The Rumours are True: We’re Launching a New Website

The Rumours are True: We’re Launching a New Website

We’re extremely excited about this development and can’t wait to officially go live within the coming months! Working closely with our web design partners Skylark Creative we’ve been able to create a professional website to match our powerful booking systems. We’re aiming to make the website far more user friendly for new and existing clients, as well as listening to our own advice and conforming to Google’s new mobile-friendly ranking factor. 

Improved User Experience

Launching a new website comes with the added intention of improving user experience. We want to ensure that when you land on www.bookinglive.com you find what you’re looking for quickly and easily.

We’ll be creating lots of interesting resources including videos and case studies to keep you updated, but we need your help. We’re looking for clients who’re interested in showcasing their work. This would involve images of your website and online booking system being posted online for the world to see! We’ll also be providing you with a platform to share your business story, to inspire other businesses. Email caitlin@bookinglive.com to find out more.

Live Chat

You may’ve already noticed but we’ve implemented a new Live Chat feature on our current website. This feature enables users to chat directly with the Booking Live team. It’s currently only intended for those who have general questions about Booking Live systems. Existing clients with specific questions regarding their own booking systems should refer to the Online Helpdesk or Forums. The Live Chat sessions are run by members of the team who aren’t involved in the technical or development side of Booking Live, so they’ll be unable to assist you with such queries. This feature will be carried over to our new website.

Get Social!

Our social media pages have also had an spruce up and they’re now updated regularly so you have instant access to all Booking Live news or developments, as well as insights in to the technology world. No matter what social platforms you’re involved in you’re bound to find accessible and interactive Booking Live content:

Updated User Manual

Although it won’t be going live at the same time as the website, we’re planning future updates such as a new User Manual. Client feedback has shown the existing User Manual needs updating to match system updates, so we’re working hard to improve this. Many of our clients have also found the technical terminology within the User Manual confusing. That’s why our Development and Marketing Teams have been working in collaboration to put the information together in an easy-to-read format. This should also reduce the number of tickets raised via our Online Helpdesk, allowing for even faster response times!

If there are any features you’d like to see on our new website, or you want to let us know how we could improve our services to you, please let us know via our online feedback form. You may even see your suggestions included!

If you’re looking to set up a website then get in touch. We provide web design solutions alongside expert booking system solutions so your booking system seamlessly integrates with your website. Our online booking systems also integrate with existing websites and we even have a Booking Live WordPress plugin which enables users to take bookings directly from their site.

Watch this space to find out more about our new website, or contact us today to find out more!

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Run your International Business with Booking Live’s Multiple Language and Currency Options

Run your International Business with Booking Live’s Multiple Language and Currency Options

Over the past few months we’ve noticed an increase in Booking Live clients who’re looking for multi-lingual booking system interfaces. It’s apparent to us that the need for internationally operative businesses is on the rise, which is why we’re prepared. Not only do we offer clients the choice of over 10 multi-lingual features, but we also provide various currency options.

Multiple Languages

With the choice of over 10 standard interface languages, our online booking systems can be used by clients and customers alike all over the world. As Booking Live comes with the option of cloud hosting no downloads are necessary, users simply need an internet connection to log-in to their system. Popular languages include:

  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Welsh

If you’re an existing client who’s looking to change your content display language, please refer to the User Manual. Can’y find the language you’re looking for? Simply contact us to find out how we can configure additional languages.

Multiple Currencies

It wouldn’t make sense to offer various language options with only a few currencies, which is why we offer both. In fact when it comes to currency options we have it all. From pounds to pesos, we guarantee to provide you with your display currency of choice. For a definitive list of currency options on offer get in touch.

Want to find out more about modifying languages and currencies? Check out our training videos. Our multiple language and currency options are available to all Booking Live users. Make sure you’re making the most of your internationally operative booking system today!

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Client Spotlight: Scuba Duba Dive – Booking Systems for Diving Courses

Client Spotlight: Scuba Duba Dive – Booking Systems for Diving Courses

Mungo from Scuba Duba Dive has been a Booking Live client for over a year now. His business specialises in diving training and holiday courses in various locations, from Malta to Thailand! Whether you’re a beginner or advanced diver, Scuba Duba Dive prides itself on being “run by divers, for divers”.

We’ve been looking to feature Mungo’s business for a while, so we caught up last week to find out more about how he uses booking systems for diving courses…

How Did you Manage Bookings Before Booking Live?

“I had a custom-made booking system before. It was really expensive and not as powerful as Booking Live. Although my original booking system was made for my business, it wasn’t nearly as customisable as Booking Live. Each time I wanted to update something I’d have to contact the system developer. This took up a lot of time and effort. Now I can make any changes I want.

I also like that Booking Live is driven by its clients as we all seem to want similar developments and changes, which can then be carried out on mass.”

