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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Yep, you got it, we’ve built a fantastic little web app so now it’s even easier and more convenient to find and book online with local businesses, wherever you are, whenever you want.

Miquando.com mobile home page

 

It really couldn’t be easier, type in what your looking for e.g.

“restaurants” and

where e.g. “Douglas, Isle of Man”

Choose how far away you want to search (10, 25 or 50 miles)

then hit the SEARCH button.

 

 

You’ll see a list of all the available businesses that match your search terms (closest first unless you change your preferences e.g. Rating 1st).

Miquando.com mobile search result

 

  • Get all the details you need including images, ratings & reviews, services/price lists, and contact details

 

  • Tap the heart to add a business to your Favourites list for quick and easy access at a later date

 

  • Hit the BOOK NOW button to quickly and easily make your booking online 24 hours a day

 

 

So  what are you waiting for?  Start making life easier today with the MiQuando web app

 

#bookme

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#bookingeasy

it’s now easier than ever to book local restaurants online.  Our new booking service means people can quickly and easily book their favourite Isle of Man restaurants direct from the restaurants web site, or via the local business listings on MiQuando.com 24/7.

A quick look at our online booking stats and it’ no surprise to see most restaurant bookings being made in the early part of the week, traditionally when many restaurants will have a day off.

Most popular day for online booking

 

 

 

Tuesday is the most popular day to book a restaurant online in the Isle of Man!

 

 

 

 

Our data also shows customer’s making online bookings are made throughout the day, but peaking between noon and 2pm.

whenpeoplebookonlineHRS

 

 

Many customer’s book online when they would be on a lunch break.

Or maybe they just book when they are hungry?

 

 

 

 

By giving businesses the flexibility of adding Online Booking via their own website, facebook page, or MiQuando profile, it is now easier than ever for customers to make restaurant bookings online wherever they are and whenever it’s convenient, 24/7/365.

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#bookingamazing

The brand new online booking service for restaurants from MiQuando® sets a new benchmark for any restaurant looking to add the convenience of 24/7 online booking.

Online booking for restaurants

Restaurants moving to the new service are seeing a marked increase in web bookings, leaving staff free to focus on the diners in the restaurant and giving the owners more free time.

Feedback from both restaurateurs and customers, suggest that speed and ease of use of the new restaurant booking system is driving the increased popularity.

We’ve built a fully functioning demo site so you can see for yourself how quick and easy it is to book online with any of the 4 different implementation methods and get instructions on how to implement online booking for your restaurant.

Visit our online booking demo site at http://restaurant.bookingdemo.com

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MiQuando has started 2015 in style, launching more great new features to its online services.

One new feature in particular is proving extremely popular.  The launch of the latest online booking service, specifically designed for restaurants, is making life simpler for both restaurant owners and diners wanting to book a table.

A number of the Islands most popular restaurants have already updated their booking services, so booking with them is even quicker, easier and more convenient than ever before.

With almost 30 Manx restaurants available to book online, MiQuando is now the Island’s favourite booking service for restaurants in the Isle of Man.

Now it’s even quicker and easier to book your favourite restaurant online 24/7 – why not give it a try and treat yourself to lunch or dinner with one of these great local restaurants, just click on one of the restaurants showcased below to book online 24/7/365.

 

Logo - L'experience French restaurant, Douglas, Isle of Man     Logo - Salt Bar and Kitchen, Douglas, Isle of Man   Logo - Portofino Restaurant, Douglas, Isle of Man   Logo - Macfarlane's restaurant, Douglas, Isle of Man   Logo - Kurries and Steaks restaurant, Douglas, Isle of Man   Logo - Davincis bar and restaurant, Douglas, Isle of Man

 

Or click Here to see a list of Isle of Man Restaurants using MiQuando.com.

If you would like to add our quick and easy to use online booking services, for your restaurant (or any other business), please Contact Us

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Good PR can be highly effective and help generate great new business and if it costs nothing, why not take the opportunity to share your news.  Letting people know about things like new products and services, celebrating an anniversary, signing a new contract or winning an award are all great ways to keep your name in front of customers and prospects.

