Over the last few years, adding online party bookings to your birthday party center software has gone from being an exciting high-tech luxury to a business necessity. You've been considering entering this new world for a while, but there are too many doubts and uncertainties.
We have heard a lot of those questions before, so let's dispel some common myths about online party reservations.
Myth 1: My customers aren't interested in booking parties in the middle of the night.
Being able to offer 24/7 party booking is one of the big benefits of going online, so it stings a little when we hear people say this. We do understand the concern, though, so we ran some numbers. We talked to one of our biggest customers and determined that 21% of parties booked online are booked between 9 PM and 10 AM. Without the ability to book during those late-night hours, you stand to lose a lot of revenue. And as a business owner, you'll love making money while you sleep.
Myth 2: I'll still have to pay someone to book parties on the phone all day every day.
It's true: we would never advise you to totally forget about booking parties on the phone. You certainly still have customers that will want to talk to a real person and you can't ignore them. What you can do, however, is cut back the hours that you man that phone. Instead of 10 AM to 8 PM during the week, you could cut back to 4 PM to 8 PM. If your customers want to call, they still have that opportunity and you can save a small fortune on labor costs.
Myth 3: Online bookings are too confusing for my customers to use.
Sure, some party booking sites can be hard to use. But others are very intuitive and user-friendly. This problem was mentioned as one of the 5 Things To Look For In Online Party Booking Software. When you are shopping around for software, ask for a current customer's web site and see if you can easily navigate the page. Try booking a party yourself and test as much of the site as you can. An effective web store will make it easy to find what you are looking for and it will always be clear how to go through the booking process. The bottom line is that if it is difficult or confusing for you to use, it will be difficult for your customers, too.
Myth 4: Adjusting prices and schedules will mean extra headaches for me.
Just like Myth 3, this is a case of buyer beware. Depending on which system you choose, changing prices and times or adding new packages might be a huge pain. To add insult to injury, if your local birthday bookings software system and your online booking software aren't integrated, you'll have to go through the process twice. During the purchasing process, make sure that changes will be easy to make and preferably they will only have to be made in one place.
Myth 5: I can't afford the costs of online birthday reservations.
When looking at the cost of the software, you have to consider several things. First, as was mentioned in Myth 1, offering online bookings will let you reach customers that you wouldn't have been able to before. This revenue is critical to growing your business. Second, cutting back on the hours that you have to offer phone bookings will drastically cut your labor expenses. Finally, offering online birthday reservations will give you access to an additional revenue source: online fees. In the blog post Selling Tickets Online? Should You Charge a Fee for the Transaction? we discuss whether or not it is acceptable it is to charge your customers a convenience fee. Ultimately, these fees are becoming the norm. They are a great way to cover the costs of operating an online web store and customers are willing to pay for the convenience.
Ultimately, it's great that online party booking software helps to increase your revenues and cut costs, but the most important thing is that it improves your customer's experience. If you'd like to learn more about CenterEdge Software and our online party booking software, call (336) 598-5934 or click below to schedule a demo today.