Hi guys, this is Natasha, welcome to Administrate TV. Today we’re going to try to demystify online course bookings. Now, who is this video for? This is for any type of training provider, so you can be from training companies who sell courses on to clients, and also from training departments, who are trying to “sell courses” to their employees or to make them actually come to a course.
Now when we talk about engaging with students there are multiple ways in which you can actually engage with them, or they can engage with you. One way, of course, is the enquiry form, which is basically a person coming to you and asking you a question about a course or about anything they might be interested in.
The second option is the inbound booking. What does this mean? This is basically a person that comes to you and books themselves onto a course via different mediums, but still it’s them coming to you, to book themselves.
And the third option is the outbound booking, which is you going actively after the student to book them onto a course. In some cases this can qualify as sales, so you can either call them, or email, and you are trying to engage with them and put them onto a course. But, we’ll forget about this one in this video, and we’ll focus more on the inbound booking that comes to you.
Now there are multiple ways in which students or people can actually engage with you. There is the, of course old school, phone and calling. So they can actually call you to express interest and book themselves onto a course. They can email you. If they are a bit friendly they can actually come to visit you and book themselves in person. Or the most widespread and most contemporary form of booking would be probably your website.
To Integrate or Not?
Now when we talk about website bookings, there are two different options, in which you can handle online booking on your website. There is the non-integrated option or version of it, and there is the integrated one. Now what do these two mean?
So the first option is when your website takes online bookings, it might take payment as well, but it does not communicate with your training management system. So in this case, the booking actually triggers more manual work for you. So you will have to follow up with an email, within the office. You will probably have to put them onto the course, inform the instructor, and so on. These parts are online booking, but are not integrated.
The integrated version means that your website, or your Intranet, or your internal system that you use to manage your courses, communicates with your training management system. So in this case, your website, or Intranet, and the training management system communicate in real-time.
The Benefits Integrated Course Booking
Now, what are the benefits from this system? In this case, there is no manual work triggered after a booking in taken onto the website. That means that everything is done automatically, when a booking comes in. You will have the one obviously benefit – less admin. This removes the emails, removes the admin work that you have in the office to actually handle all the bookings, to communicate with multiple people in the office, and so on. And it does real-time updates to your website.
Now we had once a prospect who was actually taking bookings through the website but the website was manually updated once a week. So whenever they had a certain number of students that they need to take to be on the course, the people didn’t know how many seats were actually left until the next update. So that or course created a lot of work for the admin office, a lot of confusion with the students and so on, so it does really cause a lot of problems.
But in terms of when you have integrated online booking, this can be done automatically. So if you have, for example, three seats left for a course, once somebody books in, it will automatically update the website, in real-time, and people will know that they have only two seats left.
Then the other benefit from integrated online booking is the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which means that when you have your courses created within your training management system which are published on your website, these people come onto the website, they book themselves in, and so on. You will automatically improve your ratings on Google, because people will be finding you, they will be booking themselves in, and then you will be scoring much higher.
The other benefit is the automated emails, which we already mentioned. So you might need to send people booking confirmations, maybe follow up after the course has taken place, or you want to send them some directions how to get to the venue, and so on. That can be done automatically, from within the system, once that booking comes in. And the student automatically goes into your course details, so the instructor, or whoever is responsible for managing that course, will know exactly how many students they have in real-time when the booking comes in.
And the final benefit, well there are many more, but the final that I’m going to talk about, is the automated invoicing. That means when somebody books online, they pay online, they can automatically be invoiced from within the system, so you don’t have to really worry about that either. So as you can see guys, there are a lot of benefits that you can actually gain from having integrated online bookings.
I hope this was helpful and thanks for watching!