Spartan Sport Center is the largest functional training and martial arts operator in the city of Turku, Finland. Spartan's vast selection of sports includes offers among others yoga, functional training, kettle bell, kickboxing, and defendo - all under the same roof. Spartan Sport Center's core focus is on various excercise formats that strengthen your body.
The founder of the company Antti Nurmi is one of the most famous functional training gurus in Finland and he was the first one to introduce kettle bell training in the country.
10 years ago I started a company called Mad Man Sport Center. Mad Man was successful but I wanted to create a new kind of spacious sports center in Turku where we could fit all forms of functional training equipment and excercises. And I wanted to make it clean and nice looking so that women would want to come here as well!
- Antti Nurmi
Nowadays Antti instructs some of the classes at Spartan and travels around the world teaching instructors how to give classes in functional training and martial arts.
Spartan started using DigitalBooker in the beginning of 2012 after Spartan's Sales and Marketing manager Mikko Penkkala found DigitalBooker while being a customer at a local yoga studio.
I especially liked the user friendliness of the system and from an entrepreneur's perspective DigitalBooker was also financially a sound alternative. I didn't even bother looking at other alternatives.
- Mikko Penkkala
Mikko lists three areas where DigitalBooker has improved Spartan's business the most. Firstly, with the help of DigitalBooker their customers always know if they have a reservation for the class or if it is already fully booked. Secondly, if Spartan at any time sees that some class is often fully booked while another one is mostly empty it is easy to tweak the weekly schedule and react quickly to changes, maximizing participation to claases and revenue. The third important improvement has been that now the instructors know how many participants there are going to be in a class prior to the class, which helps in planning the content of the class. For instance a functional training class with five participants means that there is more room for training with equipment and individual programs compared to a class with 40 participants where we concentrate on excerices with your your own body as a weight.
Also the feedback from customers has been very positive, as Mikko gladly points out
Our customers have liked the fact that the booking system works with their own email address and facebook account and that they don't need to create yet another new user account to join our classes.
- Mikko Penkkala
Studio Tulijooga (literally "Fire Yoga") offers hot yoga in Helsinki, Finland with their focus on various workshops and coaching classes to enhance your overall wellbeing.
The founder of Tulijooga Pia Rydman moved on to be a fulltime yoga entrepreneur in 2011 and she tells how in the beginning the most challenging part was the variation in different classes that she organized. Sometimes the class was full and at other times there were no participants. And there was no pattern and it varied from day to day and week to week which was very frustrating when your heart was in it but the results were not what you expected.
For some time I kept a sign up over email where people emailed me if they were going to come or not, but it very soon became difficult to keep track of whom you had informed about a cancelled class and when to do that. I wanted to give my customers more choice and make the sign up process easy and automatic plus, not to forget, free my own schedule into improving my real job of running a yoga studio. That is why I decided get myself an online booking system.
- Pia Rydman
Before starting her own Yoga studio, Pia did a long career in arranging company internal venues and this experience also proved to be of great importance when building Tulijooga into a successful business. Pia chose DigitalBooker thanks to its ease of use, affordable price and customer service. The choice was made in the Autumn of 2012 after which customers were within two weeks ready to start booking their own times online.
I evaluated various scheduling and booking services, but I didn't like their user interface or look and feel as much as I loved DigitalBooker's.
- Pia Rydman
The new booking system has also received great feedback from Tulijooga's customers. They especially like the easiness of making a booking and that they only need to know their own email address to log in. Pia herself has also been very happy with DigitalBooker and tells how she has been able to try out different week schedules to see what works and what doesn't knowing that DigitalBooker will send out a cancellation message to the customer according to her rules if the class doesn't fill her criteria of e.g. 5 minimum participants 12 hours before the deadline. Pia continues:
I also like the fact that I can send a message to the customer about how many people are going to join the class with them, that my customers can read a description of each class before they sign up and that adding new classes to the system is as easy as it is - literally just by click my mouse once.
