EP 9: Building Funnels: Appointment Booking
Last week I went over the five systems you should have running in your business, and with that episode I wanted to elaborate on the different systems to help with the execution of the systems. So the next 5 episodes will be dedicated to going over the5 different funnels. Starting with this week, we will be breaking down the appointment booking funnel, client on boarding funnel, feature service funnel and lead generation funnels.
Each system I will be going over will be targeted towards service based businesses, there are totally different e-commerce funnels that should be used and I plan on doing a series on those also.
One of the issues I see all the time with all types of websites is the lack of systems and workflows. Having a goal for your website is the first step in building a system, once you figured it out you can put it together.
In this episode, we will go over the appointment booking before we get started I want to highlight our episode sponsor for this podcast:
As a solopreneur a lot of the business related things I am accomplishing on my own, and sometimes a couple of things that I would love to do I just didn’t have the time. One of those things was creating a podcast to help other solopreneurs and side hustlers who wanted to do the same. I did a lot of research and I came across Anchor. Anchor is a one-stop shop for recording, hosting, and distributing, your podcast. Best of all it’s 100% free, and ridiculously easy to use. And now, Anchor can match you with great sponsors who want to advertise on your podcast. That means you can get paid to podcast right away. In fact, that’s what I’m doing right now by reading *this* ad! It took less than a minute to set up and start rolling, you can get started right now by visiting anchor.fm/start.
Now let’s get started! With our appointment booking funnel, we want to start with our goal. The goal for this funnel is to take a potential customer/ client from a website visitor to a booked client. Most service based businesses have a single entrance point that users always complete for any service type. For coaches/ designers/ VA’s its most times a discovery call. For in person service providers such as personal trainers/ cleaning companies / construction companies its usually a consultation. This is done because most times a potential customer who has found you has no idea what they really need and having this initial call helps direct them to what they actually need.
Keep in mind with that initial call you are using your time to help them make the decision on the service right for them. It isn’t a free help me with my business call but help you hire me call. You are blocking off time in your schedule to speak to them so make sure it is a reasonable amount of time and it is a very focused call. For online based businesses, you can put a time limit on the call such as 15 minutes. That is free. With that 15 minutes you should accomplish three things: 1. Figure out what the problem is for your clients, 2) What their budget is and 3) what is their timeline. With these three questions you will be able to direct them to the two services that would have the most impact to solve their initial issue at two different price points. For in-person providers, create a checklist of things to check based on the client's initial issue, this way you are able to stay on track to provide an accurate quote.
Quick Teaching moment
Last year I decided to do free 15 minute discovery sessions and I learned three things:
People love free things
There's a lot that you can get out of a 15 minute session
Not every call lasted 15 mins
These three things were learned through hard lessons, some calls resulted in my being frustrated and upset. Mostly they went well but some calls were from people that had no intention of hiring me but only want to pick me brain about their business. So be sure you communicate the expectations and restrictions of the free call.
Back to the funnel, after your visitors figure out what they need they have to book your. Now there are two ways of doing this, the long way where they visit your website, dig through to find your contact information, give you a call, leave a voicemail with info and wait for a call back. Now your visitors may decide to do this or they may decide to find one of your competitors.
With this way you also run the risk of miscommunication and incorrect information.
Or you can create your appointment booking funnel so that they can book, pay and reschedule appointments without the game of phone tag. This looks like: visitor comes to your website, sees your book now button, selects a time/date, fills out a questionnaire with information related to the job, submits payment and waits for you to show up.
It can be that easy with the right system in place, so let’s set the groundwork for this funnel.
With any funnel you want to outline the steps and information that you need the client to go through in order to get started on the service. This will ensure that nothing is missed, so take the time to really make sure no step is left out. With this series, I created a download that will help you walk through and outline the funnels so don’t forget to download from the show notes located at jesstechpreneur.com/ep9
Once you know exactly what is needed for the service, we can move on to the next steps. You will need to have the right tools, for this funnel you will need to have your appointment booking, payment processor and email marketing provider for this.
Step one, figure out the required pages you will need to add to your website. Such as adding a “book now” button to your site navigation to direct visitors to your booking page. You will need a booking page and an appointment page. On the booking page, you want to include a description of the services you provide with information for a free consult or discovery call. On the appointment page you want to embed your scheduler so that your client can complete booking right there without leaving your website.
Step two, add your policies. Make sure your cancellation/ refund policy is accessible from your booking page. This will help educate your clients on your policies before they even book so you can cut down on cancellations and chargebacks.
Step three, setup and connect your scheduler to your payment processor. If you are using Squarespace as your website platform you get a free Emerging Entrepreneur Plan with your subscription so you are able to add payments directly to your scheduler. If you are using other tools such as calendly you can add payments for a monthly fee or you can send an invoice through a free software such as Wave after the appointment is scheduled. This ensures you are able to receive payment for your services while your clients are booking.
Step four, connect your apps. The whole point of a funnel is to automate the steps, so you want to make sure the tools you are using are working together. If you are using different tools, you can check out http://zapier.com to connect them. If you are using a crm such as Dubsado you are able to create a workflow to automate every step in this funnel without additional tools.
This wraps up the appointment booking funnel! Let me know if this helped and if you have any questions. You can comment on the show notes or send me a DM on instagram + Facebook @jesstechpreneur. I’m definitely thinking of doing a q&a episode for this service so don’t hesitate to reach out. Don’t forget to check out the shownotes for this episode to get the links for the tools listed in this episode. They can be found at jesstechpreneur.com/ep9
Till Next time :)