As our spa was growing, one of the decisions we made was to abandoned our Online Booking Portal.
I’m going to give the three biggest reasons why we decided to make sure a “drastic” decisions.
Getting Websites Visitors to Call is Easier than Getting them to Book Online.
When it comes to building websites, you often have to make a decision what is going to be the most desired “next step” a potential client takes.
Now, getting someone to commit to “Book Now” through a website is a lot harder than getting someone to click “Call Now”
Well, simply put, when someone clicks Book Now, they have to have decided that they want to do it. Then they have to through the entire process, without any assistance.
If any point the customer got confused, didn’t see what they wanted, they abandon the process.
Meanwhile, there is nothing confusing about “Call Now”. Even if a customer has a question, they know they can speak to an front desk staff. And when that front desk staff answers the questions, they can move onto finding the appointment.
During our tests when running online ads, Click to Call beats Book Now by 4x. Yes, a customer is more likely to call a business 4x than to book online.
You can Schedule More Efficiently.
Online Booking requires you to make a decision. Do you show your entire schedule or do you limit your schedule?
If you choose entire schedule, then your customers have free reign on which slot to pick. It doesn’t matter if the appointment creates scheduling gaps that cost you revenue.
Or you can limit your schedule — but then if your customer has a specific requirement, they might not see it. In which case, they might not book.
Neither of those are the optimal solution.
With a Front Desk, we could optimize our schedule. When a customer called, we would offer the first best slot. Now, if the customer really wanted a specific slot, we would offer. Because an improperly schedule appointment is still better than no appointment.
And since we this appointment was “required”, then we would also work to try to close that gap.
You can Find Openings that might not be “Visible”.
Sometimes as a business operator, you know the little details that you can’t simply explain to a Booking Software.
We had all types of clients & therapists. For example, we had some therapists that loved being just on-call for us.
Now, as a full online booking system, it’s either Open or Not. There is no “maybe”. But what are on-calls? They are maybes. You still need to verify with the therapist whether that is a possibility.
When dealing with this type of request on the phone, it’s actually quite simple —
“Yes, I believe we have this opening. Please let me confirm within the next 15 minutes”
Then you reach out to the therapist that is on-demand, and confirm if it is available. With an online booking system, if you do not want to show an on-call as available, then your customers have no idea this exists.
They simple see no appointment available. They don’t think that it’s possible otherwise, so they leave your site without spending money.
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