Why Did you Choose Booking Live?

“My Scuba Duba Dive website is on its third version now, so I’ve had a lot of experience with websites and booking systems. I did a lot of research before deciding to stick with Booking Live. Initially I started with the Lite package to trial and get used to the system. I liked it the most out of the other systems, particularly because of the website and CMS integration. I plan to continue using Booking Live and have upgraded my package so I have access to even more features.”

How Has Booking Live Helped?

“Booking Live has helped speed up various admin tasks. For example, I’m now able to track payments for large groups who’ve booked on to a course all in one place. I’m also able to log in to my system via my mobile and tablet devices, it’s definitely compatible.

The SEO part of Booking Live is brilliant. Scuba Duba Dive is now far higher up on Google searches and we’re receiving much more website traffic.”

What Do you Think of Our Support?

“Support is pretty solid. I’ve seen quite a few of your other clients mention they often find the support side of Booking Live too technical. Although I can see where they’re coming from I feel it needs to be this technical, because it is a technical product and the issues are technical issues.”

What Do you Really Think of Booking Live?

“Booking Live has loads of great features. I love the ease of adding new things and the fact it can be used to input bookings which are made over the phone, as well as online. It’s more up-to-date than other systems out there and comes with great integrations such as WorldPay. This saved me a lot of time and meant I didn’t have to change much when setting up the system.

As well as being extremely powerful I think the admin system looks good. Although this isn’t important in terms of how the system runs, it’s important to me to have a system which looks nice. It’s very user friendly.”

We’re glad to have you on board Mungo! If you want to find out more about Booking Live why not book on to a free, webinar demo? These run weekly and show you how Booking Live works, as well as giving you the chance to get live responses to questions.

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Increase Bookings With the Facebook Call to Action Button

Increase Bookings With the Facebook Call to Action Button

One of social media’s latest updates comes in the form of the Facebook call to action button. This nifty little feature enables businesses to set-up their very own button on their very own ‘Facebook for Business’ page. This button sits in the cover photo and can display one of seven options, as illustrated in the image below.facebook_call_to_action

As online booking specialists we’re strongly in favour of the ‘Book Now’ button. If you currently offer online bookings to your customers, you should definitely utilise this feature. Simply input the link you wish the button to take users to – i.e. your website booking page – and you’re off! You can even set up a mobile responsive link, which is especially important now Google are implementing new search ranking measures.

Facebook’s call to action also allows you to track the amount of clicks your button receives, so you can get an idea of how much it’s being used. Not getting many hits? Try switching to another button. Although this choice won’t create a direct path to booking, you can set your Facebook call to action to link to your YouTube page via the ‘Watch Video’ option. From here, potential customers can view more about your company before booking. You could even edit your cover photo to draw attention to the button. Consider adding some arrows or some persuasive text to highlight its presence.

Check out our Facebook page to see how we use the Facebook call to action.

Booking Live’s Facebook App

To drive an additional increase in bookings, we recommend you set yourself up with our Booking Live Facebook app. Our integration with Facebook allows users to displays live availability on Facebook business pages. With a customisable drop-down menu, Booking Live users are able to set-up their bookable events, activities and more to display via the social media site within seconds.

Once set-up, customers can then check availability and go on to book within a few clicks! Not only does this save a great deal of time, but it simplifies the booking process. If your customers are booking via your Facebook page it means they clearly have a presence on social media. This means your customers are more likely to share their booking experience via the social media site, increasing your chances of being seen by new potential customers.

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If you’re interested in adding our Booking Live Facebook app to your business page, head over to the User Manual. For any questions, feel free to get in touch. Don’t forget to ‘like’ our Facebook page after setting up your Facebook all to action!

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The Year of the Millennial and How This Affects Business Growth

The Year of the Millennial and How This Affects Business Growth

Millennials are the demographic cohort born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. By 2036, researchers have calculated millennials will top out at 81.1 million. It’s apparent that this demographic already has a significant presence. Now is the time to start shifting your business focus to millennials, as well as the potentially more obvious cohorts. If you do so, you can tap in to additional income, revenue and success.

Word of Mouth (W-O-M) Matters

Although it often seems outdated, word of mouth is fast becoming the most influential factor in the purchasing decision process. This is particularly apparent in relation to the buying patterns of millennials. It may be taking place through social media rather than literal word of mouth, but it’s important to keep this technique in mind.

Earlier this year, Huffington Post reported 68% of millennials are likely to purchase after seeing a friend’s post about a service or product via social media. That means if you make 100 sales you could make an additional 68 without having to do anything other than maintaining and encouraging active social media profiles! You can do this via interaction with each mention you get on sites such as Facebook, even those that are negative. If there is a negative comment the second worst way to handle it – the first being to react in an angry and argumentative way – is to ignore it.

