Household services are becoming a lot more popular with working people everywhere. What we might once have tried to do ourselves, many working households have discovered outsourcing things like cleaning, DIY, home and garden maintenance is far more efficient and cost-effective than trying to do everything.
More households than ever in most western countries have two working adults, the cost of living has increased significantly in cities. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to have a home life, a work-life, and get everything else done around the house. There’s even less time if you add children to the mix.
When you accept just how busy most households are, it makes sense that implementing online scheduling is just one more step on the road to accessing more business. Maintenance, cleaning and household facelifts occur to people at some very odd times.
Now, if you’re a sole operator or run a small household service business, you probably have to spend your out of hours responding to texts, voicemails and emails asking for appointments. But what if you didn’t have to?
Home Services Benefiting from Online Scheduling
What kind of services would you call household services? Sure, there are plenty of services that could take place in the home, but you wouldn’t necessarily call them household services.
Household services are those things that we need to do for our household. So that could be a biannual garden tidy up, an annual gutter clean, or a weekly laundry, cleaning or ironing service. These are regular, or at least recurring services, required for the ongoing maintenance of the home that will see clients coming back if you make it easy for them.
There are also household services that are both maintenance and emergency services, such as locksmiths, glaziers, electricians, and plumbers. We might need to update the plumbing in our home when we have a new kitchen, and we can wait for an appointment. However, we might also need them in a hurry if there is a spectacular leak.
So, what kind of household service do you provide that could significantly benefit from providing online scheduling for clients?
- DIY & Decorating
- Appliance Service/Repair
- Grass cutting
- Tree Cutting
- Artificial turfing
- Upholstery service/repair/cleaning
- Window cleaning
There are probably dozens I’ve missed, but these cover the essentials that most of us use throughout our adult lives.
Online Scheduling for Home Services
Household Services are Hands-on
While some service businesses can accommodate occasional breaks to check messages and respond (although most clients don’t appreciate it), household services are actively hands-on. Painting a room, servicing airconditioning units, deep-cleaning a rental home, they all require pretty continuous attention to what you are doing. You can’t break off to answer a phone that’s ringing over and over because someone wants to book an appointment. Sometimes it’s not convenient; at others, it’s plain dangerous to answer calls. While sure, you can answer a phone on Bluetooth and keep cleaning, I wouldn’t recommending while up a tree cutting branches with a chainsaw or on a ladder.
However, that continuously ringing phone is probably someone who really wants your services. If they can’t get hold of you, they will go to someone else. Can your business afford to lose clients because you can’t answer the phone while on the job?
It might sound disingenuous to talk about work/life balance in the service industries, but service providers need a home life too. You shouldn’t have to spend a significant amount of what should be your home life dealing with appointment requests and responding to emails.
Ignoring the past year and a half when many people have worked from home, most people don’t notice things that need doing around the house unless they are there. When people see things is when it is in their minds to book an appointment. That means it’s usually an evening or a weekend when people want to find and secure their home service provider.
If you can offer online scheduling to your searching clients, you can leave the mundane activity of booking appointments to the clients. Not to mention tracking revenues, payments and everything else, because it all comes through your booking system.
If you are a sole operator and do every job yourself, you need technical help to free up your time. Your business makes no money unless someone is paying for your services, so it’s better to have the tech deal with the admin while you deal with the hands-on needs of the client.
Even if you aren’t a sole operator and have a small or mid-sized workforce, household services happen in clients homes or other premises. Most of the time, your individual service providers might be spread out around the city or region. Your scheduling system needs to accommodate your need to organise your workforce timetable, travel between appointments, required resources, service extras, and potentially much more, depending on your service requirements.
If you have a regional business with multiple service types, maybe you need to ensure the right people and resources are available for the jobs. If you only have three long ladders, you need to ensure you don’t book more than three jobs that need them. With Related Resources, you can always provide that you never overbook your resources. Perhaps you also need an app to ensure everyone has access to their work schedule wherever they are and whatever they are doing?
Online Booking for Household Services with SimplyBook.me
Beyond the benefits of letting clients book their appointments without waiting for you to answer voice and email messages, a broad range of features can help the household services operator.
Ask Questions and make sure you don’t waste your time
Now you might not want to let people book an appointment for a room painting or a gutter cleaning without going to check it out first, but you can employ a booking system for people to book your available time to come and see the job at hand. This is a simple example, and you only need a single appointment type.
Along those lines, you may also want to use the “Approve Booking” option to ensure clients have given you the correct details to complete the job.
Sure, you can ask questions with the Intake forms feature, but you can’t be absolutely sure they’re telling the truth.
By using intake forms, you can ask questions about colour schemes, fencing types, curtain fabric (for cleaning) and
Multiple services for scale and frequency
Alternatively, you can create a booking system for a cleaning business that lets clients select the number of rooms and specific rooms (kitchen, bathroom, ensuite, lounge & dining rooms – leave the bedrooms). Perhaps even an approximate size range by square metres (or feet if you prefer).
You could do the same for lawn-mowing and general garden maintenance.
What about a package deal for multiple visits? Houses get untidy, laundry needs washing, and grass and weeds grow (unless artificial). Regular maintenance is necessary to keep on top of it all, offer a package deal for a whole month, three or six months or even an entire year.
Remote Calls and Apps
What about carrying out remote video quotes for house painting and decoration?
If you have a regional business with multiple service types, maybe you need to ensure the right people are available for the jobs. Maybe you also need an app to ensure everyone has access to their work schedule wherever they are
Business Text messaging
Another great way of making sure that your customers get all your messages is to make sure that they get text messages and not only emails as the open rates are considerably higher. Here is a great article about how to choose a business text messaging service.
So many options
There are so many options available for making your life easier while performing household services. Take a look at the features and functionality that will enable your household business to make the most of your time with paying clients.