7 key features for a multi-venue booking system

What we’ve found through our history of providing booking and management solutions to both single venue businesses and multi-venue businesses is that there are some huge differences in what each set of customers need from a booking, commerce and management system, with the needs of multi-venue businesses requiring some additional features and ways of using a booking and management system.

Whether you’re looking for your businesses first integrated management solution, or have an existing one but are exploring the crowded marketplace of booking systems, the below are just a few of the key things we think you need to consider and will hopefully help you get a greater understanding and gauge of the industry offerings.


Reporting & Analytics

The value of data has never been more apparent to businesses than the present, and as a business with multiple venues you’ll want to make sure your booking and management system gives you every single detail you could want.

This means the high level stuff such as visitors per location, top selling food and drink items, and marketing campaign success, but also more less explored reporting metrics such as revisitation rate, which items sell best at which time, and which locations ‘upsell’ the best.

Building the most detailed reports can take time, which is why we always recommend our customers set their environment up with automated reporting, allowing your key reports to be run and sent to you as often as you would like them.

One final point, from an operational point of view there is great value in being able to drill down to specific locations as well as the overall business – so make sure any booking systems you’re considering offer this.


One login for every aspect of your business

We know how frustrating it can be to have logins to multiple systems to manage different aspects of your business, which is why we wanted BookNow Software to be so feature rich.

Outside of bookings, you can also manage things such as the following:

POS (F&B and Merchandise)
CRM
Marketing
Gift Cards
Memberships
Stock Management
First Aid
RFID

Building BookNow Software on Salesforce allows us to also integrate with 10,000 applications already on the AppExchange (from marketing solutions like MailChimp or Xero for accountancy) as well as having the ability integrate with any other software that has an API – effectively allowing you to manage key aspects of your business from one place, with one login.


Migration, onboarding, support

We’ve grouped these three together as they all work in tandem with each other. For businesses who have an existing solution in place, you want the peace of mind that the migration will be seamless and have zero impact on your business, with the provider you’re moving to able to support this aspect of the move, taking the headache away from you.

Then when it comes to onboarding, you should expect thorough training and your customer success manager to ensure you are fully comfortable with the solution and you see the value in it, with the onboarding support you receive specific to your business ensuring you are more than comfortable with your solution at the point of handover.

Finally, support is key for all businesses, even more so those who have multiple locations as it can add a layer of complexity. From a support perspective, you want a team who will be able to help with any issues you may run into, but also train you on any areas of confusion to make you more self-sufficient, meaning your operations run more efficiently. We often find once our customers are comfortable with how Salesforce works they are able to become pioneers with our solution, and having a highly customised Salesforce environment dependent on their core needs, which we love to see as it shows how flexible and scalable our booking and management solution is.


Easy location rollout

For growing businesses who are looking to add more locations, one headache you don’t want is the stress of setting up the booking and management solution each time you add a new location.

What we have in place with our booking and management solution is the ability to make this seamless thanks to the capability to clone an existing environment, and then tweak this to fit the new location – meaning you can effectively have your new location’s system up and running within an hour.


Marketing

With the amount of data and information businesses have on their customers now greater than ever, marketing has never been more important to businesses – both at a local level and headquarter level.

Whilst Salesforce has its own built in marketing system, we know most larger businesses will have an external marketing solution they use (e.g. Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor or Active Campaign). Because BookNow Software is built on Salesforce, we’re able to integrate into pretty much any of these solutions, again allowing you to manage all aspects of your business from one place.

You can take a look at how Superbowl UK utilised BookNow Software’s marketing capabilities to great success here, or take a look at some marketing ideas for your business here.


Hardware Agnostic

With the way booking systems have evolved over time, we would strongly recommend whichever solution you pick for your business that you ensure it’s hardware agnostic. What we mean by this is that it’ll be able to adapt to your environment, regardless of what hardware you use, for example to use BookNow Software all you need is an internet connection and a device of your choice, making the solution easy to slot into your hardware ecosystem.

The last thing you want to do is overhaul all of your hardware just to work with your new software, as this quickly gets expensive!


Management

Finally, but by no means least, is the management capabilities you need for your business. What we mean by this is how many permissions you want to give to staff at each of your locations, and we often find this is specific to each business with there being no set rule of what’s right and what’s wrong.

We find some businesses are happy to give their locations tons of power to tailor their environment specific to their needs, where others like to keep each environment pretty much identical – it really comes down to your personal preference and business structure, but the important thing is that your have the option and power to do so with your booking and management system.

We hope this gives you a better idea of what you should be looking for from a booking and management system, and if you’d like to discuss more how our solution works and how it could benefit your business, leave a message on the form below.

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