In my month or so of running a local service business, I have learned that if you have a booking form, they will book. While it’s not a fast and true rule, I have found that overwhelmingly, people like to book themselves and avoid a conversation with you if they can in many cases.
Of course, its never as simple as setting up a booking form and getting millions of bookings, but if you are driving quality traffic, your booking form will not only reduce operations but will help you convert.
Here are a few advantages I have seen with my booking form.
You are already ahead if you have a booking form
If you install your booking form, you are already ahead of the game. A booking system means you have put effort into your operations and makes you seem less shady and more professional than the next guy. Of course your customers don’t know embedding the Launch 27 form literally takes a few minutes, but the appearance of a streamlined set of processes will make customers think that your maids will be as efficient as your website.
It’s a place to qualify traffic
Cutting down on pricing or service phone calls is key when running a streamlined operation. While selling and closing on the phone is sometimes great, empowering people as much as possible to make a decision before they book (or even before they pick up the phone) will save you both time and headache.
It’s a place to clearly list terms and conditions and have my customer agree to them
We write a comprehensive set of terms and conditions and advise the client that pushing that little yellow book now button binds them to our agreement. Of course, probably zero customers actually take time to read the Terms and Conditions but if they have a charge back or object to a cancellation fee, you can use the fact that you have clearly spelled out Terms and Conditions that they agreed to by booking in your favor when attempting to win disputes.
It’s a place to upsell
With the booking form, clients may not think about having their windows cleaned but if its listed in front of them, its suddenly a consideration. I have listed my items on my booking form for maximum exposure and to ideally convert for my easiest or most important upsells while offering flexibility in what they can book.
One win I have recently seen (thanks to someone in the Launch 27 group) is the addition of a Pet option. One of the first houses I cleaned was covered in pet hair and added an hour to the job. When I added pets as an option, people chose it because they have pets and felt obligated to do so. This increased my average ticket by a few dollars while also accurately taking into account the time needed to properly clean their home.
It gives me an easy way to gather customer information
I just added the option for clients to leave me special notes. This includes whether they will be home and where they will be leaving their key or letting us in if not home. Before, I would always have to ask this in our follow up call. While I still call to confirm details, rather than asking about where they will leave the key or how they will let us in (putting them on the spot and leaving them scrambling thus giving them an opportunity to cancel) I simply confirm the details they have already left for us. This has led to much more clarity in our booking process as well as a more seamless experience for the customer.
It helps me market to my customer
While I can’t make every customer book, if they land on my booking form, I can create a retargeting offer that is specific to reminding them that they have yet to book. I can also use Carthook to capture and recover any bookings I may have lost due to any sort of hesitation.
It gives me a great way to give them more information
While this isn’t quite the booking form, on the thank you page, I give them details about what to expect when we arrive. Again, this cuts down on operations for me and sets expectations for all parties involved.
It helps me remind my customer
Again, this isn’t quite the booking form (but useful none the less). Once they have booked through the booking form (or actually Launch 27 in general), your customer gets timely reminders that you are coming to their residence to perform a service. This is another helpful thing that cuts down on the amount of operations I have to worry about while reassuring customers that this is a legit operation.
Now, all of these points are contingent on a professional looking site with a certain level of trust and smart service and pricing strategies, but if you have followed our model or the Local Business Case Study, building a booking form that converts will accelerate your business better than most smart business tactics.