With so many forms of “social” media being used today, it’s somewhat surprising that less and less people want to experience real human interaction when scheduling appointments, booking a service or even ordering a pizza. In general, people want to put in the lowest amount of effort possible to receive the highest quality service available. With this distaste for social interaction, you may be wondering what the best method is for getting people to contact your business, and a great option for that is online scheduling.
Many industries have already adopted online form completion or appointment scheduling systems. So whether you own a residential cleaning service, a law firm or home remodeling business, the ability to book an appointment from your website can make a huge difference in appealing to potential clients.
Why are more people scheduling appointments online?
Digital marketing website eMarketer has found, through research , that more and more people are using mobile devices to access the Internet. But despite the fact that mobile Internet use is higher than desktop Internet use, mobile users are more likely to schedule an appointment through an online form, rather than calling from their phones.
That means that having a reliable online appointment scheduling system is crucial to the accessibility of your business. It gives users multiple options to choose from when working with your business, including scheduling by phone, email or online form.
Self-scheduling is growing in various fields
At Locallogy, we have tracked the source of website visitors for 18 of our clients who are part of the maid service industry. We found that in July of 2016, 50% of all website traffic came from visitors using mobile devices, while the other half of traffic came from a desktop computer. However, even with half of site visitors using a mobile phone, only 39% of all calls came from someone accessing these websites on a mobile device. That means 61% of calls came from desktop users.
On the other hand, 53% of all email leads came from mobile users, a much bigger percentage than the 39% of phone calls from mobile devices. So what does all this mean? It means that people accessing the maid services websites from their mobile devices were much more likely to communicate via an online form rather than calling to schedule an appointment.
Considering that 61% of users who didn’t call in were already on their mobile devices, that is a pretty significant percentage.
Clearly, there is a massive draw to this service, which only continues to grow with technology. But it’s not just the house cleaning industry that can take advantage of online communication. Other popular industries that are adopting online scheduling include:
How does it work in your business’s favor?
Giving people the option to book an appointment directly from your website makes them more comfortable working with you. The pressure is instantly taken off the client, and he or she will be more likely to schedule an appointment on the spot. Along with this painless process of making an appointment, online scheduling tools often work with the user’s personal calendar to ensure they never miss a beat.
Perhaps you, like many small businesses, don’t have a secretary to answer calls, respond to emails and talk to potential clients throughout the day. Integrating a self-scheduling module on your website allows you to focus on the services you provide customers rather than constantly answering the phone or calling people back after hours to schedule appointments.
Here’s a few features most online scheduling modules will include to make running your business easier:
If you haven’t already adopted an online scheduling feature for your business’s website, we would highly recommend adding it to your inventory of helpful tools. By doing this, you will make scheduling easier for your clients, and your business will stay organized and hassle-free.
Everywhere you look nowadays, people have their eyes glued to their cell phones. Between text messaging, taking photos and browsing social media, it’s hard to keep the attention of anyone under the age of 50 for more than a few minutes if their phone is nearby. That’s exactly why marketers started jumping at the opportunity to be right where they wanted to be: a few inches away from their target’s face on a cell phone screen.
recent years, many small businesses--especially those that use a scheduling
system of some sort—have started utilizing SMS (short message service, aka text
messaging) as a form of marketing and communication with clients. SMS marketing
is an immediate form of communication that has the capability of reaching a
largescale audience within seconds, something that emails and phone calls can’t
compare to anymore. And with 75% of millennials in a recent
choosing texting over talking, it makes sense that SMS marketing is
a tool small businesses need to start utilizing.
When was the last time you pulled out your phone to find a nearby restaurant or coffee shop? Probably pretty recently. And when you did, what phrases did you type into the search engine? Probably something along the lines of ‘Mexican restaurant near me,’ or ‘nearby coffee shop.’ With more and more people using their mobile devices to perform Internet searches on-the-go, there has been an increase in usage of the phrase ‘near me.’
And this doesn’t just apply to food searches.
People are searching for specific services using the terms ‘near me’ in industries of all kinds. This simple change in search terms can give users better search results, and can market your business in a wider area. However, this isn’t something Google can do on its own; first, you need to make sure your company’s website is optimized for ‘near me’ searches.
Google’s latest technological asset for businesses has recently launched, and it’s a game-changer for small businesses that are just starting out. It’s called Google Sites.
For those who have a business but are just figuring out the best way to establish an online presence, Google Sites might be the tool for you. This feature, provided by the search engine, allows business owners to build and manage a mini website on their own, all without the help of a programming professional. It’s not a high-tech website, but for those looking to make basic information about their company and services available to the public, Sites can get the job done.
Anyone who runs a Google My Business account —which should be all business owners—can access this feature and create a mini site in as little as ten minutes. Plus, everything is done through Google, so when you make a change to your local listing, such as updating business hours, the changes will automatically be updated on your website, too. For a small business owner, saving valuable time like this adds up.
Sounds pretty great, huh?
When you look at your business’s website, are you proud of the way your company is represented? Do you feel like your level of work is accurately portrayed through your photos, web design and site optimization? If you can’t stand using your own site, chances are that your customers won’t either. But before you give up on your company’s online presence, consider the difference your business could see when your website is gaining you new clients rather than repelling them.When it comes to your company’s online presence, your website can go one of two ways: either it can help your business, or it can hurt your business.
The purpose of a call-to-action (CTA) is, first and foremost, to provide an instruction to website visitors to contact you immediately, as well as a reason why. It tells them what they will gain from working with you and motivates them to take action to make that happen. Therefore, a good CTA will invoke the customer to contact you on the spot.
Here's how you can create the perfect call-to-action that will have consumers off your site and in your office.
SEO. There it is, that daunting acronym. If you’ve done any research whatsoever about having a successful website, you know that SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the foundation of an effective site. It means that your website does a good job of incorporating a bunch of elements, like specific keywords, location and load time, making it easy for people to find your site when they’re searching for local services like yours.For the sake of keeping this at a basic level, we won’t delve too deep into SEO and how it works . But there are a few parts of it that you can easily incorporate into your website that can help immensely.
One of the quickest ways you can drive people off of your site is by having an unresponsive website. You might be wondering what makes a website responsive or unresponsive, and what you can do to change that. This all starts with the most important part of your website: your web design.
There are so many elements that factor into website design, and if you don’t utilize your site’s design, your online presence has the ability to hurt your business.
When it comes to marketing your business online, making your business’s website reflect your brand is an absolute must in any service-based industry. It’s what sets you apart from your competition, establishes your credibility and shows people why you are the best choice for them.
Metric Marketing’s “ Guide to The Importance of Branding in Your Marketing ” breaks branding down to a simple definition:
Online reviews have been around a while. But in the past few years, they’ve increasingly become more important than ever, and the statistics to support its relevancy are overwhelming. Think about it: when you are considering buying a product on Amazon or searching for a restaurant to go to, do you ever look at the reviews to help make your decision? The answer, most likely, is yes.
Today, you can find just about anything online, whether that’s a product or a service, and everyone out there is in the business of marketing. Oftentimes, it’s hard to tell if the images and descriptions are really what you’re getting, or if you’re being scammed. But when we see online reviews from real people just like ourselves who are willing to testify for this brand, it gives us peace of mind that we’re making the right decision.