Today's pet-care service customer wants to engage with you online, whether it's on social media, or in requesting services from you. Online booking, reservation and appointment management is critical for today's dog daycare, boarding kennel and grooming business. Just look at the millions of dollars being invested by off-site pet care services like Wag and you will recognize that you need online scheduling functions in order to compete successfully.
According to a 2016 consumer survey by Yodle, 61% of respondents expect online booking and/or think it sets the business apart from others.
This reflects with our experience. Gingr software users are seeing online bookings encompass 60-90% of their overall reservations and appointments!
If you have an embedded web-form like jotform or wufoo on your website, that's pretty good turn-of-the-century web technology, but out-dated for most pet care business' needs. These forms can send data to your email, but you then have to organize that data somewhere. This may include paying your staff to re-enter the data into your software, spreadsheet, or even back onto paper. Further, these are simply forms, not integrated software than can help you from data entry to point-of-sale transactions and pet-care specific functions.
Online Reservation and Appointment Software for Pet Care Businesses
Online booking software can cut out the extra data-entry, and enable your customers to engage with you more directly by entering their information directly into your software and requesting specific services, dates, times and add-ons based on your software's settings.
The benefits are numerous:
- Reduce staff time and administration expenses. Cut down on phone- and email-tag and redundant data entry.
- Improve customer service experience. Online booking is faster. Trying to make an appointment or reservation by phone or email can be frustrating to customers. In fact, 40% of online bookings happen after-hours according to one market study.
- Online booking reduces errors. Customers can enter data for you, ensuring you are getting all those names spelled correctly, and accurate pet feeding and medication information.
- Boost cash-flow. Speed up the booking and sales process, increase add on sales, and make deposit payments collection easy.
The average up-sell add-on service value of online reservations made in Gingr software is an extra $24 per reservation.
How does online booking work?
First, you set up and configure your software system. With Gingr, the process is simple:
1. Setup services and reservation-types, pricing, and other settings.
2. Upload your logo and business location information into the software.
4. Place "Register Here" and "Make a Reservation" links on your website and social-media pages to your software's customer-portal.
Once you are 'live', your customers can then self register, and log back in to make reservation- and appointment-requests, along with a host of other functions.
You will receive notifications when new customers register and when customers request services. From there, if your software is pet-care specific, you'll have a host of other functions to help you deliver the best pet-care possible.
What to ask about online booking software
All things not being equal, be sure to ask the following questions of any online reservation or appointment-setting software you are considering:
1. How is the user-interface branded? Many online reservation sites are branded around the software company, and your customer may lose that 'sense of place' with your business. Not Gingr. Your customer portal is branded around you, so your customers have a seamless experience with your business and brand.
2. How customizable are the forms? (Gingr has a lot of granularity in customizing forms, specifically so you can gather critical data about pets).
2. Is the software mobile-friendly?
Consumers are spending up to 5 hours per day on their mobile device, so the interface must be mobile friendly.
70% of all reservation-requests on Gingr are made on mobile devices.
3. Can I 'upsell' and schedule additional services? Remember that $24 add-on service average? That's cash in your bank.
4. Can I collect deposits and other payments? Gingr enables your customers to purchase packages and make deposit payments with credit cards.
5. What security and back-up systems do you employ? This is where 'free' and low-budget softwares come up short - on security and poor availability performance. If the software is down and unaccessible to your customers and your staff, it isn't helping you - it's costing you. Find out more about how Gingr delivers over 99.96% uptime to it's software.
6. What types of automation for confirmation and reminders does the software provide?
7. Can the customer manage their reservations online as well?
8. What additional functions can the customer do in the online portal?
9. How does the information gathered on the online booking system further support my daily pet-care operations?
Ready to learn more? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or self-register for a free demo and consultation here