I am fortunate to have the perspective of a 'service provider' and all the joys and challenges it brings. Technology is excellent in helping to bring about more joyful moments but when human error comes into play, technology can be destructive for a business.
I have been guilty myself of not correctly updating contact information on all of my social media platforms or creating email diverts and missing the emails all together (the latter I was able to salvage thanks to a very understanding client). These things happen and it is difficult to estimate how much such mistakes may have cost in bookings, leads, collaborations, etc.
Today's grumble however originates from my perspective as a consumer. A few days ago, I booked a treatment online. I received the automated confirmation email and an automated reminder email a few days before the appointment.
On the day of the appointment, I travelled (by public transport) to the venue and was told the person who was supposed to conduct the treatment was not there and no one seemed to be aware of the appointment. A couple of calls and a message to the practitioner's number proved fruitless. I turned on my heels and went home dejected. Not just at the wasted journey (and no treatment!), but at the missed opportunity to support another practitioner.
Technology will work for you until it doesn't. For example, online booking systems are useful as they allow the consumer and the service provider a quick and convenient method of booking, as well as automated reminders. However, if bookings are not checked or if the practitioner does not sync the appointments to their online calendar, the technology is useless and there is an added risk of a loss of business and/or poor reviews.
Not having an online booking system is not a failing - it just might not be right for your business at this time. Sometimes, the old-fashioned method of one stationary paper diary, with bookings made over the phone (or email if appropriate), is the best option.