One of your competitors has this feature.
YCBM has this option called “Min booking notice”, which prevents bookings to be made too soon, when there is no staff. Let’s say I put this at 3 hours. Now, it happens often that there is one booking say at 2pm and currently it’s 1pm. Customers can’t make a booking until after 4pm, but it is desirable for us to be able to make a booking at 2:30pm, right after the existing booking, because staff is on-site and will be there because of the previous booked slot at 2pm, so it’s very convenient and more profitable to pack bookings next to each other.
Here is the competitor’s description of the feature, which they call “Smart timing”:
When enabled, we identify when your location is staffed, and in these cases ignore the “Minimum booking notice” setting. For example, your 2pm slot is booked, so we know staff is present at the location, therefore we enable 2:30pm slot for booking, and ignore the “Minimum booking notice” setting. Enabling this setting allows you to get more bookings.
So the feature should only enable 1 slot after a booked slot, not more, because that will create an unwanted break. And if that “smart” slot gets booked, then another smart slot should be added after it. And so on.
We have had many phone calls which ask for available slots when they see unavailable slots online, only to find out that we can actually serve them. So it’s a pity that the online slot table shows “unavailable” incorrectly. Based on this phone call data, we estimate that we would have about 10% more bookings with this feature, with the percentage climbing to 20% for prime time slots. Not to mention that many people probably simply give up and not book when they see the slots are unavailable online and only the most persistent give us a call.