Online booking systems are a huge boon for a busy customer, so much so that if your competition has one and you don’t, you’re going to lose business. After all, online booking can be done at any time. Customers whose schedules don’t conform to your office hours will find this useful. It’s also something people can do quickly and quietly in the middle of a meeting, with no one the wiser.
Ensure your scheduling is mobile-optimized to accommodate the increasing number of people who access the Internet from their phones while on the go. That said, make sure you also provide a phone number, so that people who have questions or prefer old-school scheduling can reach you.
CUSTOMER SERVICE CHAT
If you have a Facebook page for your business, you might have noticed a setting that allows you to tell customers your average response time to direct messages. You can have the same kind of messaging through your website with a customer service chat. Customers like access, so if you’re someone who’s good about checking your phone or computer, making a customer service chat available can result in a lot of happy customers. After all, “responsive and knowledgeable” is exactly the kind of compliment you’d like to see in a review, isn’t it?
Here are a few trusted customer service chat applications that will work with most websites:
Pro Tip: If you’re going to give a customer service chat a try, make sure you can commit to it by being readily available. The last thing you want to do is miss a chat. Miss a chat, miss an opportunity!
Speaking of reviews, no service-based business site is complete without testimonials from satisfied clients. There are a lot of subjective qualities people look for in a service-based business. A testimonial can tell them about your timeliness, your pleasant or upbeat attitude, or something you did to go the extra mile. To really get the most out of your clients’ praise, keep those reviews updated! Customers will enjoy making it to the “wall of fame,” and you’ll ensure your site doesn’t look outdated.
One thing that can be tricky about service-based sites is how much information to share. Ultimately you want the customer to schedule an appointment or contact you directly. But it’s possible to be too coy. Potential customers have a task they’re trying to check off their list, and a site that doesn’t give enough information may be passed over in favor of a more detailed page. Give enough information that they can be certain you’ll meet their needs, and if your primary objective is to fill your schedule with paying appointments, be up front about pricing.
MAP TO BUSINESS LOCATION
If you’re calling on a customer at home, a static map that gives your general location is fine, but if customers need to come to you, they’ll want to know where you’re located before scheduling an appointment. The best solution is a linked, embedded map, as the customer can then input their location and get driving directions. If you’ve got more than one location, provide a location finder so the customer can determine which is most convenient.
Every business owner has a list of questions they field over and over again. Simplify your life and ensure the customer is well-prepared to receive your services by maintaining a “Frequently Asked Questions” page.
MEET THE TEAM PAGE
A page with photos and names of staff is useful for two reasons. First and most obvious, it connects your customers to your business in a more personal way. It’s also helpful for customers who might not remember the name of a staff member, but would recognize the face. That makes it easier for them to follow up on a previous contact, or to request a preferred employee for their next appointment.
When designing a service-based business website, keep these features in mind, and once they’re up, keep them current! When new customers find that they can move all the way from inquiry to scheduling on your site, your transparency and helpfulness will pay off.