5 Key Features For An Online Booking System

From our experience, the needs of an online booking system are far more fitting when looked at as an online management system – the modern day theme park or trampoline park needs far more than just booking software.

For example, the ideal system needs to be able to allow for the whole process of the customer experience at your family entertainment centre – from the moment they book their tickets, the check-in process, the food and drink they purchase once at your venue and the automated marketing once they leave your venue. 

Then from your perspective, the online booking system needs to allow you to update your offerings, allow you to sell food, drink and merchandise too, integrate into your CRM system and offer detailed reporting – oh, and this needs to be easy to use for everyone involved.

There are hundreds of product offerings out there, but what are the key features you need to be looking at from your booking software?

Easy to use

Number one in our opinion is that the booking system needs to be easy to use for both an employee and an end user (the customer). Let’s think about the wide range of people that visit trampoline parks or theme parks – if a grandmother wants to take the grandchildren out for the day, she’s going to need a booking system that couldn’t be more simple for her to use. 

The last thing you, as a trampoline park or amusement park owner, want is a system that gives your team and customers headaches.

On the flip side, the booking software needs to be simple to use for your employees – from the front of house staff, to the main administrator of the software from an IT perspective. 

Flexibility

Next up on our key features of an online booking system is that it has to be flexible. From our own experience of owning multiple trampoline parks, we know that what you might need from a booking system on day one is more than likely to grow over the first 12 months – so you ideally want to use software that gives you a huge range of flexibility right out of the box, without the need to pay for future updates or features.

For example, if you’re looking to begin offering food and drink at your venue then you’ll need to set that up on your booking system and EPOS so that it can easily be purchased by your customers. Or, if you’re an amusement park looking to introduce a new feature then you might want to add the product as an additional paid for offering on your booking system. 

In short, having an online booking system which is flexible will allow it to scale with your business, not against it.

A reporting of a booking system analytics

Reporting

Whilst it’s all well and good getting customers through the door of your venue, that’s only the first part of the challenge of growing your business. We know from our experience of using a trampoline park booking system that you can never have enough data, which is why reporting is so key to your business.

Key things our customers like to monitor are revenue and profit, monthly KPIs, peak hours, the key locations of your customer base, average group size, revisitation rate and time spent within the park.

Rather than having multiple systems, we’d recommend looking for a booking system which can manage the operational side of your park, (hence why we used the term management software earlier!) – this includes the food, drink and merchandise sales and the stock management report of this inventory, meaning you won’t need different systems for reporting.

Ideally, you’ll want to be able to set up automated reporting that will give you all of this data at regular intervals – saving you, or staff, from manually having to pull reports off.

Integration

When it comes to installing a booking system, the last thing you want to do is rip out any existing hardware or any other aspects of your ecosystem unnecessarily – well, unless you’re sick of it – as it just adds to your costs.

When surveying the marketplace, we’d recommend looking for booking software which is hardware agnostic – which means all you really need is a browser and an internet connection!

Having a solution that works this way means you can pretty much roll out your solution in an existing environment, giving you the best online booking system for your circumstances.

Marketing

Ok, so you’ve got your visitors through the door but now comes the harder bit – getting them back in the door. We know from previous customer research that around 81% of customers only visit a trampoline park once a year, so marketing to bring these people back, and increasing your revisition rate, is essential to the long term profitability of your trampoline park or theme park.

What we recommend is setting up automated marketing campaigns that can reach your customers at key points with you having to do as little of the work as possible. For example, here are a couple of scenarios we’ve seen from customers.

A man viewing a marketing text on his mobile phone
Marketing isn’t something you’d typically associate with a booking system, but in our opinion it’s something that is an absolute essential to the software.

Fantastic support

We know we said five, but we couldn’t not include support as a bonus feature. Unfortunately, things can go wrong when using software and it is entirely possible you will get stuck trying to configure things at some point if you’re trying to maximise the potential of your booking software.

This is why having a provider who offers brilliant support is essential – having the ability to pick up the phone or refer to a video library is invaluable in our experience, and helps you feel reassured as a customer that your booking system provider is there to support you for the long haul – not just quick profit. 

Hopefully this post has helped you have a clearer understanding of what you need to look for from your next online booking system and highlighted just how much is capable from the software.

If we can be of any help or answer any questions you may have, just get in touch using the form below – you can also take a look at our booking software here.

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