With immediate effect ~NO MORE VERBAL BOOKINGS OR CHECKING BOOKINGS AFTER CLASSES in reception~ Our booking system is seriously broken folks; A system that served us for 9 years pre-covid is limping along getting more ill by the day. We have been exploring online bookings systems but we are going to try and make a big push on that to get one sooner rather than later. Never before did we realize just WHY booking systems are such big business! We truly get it now. We always like to share ‘Yoga as a Business’ stories (so others can learn/understand what it means to be running a Yoga studio) and this is one of those stories:
EACH of these scenarios were happening EVER.SINGLE.DAY.
- A small but persistent number booking, not paying, late cancelling. These ‘Per class’ bookings (i.e. people who don’t seem to want invest in credits) also constantly needing to be check/chased for payment (forgetting to pay); (sometimes up to 12-14 texts being exchanged on this front for one booking) we end up left with ‘space’ and having turned people away for that space who would have benefited from the practice AND who would have paid in advance for the space or had credits. OUR INTERIM PATCH FOR THIS recently is we changed our standard text language to be really firm about payment or the spaces will be released without further ado. This felt really very distasteful and slightly distressing to us on a personal level (using that firm language) but it was getting unbelievable.
- Booking verbally, forgetting they had booked and then checking verbally/texting ‘had they booked such and such a class’?
- Booking verbally, forgetting they had booked, a few days later sending through a NEW booking for same class, we take such ‘booking’ texts at face value and write down without checking ending up with double booking without realizing and turning people away thinking no space (we are only human and kinda tired humans at that)
- People talking over each other in reception to get their booking in
- People not giving us a chance in reception to absorb and confirm their booking; calling a booking at us walking off before we have confirmed and next person putting in their ‘booking’ order whilst we are still trying to process the previous booking
- People are starting to get cross with us if the class they want is already full; we work on a first come first served basis; even when we know someone is a regular in a particular class we cannot make people ‘plan’ in advance to book earlier to secure. Restrictions/distancing = limited space; we can only offer those limited spaces and when they are gone they are gone
- People frequently ‘praising’ us for being ‘full’; we are not ‘full’ folks; there just isn’t space! PLEASE SEE THE DIFFERENCE. We are not working at capacity we are working with limited space because of restrictions/distancing; turning people away from a class is distressing to us on an emotional level and it is also worrying because people may just get fed up not getting their first choice immeidately
- People in reception on finding out no space in their first class request; mulling over all their options/possibilities on the spot; thus holding up people who are waiting to come out from the studio; we have also had a few getting quite cross with us on not receiving their first class choice; that is often hard to deal with in reception at the end of the lovely class we have just all had together
- People trying to block book all and any favourite slots for months ahead; we cannot do this; we will take bookings 7-10 days in advance; we have to allow others to be given an opportunity to book; e.g. someone gets turned away from their favourite Sunday morning slot? Then they maybe can book in for the following Sunday at least
- This one is huge; VAST MAJORITY of people who already verbally or text booked their class and already got their confirmation they are in, come out of a class and ask to just double check they are booked into ‘such a such’ a class; VAST MAJORITY effectively double checking an already confirmed booking; VAST MAJORITY (not kidding) all this holds up people behind in the room and like I said people are starting to get cross with us
- Everyone asking for a space on a class that has no space; will AUTOMATICALLY BE PUT ON WAITLIST (you don’t need to double check you are waitlisted either! this is automatic action on our part) and when we get a cancellation we go through that list in order; We will give everyone on waitlist 30 minutes to respond to say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’; otherwise we will move on to the next person. (If it is a morning class/short notice; 20 minutes to respond); anyone who has got that waitlist space knows that the waitlist really does work.
We spend our whole day now just managing bookings and the waitlist (and the protocols heads up/ information for people coming to a first class. WE REALLY DO NEED A BOOKING SYSTEM. BUT PLEASE. Until we get one. NO MORE AFTER CLASS BOOKINGS OR CHECKING BOOKINGS / SPACE AVAILABILTY in reception. After you leave studio at your convenience plan ahead and TEXT TO BOOK Iplease don’t panic book; do be sure you really can come before you send that text). If you recognise yourself in any of these scenarios and think it is about one person; IT REALLY ISN’T. You really are not the ‘only’ one doing this ; this is every single class vast majority; it is just the way it is and we have to manage it best we can for the moment; please help us out until we can get online booking sorted
Om Om Om Thank You For Your Patience