Icon representing a gift, deal or special offer

Free this, half price that, Two 4 One, Buy One Get One Free, 20% off…

There’s no getting away from it, everyone loves a deal!  Today, customers from all walks of like are fully engaged with the deals/special offers culture, taking great pleasure and comfort in getting that ‘great deal’.

But what’s in it for small businesses?  Historically, not a lot for some it seems, especially when it means being overloaded with customers paying discounted prices and unable to offer the usual great service and losing the business money to boot because you gave 50% or more away to a ‘deal broker’

Image showing deals and offer tagsHowever, it doesn’t have to be like that.   Imagine if you could offer an attractive deal or special offer, that…

  • Attracts new customers through the door
  • Costs just £1 each time a customer buys one
  • Is marketed free and available to customers 24/7
  • Instantly redeemable using any internet connected device

Miquando local deals have all the upside of the daily deal websites and coupon clipping but none of the downsides by allowing businesses to…

  • Get started with no up-front costs
  • Run deals & offers for however long you want
  • Avoid overloading and the usual operational havoc
  • Directly target under used capacity only
  • Limit availability – Stop, start or change a deal instantly
  • Make a deal/offer profitable

So how do I do it?

1st thing to do is give a little thought to what you want to achieve with an offer.  It might be any of the following.

  • Increase brand awarenessBeauty Bar deal image
  • Advertise a new product or service
  • Boosting sales
  • Attract a new set of customers
  • Convert new customers to repeat customers
  • Increase visits from existing customers
  • Using excess stock
  • Rewarding customers / buying loyalty

You just add a new service and tick the check box to highlight this as a special offer and add a great image or photo that really sells the offer.  If you want, you can limit when customers can book this deal so you are only discounting in quieter periods to help fill spare capacity e.g. a midweek early bird dining offer.  To do this, simply add a new resource for this service with limited booking times

Add a new Resource that is only available to be booked between 5:00pm and 6:30pm, Monday to Thursday

Image showing local deals pageThat’s it – we’ll start promoting your deal on the date your new service is set to start (immediately or a future date) and it appears on the relevant regional deals page (e.g. http://miquando.com/deals/isleofman).

Customers both new and existing, local or visitors to the area, are always on the lookout for deals and offers using our regional deals pages.  To keep a flow of new visitors, we regularly promote these pages through targeted social media and other online campaigns.

Ready to get started?  Give us a call on 01624 640393 or Click Here to send us an email

 

Still not convinced, look at these independent findings from Technomic’s research into online deals….

  • 48% of deal buyers used it for a business that they had never tried before
  • 25% used for a place that they have visited only once before;
  • 67% returned even without a deal;
  • 83% recommended the business to their friends and family
  • 34% wrote a review
  • 25% posted a status on their Facebook page
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miquando.com mobile site

Back in February we talked about how mobile (tablets & phones) had overtaken non-mobile (desktop/laptop) in terms of the devices used to access miquando.com.  This was slightly earlier than we predicted last July when we launched our mobile web app (http://m.miquando.com) to accommodate this changing consumer behaviour (more..).

Mobile Devices 58% v Non Mobile 42%Today, less than 6 months later (July 2016), we see mobile phones alone are now the most popular device for our visitors.  This is a critical tipping point, because if your business does not have a mobile friendly website, chances are you are undoubtedly missing out opportunities to engage with the modern consumer.

Analysis of the devices used, has revealed a second valuable trend.  2 years ago, tablet usage was in decline, but with the recent introduction of new devices into the tablet market, there is currently a resurgence in tablet use.  This month, analysis of our visitors shows almost 60% now using mobile devices.

Miquando mobile site images
This is important because, whilst your ‘old’ website might be just about usable on these large screen mobile devices, unless you have designed it to be ‘responsive’ i.e. respond according to the type of device being used, it will likely be a pretty ugly experience for your consumer.

The first great thing about listing your business with MiQuando, means that even if you don’t have that ‘responsive’ website yet, people searching for local businesses like yours, can find you on miquando.com, looking great on a mobile friendly web site.  That way you won’t be missing this rapidly growing group of customers.

The second, is that by enabling your business for online booking, you are opening your doors 24hrs a day to mobile wielding consumers across the globe.

 

If you’d like to learn more, arrange a call back today – http://bit.ly/DiscoverMiQuando

 

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Book Now Button

Many visitors to the Isle of Man are looking to enjoy the peace and tranquillity this fair Isle offers.  Some come for the breath-taking scenery, coastal walks and outdoor adventures available.  Others come for sporting challenges or to see the thrills and high speed excitement of road racing around the Mountain Course and Southern 100.  And then there’s business travellers and people visiting friends and family.

