How will Online Booking Improve Service Businesses?
We can easily buy almost any product from anywhere in the world over the Internet, book holidays, hotel rooms and aeroplane tickets. However booking services is a bit more difficult as online booking systems are only now becoming a possibility for service businesses at a reasonable cost.
I was talking to a group of professionals a few weeks ago all of them booked their time with customers to deliver their service. They, also, all found it difficult to answer their phones while working with customers and all had some sort of website. I was interested in their opinions about online booking. Whenever I deliver a presentation about online booking the room tends to divide. There’s usually half sucking through their teeth saying “it’s not for my business” and the other half saying “brilliant, why didn’t I know about this”.
So I asked for a show of hands and found most of the room regularly buy products online and booked their last holiday over the Internet. Slightly fewer bought downloaded music and books. I find this interesting as most of the professionals regularly buy over the Internet, however, a smaller number believe their own customers want to do the same for their own service. An interesting mix of opinions.
Now we have very capable online booking systems available it will be interesting to see what effect they have on service businesses booking their time online and the competitive advantage they offer.