If you think of your schedule as a one-dimensional organizational tool, you’re missing out. That schedule that you’re keeping is a secret sales tool waiting to work for you. We’re talking big-time revenue potential, if you use it correctly.It doesn’t matter how large your company is, how much revenue you’re bringing in, or how long you’ve been around, if you have a business – your schedule can (and should) be boosting your bottom line.
Digitize and publicize your calendar. If you want your schedule to start making you money, you have to make your calendar accessible to potential clients. Leverage an online booking platform where customers can view openings for appointments, demos, classes, events, etc.
Link your calendar to marketing materials with a “Call to Action” button. Make it easy for customers and prospects to find your calendar via CTA buttons on your website, in email campaigns, or other digital marketing materials. These buttons should be the center of attention of your content, and labeled clearly with phrases like “Book Now” or “Schedule an Appointment.”
Put the power in your customers’ hands. Allowing your customers to reserve their own time slot on your calendar can make a powerful impression and win you major customer service brownie points. Online booking is a slick feature that is affordable and easy to manage, and shows a high level of professionalism. In addition, opening your calendar to your audience conveys the message that you are prioritizing their time by putting the power of scheduling in their hands, and skipping the painful phone tag or email inquiry process.
Capture contact information. When your client reserves a slot on your calendar, it is essential you capture contact information. At a minimum, this should be an email address. If it's appropriate, snag a phone number and a mailing address here too. Obtaining this contact information opens up a world of opportunities to continually market to a warm customer base – people who have already come in contact with your brand.
Reduce cancellations and no-shows. Businesses can bleed money if their customers continually neglect appointments. There are a few ways to address the problem. First, you can take payment or a deposit online at the time of booking, if applicable to your business. Second, you can send friendly email or text reminders in the days and even hours leading up to your appointment. In these reminders, offer the opportunity to reschedule if necessary. People are forgetful. A simple email can be the difference between a lost sale and a closed deal.
Offer bonuses and promotions. If someone reserves time on your calendar, you’ve already made an impression. Now the goal is to keep them coming back. Track customer patterns and send targeted offers that remind them to return or try something new. For instance, if you own a spa and a customer routinely books massages, send them a special offer for booking a manicure/pedicure combo. If you use your calendar to schedule demos of a product, send a follow-up email to customers who completed the demo but did not follow through with a purchase. A little extra prompting may be all a person needs to make a purchase or increase their spending.
Alert and educate. Use the contact information you've gathered to alert your customers when new opportunities are available. Educate them about upcoming changes, or send newsletters with valuable information that does not push a sale. Consistent communication paired with valuable and relevant information will help you build a loyal client base of people who will continually look for more opportunities to connect with your business.