The business operation today differs from what we had a decade ago. Previously, we had a manual booking, whereby a staff member handled the reservation using a pen, book, calendar, and of course, a phone.
Imagine going to a dentist with a severe toothache and being told that the day’s reservation is full! Such inconvenience can be solved using an online scheduling/booking software. It allows customers to book for services/activities online, select the date & time, and also pay using the payment gateways.
Bookeo is a cloud-based reservation solution that caters to individuals as well as companies such as tour/travels, schools, professional service providers among others.
- Bookeo offers 30 days of the trial period and also a 30 days money-back guarantee if the user opts to deactivate their account.
- It has 3 products (Bookeo appointment, classes & courses and tours & activities) which cater to different needs of the business.
- The customers can conveniently book service/events online, make payments, and also provide reviews.
- Bookeo allows the user to manage the customer's database.
- They also avail various marketing tools that can aid in boosting sales.
- The seasonal pricing is suitable for business as they get 70% off from the monthly subscription fees.
- Bookeo avails website integration, Google Analytics, and other applications.
- The users can choose among various payment gateways.
- The interface looks outdated and requires better updates in terms of designs.
- The system provides limited options for customization.
In the current economy, consumer rights get observed thoroughly. Similarly, businesses have started focusing on customer satisfaction.
The buyers are empowered, and they have the freedom to order the product/service when and where they need it.
With the help of the internet and a combination of software, we can quickly make online bookings for movies, classes/tutorials, flights, hotel rooms, tables at a restaurant, event tickets, etc.
All this is possible by using appointment management solutions such as Bookeo. With the introduction of an electronic system in place of manual entries, we automatically eliminate double entries and errors.
We probably have a hundred reasons why a business should adopt the scheduling platform. It allows 24/7 reservations, ensures payment security, allows integration with other applications, and so on.
The task force to carry out traditional reservation is significantly more than that demanded by the software; thus, reduced cost for the business.
The platform uses the internet, hence accessible by millions of potential customers, which increases the chances of higher revenue.
The usage of the smartphone further boosts sales, as the software is mobile-friendly, and buyers can easily make the reservations either via their apps or through browsers.
Bookeo started small in 2010, providing services to individuals and small businesses. However, with time, they started ventures with schools and travel agencies.
Any business that requires preliminary booking such as salons, clinics, therapists, car servicing, consultants, photographers, escape rooms, among others, can sign up with Bookeo.
Various products under Bookeo
So far, we have established that Bookeo is online scheduling software. We mentioned that individuals and small corporations started using it.
But with time, it managed to dominate the industry. Currently, it has over 40 000 users across 120 countries.
The system supports more than 35 languages. Bookeo understands the individuality of every business; thus, they offer 3 products to meet different needs.
These include Bookeo appointments, Bookeo classes & courses, and Bookeo tours & activities. The product names are self-explanatory; however, Bookeo appointment is fit for professional service providers, e.g., salons, consultancies, etc.
The Bookeo classes & courses are appropriate for class schedules, be it yoga class, summer camps, cooking class, or other educational programs.
The tour booking business can use the Bookeo tours & activities to book for adventure activities such as escape rooms, pedal parties, and others.
Bookeo charges monthly fees for the users and does not include commissions. It also supports distribution channels such as Expedia and TripAdvisor.
All 3 products follow a different pricing structure. Nevertheless, they offer a 30 days trial plan. And that is not all; they also feature a 30-day money-back guarantee for the dissatisfied customers.
The 3 product plans limit the number of logins and the booking, depending on the scheme chosen by the user.
However, they allow access to all the significant features, receive technical support, secure online payment, and a few other benefits.
Let us proceed and sign up with Bookeo to identify its features and figure out whether it can be worth a recommendation or not.
Setting up Bookeo account
The sign-up process enquires for the usual details, but along with it, they have a drop-down arrow for the product.
