However, specific procedures must be in place for your online business to make the desired progress.
Why? Because as your online business thrives, you will need to manage your everyday commitments better. These processes will help you manage your time effectively. Besides, they help create better relationships with your staff and customers.
An efficient booking and payment system is one of the first things you will need to run your business. At least, if you want to make some profit!
The good thing is setting up your online booking and payment system is not rocket science! It is pretty easy once you know how to go about it. And this article will help understand that process.
This article will go over the questions below to walk you through the process of setting up your booking and payment system.
- What is an online booking and payment procedure?
- How do you find the most effective booking and payment system for your business?
- How do you set up a booking and payment system to scale your online business?
What Is an Online Booking and Payment System?
An online booking and payment system is a platform/software that allows you to manage your booking and payment. With an online booking and payment system, your client can easily book and pay for your products/services.
Using an online booking and payment system leaves you entirely in control. You are in charge of every time slot and service available to your clients for bookings and payments.
Several booking and payment systems allow you to set buffer time and configure recurring bookings. Also, these advanced systems will enable you to set up a personalized and branded booking and payment page.
Besides that, you can also release automated prompters and memos to your customers using SMS and email services.
Finding an Effective Booking and Payment System
Every online business is peculiar in its way. There’s possibly no online booking and payment system that is a perfect fit for every business.
That is why you should research which system will work best for your online business. It gets easier from there! Below are practical steps to find an effective booking and payment system for your online business.
List Out Every Feature You Need
List out all the features you’d need in your booking and payment system. Automated reminders? WordPress Plugin?
Check out different systems and ensure they have the features you need before making a choice. If they don’t, how willing are you to compromise? Which features can you forfeit?
Here are some features you should look out for:
- Personalized online booking and payment page
- “Book Now” buttons and widgets that are easy to use on your business site. Watch out for WordPress plugins.
- The capability to set up as many 1-to-1 services or community services as required. This feature must work both online and physically.
- Automatic SMS & email prompters and 2-way customer conversation
- Reporting/analytics tool to help you follow your business performance and growth.
- Sync with an external calendar.
- Integration with your day-to-day apps.
Compare Your Options
Once you get a complete list, the next step is your research for comparison.
A great platform to make your comparison is GetApp. GetApp provides a comparison process that logs the details of various software systems side-by-side. Therefore, making your comparison much easier.
Reading reviews from other customers that have used the software can help you make your decision faster. Please read them!
Begin with A Free Trial
Finally, I recommend that you first sign up for a free trial. That enables you to have a go at all the available features. A more extended trial gives you more time to test the product and see if it works.
If you are still hesitating between two products, a free trial is a great way to make your final choice.
How to Set Up A Booking and Payment System
At this point, you must have selected the online booking and payment system that suits your business. All that is left is to set it up and ensure it conforms to how your business runs.
Input your business details
Put in all your business details. Because the more the details you have there, the better your customers will know about your business. Moreover, the more your customers know about you, the more they trust you!
Be sure that all the information you give is accurate. If your business has a physical location, make sure the address is correct. If you can, put in a map view.
Add Your Availabilities and Services
Establish your working hours and blocked out openings for breaks, for instance, times for lunch or meetings.
Additionally, list the services you offer. When doing this, you should also add prices and availability.
Clarify the buffer time for every service you render. Most online booking and payment systems will allow you to limit how clients can book you. Sometimes, this is done publicly using a private URL or on your booking page.
As soon as you get new staff members, give them the appropriate permission roles. Similarly, establish the services allotted to them and their exact availability schedule.
Make the Reminders Automatic
By using automatic reminders, you can lessen no-shows to as low as 10%. Therefore, you should take the time to set these automated reminders.
Note that SMS reminders possess a higher open-rate. So, you may include text messages with email notifications to increase your open-rate.
Keep in mind that your reminders should be time and service-specific. They help boost your effectiveness.
Personalize Your Booking and Payment Page
Nowadays, you cannot undermine the power of good branding. Be sure to have your logo headlined on your booking page.
It is a bonus if you are provided with the possibility of using a cover photo on the page. In this case, make use of high-resolution pictures. Using poor-quality images can make your booking and payment page come off suspicious and questionable.
Remember to compose a comprehensive description of your business. Displaying reviews from previous clients in the structure of a review badge will do a lot of good.
Fix App Integrations and Calendar Sync
A 2-way calendar sync helps integrate external calendars like Google Calendar. Doing this will enable you to view all your bookings from a single location. It also prevents double-bookings.
The online booking and payment system should not be the only app you operate. You should be able to integrate it with other business tools — collaboration tools, email marketing tools, and apps for other business activities
Test Your Booking and Payments Page Yourself
Do not start using your customized booking and payments page without testing it. You should ensure that it works smoothly and provides the best user experience possible.
To do this, place a booking yourself. Afterward, check if everything is working well. And ensure the payments can go through.
Also, make sure the reminders are on time. If there are no other issues in the system, you can start using the system.
However, if you find out that the system is not working well, take your time to fix it. Go over the process again and be sure everything is in place before you start using it.
Share Your Booking and Payment System
Lastly, don’t forget to share your booking page. If people don’t know about it, then they can’t book you with it.
You can share your booking and payment information using your website, social media platforms, email, and your business card.
In conclusion, it is not only about creating an online business. You must also ensure that you set up your business to run smoothly.
A booking and payment system is an integral part of running your business. Make sure you are using a flexible and effective system.