1. FREE PR feature on MiQuando.com

If you have listed your business on MiQuando’s business directory, there is a great free feature where you can add your own news and announcements, including a picture.  The Free PR items are displayed in a scrolling RSS feed at the top of each regional home page, which when clicked will display a page of all the local PR items.  Users of the local directory and online booking site can also subscribe to the local RSS feeds enabling them to see each new local news items as they are published.

It costs nothing and gets your messages out to your local audience and includes a link to your profile and all your contact details which means interested parties can quickly and easily get in touch with you.

2.  Write an article

If you have an area of expertise, why not write an article to share what you know.  They don’t have to be long, just informative and helpful.  Examples could be sharing a success story, sharing your experience or creating a list of say 5 key points.  Writing about how to do or achieve something is always valuable to readers.

You can submit articles to your local newspapers, offer to do an article as a guest blogger, or create your own company blog and share your knowledge there. 

3.  Create a newsletter

You don’t need any specialist software or skills to create a newsletter and use it to tell people what you have been doing and what’s around the corner.  A newsletter can be a great way to showcase what you can do and advertise your products and services to your chosen audience.

Newsletters can be circulated in print or online or both, allowing you to advertise your business to both existing customers and new prospects.  When emailing, be sure your customers have given permission / opted in to receive marketing materials electronically and you provide a method to unsubscribe too.

4.  Online Forums

Contributing to online forums and groups, particularly those focussed on an area where you have experience and knowledge is another great way to let people know about your capabilities.  By asking relevant and insightful questions and/or providing helpful answers over time you will build a reputation as an expert. 

Direct advertising is usually not permitted or frowned upon in forums, but you can usually include a logo and links in your signature, so others will get to see and trust your company name.

5.  Free Reports

Offering a free report is another way to get your name in front of people for nothing.   If you’re stuck for something to write about, why not jazz up short articles expand on a list or use some research/survey results.

Letting people download them from your website in exchange for an email address has the added benefit of gaining you another opted in prospect you can target in other ways.  It’s also a good idea to make it available via your social media accounts, which may get you some new followers/subscribers and expose your brand to a new and wider audience.

 

Clearly there are other ways in which a business can find opportunities for Free PR, but the ones about are quick and easy and require little in the way of specialist technical skills or industry contacts.  Why not share comment and share your favourite way to get free and effective PR .

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Beautiful simplicity – Local beauty salon benefits from the MiQuando® effect!

Amy from Beautylicious Beauty SalonAmy Brown, proprietor of Peel based beauty salon ‘Beautylicious’ has always sought to provide a professional and seamless service to her growing client list. The extensive range of treatments on offer is testament to her knowledge and skill, as well as her commitment to on-going professional development and training.

Being a small business it’s essential to get the booking process right. That’s why she turned to MiQuando’s online booking service, and she’s happy to acknowledge it’s been one of the best decisions she’s made:

“The online booking and diary system is fantastic,” said Amy.  “My salon is in Michael Street and I only live a few minutes away. It means I can offer servSimplicity of online booking from Miquando.comices at times to suit my clients. With MiQuando’s online booking system, clients can book an appointment at any time of the day or night – whenever the whim takes them.  They can see all available slots and pick the one that suits.  Furthermore they are sent an automatic reminder on the day of the appointment by text or email message.”


Simplicity is the key to the system, which can be accessed through Amy’s website (www.beautylicious-iom.com) or via MiQuando.com.
   It’s a tool that helps her customers and amounts to a value-added service, provided at no extra cost.

Setting up the cloud based system couldn’t be easier: “You certainly don’t need to be a computer geek,” said Amy who did it herself.  She was also full of praise for the friendly, supportive backup provided by the MiQuando® team: “Jon has been really helpful from day one. I started using the MiQuando booking service in March and I can honestly say I’m really pleased. It’s perfect for a business like mine.”

MiQuando® offers a unique online service and is based in offices on Prospect Hill, Douglas.  Beautylicious is another in a growing number of small to medium-sized businesses to benefit from the MiQuando effect.