The user selects the type of product that will suit their business, and it offers options of professional service/consultants, tours & activities, escape room games, or classes, courses, & personal lessons.
Hence, the product gets automatically selected by using the field of the user’s business. However, all the products have similar features of online scheduling, calendar, integration, online payments, etc.
We decided to choose a professional consultant service, which is psychological consultancy. Thus, in our review, we shall be experiencing the Bookeo appointment product.
The next step in the set up includes the general information section whereby the user provides details of name, contact, country, currency, resources, and the booking address.
The customers shall be visiting the booking address to make reservations. The user provides the ending characters of the address.
Next, we have the page where the user can edit/add resources (refers to the users or staff), services, opening hours, and payment & deposits.
We can have more than one employee tackling online booking. Thus, they avail a different number of resources (which can be consultant, teachers & rooms or guides & vehicles) according to the product.
We can add new services; for example, a spa center can introduce hot massage, foot massage, hair treatment, and other offerings.
We can introduce the new service by giving it a name, description, duration, and then attaching pricing and images along with it.
The payment and deposit section allows the users to select how they would like to interact with the customer when it comes to paying the booking fee.
One can set the option of requiring full payment or a deposit. There is a provision to capture credit card details or not accept online payment.
Bookeo processes payment using various gateways dependent on the user’s country of residence. However, they allow integration with Stripe, BluePay, 2checkout, Mollie, Square E-commerce, etc.
Finally, we can be done with the setting up procedure and land on our homepage. The system informs us that we can initiate an online reservation using the booking address.
Let us now venture into the dashboard of Bookeo and see the different tabs available in the scheduling software.
The design of the appointment scheduling software should meet the type of business, its size, nature of the clients, and also the niche in the market where they deal.
It should be easy to use for the clients and intuitive for the users in the business. The web page that loads after signing up has a section that reflects the successful registration. The booking address appears at the beginning, then followed by what next section.
The buttons used to navigate the site include home, calendar, customers, marketing, and settings. There are 3 tabs at the uppermost panel consisting of account, get help and sign out.
The home tab has 2 sections of messages and upcoming bookings. We can view the reservations with varying duration of today, 3 days, and 7 days.
We can mark the messages of the last 14 days as read or unread. We also access the credit button, which allows us to purchase additional services such as SMS messages and faxes.
We currently have 2 credits, but we can purchase an extra of 40, 250, or 1100 with their rates per credit. It is because the monthly subscription fee does not include SMS and fax services.
The image depicts the section that houses the user’s credit history. SMS provide convenience while communicating with your clients during booking confirmation, or in updating them on any changes.
Let us proceed to the next section, where we can witness how an online appointment is accomplished by a client using the booking address.
Online reservation via the booking address
We know that the clients who seek to book for a specific event or service will access the booking address URL of the provider.
Let us access the URL and view how the customers will be booking our services, and in our case, we have created service for psychological consulting.
The image below portrays the booking page, and it begins with the business name and address. We have the calendar along with the time slots during the morning, lunchtime, and afternoon.
The availability slots have been assigned different colors hence easy to get an overview of the whole month’s schedule.
The customer access the portal to book for our consultancy service, so let us see the process of confirming a booking.
From the given time slots and the calendar, we can choose our desired date and time, and if the slot is available, we can proceed.
The customers need to fill out several details such as name, contacts, sign in details, and notes. The registered users can sign in using Facebook too.
The system allows the appointment via the booking address, and notifications can then be sent to interested parties informing them about the confirmation status.
The other way to make the schedule is using the calendar tab available on the navigation bar of the software.
Using the calendar tab for booking
The section hosts a calendar on the left panel and a navigation bar that displays the resources. The body of the screen has days and time of the booking.
We can choose the calendar to display bookings for 1, 3, 7, and 14 days. There are different colors assigned to available booking and time off (when we cannot make the reservations.)
Let us select a time under a designated date and test the process of booking an appointment with our dummy service of consultancy.