The best way to deal with this is to thank the commenter for their feedback, promise to take it on board and offer them a solution. As well as offering to assist the original commenter, potential customers will view these replies and see how helpful your business is. You’ll also have access to unedited feedback which can help you develop and grow.

Millennials Influence on Travel Trends

As well as social media, millennials can be found frequenting the travel industry. Air travel bookings are becoming cheaper, which is providing the younger generation with new opportunities and aspirations. In fact, 70% of young adults are more likely to have budgeted for annual travel than their older counterparts.

Alongside their love of travel, millennials are already moving on from the age of the ‘selfie’, opting for the far more aptly named ‘braggie’. Surveys suggest that in 2013 alone the number of social media users worldwide increased by 18%, with an average of 350 million photos uploaded to Facebook each day!

In an age where social media profiles are carefully crafted and constructed, not only by businesses but by individuals, it’s no surprise generation Y are wanting to share their carefully selected memories. This is good news for businesses, as they can tap in to public sharing and ensure they’re getting snapped!

How to Attract Millennials

Travel goes hand in hand with tours, activities and various other forms of adventure which is useful for businesses within those industries. Utilise your tour or activity business so it’s getting seen by millennials. Market your bookings as fun and adrenaline-filled, put adverts in places millennials will frequent – e.g. university halls – and provide online booking options to keep up with their shift to technology.

More and more people are booking online rather than over the phone, so it’s vital you provide this option to prevent losing out on custom. Booking Live offer specialist online booking systems for professional activity and tour businesses, as well as many other industries, so get in touch today to find out how you can start attracting additional custom.

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How to Survive ‘Mobilegeddon': Make Sure You’re Mobile-Ready

How to Survive ‘Mobilegeddon': Make Sure You’re Mobile-Ready

What is ‘Mobilegeddon’?

It’s always best to start with the basics when tackling any major technological update, which is why we’re here to fill you in on the latest digital updates. ‘Mobilegeddon’ is the fittingly dramatic nickname given to Google’s latest algorithm change. As of 21st April, Google will be penalising any websites which aren’t mobile optimised. Although the mobile-readiness of a website has always had an affect on Google rankings, it is now becoming more and more influential. ‘Mobilegeddon’ is coming.

Google announced “this change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results”. But it’s not all bad, as “users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” Either way, tech experts are saying it’s imperative businesses focus on making mobile experiences even better than desktop.

Is My Site Mobile-Ready?

If you aren’t sure whether or not your website is mobile-compatible, you can use handy tools such as Google Webmasters to check. Simply input your URL and Google will assess whether or not your site is mobile-ready. ipadpeek is another good site to check out. Here you also type in your URL, then ipadpeek will show you how your website looks across various devices, including mobile.

My Website Isn’t Mobile-Ready!

Don’t panic, here at Booking Live we offer expert website design solutions. We can create a mobile-ready site for your business which seamlessly incorporates your mobile-ready booking system. That’s right, our booking systems are mobile-ready too. Simply contact us for more information.

Booking Live’s Mobile-Ready Solutions

To find out more about ensuring your business is mobile-ready and to discuss your online booking system and website design options, contact us today.

If you’re interested in seeing our mobile-ready booking systems in action, book on to a free webinar demo - you’ll even have the chance to take part in a live Q&A session!

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Online Travel Booking: Would you Rather Book In Person or Online?

Online Travel Booking: Would you Rather Book In Person or Online?

It’s a simple yes/no question, but the answers seem to be causing controversy. Recently there have been bold claims travel agencies are becoming redundant in favour of online travel booking, yet if you pop out to your local highstreet you’ll still see the likes of Thomas Cook and Trailfinders.

When you think about it, if you’re working 9-5, Monday to Friday do you really have time to go out and book a holiday? Surely online travel booking is much more appealing? It certainly seems that way for most, with over 45% of people now booking trips online – an increase of more than 10% in just four years. Research clearly suggests the presence of physical travel agencies are on their way out. Read on to find out how you can prevent loss of custom through implementation of online travel booking software.

Enhance Online Travel Bookings

As well as supplying expert online booking systems to tour and activity centres, Booking Live’s online booking systems integrate with multiple add-ons and plugins. We ensure all your customer’s online travel queries can be answered via your website.

Skyscanner

With the Skyscanner integration your customers can quickly and easily compare cheap flights, car hire and more. This helps to simplify their online travel booking journey and promotes the ease of use your site provides, increasing chances of repeat bookings.

Google Maps

The ever-popular Google Maps feature can be added to your online booking system so your customers can find personalised directions to your venue. Not only does this save your customers time, but it also prevents staff members having to respond to multiple direction queries.

Postcoder

Allies Computing’s clever piece of software saves your customers time and provides an impressive booking journey. Customers simply enter their postcode and click to look-up their address, rather than having to enter it all manually.

