These days, businesses and consumers expect to find whatever they need in a few clicks. This goes beyond trying to figure out what song is playing or shopping online.

Using online booking systems has become the go-to method for purchasing plane tickets and making hotel reservations. But booking online isn’t just for the travel industry. Many people love the convenience of buying concert tickets, making dinner reservations, or booking doctor appointments online.

The transition from off to online can always be a bit daunting. Especially when you are used to another system. But nothing is set in stone, and there’s always room for improvement. There are a lot of things to consider when automating your business and setting up an online booking system. In this article, we’ve narrowed down some of the key advantages and disadvantages of using an online booking system.

Pro: It’s easy for customers and staff

Online booking systems allow customers to easily access all the information and details needed to make their appointments or arrangements. Think about the way we used to make bookings: by finding contact information, calling a company with a free video conference call, and engaging in a drawn-out process to get results. That was a time constraint on both customers and staff.

Online booking systems get rid of the middleman and allow customers to find and interact with everything they need personally. With all the information at their fingertips, customers can make decisions at their convenience. Because of the ease, a survey of 200 american consumers found 69.8% preferred to make a booking online when this option was available.

Source: GetApp

Customers aren’t the only ones who benefit from online booking systems. Since the information is organized and managed by the online system, your staff will be able to keep track of all appointments and purchases. Missed bookings or errors in bookings are virtually a thing of the past.

There’s more to online booking systems than an improved, organized database. They also allow staff the opportunity to work on other parts of the business instead of staying on the phone for hours to help manage bookings.

Pro: Your business is always running

Accessibility is one of the internet’s greatest advantages. Customers can make bookings no matter their location, time zone, or device. They can be at work, waiting in line, or even on their morning commute.

Source: Criteo

Before online booking systems, customers would have to take time out of their day to video call or visit their local box office or travel agency. Online booking systems streamline the process into a pain-free, step-by-step booking experience, which they can do at any time.

Pro: Selling add-ons has never been easier

Booking through the phone isn’t always plain sailing. Salespeople are often encouraged to sell add-ons, which customers can find intrusive and off-putting. With online booking systems, these perks can be introduced to customers in a more friendly and inviting way at checkout.

By allowing customers to see each add-on and their benefits, customers can gain a better understanding of what’s on offer. This is something you see a lot of companies take advantage of and profit from.

Pro: Easy access means higher profits

Think about the last two points: 24/7 easy access and the ease of selling add-ons. These two benefits of online booking systems add up to one thing – a rise in profits.

Businesses that added online booking saw their sales rise by 44%. It’s not just big businesses that benefit. Small business owners also saw their revenues increase by an average of 37%.

Source: Housecall Pro

Pro: You’ll learn more about your customers

Even with the modernization of businesses, there is one constant: your customers. Any successful business has its customers to thank, and the only way to keep afloat is to make sure they stay satisfied.

Remote learning customer service is one way to go about it.

However, online booking systems allow you to keep track of how consumers decide to spend their money. It lets you know when they usually shop, how they shop, and what compels them as they go about their purchase.

Source: Zenoti

This information is vital if you want to come up with better ways to cater to your customers. By using customer data insights, you can keep ahead of trends in the market and ensure that your customers keep coming back for more. Ultimately, you’ll make smarter and better-informed business choices in the future.

Con: They require internet access

It’s easy to take the internet for granted, but some parts of the world lack reliable access. Equally, some customers may not have the resources to get online and make bookings.

That’s something your business can’t control, but you can mitigate it. Make sure you’re accessible on all fronts, on and offline, with the best free texting app to reach the maximum number of customers.

Con: Online booking systems are an expense

Most online booking systems come with a monthly fee. That’s standard for most online platforms. You need to think about what you are paying for: brand access, security measures for transactions, and customer insights are just a few of the perks.

While this comes at a price, remember the benefits. By choosing the right online booking system to work with, you are ensuring that your business is in good hands. That is why partnering with the right company is vital. Even with the monthly cost, you can be sure that your service provider will take care of your needs. The possible earnings surely outweigh the monthly subscription price.