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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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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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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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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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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