Check out our Online Booking System Extras page for more integrations. If you’re interested in adding any of these features to your Booking Live system get in touch today.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

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Booking Live Updates: From HQ Moves to Booking Live Newbies

Booking Live Updates: From HQ Moves to Booking Live Newbies

As many of you are aware, there have been a lot of new and exciting developments here at Booking Live over the last couple of months. Alongside the implementation of Booking Live 3 we’ve moved to a bigger and better HQ, as well as welcoming new team members! It’s safe to say there’s a lot going on.

We just wanted to take a moment to say a huge thank you to all our clients for bearing with us over this period. Although the majority of our clients won’t have been aware of any changes, we wanted to let you know what’s going on in the world of Booking Live.

Due to rapid growth we’ve had to employ more team members. This hasn’t been easy. Here at Booking Live we only work with the best, digitally-driven individuals out there, so it takes a lot of time to sift through applicants before finding the right one. In order to help us out with this process we employed a local recruitment agency, Novate IT. We haven’t worked with a recruitment agency before, but found we simply didn’t have enough time to focus on the task as well as we needed to.

novate

We worked closely with Stewart, an IT Recruitment specialist from Novate, to find an additional developer for our team. With the introduction of Booking Live 3 and an increase in clients we needed more hands on deck for development and support tasks. We interviewed a handful of Novate’s carefully selected candidates here at our Booking Live HQ before finding the right one. Thanks to Novate we were able to start working with a top developer, who has a wealth of experience and loves all things tech. You can rest assured your Booking Live systems are in the right hands!

We’ve also welcomed a new Sales Manager and Project Manager to our team too! This is great news for our clients, as it means they’ll have more booking system experts working with them, and it’s great news for us because we’ll have more drinking buddies – not that we go for post-work drinks… The more the merrier!

If you’re interested in joining our team head over to our Careers Page (please note: we aren’t currently looking to work with any other recruitment agencies for these roles). Fancy have a nose at our new HQ (and team members)? Get in touch, we’d be happy to show you around.

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Client Spotlight: Youngstars – Booking Systems for Holiday Camps

Client Spotlight: Youngstars – Booking Systems for Holiday Camps

John Wardle, the Director of Youngstars, runs a successful holiday camp business. He needed to improve his booking process so got in touch with us. Currently working across six venues, with more lined up, Youngstars run holiday camps for children aged three to ten. Having launched their booking system for holiday camps at the end of January, Youngstars are already noticing the benefits.

How Did you Deal with Bookings Before Your Booking System for Holiday Camps?

“We relied on a process which involved multiple emails being manually sent to and fro between ourselves and parents. We were then having to copy and paste booking details from the emails in to individual spreadsheets for each venue. As you can imagine this involved us spending a huge amount of time on admin tasks! The expansion of venues and an increase in customers also meant we weren’t able to keep up with demand. ”

How Do you Deal with Your Holiday Camp Bookings Now?

“The main benefit of Booking Live is the time it saves us. We’re no longer spending hours taking and managing bookings. The reporting features offered by Booking Live are another huge bonus. Reports for registers are perfect. At the start of each camp we can quickly log-in to our system and simply download the day’s schedule. This includes all participant’s details, so staff members can see at a glance any special requirements and monitor attendance levels.

Although any sort of new change is likely to cause problems, we’ve barely had any parents contacting us confused about using the system. Booking Live is great for saving us and parents time.”

John told us one of the reasons he chose Booking Live over other providers was because we’ve worked with a large amount of businesses similar to his. He could tell we knew what we were doing. If you’re looking for an online booking solution but need a bit of help, feel free to get in touch with us today. Our expert team are more than happy to help you along your online booking journey.

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Want your business in the Client Spotlight? Email caitlin@bookinglive.com for more info.

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Reclaim your Voucher VAT

Reclaim your Voucher VAT

Here at Booking Live we integrate with various voucher providers such as Groupon, so our client’s customers can redeem various discount codes. We also provide clients with the ability to set up their own internal vouchers, providing anything from discounts to gift options.

One of our clients, Steve from Wild Wood, recently got in touch about a voucher VAT redemption method that he’d discovered. He kindly asked if we could share his findings with the rest of our clients, so you have Steve to thank for any tax refunds you receive!

“All vouchers not redeemed after their valid expiry date can have their VAT reclaimed!” Steve, Wild Wood

You can reclaim the VAT spent from as far back as your first voucher sale, as long as you have been selling vouchers since then. To prove to HMRC that they are unclaimed, you simply need to produce a report, which can be done through your Booking Live system. You can then get back up to 20% of their value in your next VAT return.

If you have any handy hints and tips that you’d like to share feel free to post them on the Customer Forum or email caitlin@bookinglive.com. For more information about setting up vouchers head over to the User Manual. Thanks again Steve!

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