Remember what it was like to travel back in the old days before the internet changed everything? If you have already got used to booking online when planning trips, then it is undoubtedly a massive inconvenience if the hotel, resort, or restaurant you are interested in does not have a website, let alone an online booking system! For many consumers, it is a great deterrent when a business is not up-to-date on all the digital platforms designed for customer convenience.
Why use an online booking system?
Online booking is a common practice in the hospitality industry, especially for hotels. But not every business had the same resources until only a few years ago. Restaurants, for example, used to handle bookings manually by taking reservations over the phone, by email, or in person. But with significant new developments in online booking software, hospitality businesses of every kind are now enjoying the convenience of online booking.
Benefits of an online booking system
It is essential to understand that online booking systems are not merely a stylish digital addition to a business’s online presence. There are real benefits to using this type of booking system, which are outlined below:
- Organisation. For every hospitality business, one of the most common challenges is to ensure that the facility is fully-staffed when needed. If you have a booking calendar, you can anticipate days when you need to increase or reduce the number of staff working during a specific shift.
- Higher customer conversion. A majority of customers today, especially avid travellers, prefer to stay connected. When these customers need to book accommodation, eat at a restaurant, or find convenient transportation, they will head to the internet for suggestions. A business that does not have an online booking system is missing out on a significant portion of the market. You can increase sales and conversions if you incorporate a booking system on your website.
- Easier payment processing and monitoring. Customers prefer platforms where they do not have to travel from one page to another to complete a transaction. An online booking system cuts down on some of the steps involved in confirming a reservation by making payment channels readily available as the customer confirms the booking.
- Available 24/7. An online booking system functions all the time. Your business will continue to operate even outside regular working hours, when you’re not around to pick up the phone or reply to emails.
- Data provides better insight into your business and target audience. Some online booking systems come with tools for analytics. The data provided by your customers is useful for delivering services tailored to their preferences. You can also identify areas for improvement and determine what types of promotions and marketing schemes work best.
If your business is still using an outdated manual booking system, it is about time you considered online software, which will not only make conducting business more manageable but will also help boost your company’s presence in the evolving and increasingly connected hospitality industry.