If you’re not making the most out of the opportunities the internet offers nowadays, then you’ll struggle to get your business off the ground. Read on to find out 10 reasons to invest in an online booking system for your bouncy castle business.
1. Take bookings 24/7
Did you know that a huge number of online bouncy castle bookings take place during unsocial hours? Parents often wait until their children have gone to sleep before they go on the internet to look for bouncy castles, and they don’t call up companies at this time – most people don’t expect an event supplies company to answer the phone at 10pm! If they find a company they can book online with, they often do business and make payment right then and there. If you’re away, you can set up a holiday on your booking system to prevent booking when you’re sunning yourself, and continue to take bookings through your website while you relax.
2. Receive more bookings
You won’t just receive more bookings because people can contact you at unsociable hours or when you’re away from your phone. You should also see your business become busier thanks to all the people who would rather avoid talking to a stranger over the phone and are happier to spend money with a business they don’t have to communicate with, people with disabilities and hearing problems who can’t use the phone very well, and everyone who makes a spur-of-the-moment decision while browsing the internet.
3. Avoid haggling with customers
Would you prefer it if customers stopped approaching you on Facebook or calling you over the phone to haggle your prices down, and simply paid the price you offered? It’s impossible to haggle with an online booking system – the price you advertise is the price that your online customers will pay. It might be impossible to stop every single person from calling you up to try and haggle on price, but you will find you’ve got a lot more leverage when your products are available online for specific prices.
4. Keep your diary up-to-date
A good bouncy castle booking system will automatically update your diary when an online booking is received, so future customers will be unable to book out the same product at the same time. If someone contacts you to make a booking while you’re busy, and you’re unable to check the availability of a unit, you could simply ask the potential customer to check online to book it out. “And while you’re there,” you could say, “could you fill in the booking form? Just because this will make sure that your booking is logged and nobody else books out this product on that date before I get home.”
5. Save time
Some businesses hire a member of staff to deal with the administration of their business. This might involve taking bookings over the phone, checking payment logs, creating job sheets for drivers, emailing customer details to staff members and customers themselves, making sure products are tested before their safety checks expire, and much more. Did you know you can complete these tasks with an online booking and diary system in just a few moments? You may realise that you free up so much time you are able to reduce the size of your workforce or spend a little bit more time relaxing and enjoying yourself.
6. Provide good customer service
Even if you aim to answer the phone politely and promptly every time and deal with every Facebook enquiry quickly and patiently, it’s nigh-on impossible to reach these standards. You might be otherwise occupied, your phone might be working badly, or you might become a little frustrated with a particular enquiry.
But with an online booking system, you’ll be able to provide everyone who books online with you with the high standard of customer service they expect. Customers can check the availability of products, pay for them, receive automated confirmations and communicate with your business at their convenience. It’s even more hassle-free than the most simple phone call or Facebook conversation!
When a customer has chosen a product on your booking system, you can seize the opportunity to upsell to this interested party. Upselling isn’t just something that’s restricted to large retailers and face-to-face transactions – and you’ll find it’s much easier to encourage someone to buy additional items online than by pushing them on Facebook or over the phone. Think about what little extras your customers could be interested in – maybe they’ll like some party bags, staffing, or some fun foods? Then make sure your booking system can offer these as optional extras to your customers!
8. Keep a database of customers
When someone makes a booking with you – even if they book over the phone or on Facebook – you can save their details on your booking system. Online bookings will be automatically saved. This provides you with an easy-to-access database of all your customers that you can access on any computer anywhere in the world. You can then search through this database to find customers who booked a particular product and live in a particular area.
9. Support your marketing
Sending mass emails to your customers asking them to make another booking with you is far more effective if you can direct them to a webpage that makes it easy for them to check availability and book online. Your booking system should also allow you to create discount codes that you could include in customer marketing materials - everyone loves a discount, and you’ll find you’re able to draw former customers back to your business if they feel like they are receiving an exclusive deal from you.
10. Manage your accounts
You’ll no longer need to search through your emails, your diary and everything else in a desperate attempt to complete your accounts as part of a frantic rush at the end of the tax year. If you’ve uploaded all your booking details on to your booking system, you should be able to simply export all this information into an easy-to-use Excel spreadsheet, which you can use to fill your accounts effortlessly. An advanced booking system will even be able to show you what products have been the most profitable and what have made you the least money, so you can use this information to grow your business intelligently.