Online Booking

Papa John

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Still don't believe in the viability of online booking?

One company's stock has risen over 20,000 % since Motley Fool recommended their stock and They only take online orders!

That company is Amazon.

Wanna be Successful people follow Successful people.
 
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PrimaDonna

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And I get calls while I'm on the job, so if someone books a job online, then I get a call from someone else via phone, should I tell them to look online for the latest accurate openings when I can't log in due to bad signal?
Honestly are you that busy that it would happen frequently? A carefully worded response can eliminate this...tell the caller the appointment you set with them is tentative since you are in an area without service to check the "live" calendar. Explain that you have online booking or just say you have an office manager that also books and you are out of range to check. Let them know you will check when you are back in range, and contact them IF you need to reschedule due to a conflict. Most people are very understanding....

I understand the "fear" in all the "what if" scenarios that people have. But this is mostly unfounded and will be so rare to happen.....Kind of like all those who wouldn't offer a "free spot cleaning" once per month for a year if someone purchased protection because everyone would be calling them back all the time for free cleaning. We did it for years and only had a handful of call backs and no one abused it.....(but there is usually always one)!

Another reason I see people not want to do this is because they think the people will lie about the size of areas and amount to be cleaned, especially if the booking took includes pricing. For most software you can have disclaimers on the booking page and in auto generated email that clearly states upon inspection the price will change if the scope is different from what the indicated. Online estimate is based on information provided by the client, and may change at time of appoitnment.....this happens with "phone" estimates too! Most people don't know their room dimensions. So I always said a room is up to 250 sq. ft which is about 15x16, areas larger are a double room. You can put this type of language on your online booking pricing.

Your current clients know the deal, how long it will take etc and online booking those will be a great tool for them to do at their convivence and you will know its accurate !

Any NEW client bookings should also include verbiage to say you will be contacting them by phone to review the scope of work and areas of concern to make sure the time allotted is enough to complete the job and review any potential additional costs. If you Make it about THEM....explaining you don't want to waste their time and not be able to complete the job if the information they provided isn't accurate to your pricing structure and time line, they typically understand. Those that put up a fuss....well, we know they aren't the right customer no matter how you booked them.
 

PrimaDonna

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Here's what I've heard people (from multiple service industries not just cleaners) say about online booking. I'm on the HCP user page and they offer this feature....

They wish they did it sooner.
All the reasons/fears not to ended up not being justified.
The ROI is well worth the cost because it brings them in more jobs/money due to increased bookings. Many comment on the time of night/early morning hours people book. That is when they have time/can't sleep etc. Once the day starts they can't make the call...so if you don't have online booking and they can't reach out during "your" business hours, they end up with someone else that does have online booking.
A very few gave it a shot and had to tweak to work out some kinks. Not many fully abandoned. But you can give it up if you do find it backfires! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Many of the programs that do this will use a zip code radius so you aren't driving from one side of town to another. It will only offer time slots based on the distance you have set and will offer up times and days when based on other appointments in that area. You can also block out times if you don't want them to show...if you want to hold time for an emergency last minute job etc.
 

PrimaDonna

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What options are there that work with Service Monster?
you'd have to ask Joe...but when I tried it out many years ago Fittle Bug was the only option. I couldn't get over the what ifs and that it didn't fit exactly what I wanted, so we scrapped it.

However, that was before we had apps and online booking for everything and it wasn't common place. I do most everything online now....and I think most people are getting used to that. I would absolutely have it now if I had a business...I think it was too much of a "foreign" concept for us when we first tried...has to be 7 years ago....maybe longer. Well before all the rage of apps like Uber etc.....
 

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What options are there that work with Service Monster?
o

I posted who is using responsi bid, no one responded. So one option is responsi bid, which im still learning in my trial, that connects with crew cal, and that program offers on line scheduling like was mentioned above that integrates with SM
 

Matt Wood

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Honestly are you that busy that it would happen frequently?
Yes, It would happen very frequently. The only way I see this would work is if I have access to the online scheduling all the time and that's not available right now. It seems like doubling the work on my end to have a setup like that. But when you look at it from your end, it seems that I'm in my "comfort zone", which isn't a good place to be when the business needs to grow. It's hard to find a good time to make a switch like this.
 

