Benefits of online scheduling for your small business

Your customers are booking online. Are they booking with you?

If you are an independent professional who takes appointments, the reasons you should offer online booking are numerous. Our users tell us 35% of their business is booked online and is steadily increasing each year. Makes sense with consumerism today. Think about it, customers can already do online banking, schedule flights, and make online purchases for most retail items. They stream movies, buy dinner, purchase groceries online; they can even earn their college degree over the internet. They expect the same experience when booking a service. They don't want to play phone tag or fill out a form and wait 24-48 hours for a reply. They want to do business with a professional with professional tools who can provide them with an immediate response. Online booking will allow you to secure the appointment and meet the immediacy of their requests.  Online appointment scheduling is a necessity for the service industry. Don't let your customers book online with a competitor. Instead learn the benefits so you can start using online booking for your business today.

24/7 Accessibility

You lead a full and active life. Remember, so do your clients. They don't have the patience to play phone tag throughout the day trying to find a time to schedule with you. Often customers have the time to plan their schedule late in the evening after your business is closed for the day. When you offer online booking, you give your customers a view into your schedule that allows them to book when they have the time to connect. A customer who wants an appointment and doesn't make timely contact will end up booking with someone else. Don't create unnecessary delays to doing business. Make your schedule accessible so you can fill your schedule and increase your revenue. The ability for customers to book a service in real time increases their customer satisfaction, keeps them engaged and will benefit your bottom line.

Many of my clients are working parents, and let's face it their time is not their own. They've told me how much they appreciate the ability to book with me online– now they can schedule the appointment when their kids are in bed and they have a moment to catch up. If I didn't offer this service I know for a fact that I would have missed out on their business. – Sam, Massage Therapist

You can still maintain control of your schedule.

Many small business owners have managed their schedules for years. Put your time to better use with online appointment scheduling. A good scheduling system will allow you to set the parameters of your work schedule. It will take into consideration other pre-existing appointments or personal appointments. It allows for set up, break down, padding and travel time so you won't be over committed or double-booked.  Concerned about new customers accessing your schedule, especially without any pre- existing relationship?  You can activate a pre-approval process so any new client will need your consent before they can complete their online appointment.

Better client communication and decrease appointment no shows.

Online booking features take into consideration the work flows of client communication.  The time you spend playing phone tag and doing call confirmations will become things of the past. Online scheduling features include automated customer confirmations, appointment reminders, and even thank-you emails.  Appointment reminders will reduce no-shows and allow ample time for rescheduling, so you can keep your schedule booked. Your pricing, payment and cancellation policy can be easily communicated through these emails- greatly reducing miscommunication or awkward conversations. Through these automated email correspondence, your clients will be well informed about the details for their next appointment with you.

The time previously spent doing these office tasks can now be shifted to allow for more meaningful face time with your immediate customers. Your customers will value the extra attention and become repeat clients based on the level of service you provide.

Grow your business on the go

Keeping a paper-based appointment book or only having your schedule on a desktop computer in your office is limiting to your business, especially in an era of convenience and accessibility. With online booking you have access to your schedule wherever you are- at home, on the road, or out on a hiking trail. Your schedule is cloud-based so you can view your schedule in real time, make appointments, and get alerts when clients have booked a new appointment with you. If you are offsite and a client wants to make an appointment with you, don't miss the opportunity. Book them in real time through your smart phone or share your custom online booking url and have them schedule directly.

More accessibility = More opportunity

In a time of increased competition, offering your customers an easy and convenient way to do business with you can open up many more opportunities for your business. Using online booking to handle the scheduling components of your business will give you more time to focus on what you do best. Online booking and customer appointment scheduling are key features you'll need to take advantage of for your small business. This is another great example of how digital tools help self-employed, small-business professionals make better use their time and resources

GoNotes Pro business tools include online booking. Get a custom personal booking url or display a booking button on your website or Facebook page for easy customer access.  Let us help your small business compete in today's marketplace. Sign up Free today.

Want to read more on this topic? Do you have issues with client no-shows or cancellations?