These visitors come from far and wide, and like most people they will have researched and probably booked all or some of their travel arrangements online.  What we are now seeing is, an extension of this online behaviour with visitors looking to firm up their plans and make arrangements online at their destination before they travel.  And this is where significant numbers of people are taking advantage of online booking from MiQuando.

Thank you image to our 10,000 customers

In recent months, we have seen a wide range of Isle of Man businesses receiving online bookings (over 10,000), from visitors far and wide across the globe.  Whether it is the business visitor setting appointments with Advocates and Accountants, someone needing to hire a wheelchair for a week, groups celebrating and hiring a hot tub for the weekend, sportsmen and women needing a bit of physiotherapy or a soothing massage, the bridesmaids booking in for those special treatments in the beauty salon and virtually all of them reserving tables in local restaurants.

In short, customers just love the convenience and flexibility of booking online 24/7/365.

The visitor economy plays a huge part in, and is a significant contributor to the economies of not just small Islands like the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, but also Great Britain as a whole.  As such it is vital that every business from the smallest up, needs to be in a position to take advantage of this visitor behaviour.

And that is where Online Booking powered by MiQuando comes in to play.  A simple, reliable, low cost online booking service that works for virtually any business, opening the doors to customers worldwide, all day, every day without adding a penny to the wage bill.

If you want to learn more about miquando.com and how online booking can help grow your business, arrange a visit or book a call back today at miquando.com

 

#bookingeasy

 

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At MiQuando we’re on the lookout for some special to help us grow our online booking & marketing business.

Miquando Search Bar

Business Development Star

We’re looking for someone totally #BOOKINGAMAZING, who will be out and about, actively generating new contacts, sales and opportunities.  You’ll dedicate yourself to …

Identifying new sales leads – Following up new business opportunities – setting up meetings – Presenting features and benefits – Sharing new product developments – Developing working relationship – Identifying new market / product opportunities – Developing marketing literature – Providing feedback – Plus some other stuff too

 

Is this the role for you?

We need someone who is outgoing, friendly, assured and self-confident; that simply loves networking, meeting and presenting to people, both 1-2-1 and to wider audiences.  It also helps if you can demonstrate…

Good business sense – Passion for success – Exceptional communication skills- A positive outlook – Sound understanding of marketing principles – Plenty of initiative – Solid negotiation skills– Your sense of fun – Some dress sense

Other good stuff we need!

As an e-business, technology underpins our core offerings, including our innovative local business directory and advertising services and our popular multi sector / multi-platform online booking services.   As such, you will be…

Comfortable using current technology – Able to communicate technical features in simple language – Familiar with technology terms, trends and developments – Able to contribute to the development of new products and services

 

What’s in it for you!

The right person can expect to be rewarded with not just an attractive remuneration package comprising salary, commission scheme, bonus scheme and company car, but also the pleasure of working with a great set of people.  It’s still early days in the MiQuando journey, and the opportunity is there to grow the role and responsibilities in line with our own exciting growth plans and ambitions.

If this makes your toes tingle, send us an email to Business Development Role making sure you tell us why you think this is right up your street and don’t forget to attach a copy of your latest CV.

 

#bookingamazing

 

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Ok, that headline might be a bit strong, but it’s fair to say that we are expanding our reach beyond the Isle of Man, into the UK and into Europe now too.  It’s been a deliberate approach to develop and prove our online booking technology in the Isle of Man.

Now, after creating our highly flexible and robust online booking platform, we are seeing organic growth with businesses in England and now the Balearic Islands implementing online booking services from MiQuando.

To be fair, the British Isles has always been our main target market and the logical Regional settings example pagenext step for progression beyond our proving ground in the Isle of Man, but to get the opportunity to move into the international market earlier than expected is a great bonus.

We’ve had to make some changes in order to support our expansion into Europe and hopefully soon beyond.

for example, we’ve added the flexibility to cope with different regions/countries, multiple currencies and critically, time zones, which ensures online booking works seamlessly with customers and businesses from different geographic locations.

How long did it take us to go from a purely UK, GBP based online booking provider to a global, multi-currency, multi time zone online booking platform?

Just 16 days from start to finish!

the reason we could it so quickly, is because we have invested considerable time and money in building the foundations and underlying solution, and that, we believe, will be the key to the ongoing success of the MiQuando online booking platform.