The new booking pop up appears, and it has sections of booking, customer, notes, and payment. Under the booking, we have segments of what, when, and how.
The section of what indicates the service and allows one to write any notes or individual requirements. We can add extra adjustments too.
The when section covers the date, time, and duration of the service. The last part of how displays the option of promotion, gift voucher, and color.
The second tab of the customer records the name, phone, and email address of the client. There is a provision of whether or not to exempt the customer from tax.
We also have the customer’s statistics, which can reveal their total bookings, cancellations, and no-shows.
The notes section has observations about the booking, but it would not be visible for the customer. The payment action has the option of doing nothing, capture credit card details, charge card, record a manual payment, or send a payment request.
We have the button for either saving the booking or canceling it. Another essential feature is that of emails that we deliver to the client as well as other users.
It means once the booking is confirmed, the client receives the email notifying him/her of the event. Our dashboard also picks up the reservations and displays the related messages and upcoming bookings.
The email/TXT notification allows all the users within a business to stay updated with events of new, rescheduled, or canceled bookings.
We can customize the appointment calendar by changing the color to represent the various kinds of bookings.
The advanced scheduling feature enables the client to make a one-click recurring booking, whereby we follow the same slate at the given interval. It can be in the case of a repeated client who accesses services regularly.
The user can opt to disable the automatic acceptance of online bookings and follow it manually instead. We can also create a waiting list in case a workshop gets fully booked.
The calendar can be synchronized with Google calendar, or with Bookeo’s iCal feed (which syncs Outlook Calendar and Office 365.)
Hence, we have witnessed the core functionality of Bookeo; let us see the various settings available for the business to conduct online booking.
The business that requires a booking portal utilizes the scheduling solution of Bookeo. Different kinds of service providers use the software to avail online booking to their clients.
The owner of the business needs to set up Bookeo effectively so that the buyers can initiate the online reservation of the event/service.
We provide our general information during the sign-up process. However, we can edit some details, such as the booking address. We can also upload a logo image using the section of business details and logo.
The regional setting takes care of aspects of language, countries, time zones, currency, date, time, and number format.
We have explained the context of the resource used in Bookeo. It is through it that we can deliver the booked service.
It may include vehicles, classrooms, staff members, etc. We can edit and add new resources. The addition requires details such as name, description, image, confirmation message, available hours, and so on.
The user can make the preferred choice when it comes to booking. It involves setting how the system will handle reservations. We can enable the accept/deny option too if the user wishes to monitor it.
We can allow recurring appointments and booking status for all the services offered by the user. It is critical to have control over the booking system; Bookeo enables various settings to achieve that.
There is a section to add services so that the customers can have a wide array of choices. We can create unique events and workshops. The system can also produce a waiting list for such occasions.
We can also set a limit to the maximum and the minimum number of people per booking. The customers can also be categorized into different cohorts by adults, children, seniors, students, etc.
We know that there is a particular business that operates only in some seasons. As such, Bookeo freezes the accounts of such users, by allowing them 70% off from their monthly subscription.
The customers receive a booking confirmation via emails, but the user can choose to send by utilizing SMS or faxes. These, however, need to be purchased using the credits in our accounts.
The confirmation email usually has terms and conditions. The users have the opportunity to create their content within both of them.
A thank you email is a strategic move to build a relationship with the client, and it can also collect feedback and reviews. We can also send reminders via email or SMS to our customers.
Marketing tools offered by Bookeo
Bookeo is suitable for businesses that need attendees for events such as tours, escape room games, workshops for professional courses, and classes, among others.
The number of bookings represents the customers who are willing to pay for the service; hence, it decides the revenue of the company.
Marketing and sales strategies attempt to boost the sales of a business, and thus we aim to target more clients to use our booking portal.
As per the image above, we witness that Bookeo supports various mechanisms of increasing business exposure and revenue.
In the age of the social network, we cannot afford to miss advertising our services on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among others.
