Phone Bookings waste time – 3 tips for moving online

Getting your customers to book your services is the end goal of any marketing activity. The majority of business owners try to achieve this by getting to know their customers, and making themselves available to answer all of their questions and concerns. However, eventually phone bookings will be a huge waste of energy.


This tactic, with its personal touch, makes a lot of sense when you’re starting out and just have a handful of customers. However as you grow, you can end up getting trapped in a cycle of communication and reassurance with your customers. You find yourself spending hours a day on the phone; booking appointments, reminding customers of your meeting, giving directions, and confirming times.

Being on the phone is a huge waste of energy for businesses. Not only does it limit customers to scheduling meetings during business hours, it also makes interactions way longer than they need to be just to book an appointment. And this is why so many companies are turning to online booking systems.

Getting your customers used to the idea of booking online can be difficult if they are in the habit of calling your business and talking to humans. However, with an easy to use booking system in place, it will only take one visit to convince them of the benefits of booking your services online.

Here are 3 tips on how to get your customers off the phone and booking online without losing any business while doing so.

1. Make Booking Online Easier Than Phoning You

The main reason why people prefer talking on the phone to booking online is because they find online booking options confusing or unreliable.

However, phone bookings is time consuming for you and your customer, and adds extra steps and hassles that are much more easily avoided by booking via an online form. However, if your website does not make booking online as easy, intuitive, and clear as possible, your customers will not trust the system and will continue to call.

The key to encouraging your customers to book online is to make the experience something they are comfortable doing– even more comfortable than being on the phone. The best way to do this is to use booking software that has an intuitive interface and is easy to use.

Booking software like Book Like A Boss do just this. By providing an interface that feels familiar to anyone who’s used Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, Book Like A Boss makes booking your services easy with a visual aid of a calendar already on the page.

By creating a separate booking page that people feel comfortable with, and making the process easy and intuitive, you will ease your customers into trusting the experience of booking with you.

2. Answer FAQs On Your Web Page

Another common reason customers call a business is because they have questions that they can’t find the answer to online. The best way to avoid this is to have an FAQ page that is actually helpful.

Many FAQ pages feel out of date, poorly put together, and of no real help to the customer. Make sure you have an FAQ page that is regularly updated answers common questions, and offers a reliable email address where customers can ask additional questions.

Don’t make the FAQ page so long that customers have to dig through it in order to find answers, but make sure it gets to the meat of common booking issues. If you take the time to create a truly useful FAQ page, you will cut the amount of phone calls you need to take and save yourself time and money.

3. Confirmation Messages Reassure Your Customer

If you offer online booking services, you need to make sure that your customers receive confirmation and reminder messages that reassure them that they booked successfully.

All online booking services should come with an instant confirmation email that is sent to your customer’s email address, confirming their appointment and reminding them of their time so that they don’t have any doubt. It’s also helpful to send out reminder emails a few days before the appointment in order to remind and reassure your customer.

These little details will make a big difference to new customers that want to be sure the online service worked the way it was supposed to. And, they will also reduce the amount of phone calls you get from people wanting to be reassured by talking to a person.

Succeeding in moving your booking services online is all about creating a system that is intuitive, reliable, and comprehensive. If you make sure your online booking is a positive experience, you will see that your customers prefer it to the hassle of phone calls.

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Len is a tech and business writer who covers small business and startup advice and has appeared in many print and digital publications. He lives in London, UK, where he's also a sub editor on a national newspaper. He loves to travel and has lived in France, Spain, Senegal and Rwanda.

Guide to striking deals via email

When an email from a new lead lands in your inbox, the way you respond can be critical. The initial negotiations with a potential client, where you find out what they want and what they’re willing to pay can be complicated – especially when the entire conversation happens over email.


Psychological research has found that up to 90% of face-to-face communication is non-verbal, meaning that it’s a lot harder to gauge what a client wants when the only interaction you have with them is written in the body of an email.

Nonetheless, people are increasingly reaching business deals with people and businesses they’ve only spoken to via email messages – and millennials in particular say they prefer contacting clients over emails than phone calls.

If you find email a complicated medium, let’s look at some useful ways you can build rapport over email, which will make more of those promising leads turn into profitable customers.

Striking Deals Over Email

Let’s take a look at some simple steps you can follow to boost the chances that the email conversation will turn into real business:

1. Avoid hitting people with quotes and brochures up front
Unless the lead asks to receive price listings or other material immediately, you should not overwhelm them with this kind of content. Rather, aim to build a conversation and find out what their problems are and what they want you to help them with.

2. Meaningful subject lines will help everyone
An clear email subject line makes it easier for the client to find your email in their inbox – and it also tells them what the email will be about before they open it.

3. Keep the conversation flowing with questions
Don’t expect your leads to write long, detailed messages. It’s not uncommon for emails to be short and to the point – this doesn’t mean there’s a problem, you just need to keep the person’s attention. A simple start is to keep the conversation going by asking them friendly questions which mean they’re more likely to answer.

4. Cut length, boost clarity
Lengthy emails will just confuse potential clients. While you don’t want to appear blunt, you need to make it easy for them to respond to you and your questions. Bullet points or listed questions are easier for them to answer in turn.

5. Close off longer emails by summing up
If you need to write a longer email, aim to sum up the key points of your message at the beginning, and also draw out any specific requests or actions you need the client to complete at the end of the email

Happy emailing

Email can be a powerful tool for closing business deals – but unlike a face to face conversation, misunderstandings are more likely, and you can lose a warm lead with slow or confusing replies. However, just a couple of changes to your emailing style can make a big difference, and turn more leads into customers.

7 Timeless Tips on Advertising from Ogilvy

You’ve probably heard of David Ogilvy and his timeless marketing book “Ogilvy on Advertising”. If you haven’t, I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy here.

I’d like to share with you a few of my favorite nuggets of wisdom that I’ve found in his book and have used for my clients, successfully, and that you can start using today to help your business grow. Let’s jump in…

Speak Visually. Create an infographic with Visme

Marketing Tip Number One:

It pays to give most products an image of quality. A first class ticket.

Marketing Tip Number Two:

Big ideas are what it takes to attract consumers to your product. (Which leads us to…)

Marketing Tip Number Three:

How to recognize a big idea.

Did it make me gasp when I first saw it?
Do I wish I thought of it?
Is it unique?
Does it fit strategy to perfection?
Could it be used for 30 years?

In a recent post I wrote about harnessing the power of mass desire on to your product, I covered why some ads run for 30 days and some run for three decades. You can check it out here.

Marketing Tip Number Four:

Positioning (what it is and what it isn’t)

Positioning is not a buzzword. Simply put, it is “What a product does and who it is for”.

Marketing Tip Number Five:

For local advertising you get [much] better results when you name the city/location in your headline.

Marketing Tip Number Six:

Recall increases by [an average factor of] 28% when you put your headline in quotes.

Marketing Tip Number Seven:

Story Appeal (use it). Add photos that arouse curiosity and entice the prospect to read the copy.

When it comes to marketing your business you have to take a unique approach, because after all, your business is unique and the problems you solve and face will be unique as well.

Copying what others do won’t get you there. Learning principles, tips and “hacks” that are proven effective will help. However, it’s up to you and your team to find the groove that makes your product irresistible to your customers.

These tips can get you some of the way there but don’t look for all the answers on the internet. Use your mind, trust your gut (you understand your business better than anyone else) and rely on the facts that can help you leverage your marketing efforts further.

When you’re creating your next marketing campaign try to remember these tips and this quote from Steve Jobs. I find it both insightful and motivating, I hope you do to!

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
– Steve Jobs