Must-Have Features Your Online Booking System Should Have blog featured image

Must-Have Features Your Online Booking System Should Have

Whether we like it or not, technology is here to stay. And if you want technology to help your service business thrive, then you have most probably considered implementing an online booking system.

However, if these are the early days and you are still weighing up your options, it’s worth being aware of some of the most essential and advanced online booking system requirements. All this can help take your business to the next level as you help your customers have a seamless experience with you and your team.

With this in mind, in this article, we explore why you need an online booking system and what essential and advanced features you need to be looking at to help your business succeed.

Choosing the right online booking system for your business

When it comes to choosing an online booking system for your business, you already know why it is essential. It can help with:

  • Reducing no-shows
  • Making it easy and fun for your customers to use
  • Saving you hours spent on repetitive tasks
  • Helping you offer add-ons, up-sells and cross-sells
  • Improving the customer experience
  • And a whole lot more!

Therefore, the impact of an online booking system is not only essential for your business’ bottom line. It’s also crucial for your customer experience and to help save hours on manual and repetitive tasks.

Essential features of an online booking system

Now that you know that you need an online booking system for your service-based business, it’s time to look at the nitty gritty, also known as the online booking system features. Here are a number of the essential features that your online booking system needs to offer you:

1. Ease of use

First things first. Your online booking system must be simple to use. This goes both for your customers and for your team. Your customers need a booking and checkout process in as few steps as possible. Meanwhile, your team needs to effortlessly be able to use the system, which should be intuitive and simple.

2. Mobile-friendly

Smartphones are here to stay. And their use must be factored into your online booking system. This means that you need to ensure that your system caters to mobile users to boost their experience. Avoid heavy and sluggish mobile options or worse, not converting for mobile at all. Whether for desktops, laptops, tablets or mobile phones – you need to ensure you meet your customers where they’re at.

3. Accommodates multiple locations and crews

Because we know that your team spends more time on-site at their customers’ locations than at the office, you need to ensure that they’re managed optimally. This means managing multiple appointments at different locations and across different crews at the same time.

4. Scheduling that’s available 24/7 in real time

Let your business work for you even when you’re sleeping. Yes. We’re talking about enabling your customers to book your service 24/7. Once your online booking system is set up, you can let the bookings flow in at any time of the day or night. What’s more is that your online booking system should be able to send automated confirmations of the service once it has been booked.

5. Integration with your social media channels

Because your social media channels can provide you with valuable customer information as well as lead to sales generation, your online booking system must be able to integrate with these platforms, too. If you have a “book now” button on a social media site, you can easily ensure that the booking is transferred over into your online booking system for ease and convenience of scheduling your team’s appointments.

6. A visual calendar

It’s also worth having an online booking system that offers an at-a-glance view of your daily, weekly and monthly appointments. When you can quickly and easily see which team member is allocated to which client, you can also see how to optimise team allocation and the allocation of resources.

7. Make sure it’s cloud-based

When all the information is available on the cloud, it means that updates happen in real-time and are available for everyone to see, even if they’re not at the office to take a look at their schedules and new appointments. This is an excellent way to save your team a lot of extra time and to save your business more resources.

8. Invoicing

Your online booking system should be able to generate instant invoices once a payment has been made and should feature all the essential details such as the invoice number, the tax or VAT rate applicable and a clear breakdown of products.

9. Issues reports and helps with analysis

With a click of a button, you should be able to generate reports on the performance of your business. This includes details such as payment status, revenue, best-selling services, number of bookings, etc.

10. Generates vouchers and promo codes

Whether you offer gift vouchers as part of your service business or you are running a sale with promo codes, your online booking system should be able to generate these codes immediately and they should be well-aligned with your system for ease and efficiency.

Advanced features to consider

Now that you’ve covered the basics of what an online booking system should offer, it’s also important to consider the advanced features you should be aware of. Here’s a short list that you should keep in mind.

  • SMS and email automation: every time you receive a booking, your customer should receive an SMS or an email (or both) indicating that their booking is confirmed and when they can expect to receive the service. Similarly, your customers should be able to reschedule their appointments with ease and all this should be confirmed with emails or SMSes that are automatically generated.
  • Language and currency settings: this may not be applicable to all businesses but if you’re planning to take your business abroad, you should cater to your local clientele’s language and currency preferences by ensuring that the language and currency fields are dynamic.
  • Integration with third-party software: examples of this include an online booking system with a payment that is related to a third party. Whether you’re considering taking payments by PayPal, bank transfer, credit cards or another option – integration with payment providers is critical to ensure you don’t lose out on revenue but rather earn more of it. 
  • An option for recurring appointments: instead of having your regular and loyal customers book your service each and every time, consider helping to ease their journey and offering them a recurring service option. This will need to be linked to your invoicing and email automation system alongside your third-party integration with a payment processor.
  • Online support: whether for your own business or for your customers, your online booking system should be able to link either party to the right levels of support in the event that something goes wrong.

Customisation options

The advanced features of your online booking system are not the only ones you can choose from. In fact, you can often ask your service provider to offer you customised options that include:

  • Integration with your CRM system
  • Inventory and resource management 
  • Helping you with your digital marketing efforts
  • Connecting with your supply chain and distribution partners

ServiceOS: Features and customisation options

With so many options to consider, you might be wondering where you can find an online booking system that offers both essential and advanced features as well as customisable options that can help take your business far. The answer is easy – ServiceOS. 

The platform enables you to accept online bookings in real time 24/7 while your customers can have profiles to self-manage their appointments. The software also enables you to schedule bookings and team members on the go. And another nifty feature is the ability to automate SMS and email reminders. 

But that’s far from all! You’ll be able to customise your offers and automate your invoicing. There is also the ability to offer services and pricing without the need to take any calls. In addition to all this, you’ll be able to cross- and up-sell other services to make the most out of each booking. 

Other attractive features include: vouchers, promotions, discounts; loyalty and membership subscription; client history and archives; follow-ups on abandoned orders; special offers and targeted marketing campaigns; collect feedback; track your team’s location through an app; allocate jobs to the nearest available team member; and help improve customer service by letting them know when to expect you. 

All this starts from as little as £69 per month, with fully customisable options available to suit your service business needs.

Concluding remarks

The purpose of your online booking system is to ultimately work in your favour. The software should be your partner for streamlining business processes and operations. And also, to help ensure that your business takes off and thrives.

With ServiceOS, your service business can now truly grow to its full potential as you scale to new locations, manage your team more effectively and offer an exceptional customer experience.

None of these aspects would be possible without a faithful online booking system such as ServiceOS that will help take your business to the next level.

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