When you run a company, you probably can agree that business meetings make up a big proportion of your overall business activities, especially when you’re in the growth phase of your business or when you provide services. Whether they’re in the form of lunches, more official online sessions or maybe just actual services being done in your office, they always have to be scheduled in advance in some way.
Now think about the way you schedule your appointments. How does that happen? You probably still do it through email, telephone or maybe even text messages. Is this correct? Well, it’s time to stop.
Online booking is the new way of doing business and booking meetings with your clients and customers. It is a great idea for many companies, regardless of the size. While it has been around for a while, the pandemics accelerated its growth substantially, forcing more and more companies to implement this type of appointment scheduling tool.
Scheduling your meetings with online booking is one thing. But how can you make online booking effective and, most importantly, pleasant for your clients and customers?
We have the answer to this question! If you’re ready to learn how to take your online booking to the next level, keep reading. You’re about to get rich in insightful and valuable knowledge!
Benefits of online booking platforms
The benefits of online booking platforms are definitely underrated. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular ones before we reveal our secrets to effective online booking:
- maximization of reservations
- easy implementation and user-friendly interface
- faster payment process
- high accessibility of your business – you can make bookings 24/7
- access to various statistics and insights
- easy calendar management with everything in one place
Sounds interesting? Great! Since you already know online booking can benefit your business, let’s see how to optimize the experience as much as possible so that it’s pleasant both for you and your customers! Shall we?
#1 Allow your online booking system to take instant payments
It can be hard to imagine, but the online world is still not a place where people can do business with complete anonymity. This means that online payments are often processed offline – meaning you sometimes leave your customers waiting for days while they wait for their payment to be verified and approved.
The good news is that with a reliable online booking tool, you don’t have to anymore! Online booking systems can take instant online payments, so your customers can do business with you practically instantly. It’s a solution that saves time and contributes to completing your business activities in a much faster manner.
How do we do that in Calendesk?
No one likes missed appointments, as well as wasted time and money – that’s for sure. Modern booking systems like Calendesk allow you to avoid this nightmare and accept payments upfront. Once people pay for something upfront, they’re usually more committed to their obligation. Therefore, the possibility of you wasting money here significantly decreases.
With Calendesk you can offer your customers to pay using methods such as quick bank payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay or even credit card. If this isn’t enough, you clients get a chance to become your regular customer thanks to features like paid subscriptions. memberships and various passes. The system can even automatically issue VAT invoices, so you don’t have to worry about it.
#2 Provide excellent customer experience with notifications
Online booking is perfect for online businesses, but it can also be a problem when your customers are not fully aware of what’s happening with their online orders or appointments.
Sending notifications to your clients with updates on all stages of appointment booking is a great way to keep your customers informed and calm.
Depending on the platform you choose to handle your online booking for you, you can keep your customers updated at all times through email, SMS or even using push notifications. Such notifications can also be totally automated and personalized according to your needs.
All of that undoubtedly contributes to providing an excellent customer experience.
Keep your customers up to date on the status of their online order/meeting and making sure they know exactly what they have to do (send a payment, set a time or just show up to the meeting at the right location) will allow you to save time and make sure you take advantage of every single minute during your work time.
Consider using a mobile app
One great way of staying in touch with your customers and making sure they don’t miss any of the appointments they book with you is by providing them with a mobile app they can use to manage their bookings, receive push notifications, access your availability and more.
What’s in it for you? Well, you can customize it so it’s totally tailored to your brand: choose your own text, colors, design and more. Having an app like this will allow you to stay more connected with your customers, which will positively impact your sales.
How do we do that in Calendesk?
If you choose to manage your online bookings using Calendesk, you will instantly notice that the company-customer relationship always remains a priority. With this tool, you can choose between email, SMS and various push notifications to make your business part of your customers’ daily life.
It’s a very effective way to stay in your customers’ mind. This contributes to building brand recall and, as a result, brand loyalty.
Calendesk can also allow you to create engaging newsletters, share content, and even encourage actions via push notifications. With such multichannel communication your business will build a strong and loyal customer base in no time.
#3 Build a coherent website or landing page for online booking
An online booking website is not only a great marketing tool, it also gives your online customers more confidence that they are doing business with the right company. Having your own professional and branded landing page, or maybe even a whole separate website, will make your business look much more professional and will give your first-time customers a boost of confidence before deciding to shop with you.
In order to get this type of online presence for your online store or service- you need to build a coherent site around your online booking system. This includes high quality photographs and descriptions, as well as logos and even own colors. All so that everyone can feel confident in their decision before going through with an online purchase. And the best part? With the right tool, it can take as little as just one hour to do.
A well-designed landing page will be devoid of any distractions, which means there won’t be anything on the page except what’s necessary: contact information, prices, and availability! A whole separate page can give you room for much more information to include.
When you decide to allow a company like Calendesk to manage it for you, you won’t even have to worry about domains, servers or any authorization certificates. Calendesk will do it all for you!
How do we do that in Calendesk?