Businesses can use MiQuando.com to provide their online booking facility with unlimited bookings for just £1 a day or try the free version on a simple pay per booking basis with no financial commitments.

Businesses using MiQuando.com, come from very diverse backgrounds, with regular bookings coming in for restaurants, beauty  salons, massage therapists, physiotherapists and osteopaths, opticians, solicitors and even hot tub hire!

We are continuously developing our products and services, to be able cater for any online booking style businesses can imagine.

Couple our flexible boking styles, with the ability to embed booking widgets and links into  our own website, social media posts and email campaigns there is no end to the possibilities of opening up every business 24 hours of every day, for the convenience of the 21st century customer.

If you would like to discover how MiQuando can benefit your business book a call back or a demonstration, or give us a call on +44 (0)1624 640393.

#bookingamazing

 

 

 

 

 

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Because we offer so much for local businesses it’s not always easy to answer the question “so, what does MiQuando do?’

Extract from facebook post about miquandoThis post on Facebook is a great example of just one zero cost way that MiQuando can help, by working together with local business owners.

L’expérience is a popular local French restaurant that uses miquando.com and a widget on their website for online booking and reservations.  They owners wanted to offer a customers a deal on a Chateaubriand meal for two.  They posted this on Facebook, using a link that lets customers book online (Try it!).

The restaurant owners also let us know posted about on our local Facebook page, again including the ‘call to action‘ link for people to book online.  As you can see in the post we have shared here, one of our Facebook followers, saw our post and immediately reserved their table online using the link we included.

This is just one simple, but highly effective example of how MiQuando works in partnership with any and every local business to help promote business and gain them customers.

If you would like to discover how MiQuando can benefit your business book a call back or a demonstration, or give us a call on 01624 640393.

 

#bookingeasy

 

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For any business using online booking, making sure your online calendar is up to date is essential in order to be able to deliver a real top class service to the customer, even before you’ve met them.  Let’s face it, if your booking system lets them book an appointment at their preferred time, only to later be told “hey, thanks for your booking, but we’re a bit busy then can we do it later”, that’s not great service.

Keeping your online calendar updated (even if you still use the old paper diary), means that when people make a booking online, you can honour the request, meaning you deliver exactly what the customer wants, each and every time.  You can respond to booking requests instantly (or even automatically), delivering blindingly fast confirmations and dazzling customer service before you have even met them.

3 Availability Options

 

 

As ever, we are continually working to make things quicker and easier, so we now offer you 3 places from where you can quickly update your online calendar…

 

 

 

Here’s what the new ‘Availability’ feature looks like.  Use it to quickly add when you’re fully booked, update any non-standard opening or closing times, or make changes to your online booking calendar, for example adding in a late night opening event.

Set Availability

The first thing to point out is the two links at the top of the page…

The “Times” link, takes you to your opening hours page, from where all your active calendar updates can be viewed and amended, and the “Home” link which will take you straight to your dashboard / home page, from where you can access all the other great features of your miquando account.

When the page loads, the default settings of “We are…” and “Fully Booked” are highlighted as shown.  This is simply to make it as quick and easy as possible for you to update your online calendar when you are busy or on the go.

The “from date” field will show today’s date and the current time will show in the “from time” field

The “To date” will again default to today’s date, with the “To Time” initially set to your closing time for the day.

To choose new values, simply click or tap in any of these date / time fields.

When you’re happy, click the update now button.

For example, you’ve just taken a phone booking for a party of 6, which means that’s you pretty much full tonight  Use this new “Set Availability” feature, using the defaults “We are…” and “Fully Booked”, simply change the from time to say 6:00pm and click the big blue “Update Now” button.

That’s a grand total of 4 clicks or touches, less than 10 seconds and your online calendar is all up to date!

No double bookings, no awkward “sorry, we need to change that” conversations, just a smooth running business and happy customers.  Neat or what?

 

Want more info?  Watch a short video on how to use the new availability feature or download the Quick Guide PDF

 

#bookmeitseasy

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Remember your mum telling you to “never judge a book by its cover.” Well, as much as we’d all like to say we stick wholeheartedly to ma’s advice, living in the age of the “Selfie” have we all become armchair critics?

Book cover - games you can play with your pussy (cat)Over the last 5 years or so technology has played a larger and larger part in our lives and in recent years in particular, it has changed the way we get information.