The next story in our series of customer cases, we're looking at VilliElo - a 10-person wellness and eco-center in Finland who have been leveraging DigitalBooker from the start.
The driving force behind VilliElo Taina Ruotsalainen tells us that she herself also only uses services that let you book online. The choice of getting an online booking system was thus easy - it was more of a choice between choosing what system to get.
Online Booking systems are of this day and age. They will save me time and nerves by not having to take bookings and cancel them over the phone. An online booking system also lowers the barrier for making a booking at all.
- Taina Ruotsalainen
Taina had a look at several alternatives but the choice of selecting DigitalBooker in the end came down to three factors; 1) The system speaks your own language, in this case Finnish and is easy to use, 2) the system is versatile in its supported functionalities for both hairdressers as well as for group exercises and wellness services and 3) DigitalBooker's team was very helpful and active.
DigitalBooker's drive at the beginning of the collaboration was incredible. They really served us as first class citizens and wanted us as customers. You could say they went the extra mile for us. I greatly appreciate that DigitalBooker's employees could show their own personalities and took initiative to help us. A small flirt about my email footer also brought a smile upon my face and made the final choice easy to make.
- Taina Ruotsalainen
VilliElo has a very vast portfolio of servies, from pilates and yoga to homeopathy, massage, Japanese footmassage, chocolate massage, classical massage and an ecological hairdressers. It goes without saying that the system needs to support all of this out of the box - and DigitalBooker does this and more.
When asked about the best sides in DigitalBooker Tanja mentiones that the fact that everyones' calendars are online in electronic form makes life so much easier. She can take bookings on the road whereever she is and check everyone's schedule when ever there is a need for it.
Our customers have been really happy and praised both our webpage and our booking system for its ease of use and visual appeal. We are seen outwards as a trusted partner which is exactly what we want to be.
- Taina Ruotsalainen
Ready.Set.Pole! is a Finnish Polevault dancing studio offering various classes of polevault dancing and pole acrobacy.
Saara, the founder of the company starts the interview by telling us how much DigitalBooker has freed her hands from everyday tasks. Saara started as an entrepreneur a year and a half ago so anything that saves time from the busy day of running a business is fine in her books.
We've had an online booking system ever since the start of our business. The decision to throw away our previous system and switch to DigitalBooker happened because of DigitalBooker's versatility and ease of use.
Even their customers have praised the system for its ease-of-use and simplicity. Life has gotten a lot easier after starting to use DigitalBooker and no-show bookings have also decreased.
I'm happy to pay a monthly fee for a great system and quick and friendly service.
ACE Agility is specialized in agility training for dogs - but they also train people in dog handling. Agility is the combined excercise for of both people and dogs and it fits everyone, regardless of age. World wide there are about 100 000 people practicing agility. ACE Agility is at the forefront of this sport.
The founder of the company Harri Katainen has prior to starting the company worked as a dog trainer as well as in IT, so in a way ACE Agility was a combination of both.
We saw the process of finding a common time between our customers and us as a service provider as something that couldbe automated. Booking a time should be really easy and quick.
- Harri Katainen
As many others, even Harri had a look at many other systems before settling for DigitalBooker. Besides the system itself, also the customer service and a competitive pricing was a factor in makeing the decision for DigitalBooker.
The barriers for making a booking have been lowered due to DigtalBooker and it has also saved our reception valueable work time. The best side in DigitalBooker has been that since starting to use it our sales have gone up and we've gained new customers. And our dog owners love it!
- Harri Katainen
Gymstick is a company specializing in wellness and excercise services for companies and consumers as well as training instructors. Gymstick started using DigitalBooker about a year ago as a consequence to their rapid growth.
Gymstick's General Manager Tarja Lemström tells us how they started using DigitalBooker after evaluating other options. Tarja is a physiotherapist by education and having worked in the business for ten years she knew what she wanted from her online scheduling system.
As a result of strong and rapid growth our company needed a simple to use and crystal clear system for handling our schedules and classes. We looked for a system where we could manage both our classes as well as our employees' timeschedules. We also needed a customer register and an easy way for our customers to book online.
