An online booking system brings a lot of benefits to a number of local businesses, such as travel, hotels, lodges, spas, medical services, salons, photo studios, schools, and even workshops. A good online booking system for local business in New Zealand will be a big help to both you and your clients – saving you a lot of time and hassle transactions.
However, finding the appropriate online booking system that offers the functionalities your business needs at the right price could be challenging. So here’s a checklist of points you should consider in appropriating your own online booking system.
Identify your target users
First, you need to identify your online booking system’s primary users. Is it your employees to schedule client appointments? Or would the clients themselves use it thru your website?
Map out the system you want
Plan out the basic idea or picture of your online booking system – this includes charting out the basic navigation, menus, and options your system will offer to the users. You can draw this out in a piece of paper first, which will then serve as your basic guide.
Choose the right kind of booking system in the market for your local business
You can then choose the right booking system for your business from what the market currently offers, which are:
Pre-made online booking system
These are ready-to-use online booking systems that you can use right away and are maintained by the companies who made it. The downsides with such booking systems are that the features and functionalities might not be a right fit for your business, or you might have certain requirements that the system does not offer – and you only discover this through trial and error. Plus, you might have to work with a support team who might be in a different time zone in case of any problems.
Fully-customised online booking system
These are online booking systems that are built from the ground up with your requirements in mind – so you get all the functionalities and features that you need. However, this kind of booking system is also considered the most expensive as it is fully customised for your needs, and would also involve additional employee costs as you would need someone to maintain the system for you.
Combination online booking system
These are online booking systems that are a combination of the above-mentioned: these are pre-made but can also be tweaked or customised to cater to each business’ needs. This kind of online booking system is typically built locally, so its functionalities and features are also adapted to the locality. The price is not as expensive as a fully customised system, and since it is local-based, technical support would most probably be in the same time zone as yours. However, a downside of this kind would be that you have to pay the company to maintain the system.
Online Payment System
Ensure that the online booking system’s payment options are the right fit for your business and customers. Today, businesses could offer a number of payment options to their customers, such as the use of different credit cards or online options such as Paypal, make sure that your booking system reflects the payment options your business offers. Also consider which payment options are easily accessible for your clients.
Technical support availability
Online booking system downtimes could result to loss of business and loss of income. Minimise such downtimes by ensuring that a dedicated technical support team is always available whenever you need them. Also consider time zone differences, as it could affect turnarounds.
Pick the right online booking system servers and CMS for you
This could either be PHP or Windows – the main differences between the two are pricing, support availability and community.
Contact your freelance WordPress developer. They can provide you a valuable information before choosing your online booking system for your local business.