Some of our clients have asked about being able to take bookings for the riding centre via their website and that includes taking the payment via an online payment gateway like Paypal.
During those conversations we have thrashed out the pros and cons that make it viable and at the same time problematic.
On the plus side taking riding lesson bookings online means:
- You can consider reducing office admin as the lesson planning becomes automated.
- Your clients can book when it is convenient for them.
On the downside:
- Riding lessons contain multiple variables to allow a lesson to proceed and this is quite hard to automate online.
- As with all purchases made online, the purchaser feels empowered and then obliged to receive what they want irrespective so a bit of a battle of wills.
- Whilst the pro seemed to include reduced staffing of admin duties someone still needs to validate all orders.
- Refunding may become an issue if the lesson bookings are not allowed.
- A detachment from your customers that may lead to shopping around.
Don’t get me wrong; booking online is definitely a good idea for some, but it isn’t for everyone and in our many years of developing our system with the help of our many yards we have always strived to improve yard business and practices and increase client engagement. A riding centre is not selling a generic product such as a laptop that is the same wherever you buy from.
In our current riding centre booking system you can indeed allow customers to view the lesson schedule online.