If you’re looking for ways to impress current and future customers, it’s all about that first impression! Use the online booking tips in this article to create an experience that leads to more party bookings and more revenue.
After all, conversions equal more revenue.
More revenue equals the opportunity to continue to grow and improve your business while also improving your parties and the guest experience.
The booking process can be compared to a well executed waltz.
As you lead your potential customers through each step of the process, you have the potential to create a smooth, seamless experience for them. Step by step, add-on and up-sell, your guest won’t have to guess what the next step is in the booking process. Your smooth process will guide them to the end with ease!
So, don’t make potential guests work for it! No one wants to have to click around a website to find what they’re looking for. Having clear and easy to locate calls-to-action (or booking link) will help make online booking easy for potential guests.
On the flip side, if a guest has to dig deep into your website to find what you’re looking for, they will not be impressed. It will feel like an unchoreographed mess! You don’t want to miss a beat, so review the 4 online booking tips below to ensure a smooth booking experience.
Theming is important. What if you only have a reservation form that looks like a blank piece of paper or a fill-in-the-blank form? Will that show your guest how much fun your space is or how their birthday child will have fun at your space?
Unfortunately it won’t, and you will likely lose many potential customers who simply click away and look elsewhere. Studies continue to show that buyers are more likely to book events when there is an easy and clear way to do so.
According to the online booking studies that we perform each year, the number of parties booked online versus booked over the phone continues to increase year over year.
Remember, the goal of your online booking process is to turn your “lookie-Lous” (as I like to call them) into booked events.
Having a beautifully themed booking site that matches your website will turn those unsure prospects into converted bookings! In order to achieve that goal, you must translate all of the excitement that your facility offers into a way that people will be inspired to book.
Matching images, font style, and colors are a few easy ways to custom build the look of your online booking module.
Does your online booking currently mirror your website? If it doesn’t, your customer might feel like they just left your site completely. Make sure the colors on the booking page match your brand and identity. Additionally, tour images should have a similar look and feel through every page of the process.
What you are aiming for should be a cohesive look from the “book now” button on your website to the booking app. Your guest will feel like they are more than just a transaction. They’ll feel like they’re meant to join in the fun at your facility!
Clear calls-to-action like the “book now,” “choose this package,” or “continue” buttons should all help to steer the conversion into revenue and a booked party!
Do your package offerings have pricing that is explained clearly and thoroughly? There might be a per person cost or a flat fee per package.
Do you have an extra guest fee?
These are important things to consider when your customer is looking to book their event online. If you have a minimum or maximum capacity for each guest, be clear about it so your guest does not get frustrated and give up.
One of the most important online booking tips is to not jam a ton of info that your guest might not catch into one area. If you have too many things offered in a single package your guest will end up confused. This is a huge turn-off and could lead to them clicking away from your site.
Remember, cost equals value. Rather than packing too much information into one area, consider what belongs and what could be a potential add-on later (but more on that later!).
Your offerings and packages are also a great place to include photos of your party rooms and allow your guests to imagine what their party would look like at your facility. Mothers today are more interested in cleanliness and the experience for their children than anything else! Allow your photos to tell a story about what their event will look like and potentially include.
In that same vein, don’t forget to share lots of photos of your party rooms, packages, and party variations on your social media accounts!
One last note: it’s important to never hide your package descriptions and most importantly, pricing.
If your guest is booking and they get to your deposit page and find that the price is out of their budget, you’ve just lost a reservation. Having an abandoned cart shows a clear frustration in the process and that something was misunderstood about your offerings.
After choosing the best package that best fits your guests party plans, you will again take the lead in the online booking dance and offer add-ons.
When it comes to online booking tips, shifting your focus to add-ons is a huge opportunity to increase your potential revenue.
Start by ensuring that you have clear, professional pictures and a description for each and every item that you allow to be added to the order. These images will help you up-sell your packages with additional items that your guest might not have even known that you offer--like birthday candles!
You can offer specialty trays for adults that are accompanying the kids. This will go a long way with parents who are watching their kiddos devour the slice of pizza that came with their party.
What about rotating out items from your redemption store like princess tiaras, goody bags, more game tokens or arcade cards, and balloons?
These add-on options will allow the guest to increase the bottom line of their events, while up-selling themselves.
Small things can go a long way when you’re looking to offer more of your facility into the offerings. Additionally, adding themed items with your logo like water bottles, t-shirts, or take-home toys, can help you earn extra revenue while continuing to promote your business later!
Transparency is important. Make sure you add your policies and procedures for guests to the online booking process.
These guidelines should be clear and concise. Your explanations should detail precise policies for all event bookings and anything specific that your guests need to know.
If you have a policy about arrival times prior to an event, or your approach to piñatas or the use of confetti, be clear and straightforward about it.
If you allow ice cream cake: great! Let them know you will take the steps necessary to make sure it will be in the refrigerator and not the freezer so it will be perfect for slicing when the time comes.
Small things might go unnoticed if you don't share. So consider all aspects of the process!
You’ll also want to list any expectations you have for guest conduct or behavior in your policies. If your guests can see your policies, it might help with your conversions and eliminate uncertainty. If they know the details, you will not have confusion if something is to happen.
Lastly, follow up. Just because an event was booked online and no staff was needed to reserve, doesn’t mean you should skip an opportunity to provide a personal touch!
You should always call and confirm any party booked online. Your guest will be elated to know that their booking was received, that you’re prepared for them, and that you are looking forward to their arrival. Plus, this is one more opportunity to offer any up-sell items that they might’ve missed, skipped, or not considered.
Online booking is an opportunity to enhance your guest experience and allow events to be booked with ease.
Remember, it should be that step-by-step dance flow from your website all the way through your deposit page.
With all of these suggestions added to your online booking experience, you see more parties booked, with higher revenue on each event.