If you would like your business to experience the MiQuando effect, visit www.miquando.com.

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 Some buzzwords for online shoppingIrritating buzzwords to explain the fact that people shop online a lot in 2014?

Yes, they might be annoying phrases, but their real message is that people do more than simply use a computer when they shop online.

And that’s something that every business needs to consider carefully.

Today it wouldn’t be uncommon for someone to click an online advert, get an offer via email or see something on social media that tickles the part of their brain that says “I like that / I want one of those”. 47% of consumers start their purchase journey on mobile.  (Google/Ipsos)

  • They might do a bit of In-store browsing on the high street, outlet village or shopping mall if it’s convenient or perhaps use their mobile to do a little research on their mobile, or seek opinions on this amazing thing you found via social media.
  • Go online later that day on their tablet or PC to do price comparisons and check customer reviews of product and seller, and maybe go on to make that purchase online from the comfort and convenience of the sofa.
  • Let friends know about the latest bargain with a little social media update from a smartphone.
  • Purchases are delivered swiftly to the door, or ready to collect in-store the following day.
  • Delighted with an online bargain, it’s time to share the overall experience and let fellow shoppers benefit from shared knowledge by leaving ratings and reviews using a tablet.
  • Finally get the smartphone out and post a ‘selfie’ with the new purchases!

Or maybe a completely different combination, but you get the point that the way people buy things has changed and will continue to change.  51% shop online while on two or more screens simultaneously.  (Microsoft)

 

Devices used for online shoppingBig businesses are spending huge sums of money trying to capture these online shoppers, on different platforms and devices, something that is just not feasible for small and micro businesses, but that doesn’t mean they should just roll over and die.

Small and micro business owners need to take the time to understand how customers buy in 2014 and look to take advantage by enabling as many ways as possible for customers to interact with them.

There are any numbers of low/no cost ways small / micro business can adapt and get a slice of this online business.  A good website need not be expensive,  social media accounts are free and help engage with customers, free entries in online directory listings help people find you online, whilst adding ratings & reviews, a shopping cart and online appointment booking can easily be done on a small budget, by adding and integrating 3rd party components.

Customer journey for online shoppers

Figure 1 How customers buy in 2014

Businesses can sign up for a free, search engine friendly local directory listing by visiting www.miquando.com and clicking the Add Your Business link (top right).

Not only do businesses get perhaps the most comprehensive entry available of any local business directory, completely free, they can take advantage of these additional fantastic opportunities:

  • Use highly targeted internet advertising to attract new business
  • Gain new customers via the built in direct mail facilities
  • Build an online reputation by adding the independent ratings and reviews to your own website, quickly and easily and 100% free
  • Offer online appointment booking to your customers via Miquando, your own website, direct maillings and even your social media pages
  • And more great new free and low cost features being added each quarter
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What kind of things do people book online?

The most popular things people book online right now are travel related products e.g. flights, hotels, car hire, train tickets etc. closely followed by ticketed events e.g. music concerts, sports events, theatre and cinema tickets etc.

  • And now people expect to be able to book a wide range of other services online, such as:

People Book online things like Car Servicing, Private Hire, Vehicle Valeting, Room Hire, Children’s Entertainers, Mobile Disco,Personal Trainers, Paintball, Sports Pitches, Physiotherapy, Eye Tests, Massage, Osteopath, Hairdressers, Nail Salons, Tanning Sessions, Oven Cleaning, Domestic Goods Repairs, Tradespeople for Quotes, Restaurants & Bars, Guided Tours, Heritage Sites, Driving Lessons, Exam Preparation, Music Tuition, Employment Agencies, Solicitors, Financial Advisors, Property Viewings, Kennels and Catteries, B2B Services etc.

Why do people like to Book Online?

We’re leading hectic lives where time is one thing we all seem to be short on.

From the moment we get up life’s a rush – get the kids up, get them to school, go to work, work, work work, get home from work, help with homework, have something to eat, get the kids sorted for tomorrow – the day’s almost done.

And guess what we didn’t get a chance to do all those things we were meant to!

