InflatableOffice/EventOffice gives you the option of allowing people to complete booking an event entirely from your website or not. We recommend doing this or at least doing this with some of your products and services because we have seen that customers want to do this and companies that allow it will sell more. On each inventory item, you can restrict quoting or booking as well, even if you allow it here.
We allow you to set a required number of days of notice that you need before allowing someone to book an event. This is a very useful setting because you need time to prepare for an event. You do not want someone booking that night while you sleep and expecting a morning delivery. We recommend giving yourself at least 1-3 days of notice. When a customer tries to book within this restricted period, you will get an alert of an attempted booking (as long as you have that alert turned on) and the lead will be flagged inside the software to encourage you to give it attention.
We allow you to prevent creation of new leads within a certain time. This is commonly used by users that do not wish to have 10 leads from the same customer. When you enter a number of minutes in this field, we will check to see the last submission time for that customer, and if within the minute restriction, we will overwrite their last lead with the new information. We do not recommend this because our system can easily handle multiple leads from the same customer. It is built to handle it. Plus, seeing all their leads and the order they submitted them gives you information on their thought process. You can start to see them zero in on a budget with their last leads. You can see what they really want by looking at their first leads. This all helps you sell to your customer. But if you prefer to keep it simple, setting this to something like 60 minutes will keep your leads from the same customer at a minimum.
Conflicts or Showing Availability
We also allow you to show your availability in different ways. There are good reasons for all of the available choices. Let's review them below.
- Don't Show Availability: This is great if you have the time and want to try to communicate with customers and sell them on other items. The lead will come in. The customer will not be able to book but you will be alerted if they are interested in something unavailable. Then you can contact them and either encourage them to change their date or offer them a different item.
- Show Availability Post-Cart: This is the next step up from not showing availability. It allows you to still collect their interest in your equipment by not showing them the item is unavailable until they submit their information and get a price. On the screen showing the prices, unavailable items are highlighted, and they cannot proceed with booking. Any booking attempt will give them a message that someone will contact them shortly and alert you.
- Show Availability Pre-Cart: If you want your customers to immediately know what is available for the dates and times they are interested in, use this option. Once we know the date and time of their event, we will display item availability on the website and prevent them from adding it to the cart. We will also show it in their cart and prevent them from moving forward on booking or submitting a lead with their information if they change their date and times after they put it in the cart.
When on, we will show up to 3 items the customer may want to add to their order when viewing their order summary. Normal will show items we think are a good fit that can be affected by your upsell selections on your inventory items. You can choose items you want to display when a certain other item is selected. Price levels will show items in three different price levels so your customers can choose something that fits their budget. In both cases, we look at availability, popularity, and rating to display the items your customers would most likely be interested in that you could also fulfill.
Event Availability Hours
You can set the hours/days that you are willing to operate events or deliver/return equipment. We recommend only restricting bookings so that you can always see what customers are interested in and possibly adjust policies globally or just for a specific lead that comes in. However, if you prefer a more hands-off booking system, you would want to restrict quotes to make less work for yourself explaining to a customer why you are not interested in their business. Restricting booking simply gives the customer a message saying someone will contact them shortly when they attempt to book and are not allowed. Restricting quotes will prevent saving and generation of the quote, giving them an error that you are not open during those times.
Restricting the start/end only is the most common choice. It means that as long as their request starts and ends during times you are open or available, you will service the event. Restricting duration however will prevent any event spanning a time when you are closed from being quoted or booked. You would use this if you did not want your equipment out at all during certain parts of the week. Possibly you would block off a Tuesday if you are always cleaning and preparing for the next weekend during that time and do not want to have anything out.