We’re Hiring! Product Owner Position Available

Product Owner Position Available in Central Bristol

We’re looking for an enthusiastic and dedicated product owner to drive our product forward. Not only will you gain an excellent understanding of our industry but you’ll be in charge of understanding client and industry needs around online bookings. Working in the heart of Bristol, you’ll lead the company in implementing new features that are competitive and easy to use.

You will lead the company on defining business requirements and producing solutions to the problems our clients face.

What will you be doing?

– Lead and present at sprint planning meetings
– Defining market requirements and presenting solutions
– Managing core features and their associated requirements
– Reviewing development against acceptance criteria to determine readiness
– Prioritising the backlog according to the business needs
– Actively supporting the development team throughout sprints
– Being involved in client requirements gathering and documentation both remotely and on-site

What do you need experience in?

– Working in SCRUM/AGILE environment
– Able to engage and communicate with a range of both internal and external stakeholders
– Ability to understand integration documentation
– Broad knowledge of eCommerce and Web Design
– Knowledge and understanding of industry best practices
– Excellent problem solving and analytical skills
– Strong enthusiasm for collaborative working and motivating others
– Excellent verbal and written communication skills
– Excellent attention to detail and quality

What would be desirable?

– Experience producing / working with wire frames
– Experience working with CMS platforms
– Experience in the online booking industry
– Certified Scrum Product Owner

Job type: Full time

Location: Central Bristol

Experience: 2+ years

Salary: Competitive

Head to our career’s page to find and more and to apply.

Please note, we aren’t looking to work with a recruitment agency.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Why Your Business Needs to Focus On Customer Experience

Why Your Business Needs to Focus On Customer Experience

Although customer experience (CX) coincides with user experience (UX), the two are separate matters and deserve time spent on each one individually. Econsultancy defines customer experience as “every interaction between brands and individuals”. As definitions go this may seem rather broad, but that’s only because customer experience really is every interaction between a brand and every single customer. Each interaction, no matter how insignificant on the surface, is an experience.

Why is Customer Experience so Important?

Customer experience is detrimental to business success. A positive customer experience can lead to an increase in sales, whereas a negative experience can cause a loss in custom and a subsequent loss in revenue. Customer experience also allows you to stand out against your competitors. By crafting a unique customer experience which matches your customers wants and needs you will be at the top of their lists.

Econsultancy and IBM’s Consumer Conversation Report shows there is a significant difference between a business’s intention and their customers’ satisfaction. Brands believe they are experts at providing great customer experience, but customers aren’t so sure.

Out of 7 company factors, consumers were asked to rank them from most important to least important. At the top end of the importance scale was “very trustworthy with my data/information”, with “products that are customised for me” sitting at the bottom. This goes to show how influential a positive customer experience can be, it can even be more important than a product’s features!

Understanding Your Customers

Unless you run a relatively small business, it is impossible to know each and every one of your customers on a personal level. But it is possible to know what they want. Each of your customers has at least one thing in common: your company. Make this the centre point of all marketing communication by ensuring your brand is consistent throughout.

Keeping Your Customers Happy

Personalisation is also key, you need to make sure your company is human. Many businesses often make the mistake of confusing personalisation with lack of professionalism, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. You can be both personable and professional, even little touches such as updating your Twitter feed with statuses from various different members of staff can make your company seem more approachable than a corporate machine. The main consideration to keep in mind is the ‘where’. Where are you looking to take more of a personable approach? Social media is the perfect place, the aim of it is to be social after all, but emails may not be the best place. Come up with a strategy and try it out.

Whatever approach you take, just ensure customer experience as at the centre of all business plans and implementations. Without your customers, your business will likely fail. For more information and advice, why not check out our Facebook and Twitter pages?

customer_experience

Posted in News | Leave a comment

SMEs are Losing Millions of Pounds Due to No Shows

SMEs are Losing Millions of Pounds Due to No Shows

According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), SMEs make up nearly 50% of private sector employment and more than 99% of UK businesses. Around 1.1 million appointment-based UK businesses are spending a third of each week on admin tasks, such as managing appointments and answering telephone calls. Research shows up to 5 minutes are spent on the management of each individual booking, totalling around 20 million minutes each day across UK-based SMEs.

No shows, also known as missed appointments, equate to 40 million wasted minutes each day throughout the UK. Although small businesses are hit the hardest, larger businesses are also suffering, with the NHS losing approximately £700 million each year due to no shows.  It’s no surprise that business and revenue generation is subsequently suffering due to this.

How to Prevent No Shows

Awareness events are in place to increase the support SMEs receive, such as Local Business Week which took place in May. But SMEs are still a long way off the success large businesses are having.

With the majority of SMEs only able to afford a small team of staff, it isn’t possible to hire an individual such as a receptionist or PA to handle bookings and appointments. That’s why the use of booking software platforms are on the rise.

Unnecessary costs and no shows can be eliminated by set monthly costs or one-off fees offered by booking software providers such as Booking Live. Online booking systems also come with a whole host of features, complete with tools which make it possible to manage bookings more efficiently.

Waiting List Features

Booking systems such as Booking Live software come with endless features, including the ability to set up waiting lists. With a waiting list, when your courses, classes and more get fully booked, both new and existing customers are able to book themselves on the the waiting list. If a customer then cancels their original booking, it can be filled to prevent you losing revenue and to prevent your customers from missing out.

Customer Profiles

With Booking Live, your customers are able to log in and edit their bookings from their computer, laptop or mobile device. By providing customers with the ability to manage their own bookings, they are able to cancel outside of business opening hours. This prevents no shows and increases customer satisfaction.

