Do you want to increase online bookings, appointments and scheduling for your business? Do you even take reservations and appointments online? Hopefully some of the tips we provide in this article can help your business grow! The landscape of business has changed and in order to run the most profitable business you might need to change or adapt as well.
The expectations your customers have is changing! Its just that simple. The modern customer has an increased level of expectation regarding what they can do when visiting your website.
Your customers do or will soon expect:
- To be able to schedule appointments on your website
- To be able to see your availability on a real-time basis
- Mobile friendliness from your website and booking applications
So how do I take or increase online bookings on my website?
You will first need to have a some kind of Online Booking Engine, GigaBook is an example of that. Through the creation of a “Booking Widget” you can easily, quickly and affordably turn your existing website, blog or Facebook page into an online booking resource. The cost of doing this is probably a lot more affordable that you think. You can view GigaBook’s Subscriber Rates here. All you need to do is walk through the process of answering a few questions about how you want to present your services online. You can call our office at 913-553-4510 if you want help getting everything set up. Your account will then provide you with pre-made coding for your site, all you need to do is insert it on your webpage and you are ready to go!
If you are already using the GigaBook Booking Application or something similar you might need to consider a few things if you are looking to increase the number of bookings and requests your business is receiving.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Is your booking application large enough to be noticed?
- Is the placement of your booking application in a prevalent place where customers can easily see it?
- Are your services named in a way that is easily understood by your site visitors?
- Are your services adequately described?
In order to gain the most online bookings you need to make the process as quick, easy and painless as possible. Your customers and site visitors want to quickly make their booking request and then get back to whatever it is they were doing. So trying to reduce the number of steps can really increase your booking requests. You can do this by removing the step in your GigaBook Booking Application that asks which service provider you want to see, and instead you can let the “Next Available” service provider handle the request. This removes a step from the process and might help you gain more NEW clients who don’t necessarily care who helps them when at your business.
Is your website mobile friendly?
It is very possible that as many as half of your site visitors are using mobile devices when visiting your website. So the importance of having a website that is mobile friendly is more important than ever! Make sure to talk to your website or call the GigaBook office and ask what it would cost to make your website “Responsive”. This means that your website will automatically know what kind of device it is being viewed on and then “Responds” to the needs of that device. If you are already using GigaBook then you will know what we are talking about as you have probably noticed that our site changes itself automatically based on the kind of device you are using at the moment. This is way of the future for website design and if you aren’t currently utilizing a responsive design then you need to! Mobile device users are likely to not stay long on your site when they run into a non-mobile friendly environment.
If your availability is clearly stated in REAL-TIME then you are more likely to get bookings!
When your clients and site visitors see an accurate portrayal of availability they are more likely to make a request for your services. Vague forms and processes that don’t accurately state when appointments can or could be made are much more likely to be skipped over by visitors.
Do your existing clients know that they can schedule appointments through your website?
Don’t assume or expect that your existing client base knows that they can request your services through your website. This is especially true for clients that definitely know where you are and your existing phone number. Most of your clients probably only visit your website because they forgot your phone number! Make sure to tell your existing clients when they call or come in that you now offer online bookings, if you start doing so you are very likely to see increased use of your booking application. Also make sure to encourage folks to book online, this is not only easy for them it is more efficient for your business too!
Do you currently send out any appointment reminders?
As long as it is done in a professional, non-annoying way your clients probably appreciate a timely reminder about their upcoming appointment. When you use web platforms like GigaBook you can set up your incoming requests to not only auto-confirm incoming requests, but to also send out a reminder via text message or email that lets your clients and employees know they have something coming up. If your clients feel that booking online will create this reminder then many are more likely to do so.
Not everyone wants to call to schedule, or remembers to while you are open!
Just having the ability to take appointments online will increase the amount of business you get. Keep in mind many of your clients probably don’t want to call to schedule an appointment or they never seem to get around to it while you are open. When you have online booking options your clients can request your services all day every day, so that tricky client that never seems to get in touch with you during business hours can now request time with you at whatever time they remember!
I don’t even have a website, do I have any options for taking appointments online anyway?
Yep! If you are a GigaBook subscriber then you have the option of creating your own Booking Website right here at GigaBook! No additional charges or fees, we keep it online for you as part of your subscription. So if your business is just getting started or you don’t have the budget for your own website then you are in luck! Your booking site is completely customizable to your businesses needs, you can add your logo, create and post your business policies, display your hours of operation and more importantly, take online bookings!
Hopefully some of these tips help you get more online bookings through your business! Our goal at GigaBook.com is to help your business grow and to be your online assistant. Feel free to contact us anytime as we would love to answer your questions, help you setup your account, give you tips and advice for the best use of your existing account or even if you just want to give us feedback or tell us how GigaBook helped your business grow.