Service-based businesses are significantly different than product-based businesses, especially in means of the type of growth strategy they rely on and the importance of nurturing exquisite customer support. Companies that provide services have to work on gaining the trust of their clients and they always need to go an extra mile for the sake of their satisfaction. Perhaps they even have to invest more effort to it than businesses that are selling something.
As such, service providers need to think about every single detail when designing their services, including the way clients can hire them.
Not only do we live in the age of customer, but that customer is also more difficult to wow compared to the previous eras. This is because of many different factors, but let’s point out the two most obvious ones. In today’s global market that’s continuously expanding, people have hundreds of choices when it comes to picking the brand they will trust to provide the best value for their money and treat them wonderfully and with respect as their customers. The consequences of this state of affairs leads us to the second reason: due to the high number of brands they can turn to and the shift towards the digital world, people became accommodated to convenience and less tolerant of mistakes companies make when treating their customers.
Let’s see how this works on one example. If you, for instance, own a hairdressing salon, in addition to doing an impeccable job that will generate word to mouth marketing – you need to make the process of booking as simple as possible for your potential customers. People want the ability to book an appointment with just a few clicks, without the outdated and complicated back-and-forth process. They want to clearly see when exactly are you free to give them a haircut so they can book your service within seconds.
Effective online booking system is what makes a service business run smoothly and it keeps a smile on both the customer’s and business owner’s face. It’s updated in real time so rescheduling is easy, it enables you to manage your resources savvily while preventing the problem of overbooking, you can maximize your reservations, and be there for your customers 24/7. In addition, you’re not tied to your phone, it’s a lot easier to stay organized, you know exactly what amount of workload you’re dealing with each day. It provides you with a great overview of both your calendar and your business success.
Not sure where to begin? Try Simplybook.me.
With Simplybook.me, Booking Has Never Been Easier
Simplybook.me is an amazing scheduling software that enables service-based industries – from entertainment and health clinics, to consultants, teachers, and even city councils and public services, to organize their businesses. The software allows you to do multiple things: to manage online bookings, employees, appointments, automatically reply to customer requests, accept payments, and much more. It got high rates by its user, especially because of the possibility of integrating it via its widget.
But let’s start from the beginning.
Simplybook.me has been designed with both businesses and clients in mind, which underlines the true nature of the relationship between brands and customers – reciprocity. There are two main things that make Simplybook.me a preferable choice for many reputable brands and companies such as WordPress, PayPal, Google AdWords, and Facebook: ease of use and flexibility.
Tons of Benefits for Businesses
By using this software, businesses actually buy themselves room to grow. There are various plans available which include unlimited services and service providers, as well as clients and adjustable systems at no extra cost. Take booking schedules for an example: they are all flexible specifically because every organization functions differently and has different needs. You can easily set opening hours, working days, and holidays, so that your clients know when you’re available.
There are literally tons of features, here’s a brief overview:
- Easily set the services you offer and add multiple ones if you please
- Enjoy the option of approving bookings so they don’t automatically appear in the calendar before you review them
- Define your own cancellation policy
- The system enables you to accept recurring appointments, so clients get more flexibility, convenience, and satisfaction
- Customize the “take me back home” feature by defining the URL to which you wish to redirect your clients after they are done booking your services
In addition, you can customize your booking website to match your brand’s identity and personalize all messages – notifications, reminders, feedback, etc. We all know that one-size-fits-all approach isn’t working anymore, so having this option can truly help your business stand out. The URL for your website will have a specific domain made of your company login and followed by Simplybook.me: so, it’s mycompany.simplybook.me.
There are dozens of design options for the admin interface, you can alter HTML formatting for every description field, and even use custom CSS if you wish. Integration with your company’s website are simple via iframe, and if you use Joomla or WordPress – there are available plugins. So, you can easily add a booking widget to your existing site or allow your clients to book your services directly from your Facebook page.
