What is an Online Booking System?
Before you dive into creating an Online Booking System, let’s start with the basics.
An Online Reservation System is a software that enables people to self-schedule appointments through your website or another channel (i.e. Reserve with Google).
In the digital age, having your own Scheduling Website gets rid of the need for guests or customers to manually book appointments via phone or email.
What does an online booking page look like?
An Online Reservation System should look something like this:
If executed properly, a scheduling website page will aesthetically align with the look and feel of your website. Many Appointment Scheduling Platforms offer full brand customization – although it’s important to check as not all do. The last thing you want is a rudimentary booking page that stands out for all the wrong reasons.
How to Create a Booking Website
Once you’ve found the right Scheduling System for your business, there are seven simple but essential steps you’ll need to follow to kick things off:
1. Enter your business details
Accessibility is essential when it comes to driving more traffic to your stores. As such, it’s important that you input all your venue details, including the name of each store, contact details, social media profile links and–above all–a clear address.
Double check your details to make sure everything is correct. If you’re advertising bookings at a specific store location, you don’t want to be sharing out the wrong address.
2. Set up availability and services
Next you’ll want to add your opening hours and set availability patterns across your stores. Don’t forget to take into account necessary breaks, such as cleaning resets, lunch breaks and buffer times between service (if necessary).
You should also select which services and products you want customers to be able to reserve appointments for. It’s recommendable to share prices, service times and even basic descriptions to help guide customers to the right services.
Some Scheduling Systems, like Qudini, even enable you to fully choreograph the customer booking journey. For instance, you can decide whether customers select a store first or a product or service.
3. Customize your booking widget
Customizing your scheduling page isn’t just about ensuring brand consistency across your website–as important as that may be.
It’s also about helping your brand to stand out from the competition by making your scheduling page as engaging as possible. We recommend adding your brand logo and some exciting high-res imagery to help draw in customers.
4. Add booking reminders and confirmation messages
To prevent no shows, it’s crucial that you set up booking confirmation messages and reminders for SMS and email.
In the days leading up to their booking, your customers will receive regular booking reminders that ensure they don’t forget about their appointment. Should they need to cancel or reschedule, your customers can seamlessly do so from these messages.
5. Set up integrations
If you have a large tech stack, it’s worth syncing your Scheduling Software with your various systems.
This way, you’ll be able to maximize how much information you’re collecting and sharing between systems while better managing your teams.
6. Test your booking page works
Before pushing your new booking widget live, we can’t recommend enough that you test whether your booking page is working properly.
Your software provider will do this as well, although it’s worth testing from a number of different devices, if only for peace of mind.
Appointment Scheduling Checklist
Before you start to promote your booking page to customers, make sure you’ve asked yourself the following questions:
- Can you make a booking when you visit your appointment page?
- Are appointments coming through to your calendars?
- Are reminders and confirmation messages displaying correctly?
- Is it possible to reschedule or cancel bookings?
- For virtual appointments, are video meeting links appearing?
7. Promote your website
Finally, it’s time for your marketing team to promote your new appointment pages to customers.
Consider setting up email campaigns, putting adverts on your website and social media profiles and using in-store signage to get word out about your new services.
The more you promote your appointment services, the greater the traffic you’ll see across your online and brick-and-mortar stores.
How to make a free scheduler on a website
Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to build a booking website for free. However, the good news is that the opportunity for ROI is high. Many businesses make their money back within the first few months of deploying an Appointment Software as they experience higher traffic.
How much does a booking website cost?
It’s difficult to identify an average booking website cost because there are so many different providers out there.
You can generally pay around $30 per month for a basic Personal Scheduling App to manage your private calendar. However, this type of Scheduling App doesn’t enable the mass kind of appointment booking that large brands require.
Retail and banking leaders typically pay for high-grade Enterprise Appointment Software Systems per store per month. Typically, enterprise-centric Scheduling Software providers share their rates on request on a case by case basis.
Learn more about Qudini’s Award-Winning Appointment Software
For more information about Qudini’s Appointment Booking System, visit our appointment solution page or get in touch using the form below.