An appointment book is the heart and soul to any local service business. It holds much more than names and appointment times. It tells the story of your business. It can foretell the success or failure of your business. With that much power, it’s important your appointment book is the best it can be. As Bonnie Tyler would put it “it’s gotta be strong. It’s gotta be fast. And it’s gotta be fresh from the fight.” Bottom line - not all appointment books are created equally. You’re appointment book, or whatever way you keep track of your appointments needs to be smart.
So, how smart is your appointment book? Is it smarter than a fifth grader? Is it providing your local business with the information it should, or could be? Well, let’s find out. Here are the 4 ways for you to determine how smart your appointment book actually is.
At the very least, besides just holding your booked appointment, an appointment book should include all your customer’s contact information. Your appointment book should clearly display the contact information of every customer who has a booked appointment. You want/need that information easily available to you.
Having customer contact information at your fingertips gives you the ability to:
a) call customers if something last minute changes with their appointment
b) email customers about your latest, greatest ongoing specials
c) send appointment reminders so customers don’t forget when to show
d) catch up with customers who haven’t paid you a visit for a while
Highly Visible Lapses / Double Bookings
The amount of times local service businesses generate negative feedback due to customer scheduling issues is quite astounding. That happens even more so when you’re manually recording appointments. Different customers get booked for the same time with the same staff member, or for the same room, etc. That’s why it’s so important your appointment books makes your master customer schedule as visible as possible. You need lapses in coverage or double bookings to be easily identifiable… and easily fixable. Happy customers = everything. It’s important your appointment book juts out any potential issues, so you can fix mistakes as soon as possible.
If your appointment book displays your customer’s contact information and can easily showcase lapses or double bookings then you’ve got yourself a pretty adequate appointment book. So, if we’re thinking grades wise, your appointment book would receive a C. It’s nothing special but it gets the job done.
If your appointment book is truly giving you insight into the information your business needs, it should also be able to display any customer staff preferences as well. For example, let’s say you’re a spa owner. If a customer books an appointment, a smart appointment book should display if they have any staff preferences. Maybe they like a specific staff member for their treatments. Or perhaps they just prefer a certain sex. Either way, you want that information easily available within your appointment book, so you can make sure you appease those preferences upon your customer's arrival.
In addition to all the latter, a smart appointment book should also open your eyes to your customer’s spending history. That’s truly vital information to readily have at your disposal. It gives you the ability to upsell or make sale suggestions with certainty. For instance, if you’re a salon owner and notice that a client requests the shampoo for their wash every week, and you sell that shampoo… that’s an easy upsell opportunity. To make extra revenue, all you need is the insight into such buyer trends.
So, how did your appointment book do? Looking to take your appointment book to super genius status? See how online booking could be the upgrade your business has been waiting for!