Booking problems are a chronic issue for many online businesses that accept global reservations. Endless rounds of phone or email tag, mixed-up timezones, mis-scheduled and missed appointments, and the time it takes to make each booking individually all make doing business harder than it should be. What's worse, problems like these can frustrate your clients so much that they take their business elsewhere.
Just buying different booking calendar software isn't the solution, though. Reservations management software that resides on your hard drive may not take long to set up, but it won't solve your problems either. To truly eliminate the majority of your frustrations with international bookings, an online system hosted by a third party will get you much better results.
Online Booking Means Happier Clients
Most importantly, an online booking calendar is more convenient for your client. When your prospective or current clients visit your website, they can look over your calendar to see what appointment times you have available. Times are shown in the viewers' own local timezones, so your clients won't have to worry about calculating the difference. When your clients find the appointment times that suit them, they can schedule themselves in without any help from you.
Calendars with an integrated payment system let your clients pre-pay for the appointment, too. As the appointment time approaches, the calendar's email system automatically sends reminders to your clients, so they'll be less likely to forget and miss their appointments. Long-term clients can access reports of their bookings and payment transactions through the calendar, which lets them easily keep track of their appointments with you.
This way your clients are happy because they can book themselves in without having to call or email first, and you save hours of time each month because you'll no longer have to input every booking into your appointment book. An automated booking calendar improves your efficiency in other ways, too. The automatic reminders feature, combined with pre-payment, means less time and money lost to no-shows.
The calendar system stores your clients' information in a searchable database, so you can quickly pull up any information you may need. No more flipping through a paper appointment book or searching through a spreadsheet just to find one client's phone number. A calendar with an integrated Skype "click to call" option lets you contact your clients directly through the calendar, meaning less time wasted searching through your Skype contacts to find the client you want to talk with.
How to You Can Get Started
Using a third-party provider lets you get your new booking calendar online in 10 minutes or less. It's just a matter of registering for an account and entering some basic data. From there, you can set your schedule, adjust time duration of your bookings, and block out your non-working days. If you have the same schedule each week, a few clicks lets you set that schedule for months ahead. You'll have the option of customizing the calendar with your company's logo, but that's not essential for getting started.
If you're tired of scheduling in each client individually, calculating timezone differences, and reminding your clients of their appointments, let your booking calendar do take care of it for you. By taking a few minutes to set up a online appointment calendar, you'll be saving yourself time and keeping your clients happy.