It’s 8pm, everywhere is closed – If only you could make those arrangements online from the comfort of your one living room, relaxing with a nice cold drink?

That’s why people like to book online!

OK I get it, online booking offers the customer…

  • Convenience
    • A business offering online booking, lets the customer do what they need to do, when it suits them – usually outside normal opening hours
  • Ease of Use
    • There’s no finding a parking space, queuing, busy phone lines, missed calls, waiting for a call back that never comes, telephone tennis, waiting for an email or any other frustration.
  • Control
    • The customer comes first.  They feel like they are in control, choosing what they want to do and when they want to do it (within the constraints you set of course).
  • Real Time Response
    • It’s real time.  They know that task is sorted and they can move on with a warm satisfied feeling of a job well done.
  • Flexibility
    • The best laid plans etc.  Life isn’t all plain sailing and circumstances mean we sometimes have to change our plans.  With online booking the customer can simply go online and rearrange their booking to a more convenient time (again (within the constraints you set).

So how do I setup my business to offer online booking?

  • If you already have access to an internet connected computer or tablet, then you have virtually everything you need.
  • Click here to register your business for free and create your profile if you haven’t already done so or go to our homepage and click the Sign In button in the top right
  • Configure your online booking (discover more).  It’s just £1 when a customer makes a booking online.  (learn more)
  • That’s it, you’re good to go and.

 

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So what is online booking?

  • Online booking systems let your customers instantly book or request a booking  for your product/service, in real time, over the internet without needing your input (unless you want to).
  • You’ve probably used an online booking service already, to book a hotel or a flight and maybe even a restaurant or a round of golf.    If you think about it, there’s no reason why you can’t apply this to any business e.g. book a tradesman to do a quote, a hair or beauty appointment, hire a function room, a consultation with a solicitor and so on.

Why should my business offer online booking?

  • Simple, more customers, more revenue and more profit.  It is the easiest and lowest cost way to convert a visitor to your web site into a paying customer.  (Discover more).
  • It’s amazing customer service.
    • It’s almost like you have opened up especially for that individual shopper, letting them shop when it’s most convenient to them

Why does online booking convert more visitors to customers?

  • You’ve made it easy by letting the customer
    • See what you offer
    • See when you are available
    • Choose a convenient time to them (and you)
    • Pay safely and securely online
  • It’s on the spot conversion from prospect to customer in a matter of minutes

Are there any other benefits?

  • Definitely, you will save both time and money by…
    • Take bookings when you are closed
    • Put a stop to telephone tennis
    • Handle fewer emails
    • Up to 90% fewer ‘no-shows’
    • Spend less time manually managing your bookings
    • It’s like having an extra pair of hands (virtual assistant)

 

Q & A

Do I need expensive equipment?

  • No.  If you already have access to an internet connected computer or tablet, then you have everything you need.

Is it expensive to use?

  • Not at all, all bookings made by internal staff/users are free of charge.  There is a £1.00 fee for each booking when a customer makes a booking online themselves or if you have choose an enhanced membership level you will qualify to receive a number of customer bookings free of charge (Silver – 5, Gold – 10, Platinum 20).   Learn more.

I like to speak directly to my customers.

  • You will have access to all details you need to contact a customer before you confirm a booking if you like to keep the personal touch.  The trend toward online is undeniable with 97% of people now preferring to find business online (Forbes) and 57% of all travel bookings now done directly online.

I am worried about the risk of over booking.

  • You have total control over how many bookings you can take at any one time and for which products/services and your diary is always immediately updated in real time so you don’t have to worry about over bookings.

I use an online form and email for online booking.

  • Many people make the mistake of using a form to send you an email and call this online booking.  If you think about it, doing this really doesn’t deliver a good customer experience; the reality is that you are just leaving them hanging, waiting for you to respond.  Or put another way, delivered a poor customer experience.  Learn more.

 

To discover how Online Booking can help you get more customers and grow your business, give us a call or drop us a line using the contact information below.

MiQuando Limited  |  0845 564 0000  |  sales@miquando.com

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