I look back since January first till now, my business has taken a 180 degree turn.
I was the busy contractor, I didn’t have a website (I didn’t need one), I did work for customers who called me, I paid my bills and had some left over so I was doing OK. I was pretty much shooting from the hip but I didn’t know it.
I had been in business for almost 15 years and thought I knew enough and was pretty happy. I was the firefighter of the company.
I took care of the problems, calmed down overheated customers and found work if needed when times were slow.
The year was 2015 and I knew I needed a change, I was getting tired. My days were not mine anymore and the days seemed sometimes endless. This was MY year for change.
We have changed every aspect of the business over the last 8 months with Steve and April Burnett coaching me, and now I get to help other contractors through the DYB Mastermind Groups.
The one significant change we have made that has been time saving for me and something our customers LOVE is YOUCANBOOK.ME.
This is an add on to our website where a customer can book their own appointment for an estimate. This saves – both the customer and myself – the agony of voicemail tag and calendar BINGO to see what syncs with each other’s calendars.
A few questions and apprehension I had regarding YOUCANBOOK.ME were quickly answered and if you are thinking of exploring this, you might have the same questions.
What if a bad lead is booked?
– There is a form customers fill out, where you decide and set the questions prior to them booking. Because there is a form to fill out, it will deter anyone not that interested in booking a real estimate.
– Once a booking is made, you immediately receive an email or text (in my case I prefer emails). At this point, a quick Zillow check of their house and area along with the answers to the questions set up, will confirm any suspicions of a “bad” lead. A quick email or phone call to them asking specific questions allows me to refer them to another contractor, if I so desire. I can also ask for a referral fee if the other contractor receives the project.
What if I receive two bookings consecutively on different sides of town?
– YOUCANBOOK.ME has options to set booking times and lead times that you can use for travel time if needed. (When this happens, I just call or email the potential customer and explain the situation to them.) I have never had a customer complain, since I was courteous.
This must be expensive?
– YOUCANBOOK.ME has a free version with a small logo of theirs (instead of yours) at the bottom of the page. I opted for the $16.00 per month version that has a cleaner more professional look with my own logo.
What if they forget about the appointment they made?
-With YOUCANBOOKME.com, you can set an appointment reminder that will be sent to them as a reminder.
Where does the appointment go and what if I am already booked or better yet have a day off?
– My appointments are linked to my Gmail calendar and will show not available at times I am not accepting appointments, days off, time off and especially weekends off.
-They make it easy to use and setting parameters is as easy as a few clicks.
-The overall customer response has been great. No more phone tag.
Here is a link for you to get started. If you need any help, just ask. www.youcanbook.me
Happy customers make a happy and thriving business.
Written by Ron Ramsden of www.ramsdenpainting.com