Not just another ritzy upgrade, online booking systems are a clear trend in North American business. On track to be worth $546.31 million by 2026, this market isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Health and wellness has the leading market share of online booking capabilities, with 25% of services engaged. Fitness providers and salons are close behind.
With crowded markets, endless consumer options and e-commerce booming, if you can’t beat ‘em, you certainly have to join ‘em. Most businesses that refuse to embrace an online presence are going to rapidly find themselves irrelevant. According to a survey by GetApp, online booking was the preferred method for nearly 70% of respondents. Now is the time to up your customer interest, and if you fall into a category of service that thrives on online bookings, let’s get involved.
The advantages of a booking system aren’t just bringing your interface into the 21st century, but passively targeting the competition. Over 14 years, retail clinics grew 500%, meaning that competition abounds. If your customer is unhappy, all it takes is a quick Google and they have instant access to a different business. Providers must distinguish themselves.
How is this done? By tapping into the value most important to those who determine your business’ worth; your consumers. Across the board, this value is convenience. This is particularly important in the healthcare industries. Studies indicate that patients will elect for ease of access over quality of care AND insurance.
24 hour access means ease. In two separate studies, 35% of bookings were made outside of business hours. This is so illustrative of the workforce’s need for flexibility in increasingly busy lives. According to Kyruus’ 2020 Patient Access Journey Report, 50% of millennials and Gen Xers would switch to a health care provider with virtual access. In addition, “80% of patients say they select providers based on convenience factors alone.”
What does this mean? Capitalize on an online booking system to give your clients the convenience they desire, and make yourself attractive to prospects.
Agile Marketing Strategy
Securing one of the world’s hottest demographics is pretty key. 90% of millennials book medical appointments through the web or mobile devices. Data and analytics feedback means that you can hone your marketing strategy per targets you aren’t hitting, or ramp up an appreciation for those that are. Make real-time evolutionary decisions and up your email subscriber list with the help of responsive metrics.
“If you want to improve patient relationships, build sustainable models to support frontline staff and free up their time.” – Joe Ness, COO of OHSU Healthcare.
The average administrator spends at least 10 hours of their work week fielding calls and emails relative to bookings. With higher-than-level workloads to contend with, imagine what this freed-up manpower could accomplish. In client engagement, this frees up time to have brief conversations and demonstrate a crucial aspect of business rep; empathy.
Online bookings speak to a few financial benefits. One is ease of access, meaning that new customers in your area who didn’t even know you were there don’t have to navigate outdated websites to find a contact number. In-advance payment means fulfilment of your no-show fee ahead of time. You can also mitigate double bookings; the online-booked portion is then protected from human error.
Thanks to reminder emails, clients who may otherwise forget about their appointments are given an extra nudge. The knock on effects can be huge. If you’re a company that doesn’t take payments in advance, check out this statistic: a 5% reduction in no-shows increases revenue by $51,769 annually.
Lastly, online bookings services don’t have to be crazy expensive. HeyMate! is a great option with no monthly fees and a smaller percentage of transactions fees than Square. It also is a free comprehensive suite of other services like inventory, staff management, third-party payroll integration, and optional add-ons for new technology. Otherwise, Simply Book has a free option (albeit only up to 50 bookings per month) for a basic bookings system, or a plans starting at $10/month.
These tiny expenditures can lead to big gains. One study described a 37% average increase in revenue for companies that adopted an online booking system model. You can also use a custom developer like Synic to create an online bookings system exclusively for your needs.
Preston Gee, VP of Strategic Marketing at CHRISTUS Health says very astutely, “We can’t use the cloak of complexity to hide things from consumers anymore.”
Integrating an online booking system doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. It’s the way of the industry, the way to increase ease of access, and save time and money for your business.