Oh No... The New Software is Going to Replace Me!
Gary Larson, author of The Far Side, knows what happens when incompatible groups are scheduled together.
Believe it or not, this is actually a common concern when we roll out our software for the teams who handle bookings across Australia and New Zealand. At first, I was a bit confused, but I can see why they would have this perception.
Not to launch into a sales pitch, but we create amazing efficiencies for bookings officers with our rollout process and our software. It’s one of the benefits of partnering with us! We help you:
- to detonate those processes that are no longer needed (the software handles them),
- automate a whole bunch more (think about the dream of never invoicing again, ever! That includes bonds)
- and letting customers make the bookings from a seamless platform marketplace experience.
While exciting, you can’t blame the team for thinking, “hang on, they won’t need me anymore!”
The fact is, we can’t replace the person behind the system
Yes, your team is still able to manage bookings using an iPad while at the beach (although we aren’t suggesting you should) and you can do this activity safe in the knowledge that double bookings are never going to happen because the system sees to that.
But we can’t eliminate the need for bookings teams to ENGAGE with the community and to use some intelligence to make decisions about which hirers are appropriate and who should use what facility.
But what we can’t have is the ‘Dagger Throwing Club’ meeting next door to the ‘Balloon Enthusiast’s Club’. It is a recipe for disaster, and this sort of Gary Larson Far Side ish type of scenario will surely result in unhappy customers.
Efficiencies are there to support customer engagement
At the end of the day, the efficiencies are supposed to support the ability to engage with your customers more. Don’t spend time manually entering and re-entering data… spend it meeting your customers onsite to hand over keys.
Or better yet, to meet them at the conclusion of their hire to collect keys and give the place a once over glance to ensure they cleaned up properly before saying goodbye.
Can you imagine the surprise and delight of being able to engage with customers in this way as opposed to the normal quick phone call or expedited key exchange at the front desk?
This is the sort of community engagement that was at the heart of what we are creating for local facilities.
Instead of spending one, or in some cases three days a week invoicing and collecting money from customers, use that time to call around the community to local groups and businesses to see if they are interested in using your facilities to host their clubs and events! That activation activity increases occupancy rates and really shows off your facilities and gives the community a very positive impression of what you are doing at your community centres.
The transition from data entry to facility management
Your bookings officers are empowered to become booking Managers. This is an important distinction. They are managing bookings and making decisions about which bookings fit the brief for the organisation’s goals. Bookings Managers can choose the booking that is right for a space if two come in at the same time. When they decide to accept a booking for the Drum Circle, ensure that the booking is in a venue that won’t interfere with other ‘goings-on’ in a nearby facility. Your team becomes pro-active, not reactive in managing people and venues for the best outcome for your organisation.
We can’t replace your team and people who have the important relationships with your community, but we can absolutely ensure that they have more time to build on those relationships and less time in front of a keyboard!
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