The viral marketing tool allows the client to share his/her bookings on various social media accounts. How does this help?
The appointment will appear as a post on the social page of the client. All the followers will notice the event and may get interested in joining.
Furthermore, we can offer our clients with credits and provide discounts to the followers who decide to make the bookings.
It becomes a win-win situation, and our event/service gets increased exposure. The promotion strategy involves creating discount codes or availing a special price for a limited period.
Bookeo allows the clients to offer gift vouchers to his/her friends, family, or colleagues. The person receiving the voucher can redeem the voucher online and complete the booking.
They offer generic vouchers which are worthy of a specific amount of money, and there are the particular gift vouchers that target one unique service or event.
The creator of the vouchers needs to set the validity terms and its refund. They also need to provide instructions on how someone will redeem it.
We mentioned that we could engage with external distribution channels so that we extend our reach to the clients.
Bookeo permits the user to allow booking through apps such as Vimbly, which enables customers to book for various fun activities available in New York City.
There is the option of providing vouchers for RedBalloon, which a company that specializes in experiential gifts such as gateways, tours, or activities. The other channels include GetYourGuide and Adrenaline.
The marketing tab also has a section that allows clients to manage their profile called customer area. We take a look at it next.
Membership and customers
We have heard people saying that a happy customer is a loyal customer. It means if our services are up to the mark, then clients keep coming back again undoubtedly.
Bookeo allows users to create an environment that caters to the needs of the clients through its customer area.
The customer can register with the business and create an account; hence, it will be convenient for them to access the booking service. The customers can also sign up using Facebook.
So, what can a customer achieve by signing up with Bookeo? The obvious is easy access to creating new bookings, and they can manage the new and the previous ones too.
Through the account, the customer can purchase prepaid packages. It is a mechanism of offering discounts and benefits to a frequent visiting client.
Maintaining a healthy relationship with our clients is a necessity. We cannot argue on that point; however, we can enhance the rapport by providing our loyal customers a membership program.
The member will, of course, have exclusive perks when it comes to booking with our business. We can also arrange special workshops or events targeting only members so that we build upon the existing bond.
The user needs to work out plans for the membership as there can various types of it, with varying price, payment frequency, and payment mode.
Every time a client completes the booking process, they receive a thank you email. The user can choose to provide a link through which the customer can write out reviews, comments, and their experience.
Positive reviews will encourage other people who were contemplating to make bookings; thus, promoting increased sales.
We know it takes fewer efforts to convert an old client into a returning one rather than hunting for new customers.
The marketing campaign feature allows the user to initiate email marketing. Through it, one can continuously send out reminders of discounts, promotions, and about upcoming service/events. The constant interaction bears fruit, and we witness our previous customers making new bookings.
Nevertheless, there may be customers who contemplate a lot before finalizing their bookings. Such individuals abandon the booking process, meaning they initiated but failed to complete the online booking.
Remarketing is the strategy that sends out emails to such clients, and it improves the conversion rate. The mails often contain promotions and special discounts to entice the clients.
On the website’s navigation panel, we have the customer tab, which portrays the record of all the customers. The user can add new ones, delete, merge selected clients, or export/import the list.
The user can choose what information is compulsory from the consumers. The customer details section allows us to edit the standard and custom fields as well to alter the display settings.
We have the column of field, main customer, and participants, as seen below. The user decides to assign each field with options if required, don’t ask, or optional.
The custom fields can be created to describe the customers in an enhanced way. The display settings lay the outline of how our consumers appear on the customer’s page.
With this, we can confidently pronounce that Bookeo has gone out of its way to offer the user with various tactics to manage the customers as well as attract new ones.
The user can increase the conversion rate by embedding Bookeo on their website so that any visitor on the site can utilize the widget to book an appointment.
Most of the businesses have an online presence by creating their websites. It is essential in the digital age to be accessible via search engines.
