Recently, my sister was looking for a new groomer for her 15-year-old Maltese-Chihuahua dog. She expected it to be easy: all she wanted was a groomer in her neighbourhood with convenient booking times. Yet, this simple search would turn into a frustrating exercise!
All of the dog-groomer websites she viewed were filled with beautiful photos of well-coifed dogs, but she struggled to find key information such as location and hours of operations. She played phone tag with one groomer and sent multiple emails to another and she still didn’t have an appointment to have her dog groomed.
In the end, she went with a groomer who was not in her neighbourhood but did have one very important feature on her website – the ability to book an appointment online. My sister was able to schedule a time that worked for her with little or no fuss.
Let me repeat: she didn’t pick the most talented groomer, or the least expensive, or the one with the best latte in the waiting room. She chose a groomer based on one simple feature – the convenience of booking an appointment quickly and easily.
Top five advantages of online booking for your business
As a small-business owner, your time is money and the ability to manage your calendar and your staff effectively is critical. An online booking app is a simple way to save time and money and we’re all looking for that!
- More effective time management: You can manage your time by blocking your calendar when you’re unavailable or freeing your time as your schedule changes. Online booking reduces booking errors and the need for paper calendars!
- Greater business insight: It’s easy to see the services that are most popular and the time of day most clients choose. This data can help you make decisions on not only on increasing staff on busy times but marketing your slow periods and less popular services.
- More efficient booking process: You can collect the key information you need from your clients prior to their appointment. A dog groomer, for example, can request details such a size, breed and age of the dog at the time of booking. This ensures that the right amount of time is booked without having follow-up phone calls or emails.
- Higher profit from add-ons: Here’s a chance to showcase additional services that your customers may not know about. Clients are more likely add these services at the time of booking when they’re booking online.
- Lower booking costs: Online booking reduces the need to have someone answer the phones to take bookings or call your clients to remind them of upcoming appointments.
Four benefits of online booking for your clients:
- More convenient: Online booking is always available on desktop and mobile devices. Your clients will be happy if they can book or change an appointment when it’s the best time for them, even in the middle of the night. They don’t want to wait until you’re available to take their call. People like doing everything online!
- More personalized: Clients appreciate that they can choose the type of service they want, the person providing the service and knowing how long their appointment will take – all at the time of booking.
- More reminder options: One of the best features of online booking is email or text notifications to remind clients of upcoming appointments. They will be less likely to miss an appointment after receiving a notification.
- More focused service: Your clients will appreciate your undivided attention if you’re not dealing with the interruption of taking calls or answering emails during their appointments.
It’s easier than you think
The days of expensive and complicated online booking systems are in the past. Adding an affordable and easy-to-manage system to your website will save you time and make your business run more smoothly. A good web service company will help you find the best booking platform to meet your budget and business needs.
Bottom line – if your business requires customers to book an appointment and you don’t make it easy for them, they’ll go to a competitor who will. My sister’s experience – choosing a groomer based primarily on ability to book online – shows that customers are willing to go where they can get the service they want.