What Exactly is an Online Booking System?November 29, 2017, Taylor Odgers
The purpose of an online booking system
An online booking system is a software you can use for reservation management. They allow tour and activity operators to accept bookings online and better manage their phone and in person bookings. But they also do so much more than that. Basically, they’re a huge step up from a spreadsheet booking system.
This guide’s purpose is to help you understand booking systems a little better, how they can help your business, how to choose the one that’s right for you and even how to get started.
Before adopting a new system you should always consider the advantages and disadvantages.
You increase your bookings
One of the biggest advantages to online booking platforms is that they are always open for business. You can accept bookings 24/7 so your customers don’t have to wait until the next day to make a reservation or turn to one of your competitors. They have the convenience to book when it’s right for them, and you collect bookings while you sleep.
You save time
Booking systems help you do more, with less. Once you have your business set up on the platform, you won’t have to call your guests for reminders, send follow up emails, or manually update your inventory on OTA’s ever again. This all runs in the background so you, and your staff, can focus on serving your guests.
You’ll increase the efficiency of your operations
Customers today expect instant gratification and a booking system can help you provide it. You’ll decrease lineups, have the ability to modify inventory with a few frustration clicks, and never have to say “one moment” to a customer waiting for you to get off the phone again.
You get smarter insights into your business
A booking system keeps track of each reservation and the details tied to it. This means that you can use reports to find what tours are making you the most money, get a better understanding of who your typical customer is, and have real-time insights into your cash flow. You have all the tools and information you need to grow your business.
It will take time to get set up
While it is relatively easy to get a booking system up and running, you’ll still need at least 24 hours for setup. You might be eager to get things live ASAP but take the time to learn how to setup online reservations properly. Each business is different which means there are a ton of configuration options.
You will need to train staff
Once you have the backend setup you will have to train all your employees on the new system. This can take as little as an hour but it’s still downtime you need to account for. And since you’ll be significantly reducing the amount of administrative work you might have to adjust staff responsibilities.
Is An Online Booking System Worth It?
When evaluating software you should always consider the initial investment, both time and money, and the potential benefit to your company. With a booking system, there is a learning curve. But the best booking software company should provide you with all the support you need to get started. And with everything you gain, we think it’s a no-brainer. Maybe just wait until your low season to start implementation.
Now you might be wondering how it all works. Let’s take a closer look at the technology that makes it possible.
Next Chapter: How Does An Online Booking System Work?
Home: The Complete Guide to Online Booking Systems
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