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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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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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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miquando.com mobile siteMore people than ever are using their mobile phones and tablets to make online bookings with local businesses.

According to the web statistics for February 2016, 52% of traffic to miquando.com came from mobile devices. This increasing shift towards booking ‘on the go’ highlights the need for local businesses to enhance their online and mobile compatibility.  MiQuando’s mobile site was launched in July 2015 and is proving extremely popular with people searching for and booking with local businesses.

Using a smart phone or tablet allows customers to not only search for local services and make bookings online whenever they want to, but also from wherever they happen to be. They aren’t constrained to the opening times of a business or leaving a voicemail for the business owner to then call them back at a time which might not be convenient for the customer.  Any business that doesn’t offer a mobile solution is potentially missing out on a lucrative and rapidly growing customer base.

Mobile vs Non Mobile website visitors

Feb 2016 – Mobile visitors exceed non-mobile

Find and Book Online with local businesses at miquando.com.

Book Now to find out how we can help you grow your business with online booking, call us on 01624 640393.

 #bookme

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#bookingamazing

In a previous post we talked about 5 things you can do to help your online visitors become paying customers, and in that we briefly mentioned ‘Calls to action’.  This post expands on that topic.

What is a ‘call to action’?  Basically a Call to action (CTA) is something you add to your website or Facebook page or include in an email or social media post that prompts your visitors and customers to take some action.  It is literally something that shouts out for people to take an “action.”

That something might be a line of text, an image or even better a ‘widget’ that allows your online visitor to do something that benefits them.  The most obvious place where you probably already have your basic CTAs is on your contact page where you say “Call us”, “Email us”, “Like us” etc. or maybe even have a contact us form.  So you’ve given your customers a few basic choices.

Here’s some simple examples:

1. Call 0845 564 0000 now to talk to one of our friendly team members and learn how miquando.com can help your business grow 2. It is essential to actively manage your online reputation.  If you would like a copy of our PDF on how to deal with negative online feedback, simply click the Download button below.
3. Email us at mail@miquando.com with the subject “Call me please”, and one of friendly team members will give you a call back.  Download Button

Now if your business is an online retailer, your most important CTA will likely be along the lines of

Add to Basket Button

Unfortunately, that doesn’t really work if your business is service driven, rather than product driven.  In a service focussed business e.g. restaurant, beauty salon, physiotherapist, opticians, solicitor, or virtually every other service orientated business you can think of, the most effective Call to Action is going to be…

Book Now Button

Book Now Button with days of the week showingThe Book Now button is a brilliant Call to Action for any service orientated business, simply because it is the end game for almost all customers.  It gets even better when you can give customers and indication of days they can “Book Now”, as this improves both the customer experience and your conversion rate (after all, that’s what your CTAs should do) e.g.

Now think about how good it would be, if the first thing a prospective customer, visiting your website sees, is something that makes it so easy for them to achieve their objective, it’s almost too much for them to resist. Adding a real time calendar/booking widget on to your home page or landing pages, makes it incredibly easy to convert visitors to customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Snapshot of A Cut Above website

 

Try our Online Booking Widget right NOW?

 

#bookmeitseasy

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When we use the word ‘best’ here, what do we mean.  It’s not the “5 Star, simply amazing” kind of review, it is the most honest and useful kind of feedback.

At miquando.com we believe the ‘best’ reviews are ones that are not just useful to other consumers, but are equally be helpful to the business too.

  • Help customers make better informed choices
  • Help businesses identify both what they do well and areas they can improve

So where do we get the ‘best’ reviews?

It’s probably easier to start with the least useful ones:

  • Paid for reviews

Consumers generally seem to be sceptical of paid for reviews and in many cases will dismiss them as irrelevant.  It doesn’t really matter if it is an honest review or not, the fact it is paid for appears to devalue it.

  • The stand out reviews

It’s not unusual to find on overly negative or positive review that stands out from the crowd.  Business owners are understandable wary of an over the top negative review, but welcome the effusively praising ones.  In reality the buying public are smart enough to realise that these stand out reviews are unlikely to reflect reality and will largely ignore them.

  • Reviews that aren’t reviews

You know the ones.  “1 STAR – don’t bother” or “5 Stars – always brilliant”.  They give you nothing useful, and leave you wondering why they bothered leaving anything at all.  We’re left thinking someone’s a grumpy git or mate of the owners – that’s about it.  Unless they just needed that one more review to earn their “Pro Reviewer Badge”

 

Back to finding the ‘best’ feedback?

Where can you find the most useful (‘best’) reviews?   We believe the evidence points to places where people leave feedback after having been specifically invited to do so after consuming a service, and it will come from people who feel they have something constructive to say (good or bad), and crucially, what they say can be used and acted upon by all concerned.

 

So to try and answer the question in the headline, we reckon ‘The Democrat’ reviewers win this one!

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There are all sorts of reasons why some people leave a Rating/Review and some do not, but it is probably fair to say that people who do, tend to fall into two broad groups with quite distinct philosophies.

Given the current headline news generated by a certain Donald Trump, it might be fun to use the topical titles of Democrat and Republican (but let’s try and keep politics out of it if we can)

 

‘The Democrat’

Leaves their Ratings and Reviews in the belief that it is done for the greater good of the people, irrespective of individual interests (theirs or the businesses). Having said that, there might just be a smidge of recognition involved if someone shares a helpful review.

In the majority of cases ‘The Democrat’ reviewer is responding to a request for feedback at the behest of the business concerned (either directly or indirectly)

 

‘The Republican’

Leaves feedback as a way of gaining a benefit mainly for themselves. It might be as blunt as getting paid to leave a review, or gaining some other non-financial reward, or maybe simply the gratification of earning that all-important ‘Reviewer Badge’ and a reputation in the community.

A far higher number of these reviews will be unsolicited by the business concerned. Indeed, they often won’t even know these reviews exist never mind have the opportunity to respond.

 

There will of course be the ‘in betweeners’ too, but by and large the above grouping is not too far off reality. Reviewers from each camp can, and do leave ratings and reviews that are useful to other people and in many cases the businesses themselves (should they see them).

 

Where do you sit?

Image that links to a Survey on Reviewer Types

 

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Photo of Sarah Klaffenbock

Miquando has appointed Sarah Klaffenbock as Business Development Manager to join their expanding team. Sarah joins the team bringing with her nearly 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience having previously held roles with Mannin Media Group and Keith Uren Publishing.

 

Sarah commented “ I am delighted to be joining the Miquando team. The Miquando brand has grown and grown over the last couple of years making it the first choice for many customers when booking local restaurants or services. Miquando is definitely the best way to find, review and book online with local businesses on the Isle of Man.“

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