We seem to have less and less time to find the information we really want.  Mum and dad may have had the time to get the right information from the right sources but nowadays, well, “I ain’t got time for dat”. Today, information is drawn from everywhere — the web, social media, email, SMS, video content, the list goes on —  so whether we like it or not the information we’re drawn to is the information that can be grasped in seconds, if not instantaneously.

It’s generally agreed that people don’t really read on the Internet. A recent study claims that most users endorse and share posts after scanning only a few first words, or even just a headline.

If your last Facebook rant got a ton of likes, don’t assume your ‘friends’ actually read it.  The endorsement may be more of a pat on the back “good effort” — especially if you have a great image to go alongside it. 90% of all information that gets transmitted to our brains is visual.

The colour, size and shape of visual elements infer numerous emotions — anything from excitement to despair — and can influence us to engage with a brand, share a post or buy a product. An image connects directly to our emotions getting fed straight into our subconscious – no unraveling needed.

So, when using images, have a quick word with yourself “am I using the right cat image?”. Don’t just use them to fill a gap or because you’ve heard that people like them. For every image on your site or profile, you should be able to answer the 64 thousand dollar questions. “Why did you choose that image and not a different one?”  Bear in mind that images that support your content are more effective than ones that don’t.

In short make sure your cat image supports your message.

 

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Customer service is dead, long live the “Customer Experience”. In the jungle of the online world, the opportunity to enhance what used to be customer service is gathering speed.

Not eighteen months ago, we were still telling each other that sms, emails and even chat bots were a flimsy substitute for a good face-to-face conversation. The noise about how impersonal electronic communications can be is now becoming a distant hum as perceptions are changing, thanks to a new generation of businesses.

This new breed of business focuses on the customer service experience, in relation to the product, service and overall business model; this of course takes the focus away from large and expensive marketing strategies. The old adage of “personality goes a long way” really can go a long way.

“I might not have a flawless complexion but everyone wants me at their party baby!”

Focusing on the customer experience affords the business the opportunity to develop its personality / USP in a more meaningful way. 58% of consumers are destined to become returning customers if they have a great experience; and, as with any great experience, the customer is going to talk positively to a handful of people about the experience. Empathize with them and understand what they want, value them and show them you appreciate them, a special offer here, a gift voucher there.

Image of steaming mug

The best companies don’t use excessive marketing campaigns they just deliver fantastic experiences for their customers. Adopting practices that develop the customer service experience provides a solid base to build business from.

“So err, are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced?” – jimi hendrix

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The team has been busy over the winter month, beavering away behind the scenes to bring some great new additions to miquando.com.  We’re now into the final stages of development and testing, getting ready to release our latest updates into the wild.  Here’s a quick preview of some of the updates coming soon.

Email Icon

Better Informed

After listening to feedback from our members, we are making some small changes to our emails, to make sure everyone receives all the information they need regarding their bookings.  We’re adding more information and making it easier to read for businesses and online bookers alike.

 


Shield and folder with padlock 

Enhanced Data Encryption

We know how important is to keep your information safe and sound online, so we’ve been busy working to add more and stronger encryption to all your personal information you provide for your online bookings.

 


Tools IconPrivacy Tools

In addition to the improved data encryption, we now offer businesses more choices as to what customer information their staff and our support team are able to see.  The ‘High Privacy’ option suppresses names and contact information for customer bookings, whilst the ‘Very High’ option blocks all visibility to customer booking information, except for authorised accounts.

 


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Restaurant Booking Capacity Tools

We’ve been working alongside some of our busiest restaurant partners to develop some very clever algorithms and a new graphical interface for our Restaurant Booking services.  We’re really pleased with the capacity management tools we have added that make it so much easier for restaurants to manage their bookings and prevent overloading both the kitchen and the front of house.

 


Chart for Bookings

Graphical Interface for Bookings

The new graphics and interface, mean it is easier than ever to see at a glance all the reservations for a particular day and service, view details of each individual booking in an instant, or update a booking with a single click of the mouse or tap of a finger.


Busy Diary

 

Diary / Calendar Management

Perhaps the hardest part of managing a busy diary is making sure everyone is up to date with everyone’s appointments and working hours.  It’s pretty much impossible to do with a paper diary, but we’re making it as easy and flexible as possible with our smart new Free/Busy Scheduler wizard that works with your online bookings calendar/diary.

 

 

All these new features and the great benefits they bring to consumers and businesses alike, are pencilled in for release mid April.  We’ll add a system news to let everyone know exact dates once all tests have been completed and signed off!

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