Online Booking: The Key to Attracting Customers


Driving traffic to your site is important, but conversions are what ultimately matter. For ecommerce sites, the process is as simple as placing an order. For appointment-based businesses, however, it can get a bit more complicated. After you’ve done all the hard work of driving site visits, the last thing you want is for potential customers to feel frustrated while trying to schedule an appointment. Every aspect of your website should move visitors smoothly from online discovery to a successfully scheduled appointment. If the last stage requires potential clients to get on the phone or send multiple emails to figure out a time that works, every hurdle may reduce the number of visitors who make it to the finish line. Online scheduling tools like Acuity Scheduling removes those hurdles to sustain a seamless booking experience. 

Let clients book online, wherever they find you

Appointment-based businesses are inherently interpersonal, and often grow through client relationships and referrals. Organic growth is a great sign. It shows your clients appreciate your service. If that’s the only way you’re growing, however, it means you’re leaving a lot of business on the table. 

Most consumers' initial searches for services like yours happen online, so it’s essential to have a presence there. But just having an online presence isn’t enough. To maximize the number of visitors who actually become your clients, you need to reduce the friction between discovering your service and actually booking it. That's where automated tools like Acuity Scheduling come in.

Put simply, businesses that don’t offer online booking are missing out on potential clients. Some clients just don’t want to pick up the phone, send multiple emails, or wait patiently for your business to open before they book when they can go to a competitor who won’t make them wait. Simplifying the booking process as much as possible will tap into a new population of clients.

Acuity does more than simply allow clients to book on your website. People search for services across all kinds of channels from social media to search engines and beyond. Enabling a potential client to book right away without leaving the channel where they discovered you can increase the chance they try your service. Acuity seamlessly integrates with your Squarespace site (or any website), as well as Instagram, Google Reserve, and Facebook, along with many email providers. You can even send your clients scheduling links to set appointments by text or email. The booking tool you choose should have the versatility to integrate with your marketing campaigns and client communication channels. 

Enable 24/7 booking

Clients search for services at all hours. If your booking process requires personal interaction during limited business hours, many potential clients just won’t wait around. On the other hand, if you try to solve that problem by fielding calls and emails day and night, you’re sacrificing valuable time that you could otherwise spend on leisure, family, hobbies, or even conducting and growing your business. 

Automated scheduling isn’t just convenient for your clients. With these tools, you can relax when you’re away from the phone, knowing you’re not missing out on business. This can be especially impactful for solo entrepreneurs where time spent on administrative tasks, like managing bookings and responding to inquiries, is time away from the core business.

Reduce friction for new and existing customers

Eliminating back-and-forth and guesswork benefits your existing clients just as much as the new ones. That added efficiency empowers them to book at the times that work best for them.

By making your booking process straightforward, you’re likely to not only attract new customers but also increase your business with existing ones. Acuity also enables you to offer straightforward canceling and rescheduling. Availability is updated in real time, increasing the chances that those canceled appointments get filled by new clients. 

Showcase your business offerings

Online booking serves as a platform to showcase the range of services offered by a business. Prospective and existing clients are not only able to browse your available appointment times, but also the different types of services you offer. Acuity Scheduling gives you full control of your schedule, meaning you can also set limits on how many slots of each appointment type can be made on a given day. 

Expand your offerings

Another way to grow your client base as well as your overall business is to expand what services you offer. Acuity Scheduling can help. In addition to in-person appointments, Acuity Scheduling supports virtual consultations, online classes and webinars, and even livestreams. While you can’t be in more than one place at once, by offering your expertise in webinar form, you can potentially reach hundreds or thousands of new clients. Webinars, online classes, and livestreams can open up new possibilities for your business in their own right, but they can also be a powerful way to market yourself to potential clients who might be interested in your services, but not quite ready to book a full appointment. 

Make it simple to pay

Online booking systems like Acuity Scheduling have integrated payment processing that helps you offer flexible and convenient billing options to your clients. Acuity Scheduling integrates with common payment systems, like Stripe, Square, PayPal, and helps you set up tipping and deposits. Acuity Scheduling can create invoices and receipts, and can even encourage behaviors that make you more money, like creating opportunities to upsell add-ons during checkout. 

Time saved by automated payment management is more time to focus on delivering great service. 

Run promotions to acquire and keep clients

Acuity Scheduling has a number of features that can help you fine-tune your process to get more value from each client. You can also build client loyalty and retention with coupons, package discounts, and subscriptions. Locking in the clients you already have can be just as important as finding new ones. With gift certificates, clients and others can give the gift of your service, introducing you to new clients in the process.

You can automate appointment reminders for both you and your clients, which takes out the guesswork and gives you time to focus on delivering great service. For regular clients, you can set up recurring appointments. 

Automated scheduling means automated boundaries

Operating at your best means having smart boundaries. Many service-based entrepreneurs experience burnout as they attempt to solve the inevitable challenges they face by committing more time and energy to their business. But sustainable business growth requires intelligent boundaries that empower you to do your best work. It can be tempting to say “yes” to every special client request. If you don’t establish boundaries, over time, your clients won’t even see them as special requests at all.

Setting up automated scheduling is like a reset. By offering a convenient process for booking appointments, you’ve created strong defaults around when you are, and aren’t, available. Acuity Scheduling can be like a tactful assistant that helps you avoid the awkwardness of saying “no” to a special request. You won’t have to constantly assess whether you can adapt to your clients’ schedules. A calendar of available times means the default will be for them to conform to yours. 

There are other tools to protect your time to prevent burnout and leave you with the energy to do your best work. With Acuity Scheduling, you can limit when clients can book and cancel appointments, set a maximum daily appointment limit, or schedule different types of appointments within specific time slots. Acuity Scheduling also offers multiple ways to reduce no-shows

Cultivate client relationships

Acuity Scheduling's custom intake forms help you gather essential information, like client preferences, to provide personalized services that encourage repeat visits from day one. When you remember client preferences, they feel valued. That goes for all your clients, not just the new ones. 

Automated follow-up messages by email or text can also increase customer retention, solicit reviews that attract new business, and create opportunities to express appreciation for your clients. 

With Acuity Scheduling, you can capitalize on every opportunity to convert interest in your business into paid appointments. Online booking doesn't just streamline the booking process, it opens up new avenues for marketing, relationship building, and revenue. It also automates time-consuming administrative tasks, so you can focus on delivering great service to your clients. 

Sign up for a free trial of Acuity Scheduling to see just how much of a difference online booking can make for your business.


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