The Essential Features Your Online Booking System Should Have
Whether you’re running a day spa, skin care spa or massage business, having the right online booking system can be the difference between a full schedule and scrambling to try to find clients.
Today’s customers are sophisticated. They demand state-of-the-art technology solutions in every area of life. Online booking is no different.
If you’ve done your local SEO right, you’re probably getting hundreds or thousands of visitors to your site every day. But when it comes down to booking with you, do they want to pick up the phone and call or book an appointment right on your site? These stats will give you the answer.
What essential features should your online booking system have that will deliver the best results? We have the answer.
Here are 10 must-have features your booking system needs to have in today’s competitive market.
1. A Gorgeous Image Gallery
Detailed, high-resolution images will allow your customers to visualize the experience they’ll have when they walk into your spa. Your booking system needs to have a thorough gallery of images that allows customers to take a virtual tour of your business.
It’s also important to display images of your team in action. This gives your business character.
2. A “Book Now” Button That Begs for Attention
You want a simple, bright and easy-to-use button that leads customers into the booking process. Make sure that it’s:
- Actionable and uses verbiage telling users what to do next
- Easy to find on multiple site pages
In addition, your booking system should allow you to create other “call to action” buttons when you want to promote packages and specials. All of your booking buttons need to be simple and let the customer know exactly what they need to do next.
3. Book in Real-Time
Tired of answering phone calls about appointment availability? Real-time online booking will help eliminate this hassle. With real-time booking features, you’ll have the freedom to choose where and when you offer reservations.
At the same time, customers can book with you when it’s most convenient for them and receive immediate confirmation on your availability in those time slots. The mystery of, “it took my reservation but didn’t confirm that time was available” will be gone from your customers. They won’t need to call in to double-check.
4. Integrate with Social Media
When your online booking system allows you to integrate with social media, your customers can quickly link to your various social media pages.
Chances are, you promote your latest deals on social media. People who’ll be vacationing out of town and looking for services like yours will want to stay on top of this.
With one click on their social media feeds, they can head straight to your booking system and secure a date and time that’s best for them (and you).
5. PayPal Payment Integration
Almost everyone knows what PayPal is or has an account. When it comes to trusted and secure online payments, PayPal stands in a league of its own. When you allow for PayPal payments within your booking system, you let customers know that you value security and privacy.
At the same time, you get instant and guaranteed payments from customers. If a booking system doesn’t allow for PayPal payments, it’s best to stay away.
6. Options for Customers to Store Their Credit Card Information
Of course, you want to offer customers secure and safe ways to pay for your services. But the best booking systems also offer options for customers to store their credit card information with you.
This is done in a secure manner where you never have visibility to their personal information. It’s encrypted within the system. Customers who plan on doing business with you more than once will appreciate this feature because they won’t need to plug in all their details every time they make a booking. It also helps you with long-term customer retention.
7. Visual Calendar
A visual calendar allows you to see what your daily, weekly and monthly calendars look like with a quick glance. it’s a simple way to plan your staffing and what refreshments you’ll need to provide each day.
A good visual calendar will update automatically with each new appointment. That gives you only one source you’ll need to reference when planning your days.
8. Different Language and Currency Settings
While this may not be a daily requirement, there are times where customers will want to browse your booking system in a different language. They may even want to pay in a foreign currency. You want your system to be able to accommodate these customers. Most of your competitors probably don’t.
9. Great Phone and Online Support
Any time you add new technology to your business, there will be some hiccups. That’s where phone and online support come into play.
When you’re testing the wealth of free trials available on the market, take the time to test the helpfulness of their support team. When making your final decision, only invest in a booking system that has helpful phone and online support. If something goes wrong, you’ll be glad you did.
10. Cloud Access
Chances are, you don’t spend your days sitting in front of a desktop computer. You probably manage your business over your tablet or smartphone as well.
Cloud-based software will allow you to manage your business remotely from anywhere, whether you’re on the go or working with other customers. It’s a must-have feature for active business owners and managers.
A Great Online Booking System Will Make Life Easier
The purpose of a top-notch booking system is to allow customers to easily reserve appointments while allowing you to manage them without breaking a sweat. An organized, functional and cohesive system is a requirement to surviving in a competitive market, no matter where you’re located.
There are 50,000 spa owners who use Orchid Spa Software as their only solution for online booking. If you’re not one of them, it’s time to take a look.
Start out with your free trial today and see what we can do for your business. Here’s to taking the next step in your success!