What is an online class booking system and why do you need one?
Remember the bad old days of booking something over the phone? You could easily spend an afternoon on hold if the class you wanted to book was popular.
The entire customer journey takes place online now. People use the web to read reviews, compare prices, watch videos, and check social media numbers.
It only makes sense that the last stage—the booking—should happen online as well. If you don’t already have a system in place, this article is for you.
Read on to find out:
- How it all works
- What kind of businesses use them
- What the benefits are
- How much it will cost you
- Which features to look out for
Without further ado, let’s have a look at class booking systems and why they’re awesome.
How does an online class booking system work?
A class booking system allows your potential students to book a class. Yes, simple as that.
But a good class booking system does much more than that.
More advanced systems will also allow people to book a class from their phone or via social media. They also help them reschedule or cancel their booking if anything changes.
The typical class booking system is an extension of your website and doesn’t require the customer to install anything.
Most of them can also accept the most popular digital methods of payment, including payment cards, PayPal, and Google Pay.
Who needs a class booking system?
If you offer a class, the answer is “you”.
Here are some of the businesses that’ll typically employ a class booking system:
- Cookery classes
- Yoga teachers
- Art schools
- Training providers
- Event planners
Class booking systems are particularly good for SMEs or sole traders who are low on human resources.
Still not sold? Then let’s take a look at some of the benefits.
Why should you get a class booking system?
As with most other things that have gone digital, it’s now both cheaper and more efficient to book a class.
The three main advantages of a class booking system are as follows:
Your booking system is available 24/7 so your students can book a class anytime they want. Say goodbye to full inboxes and games of phone tag with your customers.
Your students can pay in advance for their class directly on the system. That way you won’t miss out if they’re unable to show up for the class with cash in hand.
Data and analytics
A class booking system will give you all kinds of valuable insights. Like what your most popular time slots are and when people typically make a booking.
How much does a class booking system cost?
Some providers will require you to pay a subscription fee to use their service. These systems can range from £50–100 in monthly costs and setup fees.
Others will offer the service for free but take a cut from the sales you make. (At Billetto, we think that’s the best solution. No win, no fee.)
The solution that will work best for you largely depends on your requirements as a business. Your budget, availability, online presence, and staff size will all play a part.
What features should you look out for?
There are quite a few systems on offer. It can be easy to get lost in the jungle.
The purpose of a class booking system is to make your life easier, so have a think about what you need.
Here are what we think are the must-have features for a good class booking system:
You’ll want to keep things simple, especially considering that people might want to book on their phone. Big, complex menus and content-trees are a no-no.
A simple class booking system is no good unless it’s actually optimised for all devices. Make sure the system you get works flawlessly on mobile phones as well as desktop computers.
A calendar where people can see which classes have free slots is an important feature. It’ll help prevent double-bookings and disappointment.
Images and videos
It’s always good to include some relevant visuals of your class in action. That way people can see what they’re getting before they make a booking.
A payment gateway is perhaps the most important part of your system (at least for you). It’ll allow people to pay for the class as soon as they make a booking.
Cancellation and refund terms
Make sure to include your terms for cancellations, rescheduling, and refunds. Customers will want to know if there are any fees or time-frames involved.
You might not be ready to answer emails at midnight, so make sure your system can do it for you. A simple automatic reply will let people know you’ll get back to them ASAP.
It’s handy if people visiting your website can create their own user profile. Not only will it be easier for repeat customers, but you’ll also get some valuable insights about them.
If you can find a class booking system with extra bells and whistles, then go for it. Some will have social media integrations and other handy features.
A class booking system will make life easier for both you and your students. It’ll enable them to book a class after business hours.
At the same time, you’ll save time and money on handling calls and emails. If you’re a small business, that’s incredibly valuable.
Do shop around for different systems and read some reviews before making a decision. It can pay off to look at what other people think.
Finally, you’ll want to stay up to date with the latest developments in class booking systems. They are constantly being reinvented, and you should take advantage of the latest innovations.
Just make sure the system you choose has the following features:
- Easy navigation
- Mobile-friendly design
- Availability calendar
- Payment gateway
Good luck, and drop us a comment below if you have first-hand experience!