6 things to consider when choosing an online booking system

14 October 2018 openplay Leave a comment Booking System

There is nothing worse than having willing and eager customers, only to find they have abandoned their reservation because the online booking system you use is too confusing, too long-winded or, as is the case with many out there, crashes altogether.

We have spent years finetuning our system so that it works for you- the business owner or system operator- and for your customers.

1) Is it reliable?

When choosing a booking system you want one that is first and foremost reliable- one that will deliver on every booking request. Imagine a system that crashes on one of your busiest days of service. You will miss out on many valuable bookings, lose potential customers and receive a barrage of complaints from your users. It is a risk you simply cannot afford, and neither can we.

“OpenPlay has eliminated a lot of issues we had with our previous booking system and helped improve the booking process for the customer and ourselves.”– Ben Pridham, Data & Analysis Officer, Argyle Community Trust.

2) Is it user-friendly?

“The role of genius is not to complicate the simple, but to simplify the complicated.” – Criss Jami.

Our booking software is densely complex- it has to be, in order to deliver cutting-edge multi-functions. Meanwhile, to the user (both you, the system operator, and your customers), the system is refreshingly simple. This is because we have spent years refining an intuitive piece of software that performs complicated tasks with a single click.

You, the system operator: First off is the onboarding process. We walk you through the set-up and installation process through face to face meetings, online guidance, webinars and calls. Many of our clients found that the system was so simple, that they didn’t even need our help.

“The booking system is so easy to use that we didn’t even need the staff training sessions.”– Danny Harrigan, Queens Park Rangers FC.

Once you are set up, you will have the autonomy to manage your business through your Dashboard or your OpenPlay Pocket App. These services are designed for easy use, to save you time and energy.

Your customers: There is no point in you offering restorative yoga classes if booking into the class results in spiked cortisol levels. Booking an activity or facility with you should not feel like a chore. Our process requires as few clicks as possible, delivering a streamlined, stress-free booking experience.

“It is a very time effective system. It makes it much easier for customers, they find it quick and simple to use.”– Glenn Vaughn, Director, One Touch Football.

3) Is it highly functional?

A naive person might think that a booking system has one function: to carry out bookings. Any business owner will know that it has so many more roles. A booking system will cater to a range of memberships, varied drop-in rates, discount codes, voucher options and offer automatic email reminders. It will give you, the business owner, opportunities to upsell, market and manage operations. A good booking system will offer services you never heard of and enhance your business in ways you never expected.

“The system has been incredibly valuable to our business. It has supported us to improve the operational management, significantly improve the experience for our users and is now creating real strategic value through utilising the dashboard and reporting functionality.”King’s College London.

Not only should the booking system itself offer pioneering widgets and features, but it should be able to work in tandem with other pieces of software you may be using. We are a global company, meaning that our software integrates with international payment gateways, oversees accounting systems and widgets from across the world.

“We could tell from the first demonstration how well it integrates with other websites.” – Rob Wilkinson, Director, Moving Matters UK.

4) Is it good value for money?

The tactic of some system providers is to hook you in, get you comfortable the system, only to hike the prices by 300% over a two year period. We offer a competitive price across our four package tiers. Whether you are a small studio or national sports complex, we have a package to suit your needs that will not see you out of pocket.

“OpenPlay was a system that did everything that we required it to do at an affordable price. We found that other systems were very expensive and would not have been cost-effective.”– Carly Payler-Rabess, Project Manager for Harrow Council.

5) Does it keep you in mind?

Just like you keep your customers are at the heart of everything you do, so too should your booking software provider. As a paying customer, you should receive support and feel that your system provider genuinely cares about your needs.

We value the relationship we have with each of our customers. We know each business owner individually and on a personal level. We want our customers to succeed because

“OpenPlay responds very quickly via phone or email at any time. They really take pride in helping us take and manage online booking.”– Jack Mackinnon, Access to Sport.

6) Does it have a professional front-end?

Finally, you should take into account the overall look of the system. Does it match the prestige of your website and the professionalism of your service?

Remember that while appearance is crucial, many systems offer style with little substance behind it.

“Using the OpenPlay system’s widgets which were easy to create and integrate into our website, we have seen a thorough improvement in our online booking system. It now matches the professionalism of our staff and marketing.”– Chris Broadhurst, General Manager, Soccer Stars UK.

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