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.