When someone shops for a physical product, they have the ability to shop whatever they want, whenever they want. They will pay over the counter or online after filling their carts. They usually won’t need much back-and-forth communication with the salesperson or business owner. This is a crystal-clear process.
Now, it’s a whole different game for appointment-based businesses. Their “product” is their time. Customer experience plays a more critical role here; the easier it is for the client to seal a deal with you, the more sales you will have.
That’s why self-scheduling software is the most important aspect of appointment-based businesses. In this blog post, I will tell you all about the benefits of having self-scheduling software integrated into your website.
What is an Appointment-based Business?
You may wonder, what type of businesses sell time? Personal trainers, doctors, nail technicians, coaches, and instructors are paid based on their expertise and time. As a client, you will book an appointment with them and pay for their skills and experience. As an appointment-based business, your time is money. The most important aspect of your business is scheduling. You have to have a calendar with a straightforward appointment scheduling plan. You can ask for the payment after the appointment or once the appointment is booked. If you manage to let the clients choose the most convenient time for them, you will win the game in your industry. That’s why it’s so important to have self-scheduling software.
What is Self-Scheduling Software?
When a client wants to set an appointment with you online, they have to email you. There would be a lot of back-and-forth emails to agree on a time that is convenient for both of you. Self-scheduling software reduces all that unnecessary emailing and automates the scheduling process. The exact process is to have a calendar integrated into your website or embedded in an email template. All your booked slots and free time will be automatically added to the calendar. When the client checks the calendar, they will have the freedom to choose between your available slots based on their own free time. Your appointment booking process will be seamless and very convenient for your client.
Benefits of Self-Scheduling Software
Using self-scheduling software has tons of benefits. It will save the time and energy you need to invest in more important tasks. If you still wonder why as an appointment-based business, you need a self-scheduler, read the advantages of using it below:
1. Save time
Self-scheduling software reduces manual work and automates the scheduling process. The software will take over sending questionnaires, appointment booking, payment requests, and any follow-ups just like a virtual assistant. This will save you precious time on a daily basis that you can use to attend to more important tasks in your business.
2. Reduce the headache
Self-scheduling software takes care of all the repetitive manual work you have to do to set an appointment with every client. Apart from saved time, you will also benefit from saved mental energy.
3. Keep a record of your communications
Good self-scheduling software will keep all communications organized in each client’s profile. Every appointment, payment, contract, and email will be recorded. This way, to make a reschedule or solve a miscommunication, you do not have to dig through tons of emails to find information.
4. Set boundaries around your time
When you first start working with self-scheduling software, you have to give it clear data about your availability. Apart from booked appointments, you also have to add the times you are unavailable. Once you set up your own rules in the software, you will create boundaries and define your workload. This will prevent you from overbooking and your clients from booking times you planned to do something else or simply rest.
5. Look like the ‘Pro’ you already are
When you send your client a scheduling link, or they come across the calendar on your website, they will be confident that they are working with a legit professional. Not only will self-scheduling software prevent all the extra repetitive work, but it will also provide a high-level experience for your clients.
4 Website Tips for Appointment-Based Businesses
Now that you know what self-scheduling software is and its advantages for your business, I want to give you some tips on how to use it on your website.
1. Choose the right self-scheduling software
There are dozens of self-schedulers on the market. They offer different services and features. They come with different plans and prices. The key factor in choosing the right software is what you expect from it. Depending on the tasks you wish to automate, and how professionally you want your scheduling process to be, you can choose the right software. Of course, price matters, but when you find the right self-scheduler, the price will not matter since this is the best investment you can make for your business.
2. Make scheduling self-explanatory
- Design your calendar according to your brand identity.
- List all offered services.
- Show appointment packages and prices.
- Clarify appointment duration.
- Include terms and conditions and refund and cancellation policies.
3. Automate tasks
As I mentioned before, self-scheduling software automates repetitive manual tasks regarding setting an appointment. You can choose the level of automation you require. When setting up your self-scheduler, check this list to choose the tasks you need to automate:
- Accept automatic payments with PayPal, Stripe, or Square.
- Automatically send questionnaires and request information right after the client books an appointment.
- Customize different email templates for different appointment types.
- Send an appointment reminder through text or email when the appointment time is close.
4. Promote your Scheduling link
You have to ensure you promote your scheduling link on all platforms you are active on. Making your calendar accessible everywhere you are present makes it easy for your clients to find it and book an appointment. You will also have the chance to find new clients. You will show your clients how you value their comfort by being available everywhere possible. Here is a list of how you can promote your scheduling link:
- Embed the calendar on your website.
- Promote your scheduling link on the social media platforms you’re active on.
- Add it to the email templates you use in your email campaigns.
- Include the link on your business cards.
- Optimize your voicemail greeting.
- Post physical signs like banners and billboards about scheduling.
Self-scheduling software can elevate your appointment-based business in ways you did not expect. It’s not just about saving time and energy. It is about coming off legitimate and being able to show off your expertise and knowledge. Indeed, selling appointments is not as easy as selling a physical product, but remember, tools like RunSensible can take care of your appointment scheduling needs. The RunSensible Appointment tool is the most ideal self-scheduling tool you can wish for. You can choose to automate as many tasks as you wish. You can integrate your calendar on your website or embed the scheduling link in your emails. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us, we would be happy to help you!