Built-in Business Analytics
So, Simplybook.me allows you to easily manage your bookings, but it is a lot more than just a useful scheduling tool. In order to maintain and better progress, you have to have a certain system of measuring it, don’t you agree? This is why Simplybook.me allows you, as an administrator, to
- Get insights about your site visits (the visitor counter feature)
- Analyze your most popular services
- Get a clear overview of your workload and set the optimal growth strategy
- Understand sale figures
- Have other administrators with chosen access levels
- Enjoy daily reports or track your booking website with Google Analytics and track results from Google AdWords
There is also an option for you to set custom promotions. Create special offers for all or selected services, set the exact period of time you wish the offer to be active, decide whether or not you want all clients to have access to it or just some (to reward their loyalty, for example). Use other channels such as email or SMS to promote your offer and don’t miss a chance to tell a few words about your business, too.
Helps with Retaining Clients
Did you know that 80% of your future profits will come from just 20% of your existing customers? This sure shines a different light on the importance of retaining clients.
As we already mentioned, Simplybook.me treats the relationship with clients as it should – like a two-way street. They truly did a great job when it comes to making clients’ life easier. Because all booking websites are responsive, clients can easily make an appointment via any device they like. The whole system is transparent, which allows the clients to clearly see what is going on with their booking arrangement.
In case the booking gets rescheduled or canceled – they will receive a notification via email or sms, the same way they receive appointment reminders and feedback requests. All of the notifications are sent in the client time zone and with one click – they can add the appointment to their calendar, be it Google, Yahoo, iCal, or Outlook.
By offering clients to leave their reviews, you are basically shortening the number of steps between asking and getting feedback. Clients love this because it’s convenient, so you can expect to get more impressions recorded.
Good news for both your business and your clients is the high level of security that Simplybook.me is known for. All passwords are secured, the communication is encrypted, while you have an option of two custom features for extra safety – SSL certification and HIPPA, approved by the US medical authorities. The uptime of Simplybook.me has been 99.98%, so you can rest assured your website stays protected and visible.
Simplybook.me Payment Methods and Pricing
Another great thing about Simplybook.me is the simplicity of processing online payments. You can charge your full service or one part of it once it gets booked, which reduces the no-show rate and creates a certain feeling of commitment among your clients. In addition, it protects you as a service provider from wasting your resources and money.
The most frequent option is to introduce a confirmation fee, something that guarantees your client truly wants your service and will show at agreed time. There are no transfer fees or hidden costs, so once the payment is completed – you can withdraw the money directly from your account. You can also set a confirmation timeout, so if the client does not pay for the agreed amount within the set time period – the booking gets automatically canceled. This ensures the optimal cash flow for your business, while providing the best conditions for everything running smoothly. There are dozens of payment integrations, such as PayPal, Dwolla, Skrill, and Zooz.
Simplybook.me has been praised for its rich features, being extremely user-friendly and wonderfully designed, and taking care of one huge chunk of work service businesses have always struggled with. You can start a free trial month (has 50 bookings available) to see how the system works before deciding on the package plan you feel will be suitable for your business.
There are three different monthly packages available and they all come with 2 months free of charge if you pay for them annually:
- Basic plan for $9.90
- Standard plan for $29.90
- Premium plan $59.90
Standard plan is the most popular choice and it is perfect for small to medium businesses. With 500 available bookings, eight custom features included, an option of directory listing and offering promotions, and much more – it is a cost-efficient way for you to take care of booking management once and for all. Premium plan has unlimited custom features and 2000 available bookings, being suitable for more developed businesses who are used with handling thousands of clients on a monthly basis. There is also an enterprise appointment booking solution with a specific management board and two different types of platforms, and it can be embed to your company’s website.
No doubt about it, Simplybook.me is a great tool that’s continuously highly recommended by both businesses and clients. The setup is surprisingly easy. It takes just a couple of minutes, and it does not require specific tech knowledge. Plus, the fantastic support staff assists you with anything you need.
In a nutshell, Simplybook.me is far more than just a way to stay organized, given the fact it supports your online marketing efforts and helps you nurture great relationships with your clients.