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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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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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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You might be washing someone’s hair, up a ladder cleaning windows, in a meeting, massaging a painful back, teaching a dance class, repairing storm damage, giving a driving lesson, dealing with that awkward customer or doing whatever makes your business money – and then the {expletive} phone rings.

Ringing phone image shows missed calls

Guess what – you just can’t answer it, ‘cos there’s work to be done!  Aaagh!

It doesn’t have to be like that though.  There’s a simple, really low cost way to capture those lost calls, customers and £’s.  Use an online booking service.  Why?  Because you need never miss a call again.

Just make sure your voicemail message tells people they can make an appointment online from your website (abc.co.uk) or Facebook page (abc Isle of Man).  You’ll be amazed how many people will do what you suggest – after all, they called you (and not the competition) for a reason.

When speaking to small/micro businesses and sole traders about adopting online booking, many of them are sceptical at first, (too expensive, too complicated, don’t need it, won’t work for what I do, I don’t do technology), but soon start to understand their apprehensions are misplaced.

We all know it works for the airlines, hotels, restaurants etc. (because we use it regularly!), but if you take a moment to think about it, an online booking service can work effectively for pretty much every business, regardless of size, sector or budget.  Here’s just a few examples we see every day…

Doing what? Who is using it?
Sort out your appointment Hairdressers, Beauticians, Nailbars, Massages, Spa treatments
Book a call back time Laywers/Solicitors, Financial Advisors, Accountants, Estate Agents
Arrange a visit to quote Carpet cleaners, painters & decorators, flooring specialists, builders
Book an initial consultation Physios, Chiropractors, Chiropodists, Opticians, Other Clinics, Fitness Instructors
Book training & tuition Private tutors, Music Teachers , Driving Instructors, Training Courses, Gym Classes

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg really.

Image showing various online booking users

What all these businesses are really doing is giving the customer/prospect a reason to stick with them; an easy alternative. One they can use whenever it suits them and allows them to get in touch with you there and then, later in the day or even at evenings and weekends, at home or on the move – whatever is convenient.

Whenever someone uses our online booking service, they get an immediate response by email and/or SMS, which can be:

  • Acknowledging their enquiry with a promise to get back to them (you have all their details and you’ll be reminded that someone is waiting for you to respond too)

or even better

  • An immediate confirmation of their request, confirming your availability for the date and time suggested

The beauty of an online booking service is that you can actually seal the deal there and then no matter how busy you are (and you didn’t even have to do anything – how neat is that?).  Even if you need a little time to get back to your prospect or customer, they’re sticking with you (and not going to your nearest competitor).

If you’d like to know more about how online booking can help you and your business, give us a call on 0845 564 0000 or Click Here to schedule a convenient time and we can call you.

#bookmeitseasy

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Lgog for Paparazzi Pizzeria Isle of Man

Paparazzi Pizzeria, one of the Isle of Man’s most popular restaurants has joined forces with Miquando to offer online reservations in 2016.

Customers can now quickly and easily make a reservation for lunch or dinner online using their phone, tablet or computer at their convenience – 24 hrs a day

Paparazzi Pizzeria Wednesdays.

Customer’s can also take advantage of monthly special offers available every Wednesday, which can also be booked online.

January’s offer is…

Choose 2 pizzas off the main menu for just £15 per couple in January.

Note: This offer does not include extra toppings  and is not valid for take away orders

#bookingeasy

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As part of our commitment to making life easier for customers and businesses alike, we’ve made it quicker and easier for you to change and cancel your bookings.

New “Edit My Booking” tab

Pic of Edit Booking Tab

Our ‘booking widgets’ now have a new tab.

To Change or Cancel a booking, simply click on the ‘Edit My Booking’ tab, or use the new link included in your booking emails, which will take you to a form, pre-populated with your booking info.

 

Change or Cancel a booking

EditBooking1-75

 

 

If you use a link from a booking email we’ve sent you then your information will already be shown, otherwise you can type in your Booking Reference and Email Address.

Click on the Find Booking button and we’ll find and retrieve your booking in a jiffy

 

#bookmeitseasy

 

EditBooking2Found it!

Once we’ve got your booking, you will see all the details here, and you then have the option to Change or Cancel your booking.

Change it leads you through your booking, allowing you to change the date, time, no of people, notes etc

Cancel it asks you to confirm your choice, and will then cancel your booking (providing you are within the cancellation rules set, otherwise you will be prompted to contact the business concerned)

#bookingamazing

 

That’s how quick and easy it is to change or cancel your bookings without the need to sign in to your MiQuando account.

 

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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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