You’d have to have been off the grid a while to not know that we’re in the midst of “Industry 4.0.” In this phase of the ongoing industrial revolution, the internet and cyber-physical systems are a key player in businesses both small and large.
Just think about how many online apps you use for personal and business reasons. In Industry 3.0, computers revolutionized and improved business processes around the world, even without the internet.
Yet if your business is stuck at 3.0, you may be missing significant opportunities to improve your productivity and growth.
Computers do a wonderful job of taking over tedious repetitive tasks from humans. Their connection to software systems available on the internet takes it to a new level. Not only do online apps allow us to streamline internal processes, but they also allow us to streamline interactions with our customers.
One of many such processes that can be automated is booking appointments with clients and selling your services online.
An online booking study by Housecall Pro found that the average revenue increase experienced by service companies who enabled an online booking system was 37%, with the highest approaching 125%.
In real dollars, this averaged an increase in monthly revenues of $8,840 per month. Their survey included such businesses as electrical, pest control, HVAC and plumbing and ranged from an owner/operator to 10+ employees.
Online booking is efficient, and it makes sense. When clients find what they’re looking for online, they want instant gratification in the form of setting an appointment. They don’t want to play phone tag or exchange a frustrating series of emails.
Personally, this is one of my biggest frustrations dealing with local businesses. For example, on one occasion I contacted several landscaping companies for a project. In more than one case it took 1-2 weeks to get an appointment set for an estimate. That is NOT conducive to revenue growth.
It instantly establishes an undercurrent of distrust. My first thought is, “If it takes this long to answer a phone call for incoming business, what’s their service going to be like after they get my money?” I like to refer to it as the “sales prevention department.”
Granted, during Industry 3.0 it was a big undertaking to automate something like this for a small business, especially those with fewer than 10 employees. You’d have to hire a programmer, a phone consultant, and an IT person to bring it all together. And you’d have to make sure it was compatible with your phone company.
Today, online software removes the old obstacles to streamlining business processes, even with limited resources.
Nevertheless, 77% of businesses do not have an online booking system. It’s a no-brainer to implement such a system because it gives you an immediate competitive advantage.
Why an Online Booking System Can Grow Revenues
The online booking infographic below, courtesy of Housecall Pro, illustrates the reasons why an online booking system can be vital to your service business growth.
It also offers 3 tips for setting up and running an online scheduling system.
If you’ve implemented an online system, please share your story and results below!