The new technologies have brought us quite a lot of changes, haven’t they? The era of pen and paper is over; the time of the internet has come and even the simplest day-to-day tasks are now happening online.
The best thing we can do if we want to succeed in today’s competitive market is to simply take advantage of all the new technologies – because if we don’t, our competitors surely will.
One of the new trends we have to keep up with is using online booking systems, especially if we own an appointment-based business. We could also build an appointment website from scratch but that would take more of our time and resources.
On the other hand, good online appointment systems are mostly relatively cheap and they will definitely get the work done. It all boils down to choosing the right one. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at 5 things that make a good online booking system.
1. A Good System is Mobile-Friendly
This is old news, actually. With the constantly growing usage of mobile phones and tablets, every successful website, app etc. has to be mobile friendly. Why? Well, just put yourself in your clients’ shoes.
If you wanted to make an appointment online, you’d do it to save yourself some time. There is also a good chance you would do it on go. You could remember you need to schedule an appointment while crossing the street and you would want to book it immediately before you forget about it.
A good online appointment system is mobile-friendly and allows your clients to schedule their appointments at any given moment from any device they have at hand.
2. A Good System is Easy to Use
A good booking system is quick and intuitive. Even people who aren’t overly familiar with technology have to be able to easily figure out how the software is working. No one wants to spend hours learning how to use an app just to make an appointment.
3. A Good System Manages Appointments
Scheduling an appointment is important but it is the automated appointment managing that makes all the difference between an average booking system and a truly great one.
While making an appointment is the first step in the process, you want your booking software to also send reminders, confirmations, and cancelation alerts.
With all these features, there will be no need for you to hire a person charged with these tasks. Also, the number of clients who forget to show up or to cancel their appointments will also be minimized.
4. A Good System is Customizable
Customization options are important not only to make your booking system look nice but also to make it recognizable as a part of your own brand. Incorporating your brand’s usual design, including the colors, fonts, logo etc. is always a smart thing to do. Not only it strengthens your brand, but it also makes you stand out from the competition. Additionally, it is important to be able to configure custom fields per each booking. For example, if you need to collect additional information about your customers, such as ID numbers, information about allergies, etc.
5. A Good System Supports Multiple Payment Methods
Whenever you are counting on any kind of online payment transaction to happen on your site, you have to make the process as smooth as possible.
Once a person schedules an appointment via your online booking system, they will have to pay for it (whether it is a deposit payment or the full one). However, if they have to jump through hoops to figure out how to actually send you the money, it is pretty safe to say a lot of them will just give up.
Have a safe and reliable payment method is great – but having a variety of them is even better. Give your clients a chance to choose the payment method that works best for them and you will see a lot more completed transactions on your site.
Amelia – The Best Automated Booking Specialist
Amelia is one of the best appointment systems out there that comes with all those 5 important characteristics we mentioned before. It is completely automated which means that once you install it, Amelia will continue to do all the heavy lifting for you.
That includes sending automated reminders, confirmations, and cancelation alerts while you will still be able to manage the appointments manually if you wanted to. Basically, you can check on every appointment, set up the calendar, add notes etc.
Amelia is a WordPress plugin and it integrates seamlessly with Google Calendar, WooCommerce, and WordPress itself.
Here are some of Amelia’s key features:
Search Interface for Bookings
Searching the available appointments, services, time, employees etc. has never been easier thanks to various filter criteria you can use.
Step-by-step Booking Wizard
You can choose any parameter of your choice to set up an appointment; from the service to the employee.
Amelia keeps track of everything that has to do with your scheduled appointments, including the reports on all financial and conversion-related KPIs. Check the dashboard for the back-end demo.
Before Booking and Before Cancelation Settings
You can set the time before booking and before cancelation however you want.
Both the clients and the employees receive automated notifications to keep them up to date with the appointments and possible changes. From the active bookings and cancellations to the birthday greetings, Amelia makes sure you don’t forget a thing.
You can set up your calendar in dozens of different ways. Not only can you enter your working hours and days but you can also set schedules for each employee separately. The employees can synchronize their schedule with Google Calendar and manage their own availability.
Multiple Online Payment Methods
With Amelia, the clients will no longer have to waste time figuring out how to send out payments. Amelia integrates with PayPal and Stripe – the world’s most popular payment systems.
In addition to that, Amelia also integrates with WooCommerce which comes with its own set of practical benefits such as simple invoicing, VAT/tax management etc.
Make your brand even more recognizable by incorporating its design into your new booking system. Let Amelia represent your company’s style and customize it in a way that best agrees with your business.
Customizable fields for booking
The booking form in Amelia is completely customizable: you can configure any additional fields that you would like (text fields, select boxes, checkboxes or radio buttons), to collect from your customers and track detailed information through their requests. Custom fields allow tweaking the booking appointment process to match your business use case ideally.
Conclusion: Try Amelia – It is Worth It
In today’s highly competitive market, you need to take advantage of all the new trends and technologies that you possibly can. If you own an appointment-based business, having a good online booking system is a must!
There are 5 key elements that make a good WordPress booking plugin: customizable design, multiple payment methods, automated appointment management, easy-to-use interface, and mobile-friendly design.
Amelia comes with all of the above-mentioned characteristics and then some. You can find out more about this great booking system right here.
This article is sponsored by Amelia.