How Does an Online Booking System Work?
Booking systems are what’s called software as a service (SAAS). This means that you pay a monthly fee to use the services the software provides. There are other payment options, but we’ll discuss that in Chapter 5.
When you create an account, you set up all of your reservation details— what activities you offer, when they run, what they cost and how many people they hold.
Then, you add the system to your website so guests can see your real-time availability, self-book the time that works best for them, and even, pay for their reservations online.
You can even use the booking system as your kiosk to add reservations for guests that call in or book in-person.
Once a reservation is made, the booking details are logged in the system and the availability for that tour is updated immediately.
And everything is stored in the cloud so you can manage your reservations on any device, anywhere you need to.
An online booking system can help you do other things, like:
- Open your business to new sales channels, like Facebook and online travel agents (OTAs)
- Get paid faster with online payments and deposits at the time of booking
- Lower no-show rates by sending your guests’ reminder emails and texts
- Make check-in faster and centralize your records with digital waivers
- Increase return visits and online reviews with automated follow-up messages
- Create QR code tickets to speed up check-in and print of daily reports of your guests for the day
- Easier business forecasting with real-time reporting
- Connect to your accounting software to reduce administration
There are two sides of a booking system. The back-end, which you use to set-up, manage, and review your reservation details. And the customer-facing piece that is added to your website so guests can self-book. Next, we’ll take a look a look behind the scenes at how to set up a booking system.
Next Chapter: How to Setup a Booking System
Previous Chapter: What is an online booking system?