You can forget about having to build your own website from scratch when it comes to online booking. Calendesk provides its users with a very simple website builder that can allow you to fully customize your booking system.
You can tailor everything to your needs so that your website resembles your customers’ expectations and, as a result, you create experiences that customers want to come back to.
#4 Deliver mobile availability
This is a new online requirement that your online booking system needs to be able to handle: the ability for customers to make reservations from their mobile phones. Providing this option will help you appeal more broadly- especially because over 30% of online traffic comes from people visiting websites on their cell phones. People book their appointments everywhere: on a bus, in a restaurant, on the way home from work or even during a bath. Our smartphones have become our little computers and for this reason, your appointment booking system should be mobile-friendly.
If you already have a responsive online store, adding in smartphone compatibility should not take too much work or time. However, if building an online store and starting with mobile has been part of your plan all along, we recommend following RWD principles which can help you focus specifically on making sure your website looks good across desktop computers as well as smartphones!
How do we do that in Calendesk?
Using Calendesk, you can be sure that your customers will be able to make bookings practically anywhere and anytime using their smartphones. All of this thanks to the mobile application with a fast and reliable online booking system. Modern and futuristic approach to your business can give it a whole new meaning and attract more potential customers. Make sure your business stays up to date with the demands of the society and surprise them with some modernity!
#5 Be clear and open clear about your offerings
There is probably nothing worse than not being clear about your offerings. Pay close attention to your offer being easily accessible and understandable to potential customers.
Avoid using misleading language and having your offer spread over several pages. Chances are your clients won’t have the time or will to scroll through 10 pages of your different services/appointment types. Therefore, you should keep it concise and short, but also make sure all the necessary information is included, for example, appointment duration or the price.
#6 Automate your work with programs your customers know
Today, people like being comfortable, sometimes way too much. They pick cars over public transport and eat takeaways instead of cooking at home. As a business owner, you need to live up to people’s expectations and be where they are.
Having the possibility to integrate your online booking system with applications that you, as well as your potential customers, use often will let you get to your customers much quicker. Facebook Messenger, Google Meet, Google Analytics, Invoice Ocean, or Stripe – you choose.
It’s actually a great way to keep your bookings in one place. Having a system that practically does all the job for you will allow you to save a lot of time and focus on the most important aspects of your business core. Think about it next time when you will be choosing your online booking platform.
How do we do that in Calendesk?
Integrations play an important role when it comes to implementing new tools for your business and Calendesk is perfectly aware of this. This tool can allow you to automate your work with the programs that you, as well as your customers, know. Choose from worldwide known solutions like Google Meet, Facebook Messenger, Google Analytics, Stripe and more. Online booking has never been easier!
#7 Have a loyalty program
Let’s be honest, everyone likes freebies and various incentives, like discounts, promotion codes and so on. Setting up a well thought-out loyalty program or referral marketing activities for your regular customers who book appointments with you through your online platform has several benefits.
First of all, customers who already know your online booking system will be tempted to book more appointments in order to get those free gifts and discounts. This will increase your sales and will positively impact your ROI.
Second of all, those customers who still use the traditional booking method, like maybe calling your receptionist or sending a text message to you, or adding more work to your social media management, will be willing to switch to your online booking system once they find out there are attractive discounts and prizes waiting for them there.
Last but not least, the more people use the same booking system within your company (preferably your online booking system), the smoother your workload will be and your workplace will be much more organized, with all information being in one place.
#8 Always do a follow up
Booking appointments is one thing, but getting customers to come back to you and schedule meetings using the same method is a whole different story. In order to know whether you’re doing a good job or not, you need to get feedback from your customers. When it comes to online booking systems, the comfort of your customers is as important as that of yours. Therefore, knowing how they found using your landing page or mobile app is extremely important in ensuring that they have a nice and smooth experience that they enjoy.
Getting your customers’ opinions can be done in various ways. You could, for example, ask them straight away after your appointment finishes whether or not they enjoyed their booking process. Another good way is by offering them an attractive incentive, for example, a small discount on their next service once they fill out a more broad and extensive form for you.
Don’t forget that you can always use your own booking system as a customer and go through it in search of good, as well as faulty aspects. This form of research into your own booking system will let you see if the whole experience of a user is pleasurable enough to be continued in the future.
Over to you
Here we are! Richer in knowledge and insightful tips. We hope that this article allowed you to deepen your understanding of the importance and convenience of online booking systems, such as Calendesk. Using an online meeting scheduler is a great way for companies to stay organized, maximize their sales and accelerate business growth in no time.
If you found this article helpful, make sure you have a look at our other publications. We specialize in customer service, effective offer writing, online meetings, and more. Check us out, you won’t regret it.
If we managed to convince you that online booking systems are worth your attention, we have some good news for you. Calendesk is a platform that will help you with your first steps into the world of online booking. Starting with a forever-free plan, you can slowly explore your options and all the possibilities we offer.
We believe that effective online booking is our future and soon it will overtake other appointment scheduling methods, so don’t be late and adopt early!