Most small, local, service oriented businesses grow through word of mouth. Someone asks for the name of a good painter, or house cleaner, or lawn maintenance company, and they get recommendations. The Internet, however, has provided additional options for companies that want to get their name out there. By listing themselves online or creating social media accounts, many small businesses can get their name and service list out into the public sphere. Some of these services are just ways to promote your business, which can get costly fast; others are ways to actually begin to accept bookings online and grow your business.
If you've been looking for a cost-effective way to begin taking bookings online, you need to check out Launch27. With one simple website plug-in, you'll be ready to show your available time slots, have customers book online, accept credit card payments through a secure interface, and prompt customers through text and email before their appointment. No coding skills necessary; Launch27 is simple to use and easy to customize for your business's needs.
Launch27 is specifically formulated for jobs where the worker goes to the customer's home, like cleaning services, lawn care, or painting. It allows for many different variables in pricing accordingly.
When you have a service based business where customers come to you, Booker is often cited as a great software to manage your appointments, take payments, and generally make your salon, studio, or lessons run much more smoothly. Booker offers a customer app, to keep your business in your customers' minds, online payment processing for both services and gift certificates, and a mobile app so that you can manage your business while you're on the move.
Front Desk is another software scheduler oriented towards service providers. While other services focus on allowing your customers to book and pay online, Front Desk also offers customer profiles, allowing you to more easily view your customers and their habits. Customers can access their profiles, see scheduled events, or any passes or appointments they have pending. You can leave notes on customer profiles that can be private, or can be sent through email to the client. If you have a customer who frequently requests to see a particular service provider, you can assign the client to them in the system, allowing them to more easily be connected. Like Launch27, Front Desk offers a free 14 day trial.
If you already have a viable Facebook presence, you might be interested in Schedulista. Along with mobile and online booking capabilites, Schedulista allows your customers to book directly through Facebook. Schedulista provides a free online booking page, as well as a Schedule Now button that can be added to your webpage. The system offers credit card capturing, so that you can charge for no-shows, and has full MailChimp integration, so you can integrate newsletters with your client list. It easily syncs with major calendar apps, such as Google, Outlook, and iPhone. Finally, Schedulista offers built in analytics so that you can see what's working for your business, and what isn't. The system offers a free 15 day trial.
If you haven't checked out the ways that online booking can expand and improve your business, it's time. There are many different features and options available through different providers, for all types of business. When you set your business up for online booking, you:
- Eliminate the need for back and forth phone calls in order to set up appointments. No more worries about taking a call about a job while you're on the job; set up your voice mail to direct customers to the website to book an appointment, and you're all set.
- Reduce the stress for customers with social anxiety or phone anxiety to contact your business. It seems silly, but there are customers who absolutely factor online booking into their decision making process for service providers.
- Reduce the chance of making mistakes or double booking with paper and pencil scheduling. Nothing's more frustrating for customers or service providers than having two customers show up for the same booking. With great booking software, that dilemma will be a thing of the past.