Owning a surfing business can be one of the most fun ventures to be a part of. Getting to be out in the sun, teaching people to surf, and even getting to ride yourself, this is perhaps one of the most enjoyable and luxurious jobs out there.
When you factor in things like inclement weather, slow seasons and even incidentals however, there are a lot of corners that you could be losing money on. Especially when scrambling to find ways to book more appointments. Yet, as simple as it sounds, implementing a booking solution could be the exact solution you need to bolster your business. Here’s why:
Make Yourself Available
One of the most crucial parts of having a booking solution is that it allows you to become reachable to your customers at any time. While before you may have only been able to handle appointments via phone or email, booking software allows your potential customers to schedule something at any time. As noted by Fit Small Business, 35% of consumers want to schedule appointments during non business hours, with 25% of millennials stating they will only use companies they can book online with. Yes, a solution like this will not only get you more traction but give off a better sense of legitimacy as well.
A booking solution will set you up to have all foundations in place. This includes a direct line to customer service, which is an incredibly useful tool in easing your customers about the experience of their time surfing. As most of us know, talking to a real live representative can always ease our minds on the interactions we have with a brand. In a survey by Kissmetrics, 70% of customers are either put on hold or don’t get in touch with who they need, which can be a frustrating process. However, by having an accurate system that notifies you of messages in real time, as well as who’s free to take them, you’ve now increased your customer satisfaction tenfold.
Cover All Your Bases
After you’ve established the overall structural elements of your booking presence, it’s time to start digging into the details of how this thing operates, as well as how it can help you get ahead of the competition. While many solutions offer a variety of services, the best ones out are going to have two traits that will make you above par with everyone else: a 24/7 chat solution, as well as being mobile responsive.
Despite them being a relatively new ballplayer, chatbots are one of the tech world’s gems. According to Gartner, 85% of all customer interactions will be with chatbots by 2020. Yes, despite their age, these services have quickly started to dominate the customer service world rather quickly, and if your business is looking to help potential clients book in the odd hours of the night, than this is going to be a surefire solution.
In terms of your approach to mobile, it’s absolutely critical that everything is responsive. As noted by SmartInsights, 51% of the time that we spend with media is on our phones. That means if your business isn’t optimized for mobile, you could be losing out on a ton of bookings. Not only should you find a booking solution that’s mobile-friendly but your website should be as well. Go through the experience on your phone and ask yourself if you’d really book with this company. If not, it might be time for a redesign. Revamping your business is never a bad idea.
Utilize Data Points
While mostly overlooked, an excellent benefit of your booking solution is that it collects and aggregates data to help you market your business better. Whether it be via email marketing, social media, or even content creation, knowing who to go after will help drive sales tremendously. Plus, this doesn’t take as much effort as you think. As HubSpot notes, 65% of marketers saw leads grow with spending as little as six hours a week on their social media efforts. And for such a great outdoor sport, this is your chance for your business to shine.
If you haven’t already, then it’s not a bad idea to start documenting the experiences that your customers have. Make sure to look at who’s booking and think to yourself which customers would be best to highlight. For example, if your surfing company has a higher than average amount of Baby Boomers, then showcase them as much as you would your younger patrons. Taking the steps to bring out the best from your booking software will not only boost sales but have you riding a wave of success for a long time.