Since businesses like spa, gym, healthcare, consultancy, event management, and many others thrive on appointment bookings, it is critical to get more customers/clients aboard. Setting up appointments with clients and customers is tricky. You have to be strategic and bold to convince people for booking appointments at a proper slot since their schedule will differ from yours. Fixing appointments through phone calls is tough and requires patience. Your customer might cut the call on your face if you dare to disturb them at odd hours. But how will you know which is the best time to call them? Many people also fumble while having a conversation on call and that presents a negative image of your company’s capabilities. But, you cannot let these problems affect you negatively. You must step up your appointment booking game for effective sales. To put it bluntly, you have to earn your customers through bookings, only then you can more revenue. You also have to be well-versed with the technology for appointment scheduling and know ways to prevent no-shows and missed appointments.
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Here are the simple ways to increase your appointment bookings
If you run a business that requires everyday appointment booking and management, here are 10 useful tips for improving the number and quality of your online customer appointment bookings.
Redesign your company website into a booking website to increase appointment bookings
Focus on the root first. Your company website has to be refashioned into a free booking website so that customers/clients can directly book appointments from there. Many companies spend huge money on inbound marketing techniques and create long call lists. But in the present situation, frankly saying, nobody has the time to call up and fix an appointment. Customers love things that are on the go. So give them what they desire- the power of flexible scheduling. Instead of hiring a manager to answer phone calls and note down appointment schedules on obsolete register books and excel sheets, go digital. Use a free online appointment scheduling software such as Picktime that facilitates 24/7 online booking at any time. Embed a Picktime-generated code to your website HTML code, and you will get a “Book Now” button; the button redirects your customers/clients to a booking page that is customizable according to your business needs.
Here is an important tip: Ensure that you embed the appointment booking button on every significant page and not just the homepage. Include a direct call to action like “Book your appointment now”.
Be in the good books of Google
It is a fact that Google is currently the most popular search engine. Most people search for their needs on Google, and a company’s aim should be to rank higher in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) of Google. However, it is not easy to do. Ranking higher requires following SEO-based tactics from content creation to designing. So, whenever you are writing content for your website, ensure that you mention keywords and search terms that are most likely to be used by people while searching for businesses on Google. Also, get your business listed on Google My Business and add the link to your company website.
Provide multiple options for advanced online payments to increase appointment bookings
Instead of pressurizing your customers for cash payments at your counters, simply provide multiple methods of secure online payment. Offering various payment options such as credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, and Square, reduces problems of keeping a check on your revenue and ensures faster and instant payments. Also, ensure that you integrate your website with a safe payment gateway so that your customers can have the confidence in making payments. Moreover, accepting online payments in advance will make sure you do not suffer losses if someone cancels their booking at the eleventh hour.
Send reminders and follow-ups to reduce no-shows
Every day your customers have a lot of irons in the fire, from managing work meetings to completing home chores. Due to this, it is common for them to be forgetful of scheduled appointments. But one missed appointment can cost you heavily. So you have to go the extra mile and follow up with customers and clients on scheduled bookings. Usually, appointment schedulers provide the benefit of sending automated email and SMS reminders in advance. These reminders carry details about meeting timings, location, and duration. Such reminders greatly reduce no-shows and curbs down losses. Make sure you start sending reminders two days before the scheduled time and mandatorily send a reminder on the day of the meeting.
Turn your social media profiles into an online booking engine
Currently, every customer is an active social media user. If you are not utilizing your social media pages and profiles to promote your business, you are barking up the wrong tree! Turn your social media followers and profile/page visitors into potential leads. In addition to sharing photos, text content, and videos, promote your booking website on your social media page/profile. When you use Picktime online appointment scheduler, you will get an auto-generated code to embed on your Facebook page and Instagram profile. You will be able to add a booking button to your page/profile and customers can directly self-schedule appointments by just clicking on that button. A click on the booking button will redirect them to your online booking page.
Sell your appointments through blogging
If you wish to get more customer bookings, you have to sell your appointments, not just your product/service. One way to sell your appointments is by creating company blogs to guide your customers about how to book appointments and what added benefits they will get through online bookings. Write concise blogs and include images for each step and videos for the whole process for better results. Share the links to the blogs on your Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter profile to get more views. Include interesting and relevant hashtags to gain more popularity.
Play with visuals and sounds to make your business memorable
Many studies have reported time and again that people are attracted by visuals and appealing designs more than long paragraphs of content. Even if you are writing blogs and articles for your company website or social media profile, include relevant and eye-catching pictures so that people can register and remember the information better. Tunes and taglines also play a key role in making people remember your products and services. For instance, whenever someone says “Think Different”, people instantly think of Apple. Samsung, on the other hand, has a distinct tune that differentiates it from its competitors. So, use such ideas and tempt people with visuals and tunes to grab their attention and awaken curiosity regarding your products/services. Include a link to your booking website or booking page within your social media posts, ad campaigns, and blogs for customers to book directly appointments.
Design email marketing campaigns for promoting your online booking services
Maintaining relationships with customers is vital for businesses. If you are not focusing on customer relationship management, you will lose out on your old and loyal customers. They will find alternatives and you will incur losses. Put in your best efforts to interact with your customers and clients. Design bulk email and SMS marketing campaigns. Choose an online It is booking management software that integrates with top email marketing campaign builders like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and SendGrid.
Include the link to your online booking page in the email campaigns and SMS that you design. It will help you to track the number of visits to your booking website and the number of people booking an appointment. Make the campaigns attractive with catchy phrases and appealing pictures to not make it seem a straightforward boring way to market your booking services. You can even such email campaigns to send information about the latest offers, services, discounts, vouchers, and any other significant contribution made by your business. These email campaign builders also provide you insightful reports to comprehend the effectiveness of your campaigns and then you can calculate your return on investment.
Provide discounts to your customers and notify them about the latest offers
Make your customers feel appreciated and valued. Offer them discounts on appointment bookings on special days like birthdays and anniversaries, and holidays. For example, you can offer your customers discount coupons on occasions like a Flash Friday Sale to promote bookings during off-seasons. Send email and text notifications to your customers and clients about the latest offers and discounts. Also, if you want more online bookings, incentivize such opportunities and entice customers with a 5% discount for booking appointments online to eliminate manual registration processes. It will also benefit you because your website page views will increase too many folds! But before planning any discount voucher, research the ongoing market trends to decide the best time to launch new discount and voucher programs.
Ask for reviews and recommendations from customers for word-of-mouth marketing
Believe it or not, word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective strategies to increase appointment bookings. When customers suggest your brand to their friends and family members, you gain new leads. Hence, do not forget to ask for feedback and recommendations from your customers and clients. Ensure that you gather and publish them on your company website. Online appointment scheduling software like Picktime benefits businesses by letting them send emails with feedback request forms after clients/customers have received their services.
Get your customers to review your services and products on Google and Facebook. If you sell your product through e-commerce sellers like Amazon or eBay, let your customers rate your products for others to see. For example, if you sell hair care products, ask customers to post reviews with a picture of the results of using your hair care product. If they post on social media, ask them to tag your brand with a brand-specific hashtag.
Employ these ten techniques to manage your customer bookings and shun age-old practices of manual bookings through calls and emails. You can lose your appointment register books any day but using cloud-based appointment scheduling makes sure your customer data is securely and permanently saved and does not get deleted even if you have connectivity issues or if your system abruptly shuts down.
Sign up on Picktime online appointment scheduling software for free today to explore newer possibilities in appointment booking and management. You do not need to install any app. It is accessible via any web-based device. So, without further ado, log in to your Picktime account and effortlessly manage your online bookings with your personal commitments.