After all, making an inquiry or booking a job is often the first way that a customer will interact with your business. If you’re falling at this first hurdle, you’ll inevitably be losing customers to competitors.
Besides, online shopping and browsing aren’t going anywhere. And evidently, our habits bleed over into the way we purchase other products and services.
Think about how you order takeaway, a taxi, or even the way you’d book a table at a restaurant. 10+ years ago it might have seemed like a novelty, but nowadays people book online in their droves!
If customers can achieve the result they want faster, and all without anyone having to pick up the phone or answer an email, everyone can enjoy more satisfying customer service experiences.
No matter your industry, whether it’s plumbing, HVAC, gardening, fire & security, or property maintenance, your competitors can and will use digital tools to drive customers to their business.
More than ever, you need to think about the best way to provide a smooth, accessible, personalised path for customers to access your services. But you do need to make sure that the customer journey is optimised:
“48% of shoppers have left a brand’s website and made a purchase from a competitor because of a poorly personalized experience”.
A typical booking portal is as easy as embedding a simple bit of code into your website. This creates a form that customers can use to request work from your business. It’s a simple tool but when it also works with your job management software, it can be profound.
On your booking form, it’s important to keep things simple and clean. Customers will be able to add their:
Preferred service date
Preferred service time
The service they’re interested in
Add additional comments (but with limited space)
That’s all you need to get the ball rolling. The fewer calls and clicks, the better!
All in all, if you give them what they want, you’re less likely to be losing customers to competitors. In fact, you’re giving them a good reason to stay with you. Simple tools like an online booking form will make it easier to accept booking requests, reduce your admin time, and even boost revenue!
2. Organise schedules to manage the new jobs
An online booking form exists to benefit customers and your staff. Using an online booking form can have a significant impact on your scheduling strategy. Self-service tools relieve staff of unnecessary admin so they can take care of the trickier tasks. Typically, this means managing your engineer’s diaries.
Fortunately, software can continue to help here, too. Thanks to real-time data, a well-managed database, and less time spent on admin, your office staff can easily organise.
Companies who use digital tools, like customers of Commusoft, have shared benefits of digital tools:
“The biggest benefit is not having paper [diaries]. Everything is done electronically and is less likely to be lost or mislaid.”
In addition, automatic responses and confirmations are a great benefit that comes from utilising booking portals. Swift replies give customers peace of mind that requests have at least been acknowledged. This alone can be reassuring and help you from losing customers to competitors.
After all, it means there’s no time wasted waiting for someone to pick up the phone or respond to an email. Furthermore, even if it’s late at night, a booking form can help them make an inquiry, which is true 24/7. This tool also saves your office staff from having to manually copy, paste, or fill in the notifications as well.
How’s that for great customer service without having to lift a finger?
3. Make obtaining new jobs (and data) a whole lot easier
Whether it’s using a mobile phone, computer, or tablet: the processes that consumers are most drawn to are those that keep things simple.
However, even simple data can be incredibly valuable so long as it’s accessible. Fortunately, booking forms are a great way to capture important customer details that you can put to good use.
It’s hard to argue that a piece of paper is superior when a computer allows you to do so much, so quickly! A few clicks and requests are fulfilled and appointments are booked. What could be better?
Even if you take the basic information we mentioned earlier, you can gain a lot of insight.
Seeing which services are regularly requested can help you figure out where you might want to invest your time (or money). Ultimately, your database is vital to understanding your customers and will help you deliver a great service, that keeps customers from going to the competition.
“When customers have a great experience, they’re willing to pay up to a 16% price premium.”