Why Your Rental Business Needs to Accept Online Bookings

Traditionally rental businesses have relied on phone calls, emails, and walk-in customers to fill their calendars. While many have made a move to online bookings, many companies still maintain the older model...

Traditionally rental businesses have relied on phone calls, emails, and walk-in customers to fill their calendars. While many have made a move to online bookings, many companies still maintain the older model for taking bookings. The reasons for this will vary from one rental business to the next, so it’s time to demystify online bookings and see the benefits.

Of course, the internet is a complex place with many options that make it difficult to break from doing things a certain way. However, those committed to taking themselves online will tell you that it offers endless ways to grow and enhance your rental business. One of the easiest and most effective ways it can do this is through online bookings.

So, why should you accept online bookings? What are the advantages? How do they benefit you and your customers? Let’s look at the key benefits of online bookings and how they can help your rental business:

  • Increase revenue
  • Save time
  • Reduce error
  • Reduce no-shows
  • Increase payment security
  • Grow your online presence

The benefits of online bookings

1. Open your store 24/7

When relying on phone calls and walk-in customers, you can only get bookings during the 56 hours your store is open. However, there are 168 hours in a week, over 3x as many as you currently use. Meanwhile, customers will often work similar hours, so it can be difficult for them even to have the chance to make a booking over the phone or in person.

Your rental business can be open to bookings 24 hours a day, seven days a week with online bookings. This allows your customers to book when it’s convenient for them and pick up products during your brick and mortar store’s opening hours. This increases the number of bookings you can receive while not adding more time to your day.

2. Save time on admin

When you think about it, much of your time is probably spent taking bookings over the phone or at the counter. This can often take up almost half your available hours during a typical day. Online bookings automate this process by allowing customers to do the work for you. They can browse your products, make a booking, and pay without you lifting a finger.

This time saved on admin gives you more time to focus on other aspects of your rental business. After all, there are many moving parts when it comes to running a company, and often, they take a backseat when you only have a limited amount of time. This freedom will give you a chance to do the things that may not have been getting the attention you want to give them.

3. Reduce human error

It’s easy to make mistakes, and we’re guilty of it. Whether it’s writing down the wrong items for an order or double booking products by accident. These things are inevitable when you’re running a business, but they probably happen much more often than you would like. However, computers don’t make these kinds of mistakes, giving you peace of mind.

Your online booking system will take the products your customers have booked and reserve them immediately. If none are available, it won’t allow the customer to make a booking.

4. Reduce no-shows

Customers who book and pay for a rental online are much more likely to stick to their plans. Whereas customers who book over the phone, or pay when they pick up items, are less likely to stick to them. Online bookings reduce no-shows as people are much more committed to their plans and have already spent money ensuring they can pick up products.

In addition, they have been able to take the time to pick a date and time that works for them deliberately. There is a lower chance of human error, so they can trust that they will get what they asked for. They are also likely to receive emails and texts to remind them of their booking.

5. Increase payment security

Online bookings allow you to take some form of payment when customers make a reservation. Whether that is a security deposit, partial payment, or full advance payment. This means that you can guarantee that your customers are paying you, and you’re not relying on a promise to pay like you would if you were taking bookings over the phone.

Meanwhile, modern payment service providers offer payment protection to detect fraud and resolve disputes. This is often not guaranteed when taking credit card payments in-store and definitely not when accepting banknotes that could be counterfeited. Online bookings make it easier to get paid and offer you and your customer protection.

6. Grow your online presence

Finally, a benefit that is often overlooked is the ability to grow your online presence with online bookings. People love the convenience of booking online as much as they love shopping online. By offering online bookings on your website, you can capture those who may have left your website previously upon noting that they had to call or visit you to make a booking.

This convenience extends to rating your service and sharing their experience with others. Customers are much happier to do this when the booking process is plain and simple. People tend not to share experiences positively with their friends and followers on social media if it is difficult. You can also use this information to market your business to new customers.

How Booqable can help with online bookings

Booqable makes it easy to start accepting online bookings on your new or existing website. It is quick to set up and integrate Booqable with your chosen website building platform. It has a simple backend for you and your team to use while having a professional frontend for customers. You can also connect with Stripe and PayPal to accept almost every payment method.

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A business owner using Booqable rental software