Personal services and meetings come in so many different varieties that it can be tough to provide business advice that encompasses all of them. However, in one area, we can be pretty definitive, online self-booking for personalised services is a must-have for any business trying to make and keep their space in the market.
Providing personal services require dedicating significant time and effort to the individuals booking appointments with you. However, it is better to commit that personalisation to billable hours than to non-paying time.
What does online self-booking bring to your business, and why do the clients appreciate it as much as you?
Below are four significant benefits that help your personal service business thrive with online scheduling.
Personal Services Means Personal Attention
When you provide personal services and meetings, your priority has to be the individual. That means your business needs to run in the background while you dedicate your time to your client.
Whether you offer business advice, life coaching, counselling, spiritual guidance, wardrobe overhaul advice or even wedding planning, your client needs to be the sole focus of the meeting time and appointment they are purchasing. Advice and guidance are intangible services. Consequently, the client needs your undivided attention to feel they are getting the value of your services.
Conversely, even though clients demand the undivided attention of their advisor, they are much more inclined to appreciate online self-booking. These days clients are far more in control of their own time and their schedules. They don’t want to spend time waiting around for an appointment confirmation or negotiating the time.
If an appointment is free, they want to be able to book it without fuss.
Some personal services providers avoid online self-booking because it detracts from the “personal touch” they feel their clients value. This is a mistake.
Takeaway: Clients want to control their own lives and schedules. However, they want your particular attention when paying for your time. Online self-booking provides you with time to devote to clients and gives clients autonomy to book appointments whenever suits them.
Self-Employed or Small Business
When you are self-employed or running a small business or cooperative, it can be challenging to do everything. When the financial health of your business depends on filling as many billable hours as possible, you don’t have the time to dedicate to calling and messaging people back without cutting into your appointment times.
People are significantly more demanding these days. People don’t want to wait for a call or email back for days at a time. If they decide to make an appointment, they want to know that it is done and arranged. They don’t want to negotiate what time suits them or be coerced into a time that suits the business better.
Small businesses depend on busy schedules to ensure a healthy turnover, which requires devoted time to paying clients. Online self-booking in these cases is a priority. Not only does it free up working hours, but it also means you can dedicate time to clients without distractions.
Another benefit to a completely online self-booking system is keeping all appointments and details in one place. If you include payment processing, it allows you to report and monitor all arrangements and payments from a single point. When you have limited admin time, having a single point of organisation is crucial.
Takeaway: Keeping all appointment data in one place reduces the admin time required for tasks that don’t generate revenue. Online self-booking puts the appointment booking in the client’s court and means you have more time to engage more clients.
NB Having a single point of organisation is ultimately less costly because it requires fewer staff hours to organise and requires fewer software tools. It also reduces human error and expensive mistakes such as double booking and missed appointments.
Competing with Bigger Companies
A typical situation for personal service providers is that they tend to be in niche markets with a particular target demographic. It can be challenging for smaller businesses and start-ups to enter the space when a larger company exists. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a gap for them in the niche, merely that it can be challenging to tempt clients away from the existing company.
Implementing and employing online self-booking helps smaller businesses to compete in a meaningful way with larger, more well-known enterprises. Whereas larger companies can afford to hire a full-time admin person to deal with phone calls, emails and admin, and potentially implement online self-booking, smaller enterprises do not have the disposable cash available.
Online booking is becoming increasingly more necessary. Some customers even say that having it can make the difference between one company and another. When choosing between online booking and actively responding to calls and emails, online booking should be your primary scheduling channel.
Most people will happily book the appointment they want through an online self-booking portal. Those who want additional information before booking are more likely to wait longer for a response and an appointment booking.
It is worth noting that the more information you provide for prospective clients to help them make their booking with you, the more likely they are to book online. Self-service is the first step in excellent customer service. If people can find the answers to all their questions without contacting you, they are happy to make their appointment.
Providing Convenience and Confidence.
Online self-booking doesn’t just provide convenience for your business management and your clients. It also projects confidence.
When you take the time and financial investment to create an online booking solution and a website to engage your clients, you are making a determined projection that your company will last. Confidence in your business performance and the professional projection of that confidence through your online presence will help clients have confidence in you.
Takeaway: Providing the convenience of online self-booking to your clients is only one step in enticing clients to your business. Projecting confidence in your business with a comprehensive booking system is another. Investing in fully comprehensive multi-channel booking services is beneficial for you, your business, staff, and clients.
SimplyBook.me Online Self-Booking for Personal Service Providers
SimplyBook.me is one of the most comprehensive, flexible, and functional booking systems available today. Whether you provide business advisory, personal counselling or wedding planning, you spend most of your time providing clients with the services they need. Keeping up with new appointments, answering the phone and responding to emails takes too much valuable time. You can simplify the process. SimplyBook.me can take the burden of negotiating appointments and lets your clients choose the service they want, when they want it, and schedule it without you having to do anything.
You define your services, whatever they may be.
Suppose you have a business that helps people “dress for success,” but do your clients need a working wardrobe, summer/winter overhaul, or perhaps a single event outfit? You can determine the length of time required for each service and how much you charge for your time and expertise.
If you require extra information for your booking clients, you can use intake forms to collect that data.
Do you require your clients to pay for your services upfront or after the fact? You don’t want to carry around a lot of cash, but you might not have the means to take card transactions. Perhaps it’s better to have your clients pay on booking confirmation? Alternatively, maybe you only provide services on your premises or entirely online. Clearly, different payment channels are necessary.
Come and See
From family budgeting to bathroom design, personal services require the option to personalise and customise your online self-booking platform to fit the industry and needs of the specific services.
Come and see the features and functions of SimplyBook.me to know how you can effectively offer your clients the best online booking experience. How you can provide all the information, they need to be confident in their online booking with you, and the means to contact you if necessary.