- Tarja Lemström
DigitalBooker fit all these requirements and Tanja emphasizes how DigitalBooker replaces a dozen of different Excel sheets that were used previously and how everything now is in one central place together with DigitalBooker's powerful reporting tools.
We are using the customer facing public system only for a few of our customers and the ability to do this only for selected customers was a real powerful feature in DigitalBooker. The feedback from these customers has been really positive as well.
- Tarja Lemström
To learn more about Gymstick, check out their webpage at www.liikuntapalvelut.com
Motion 4 Fun is a company that is specialized in racket sports, or more specifically Squash and Racketball. The company has 5 squash courts at the moment.
The founder and CEO of the company Toni Wallin emphasizes how his heart has always been in Squash, although he has a history from ice-hockey, baseball as well as from soccer. Toni's history in Squash however spans all the way back 17 years ago. Because of his love for the sport he also wanted to give his customers the best service possible so that they may book their services whenever they want to 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
I got a booking system because that's what today's world is all about. It also brings with it modern customers as it makes it possible to make bookings 24 hours a day. Not to mention how it puts less strain on our phone lines and receptionists.
- Toni Wallin
DigitalBooker has also been very happy with the collaboration and Toni still emphasizes how DigitalBooker even before starting the service was top notch compared to all other alternatives.
DigitalBooker's system was of its own class when I compared different systems; easy to use both from a usage as well as a start of use point of view.
- Toni Wallin
Motion4fun's customers have also praised DigitalBooker's simplicity, ease of use and how everything extra has been taken away. You can actually make a reservation with just a few clicks in less than a minute.
Interested in knowing more about Motion4fun's business? Check out their webpage and booking system at www.motion4fun.com
TuTo is sports club located in Turku, Finland that has been arranging aerobics and other classes since the year 1929. Nowadays TuTo arranges classes ranging from Zumba to Fitness and Pilates as well as classes for children and teenagers from ages 3 months to 17 years. The majority of their instructors even do it as a hobby and everybody is welcome as they are.
Johanna Hyökki has been a part of the sports club since a little girl and has instructed classes for the past 17 years already. She has worked as the chair of the board, responsible for group excercises and many other positions within TuTo. Johanna still instructs classes and once the selection of an online booking system was raised she wanted to choose the best one for her fellow sports enthusiasts.
We looked at sevaral alternatives but DigitalBooker was by far the easiest to use and it was also cost effective :) DigitalBooker was the right choice in our situation.
- Johanna Hyökki
In the beginning there was a bit of resistance from our customers, because TuTo had never before had a booking system and people were able to just walk into a class. But quite soon, when people learned that they could just book a time and they also got to participate in it they started to love it.
Pilates Ylojarvi specializes in Method Putkisto classes, pole dancing, ballet, kettlebell classes as well as Streetwise self-defence. The company also offers different treatments, from massage to acupuncture.
The founder of the company Tuija Lehtonen has previously worked as a musician for 30 years but today works as a trained masseur and Method Putkisto trainer.
I decided to get an online booking system, so that I could get rid of the continuous amount of text messages about people signing up to classes or canceling their bookings. DigitalBooker has made this possible.
- Tuija Lehtonen
Tuija asked around for several different online scheduling systems, but finally settled for DigitalBooker.
I practiced pole dancing at the Pole Academy and they had DigitalBooker. It was exactly what I wanted for myself. Easy and clear to use and take into use. I contacted DigitalBooker and got myself a smiliar setup up and running in a few days.
- Tuija Lehtonen
The biggest advantage from DigitalBooker has been that, Tuija now can see how many are signed up to each class and there is no SMS hassle before each class anymore.
My customers have been very happy with the system and praised its ease of use. Even an elder lady finally got enough courage to book online and succeeded even though she never uses a computer otherwise :)!
