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Getting the most from your online booking system
Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth from your online booking system with these five tips, say AIM Associate Supplier, Beyonk.
- Set up
It’s one thing having an online booking available on your website, but it needs to be visible. ‘Clicks kill’ so make sure there are as few as possible between a potential customer landing on your website and being able to book. Having a booking/payment form on your homepage or a large ‘book now’ button on the header is essential.
2. Control and planning
Online booking systems are a great way to control your customer journey and plan accordingly. Use the following:
- Pre-Checkout Question: collect important bits of information as part of the booking process. For example, any dietary requirements, or any details you need for provision of equipment or support.
- Automated emails:
- In the booking confirmation email, make sure to include key visit information especially about arrival. Include detail about the location (in case it’s hard to find or sat nav is misleading), the best way to travel, where to go on arrival, how early to arrive, what to bring – all things that will help ensure the customer arrives as prepared as possible, making their experience better and your lives easier!
- These messages can be reinforced in an automatic reminder email. Even if you don’t have anything specific they need to know before arrival, take this opportunity to send a friendly message welcoming them. It all helps provide a great visitor experience.
- Ticket types: can be a great way to collect more information about your guests in order to provide the best service you can. For example, if you offer separate tickets for the over 65s, or for children, analyse the numbers every once in a while and use this information to ensure you’re targeting the right markets in your offer and future marketing.
- Timeslots: If you’re open all day, consider if the ability to book arrival timeslots will help spread out visitors throughout the day, reducing queuing on arrival, at a particular attraction or experience, or in the cafe etc.
With online booking there are some great things you can do to increase revenue, chief amongst these is ‘add-ons’.
At Beyonk we’ve found approximately 10% of people will buy an add-on to a booking – for example a cream tea with a visit, or a souvenir, or perhaps simply a donation to a related charity – take advantage of this opportunity to upsell and generate additional revenue.
Your booking system should act as a crucial part of your marketing plans, capitalising on the already engaged status of your customers. Make use of:
- Discount codes: add discount codes to social media campaigns or newsletters, or with your automated thank-you emails to offer customers a discounted repeat visit.
- Checkout questions: make sure to utilise any opportunity to ask your customers questions before checkout – e.g. do they want to go on your newsletter? How did they hear about you?
- Automated emails: use automated emails to have one final engagement with your customers, thank them for coming and prompt them to leave a review, visit your social media pages, or book again using the discount voucher, as above.
- Distribution integrations: make use of integrations with third party resellers. Beyonk for example partner with a large number of tourist boards such as Go New Forest, rail networks and other organisations. It can really help to get your experiences in front of new audiences.
5. Don’t forget storytelling
A compelling narrative as to why people should book with you vs any other experiences. Telling a good story can help forge an emotional connection to a potential customer, making a booking much more likely. Stories can also be tweaked, for example with changing of the seasons, so it’s a simple way to help broaden your target market and extend the booking season.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss using Beyonk for your own system, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 980 4517.