PrimaDonna

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Yes, It would happen very frequently. The only way I see this would work is if I have access to the online scheduling all the time and that's not available right now. It seems like doubling the work on my end to have a setup like that. But when you look at it from your end, it seems that I'm in my "comfort zone", which isn't a good place to be when the business needs to grow. It's hard to find a good time to make a switch like this.
There will never be a good time. Sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet.
 
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Papa John

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The only way I see this would work is if I have access to the online scheduling all the time and that's not available right now.

Your statement is incorrect.
As long as I have cell phone reception, I can access my online booking and scheduling systems.
 
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PrimaDonna

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Your statement is incorrect.
As long as I have cell phone reception, I can access my online booking and scheduling systems.
If he is in an area with poor reception it is accurate
But I would challenge this as a reason because he’s saying he gets calls and is concerned about double booking.....if he can receive calls then that means he’s in an area where he should be able to also check software and have real time schedule
 

Matt Wood

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If he is in an area with poor reception it is accurate
But I would challenge this as a reason because he’s saying he gets calls and is concerned about double booking.....if he can receive calls then that means he’s in an area where he should be able to also check software and have real time schedule
It's a pain in the ass to stop what I'm doing, click on the sm6app and wait for the schedule to load up on my cell phone. I have no intention to carry a bigger screened device just for that reason. It's so much faster to open up my paper calendar book and see immediately the schedule. And it is easier to take a call vs loading an app if signal is bad.

Job efficiency is my main line of thought for the time being. From Papa Jon's perspective it's worth looking into more, but they're gonna have to drop that price some. I still don't see it being worth that much, since I'm not needing an office staff yet.
 

Matt Wood

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Another thing that I can't fully trust:
Technology

If I depended on the online scheduling fully and stopped writing down my jobs, I would be in panic mode if my phone froze up or they started having problems on their end and I couldn't get access. That's why it'd have to drop $$$ because I still can't see the value in it yet
 

Desk Jockey

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Another thing that I can't fully trust:
Technology

If I depended on the online scheduling fully and stopped writing down my jobs, I would be in panic mode if my phone froze up or they started having problems on their end and I couldn't get access. That's why it'd have to drop $$$ because I still can't see the value in it yet
How deep can you actually stick your head in the sand and still breathe? 😉

Matt these are people that are doing it. It can be done easily. Buy a table, ipad, laptop and try it. Do a demo and see if you like it or not.
 

Matt Wood

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I agree, the only way to find out is to do it. Maybe later

It would be more tempting if SM would include this in their scheduling and not have to go to an outside company. One thing I really liked about SM was that they do the reminder cards in house.

That's actually kept me from using another company. I experimented with the one Damon uses and SM8 (service mate), and since they couldn't include that in their current setup, I had no desire to fool with an outside source. I just don't have time to mess with it.

Back to my original point, if SM would include this, it would be a big step up for them
 
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PrimaDonna

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Another thing that I can't fully trust:
Technology

If I depended on the online scheduling fully and stopped writing down my jobs, I would be in panic mode if my phone froze up or they started having problems on their end and I couldn't get access. That's why it'd have to drop $$$ because I still can't see the value in it yet
I’m not trying to convince you either way. Sounds like you have solid reasons for keeping things as they are and that works best for you. Power on my friend.

But....you asked for a insight . Many of us replied. Now you seem to be defending your position....so why even being it up to begin with if you already have justified all the reasons nor too?!! Seems to me like you were hoping more people would be on your side of the fence and they’re not
 

Matt Wood

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I’m not trying to convince you either way. Sounds like you have solid reasons for keeping things as they are and that works best for you. Power on my friend.

But....you asked for a insight . Many of us replied. Now you seem to be defending your position....so why even being it up to begin with if you already have justified all the reasons nor too?!! Seems to me like you were hoping more people would be on your side of the fence and they’re not
I really appreciate your input. I'm not trying to defend anything. I was really tempted until I saw the price and that has led me away from wanting to take a stab at it. I know you are very knowledgeable at this so I really appreciate what you have to say. Thanks
 
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PrimaDonna

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I really appreciate your input. I'm not trying to defend anything. I was really tempted until I saw the price and that has led me away from wanting to take a stab at it. I know you are very knowledgeable at this so I really appreciate what you have to say. Thanks
You can always re-evaluate. Maybe it will be a better fit for you in the future. Thanks for you kind words. I truly want tou and other to succeed!
 

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