Making Appointments Online Versus Over the Phone

In the last few weeks, we’ve talked a lot about generational marketing. As a business owner, we want to pay attention to generational data to help complete our target customer’s identity. Knowing who your customer is should be the baseline of every business decision you make, including something as seemingly simple as whether or not your customers will be making appointments online or over the phone.

What Your Customer Wants
Making appointments online has many benefits

Did you know that online user’s expect your website to load within TWO SECONDS of landing on it and will often LEAVE once it hit’s three? Aside from those that shun the internet, what we expect from experience on line is highly reflective of what we expect from every process.

Your customers want easy, convenient, and hassle free. They want what works.

Now of course this blog is hosted by a business that creates online business tools for people like you, so yes, making appointments online makes sense to us. It’s the direction our society is going.

Actually, that’s not accurate. We’ve already arrived in a time where most people, young and old, expect to be able to access and do everything online.

I mean, we are a people that expect to have access to what we are interested in within two seconds and if we don’t we ditch it.

So, when looking at what your customer wants, the answer is very likely to be able to make appointments online.

HOWEVER.

And this however is in all caps and formatted as a header because it’s important. If your process or system for making appointments online isn’t intuitive and therefore doesn’t work, it’s no longer hassle free.

That’s not what your customer’s want and it ends up being bad for your brand and provides poor customer service.

So, if you’re unable to thoroughly research online appointment software and recognize what works for your specific business, then stick with the phone and physical appointment book.

Making appointments online has many benefits

Essentially if the process for making appointments online isn’t simple and fast, then it’s not going to really be better.

What Your Business Needs

Now, assuming you know how to set up and easy to use website and can recognize a good online appointment process for your customer when you see one, then you’ll likely be ditching the over the phone appointment process as your main gig.

This is GOOD for your business, not just your customer, so you should be excited.

Making appointments online has many benefits

Having your customers making appointments online lends a lot of perks for you. Especially if you’re using a software like Georgie Scheduler.

Benefits of using Georgie Scheduler’s online appointment software:
  • Seamless Google integration
  • Secure SOAP notes to keep client notes secure and easily accessed by you.
  • Convenient and controllable appointment times.
  • Excellent marketing capabilities
  • Great customer service tool
  • Links with Georgie Schedulers payment processor
  • …It’s free….

Think about the pain points you’re looking to address with an online appointment process. Are you trying to attract a new customer base? Keep up with your current one? Alleviate some spending of clerical and organizational processes?

Whatever it is, it’s worth looking at finding a way for your customers to start making appointments online instead of over the phone.

The Benefits of Online Booking for Photographers

Photographers typically book based entirely on their clients needs. Perhaps they have days and time frames that they suggest, but ultimately it’s up to the client. This isn’t a bad thing and it works for the industry.

However, this can leave some empty hours when you had planned on working or even create some frustration emailing back and forth with clients.

An online appointment software can alleviate some of this and giving you the tools needed to take your business to the next level.

Three Ways Online Appointment Software Help Photographers:

Fill your dead space

You can still work with your clients individually on when is best with them, but there’s nothing wrong in setting up specific time slots that you know have the best lighting and that you have available. Especially if your client load is pretty busy.

Also, you might consider setting up appointment slots for times and days that are constantly being left empty. For example, if you’re doing a family shoot in the morning at a great park for pictures and then don’t have anything else until that night at five, you might consider creating open appointments on your scheduler for an additional family shoot at the same location. By using online booking it’ll be easy to share what’s available and when, without lots of “is it still open?”.

Great for Mini Sessions

Most photographers are now offering mini sessions for holidays. This is a perfect example where an online appointment scheduler would help. You set up the place, the time slots, and open it up to your customers. Now with online booking, you don’t need to worry about back and forth on times or people asking over and over again for the same time that’s already booked. Honestly, this is probably the best area of your business to utilize an online booking platform.

Photographer Online Appointment System

A photographer in Maryland, Danie Photography, also does pop-up date night photo shoots. She set’s a location, opens up 5 or so slots, and takes couple photos. Using an online scheduling platform to make it easy for clients to see the opening and book immediately would be a great way to maximize this offering.

Marketing Tool

With each of these avenues, the number one thing that online booking can do for your business is establish some urgency. Your clients will be able to see your availability and be able to make the instant decision to book with you right then and there.

You’ll also be able to link your booking software to your social media platforms. This’ll make your “book now” more effective as they will actually be able to book…now.

Why You Need an End of the Year Review

Know Where You’ve Been and You’ll Get Where You Are Going.

Track where you've been in your end of the year review to know where you want your next year to take you.

When you’re running a business it’s pretty important to be able to track your progress in an end of the year review. You should be tracking your budget, seeing your expenses and noting what your actual profits are. You’ll want to know how well your marketing efforts do and if you’re seeing any growth.