When Hairstore, as one of the largest hair and beauty chains in Finland, started using DigitalBooker back in 2012 online scheduling was still in its infancy around most of the world. According to Hairstore's Sales- and Marketing Manager Jari Karjalainen the benefits from using DigitalBooker's online scheduling system was apparent already since day one. The fact that 30% of all bookings today have been moved online, where customers take care of the booking has tremendously cut down on answering phone calls.
30% is a huge number if we consider the fact that all of Hairstore's 15 shops are located in supermarkets where most cuts are extempore purchases and not planned beforehand. DigitalBooker's Online booking system has made it possible for Hairstore to start selling and marketing hair and beauty services in a complete new way to existing customers which would have been impossible without DigitalBookeria.
Jari Karjalanen himself has worked in everything from retail to carsales where he has seen marketing and sales from a B2C perspective and how IT has been used in those sectors in everything from marketing to business analytics. He was thus immediately on trac when joining Hairstore and seeing DigitalBooker being used inside the company.
Jari mentions DigitalBooker's statistics module and automatic marketing tools as the most prominent features inside the scheduling system. But Hairstore and DigitalBooker have also planned for many more enhancements to the system together.
Hairstore also just released an own App for mobile devices that integrates DigitalBooker as a responsive web view. Hairstore was also one of the first companies in Finland to introduce dynamic pricing for the beauty sector, i.e. a pricing that changes according to what time of the day your booking takes place. This enables Hairstore to increase their fillrate, which they can follow up inside DigitalBooker together with the feedback they've received from customers through the automated customer feedback surveys built into DigitalBooker.
Social media and electronic marketing play a large role in any online business. At both DigitalBooker and and Hairstore we strongly believe in the strenght of having a seamless experience from finding your service online to being able to purchase it online without having to pick up the phone and make the final call. This keeps the customer in the same flow from beginning to end and increases the probability that they actually make the purchase in the end. Something no company can sweep under the carpet today.
As the largest benefits from DigitalBooker Jari mentions the following things:
- Less phonecalls. Thanks to DigitalBooker customers can book their own time online 24/7 when it best suits them.
- A straight channel from digital marketing to service descriptions to booking.
- The possibility to analyze your business and customer behavior such as at what times of the day customers make their bookings online. E.g. a significant amount of bookings are made between 7PM and midnight.
When we ask if there's something special Jari would like to especially mention he immediately mentions the customer support and how well it has always worked.
I've also been positively surprised by how stable the system has always been. In my previous work I grew accustomed to IT systems that had all kinds of various problems but never with DigitalBooker. It has always been stable.
Hairstore's customers have also thanked for the easieness of making a booking and that the system reminds them of their bookings by SMS to their mobile phones before their booking.
We also have a lot of positive things to say about Hairstore here at DigitalBooker and how Jari has taken its online presence forward.
The Swedish Red Cross in Malmö uses DigitalBooker's online scheduling system since February 2014.
The most important task of the Red Cross in Malmö is to locally fill gaps in society that no other players is fulfilling in order to work towards an integrated society with minimized human suffering and a sustainable development.
When we started expanding our functionality we realized that we needed an online booking system to manage our four meeting rooms. The need was huge as we needed to coordinate over 40 different functionalities inside the local organization in an efficient way and in a way that all our volunteers could book the resources for the needs that they had.
Jonathan Graf IT-, Administration- and Communication responsible.
The Red Cross in Malmö compared several different players, among them a free booking system which was praised for its usability. In the end DigitalBooker's system was the best one for them.
Support from the provider played a huge role in the system itself. As we will have so many different people using the system we saw it as imperative that we chose a system where we can count on support when we need it.
The booking system is today used for managing four meeting rooms in Kupan in Malmö, Sweden. These rooms are booked for meetings, trainings and many other purposes. Jonathan see the minimized operational work as one of the largest perks from having started to use DigitalBooker and an online booking system in general. Much less time is today used for managing everyday tasks than before.
Jonathan would recommend DigitalBooker to any NGO or other business with limited resources and a need to optimize their daily operational work and resource usage.