control of my schedule.”
A good online booking system should give you control over your schedule instead of your clients. With a robust platform, you should be able to pick and choose the availability you show to clients and the types of services you offer online so that you’re never held hostage to client preferences.
Capturing bookings in advance will also make it easier for you to adjust your staffing accordingly and fill time slots that aren’t usually busy. You should also be able to set a minimum advance booking date so you have visibility into your schedule further ahead of time.
2. “An online system will increase my double-bookings.”
With the right online booking system, your calendar will update and sync in real time with your availability so that you never double-book an appointment online or in person.
3. “My services are too complicated to be booked online.”
The right online booking system should be able to accommodate a variety of complex service parameters, including:
- Multiple guests in a single booking.
- Staff selection by name or gender.
- Room and equipment requirements and availability for each appointment.
- Duration and recovery time allowances that can be customized for each employee.
4. “I don’t want my availability to be shown on my website.”
A sophisticated online booking system should allow you to choose whether you show your availability in a calendar view or whether you require users to select a specific service and date before showing availability. This latter format prevents competitors and clients from seeing your full schedule. You should also be able to choose which particular service time slots you make available online.
5. “I’ll overbook appointments or classes.”
Enter your staff’s full schedule and hours, and you’ll never be at risk for overbooking appointments with the proper system. Only open slots will be displayed on your online booking site. For classes, you can waitlist students and add people automatically if cancellations occur so your classes are always full but never overbooked.
6. “Not all my services can be booked online.”
A flexible booking system can accommodate a variety of service scenarios. For example, you can require an online deposit for high-price services to confirm the appointment. If you have services you only want to book in person to prevent no-shows, you can enter services into your software platform without making them available for online booking.
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