A look back over what you’ve done with your business over a year is a crucial step towards growing your business.

Why?

Continue reading “Why You Need an End of the Year Review”

Reducing No-Shows as Easy as 1-2-3!

When you’re a service oriented business that lives on appointments, reducing no-shows is kind of a big deal. And if it’s not on your radar to build your success, then it should be now.

The good news: Reducing no-shows is pretty simple.

One: Think Like a Customer not Like a the Business Owner

woman holding white mug while standing

Your business is your daily. It’s your focus. You believe your services are essential to people’s lives and live your business day in and out.

If you approach the no show problem from that perspective you’re going to get frustrated quickly. When your business and the services and products you provide are the big focus of your daily life, it’s hard to wrap your head around why someone who made an appointment with you would simply not show up.

You might be frustrated thinking it’s rude. Or may get into a panic of “why don’t they like me!!!!”But you need to just step back and think like your customer.

Continue reading “Reducing No-Shows as Easy as 1-2-3!”

Your Payment Platform Comparison

Finding a simple payment platform can be hard to figure out. Typically, it can be more efficient if you’re using a payment platform that pairs with another service you need. Such as, appointment scheduling or accounting software. But you’ll still want to watch to make sure you understand what costs what.   Continue reading “Your Payment Platform Comparison”

How to Evaluate Online Appointment Software

Evaluate Online Appointment Software

You need online appointment software.

The good news is that you actually do have a lot of options.

The “bad” news is that you need to make sure that you are choosing an online appointment software that is the best fit for your small business.

I mean, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just means doing research and making a decision. Which, for some, is kind of a loathsome task.

So to make it a bit easier and quicker, we’ve come up with some tips on how to effectively evaluate online appointment software. You’ve still got to decide what online scheduling software is best for you (cough cough Georgie Scheduler), but these tips should help you know what’s really the most important parts to consider.

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3 Red Flags that You NEED Online Scheduling Software…like Yesterday

Need Online Scheduling SoftwareWhat is Online Scheduling Software

If you offer a service where you have clients that schedule with you for your time and services, then you need online scheduling software.

Call it online scheduling software, online appointment program, or online booking platform – it’s all one and the same. It’s a software that replaces your traditional appointment book and moves appointment scheduling online.

The overall goal of the different online appointment platforms may be the same, but that doesn’t mean every program is made the same!

What Makes for a Good Online Appointment System?

There are a lot of different platforms you can choose from, but the essentials you should look for are:

  • reliable appointment booking
  • control over your schedule
  • the ability to have automated reminders sent to you clients
  • secure data
  • payment software capability

Continue reading “3 Red Flags that You NEED Online Scheduling Software…like Yesterday”

Why Customer Service is a Marketing Strategy

Every member at every level of your business must have their hand in customer service. It doesn’t matter if they are the intern, the IT guy, or the CEO. This develops a customer-first mindset that leads to a true user culture. In other words, your more concerned about your customer’s experience with your company and your product or service than you are with just improving your product.

Is it important to be ensuring your product is always on it’s A-game? You bet!

But, if you want to increase customer retention along with customer acquisition, this customer service mindset is key. This is because as you focus on this user experience, your attention is on your customer for their entire customer life cycle and even beyond.

Customer Service as Marketing

This is what really makes your customer service strategies an integral part of your marketing.

Continue reading “Why Customer Service is a Marketing Strategy”

How Online Scheduling Software effects CRM

Two Men Standing While Doing High Five

Last week we posted a blog, “What is Customer Relationship Management” to help our readers get a better understanding of what Customer Relationship Management (CRM) actually is and how it can really effect your success.

We broke down our definition of CRM as “your business’s strategy for controlling the interactions, perceptions, loyalty, and ROI of the people who are purchasing your product with the objective to keep these customers and increase or maintain revenue.”

Today, we want to really get into how an online scheduling software and other automation tools can and should be a part of your CRM system.

The Value Behind Online Scheduling Software

The value of online appointment systems like Georgie Scheduler go way beyond the ability to make an appointment from any device at any time.  The five listed below only scratch the surface of what you will see with an online appointment software.

Continue reading “How Online Scheduling Software effects CRM”

How Online Appointment Software Becomes Online Marketing

Online marketing
Image Source

First off, it’s important to realize that online appointment software isn’t just about your clients having the ability to easily book appointments online.  That on it’s own is reason enough to invest in online scheduling software.

For more on the benefits of an online scheduling platform, check out our article 5 Benefits of Using an Online Scheduling Software.

Here’s what’s really exciting: Using an online appointment software can be and should be a part of your online marketing strategy.

How on earth is an online booking platform marketing?

Let’s take a look at what it takes to survive in online marketing.

Continue reading “How Online Appointment Software Becomes Online Marketing”