Automated Notifications

Booking Live software allows you to set notifications to send automatically. These can be sent whenever you like, whether that’s an hour before, a day before, or a week before a booking is due to take place. Not only do these notifications take the form of email, but you can also send SMS messages. By keeping your customers informed and reminding them of upcoming bookings, you’re guaranteed to prevent no shows.

Don’t become part of a statistic, make sure your business isn’t losing revenue from no shows by elminating no shows altogether! To find out more about what Booking Live software has to offer, sign-up to a free online demo of the system.

no_show

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Sage Pay Payments Landscape Report 2015

Sage Pay Payments Landscape Report 2015

Sage Pay, the leading payments provider in the UK, has just released their annual Payments Landscape report. Now in its fifth year, the report provides an insight on payments, from trends both on and offline, emerging innovations, new technology and the latest in consumer preferences.

The report is the result of a survey conducted with 1,000 business decision makers and 1,000 UK shoppers. The results provide businesses of every size with a clear view of where they are and where they need to be in the upcoming year. Booking Live have premier integrations with Sage Pay and are pleased to provide you with highlights from this report.

Almost £1 in every £4 is now spent online. A large proportion of the other £3 is also increasingly influenced by some form of digital interaction. It is obvious that merchants need to adapt and embrace e-commerce. Key highlights from the include:

– Cash is on its way out – make sure you’re ready

– Innovation is important but security is paramount

– Integrate your channels to stay ahead of the game

– Invest in the right emerging players

More than one in four say that they would be more likely to shop somewhere that offers a greater range of, or more innovative, payment methods. But unfortunately a third of businesses do not believe that offering a greater range of payment methods would encourage customer loyalty and nearly half of businesses said payment innovation was not a priority.

Sage Pay believes that to meet consumers’ needs businesses need to make payments simple and easy to use. This means methods that rely on a siloed approach will not cut it with consumers. Using features such as tonkenisation (Single Click Purchase) and keeping security on top of your business priority will help. Successful businesses are those that offer a choice to consumers when it comes to payment methods. We recommend knowing your customer’s needs and serving them in the digital and mobile channels where they increasingly live and shop.

For more indepth analysis, case studies and expert opinion, please download the Sage Pay Payments Landscape Report here.

Booking Live integrates with the payment gateway Sage Pay to make online payment handling a breeze. To find out more about this integration, head to our booking system extras page, or get in touch today!

 

sagepay

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Social Media for the Public Sector

Social Media for the Public Sector

Social media has often been completely dismissed by councils, either because staff members are unsure of how it works, or there aren’t enough of them to spend time monitoring numerous social media accounts. But times are changing and nowadays almost all local councils have their very own Twitter feed or Facebook page.

Twitter

One of the most popular tools within social media for the public sector is Twitter. Providing councils with the ability to post regular updates about important issues and reminders about upcoming events, Twitter also allows public sector bodies to engage with their constituencies on a more personal level than before its adoption. With a limit of 140 characters per ‘Tweet’, Twitter allows for quick posts and responses.

Facebook

Similarly to Twitter, Facebook allows councils to post regular updates and interact more easily with the public. As Facebook isn’t limited in terms of how many characters statuses and replies can contain, this social media network can be costly in terms of time.

Back in January 2013, West Midlands Council made full use of Facebook during a period of bad winter weather known as ‘snowmageddon’. Within a week the council’s Facebook page went from having a few thousand likes to over 10,000. The Guardian recommend that “if your council isn’t using Facebook, test the water. It’s a great way of getting information out to people. Used well, it can cut calls to your contact centre.”.

LinkedIn

Despite LinkedIn being the ‘professional’ social media network, a recent study has found 50% of public sector personnel heads don’t check their LinkedIn profiles. The study also showed 44% of public sector employers don’t use LinkedIn during their recruitment process.

The study went on to say “even if they aren’t using these capabilities themselves, public sector organisations should ensure that their executive recruitment firms are deploying the latest LinkedIn know-how and techniques on their behalf”.

Whatsapp

Whatsapp is a mobile messaging app which allows users to send text, picture, voice and video messages to other Whatsapp users. Unlike traditional SMS and MMS messaging, Whatsapp is a free messaging platform which only requires users to have one another’s mobile telephone number. With 62% of adults using a smartphone (Ofcom), now is the time for social media for the public sector to shift towards mobile.

Back in November 2014, Shropshire Council controversially implemented a Whatsapp trial. Although results were few and far between, the council are now considering using the messaging provider in a more strategic way e.g. using it across departments who’s main audiences are young people.

The council’s experiment also highlights how Whatsapp is great for public sector workers who have work mobile numbers that are already public and available, however it isn’t recommended to use your private mobile number.

The use of Whatsapp within the public sector could reduce spends, increase engagement and improve efficiency. Sending mass messages for free to users who can easily respond to receive almost instant responses could be the way forwards, especially when sending messages such as warnings of local traffic jams. Having said that there are a number of risks involved, so Shropshire’s “what’s the worst that can happen?” approach seems the best one to have.

As business success is becoming more reliant on social and personable interactions, more and more professional brands are creating online presence’s via social mdia sites. We believe it’s only a matter of time before all businesses are online. In terms of social media for the public sector, we’d advise researching social media sites before trialling one or more of the networks and monitoring how successful and popular they are. Do keep in mind your target audience, as there’s no point setting up a social media account if none of your customers use social media!

If you have any questions or queries about social media for the public sector, please feel free to email marketing@bookinglive.com

social_media_for_the_public_sector

Posted in News | Leave a comment

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!

new_website

Posted in News | Leave a comment

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!

language_and_currency_options

Posted in News | Leave a comment

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.

booking_systems_for_diving_centres

Posted in Client Spotlights | Leave a comment

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.

facebook_call_to_action

 

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!

Posted in News | Leave a comment

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.

millennials

Posted in News | Leave a comment