Posted by Jarrod Miller-Dean
Uploaded 104 days ago
You are likely already using many online resources to grow your home service business and acquire new customers, while retaining a healthy repeat customer base. One of the newer trends in service industries is online booking, but is it right for your company?
Online booking is a service that enables your customers to book their service without having to make a phone call or send in a traditional contact form. You can add specific services, control the days and times available, customize templates, as well as communication preferences.
Many of our Housecall Pro members have already discovered the benefits of turning on their online booking option. It saves time by reducing non emergency phone calls freeing up dispatchers and customer service representatives. Online booking is also something that many consumers are very familiar with — think Dominos Pizza!
But, service business like plumbing, pest control, HVAC, and house cleaning are different from delivering a product, especially when covering a large service area. Being in control of your schedule ensures you are taking the right amount of calls each day, in the right areas, and delivering the best in customer service. This is one of the biggest reasons many companies are concerned about releasing control to customers.
However, it is only a matter of time before your target demographic is the consumer base that is used to easy online booking, and expects easy online booking for every business vertical.
Start slow. Since the online booking platform is fully customizable, keep open booking days and time slots limited to slower days. Limit the amount of booking slots open for each time frame, and make sure someone is able to monitor service calls being booked.
You can also customize the confirmation text or email alerting customers to any special information they may need to know, e.g., if you need more information a CSR will reach out to them, or if it is a larger job than described, the schedule may need to be adjusted. Setting up customer expectations from the beginning will be crucial to the success of self scheduling.
There will be a pro and con to online booking, and likely it will require working out some of the glitches before finding that magic scenario right for your business. But, offering online booking is something that many home service companies are beginning to embrace because of its great convenience to customers and time savings to your resource team.
And if you are struggling with how to turn online booking on, or how to set up perimeters, Housecall Pro has answers. It is also a great opportunity to share your online booking ability on your company social media pages and in your overall l marketing strategy, as it is definitely unique selling point.
Whether you have concerns or are ready to utilize online booking, the best way to ensure it is a success is to start slow and set up the pope expectations for your customers. For many smaller companies, or sole owner/employee contractors, freeing up your time answering phone calls is a huge win. For non emergencies, you can direct customers to your website and your online booking. While some customers may fall away, many will choose to book and you can focus on providing your current customer with great service and everyone will appreciate having options.
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