As a massage therapist, naturally, you want to get as many bookings and clients onto your massage chair as possible.
That’s why allowing your clients to make online appointment bookings for the exact time they want can result in a lot more clients for your business.
No wonder massage therapists are rejoicing with Yocale’s instant bookings.
What Are Instant Bookings?
As mentioned above, instant bookings allow your clients to make an appointment at the exact time they want to make the appointment. In other words, they don’t just have to make an appointment request (which would inevitably lead to clients having to wait to hear back from your clinic before their appointment is officially confirmed).
Let’s say a client wants to book a massage for Friday after work at 6:00 pm. They’ve checked their appointment book, arranged for dinner plans for their family and so on. Instant bookings ensure that the client can count on that 6:00 pm massage.
Some businesses simply prefer to take appointment requests; perhaps they are new to scheduling software or they have another need to double check their schedule themselves before clients can make confirmed appointments first.
Again, this is not to say that appointment requests aren’t ideal for your business; indeed, they are, but instant bookings may be even more beneficial.
If all of this sounds new to you, allow us to take a step back and explain for a moment.
Businesses can start offering instant bookings (or appointment requests) when you incorporate scheduling software into your business. Keep in mind that this software is often cloud-based, which means no complicated installation is involved. Further, the best software out there is often entirely free.
Nevertheless, instead of using a paper-based appointment book, appointment scheduling software allows you to keep your business open 24/7 by taking online appointment bookings instead of just bookings by phone only during normal business hours.
In turn, businesses get more bookings. This software also automates things like client notifications to reduce no-shows or to encourage rebookings so that businesses stop losing money entirely unnecessarily. In fact, they end up becoming even more profitable.
Further, your receptionists and other staff also spend less time on the phone due to the fact that a lot more of your clients are now making online appointment bookings instead of calling in.
Time on the phone is also cut even further due to the fact that, again, the software automates no-shows, rebooking reminders and so on.
There is no way to say this other than the fact that if you are still booking clients through a paper-based appointment book, you are costing your business a lot of money.
The Benefits Of Instant Bookings
Now, back to instant bookings.
While taking any online bookings of any kind is always good for business, instant bookings offer particular benefits.
- More Streamlined/No Barriers = More Conversions
When clients want to book a service, the ideal situation is that they can book right then and there. When customers are ready to make a purchase, you want to make it possible for them to do so.
Ideally, you wouldn’t want to make them wait to hear back about whether they can make the purchase or not.
If you are at all familiar with e-commerce shopping and the best ways to set up your website so that you maximize sales, it is said over and over again that you have to make the check-out process as easy and streamlined as possible.
As soon as you start asking customers for more information than is really necessary, or you make the checkout process complicated, online businesses start to get a high percentage of cart abandonment.
Yes, we’re talking about online shopping and not necessarily online bookings, but the same sort of practice applies to online appointment bookings as well. By only offering appointment requests, you are essentially putting your up a potential barrier between you and your clients.
And, yes, in some cases, appointment requests may be necessary, but if they aren’t, instant bookings are the ideal type of online appointment bookings to take.
- Upfront Commitment & More Guaranteed Payment
Again, given that instant bookings allow the client to commit to a particular day and time that works them, businesses are much more likely to actually show up for that appointment and pay for the service.
With appointment requests, the client is not necessarily guaranteed the date that they selected in the first place. Think of it this way: appointment requests are the equivalent of a customer putting an item on layaway.
Yes, they have intentions to purchase the item at some point in the future, but they haven’t actually bought the product yet. A lot of things could get in the way between now and then. They may find the item elsewhere for cheaper or they may decide they don’t want the item anymore at all.
With instant bookings, the client has committed to a particular service and may have even paid for that service upfront as well.
In both situations, no-shows are highly unlikely. Instead, you can count on that payment coming through, which allows you to know your positive cash flow a lot better.
How To Set Up Yocale’s Instant Bookings
Setting up instant bookings on Yocale is easy.
All you need to do is go to the main calendar page. From there, click on the “Manage Schedule” button. From here, click ‘New Schedule.’
The last step is to select the ‘Instant Bookings’ box.
Just make sure you click ‘Create Schedule’ to save your changes.
If you’re still having trouble finding what your way around, our help desk has a step-by-step resource on how you can set up instant bookings.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you allow your clients to make instant bookings or appointment requests, the important part is that you are using scheduling software at all.
That said, instant bookings can prove even more beneficial given that they don’t put up any barriers (which means more conversions) and, of course, more guaranteed payment.
Yocale is the premier destination for scheduling software today. It’s also free. We also offer a range of various business-related tools – again, at absolutely no cost. Click here to sign up or learn more.
Want to stay up to date on everything digital marketing business? If so, you’re at the right destination. We blog about it here every single day of the week. We also blog about other tips for your massage therapy business on the blog as well.