We often judge the efficiency of business after visiting their website because it provides us with a lot of information.
When it comes to online booking, the platform allows us to use their site’s booking address or integrate Bookeo on our website.
The integration is possible by embedding a widget on our website. We can also embed in WordPress, Joomla, Google Sites, Weebly, Wix, and GoDaddy.
The user selects the option of how customers will proceed with the booking. They avail the selection of “remain inside the widget” or “open a separate full-screen page.” They allow the same setting for bookings via mobile devices.
We also have the option to use Bookeo’s booking buttons on our website. For that, we need to copy the HTML code and paste it on the website’s source code.
They also allow customization of the widget in terms of style, color, button, custom CSS, and mobile. The background can be attached to an image, or its color can be changed.
The logo, name, and link also have provision to modify its colors. The buttons section requires the selection of whether the icon will be in small or large buttons.
The mobile interface can choose to follow the same rules, or we can set default colors for mobile devices.
An ideal scheduling solution should be able to sync with your social media pages, payment processor, as well as other applications that one habitually uses.
Therefore, Bookeo allows the user to integrate Facebook, MailChimp, Google Apps, Xero, QuickBooks, and others.
Online payment gateways
The online payment options the user can select include payment of a full amount, a deposit, capturing credit card details or not allowing online payment.
The setting tab allows us to work on our payment and deposit scheme as well as set up our payment gateway.
The cancellation fee applies to customers who terminate the bookings and to those who do not show up (no-show.)
While discussing the payment gateways, Bookeo recommends Stripe, but it allows the integration with various processors such as BluePay, EWay legacy, PayPal Payments Pro, and others.
The users can also select the credit cards that can be used by the customers for making the payments. These include Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Maestro, JCB, Dankort, among others.
Bookeo also allows the user to set up prices that are tax inclusive. One can set up the tax by allocating its type and rate, name, applicable to what kind of consumers and countries, among other vital info.
Analytics and reports
The business utilizes marketing strategies to increase revenue and profit margins. However, without reports, we cannot get the whole picture; the numbers express the reality.
Bookeo has a segment of statistics and charts that displays various business metrics for the current month, history, and charts.
We can monitor the growth of the business by the sections of overall performance, the number of visits by resources, options, resource utilization, and remarketing.
The history also provides data using the same metrics. The charts include graphical illustrations of revenue, visitors, and service.
The system also avails different types of reports upon request. The statements include bookings, payments, customers, gift vouchers, and others, as seen below.
The user can generate these reports to identify various factors that may be affecting the growth of the business. The data can also be used to make strategic business plans and decisions.
For further analysis, Bookeo allows integration with both Google Classic Analytics (older version) and Google Universal Analytics (new version.)
The analytics improve conversion rates as they provide information on website traffic, visitor’s sources, among other useful information.
Bookeo allows the user to manage their appointment calendar. The customers conduct online booking 24/7 and also make the payments.
The advanced scheduling feature can manage reservations of multiple services/activities related to appointments, classes, and tours.
It is compatible across various platforms such as Windows, Mac, Linux, mobile (Android & iOS), and web browsers.
The clients receive a booking confirmation, and we can create members/subscribers with those who pay for recurring services/activities.
Bookeo maintains customers' database and offers a mechanism for managing them, e.g. automatic notifications, reminders, gift vouchers, membership, among others.
Their marketing tools are also a bonus, and they avail various reports and statistics regarding the performance of the business.
The downside of the software includes its interface, which needs an update as it is relatively outdated. Also, Bookeo’s customer support includes their support center or through submitting a request.
The articles in the support center are not up to the mark in training new users. We faced challenges while embedding the widget on WordPress, despite following every step in the guide.
To conclude, we can point out that despite a few hunches, Bookeo provides a modern solution for online scheduling/booking.
We can recommend it to a small or medium-sized business whose services/activities require appointments. Their 30-day free trial program is an ideal way to gauge their services.