Website features and trends are constantly changing and sometimes hard to keep up with. It's a little disheartening to realize that the website you paid thousands to create 5 years ago could be obsolete and not doing what you paid it to do.
Years ago, no one had any content on their homepages - it was all about graphics. Now, homepages are long and packed with text. For the service industry, the more personal you can make your website the better, which is a deviation from the "industry-speak" that was popular several years ago.
But probably the easiest change you can make as a service provider is creating a way for your potential clients to set up a meeting with you. Now, you might be thinking, "I'm covered. I have a contact page." However, most people don't really want to make a phone call or go back and forth over email to schedule a meeting - especially if you're targeting a younger demographic.
I mean, my 18-year-old daughter can't even stand to call for an eyebrow waxing appointment.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this that will make your life easier and appeal to many people who would like to talk to you: an online scheduling tool.
There are a lot of options out there, but one of the most popular is Calendly, which is what I use. Let me tell you why I like it:
It gives me more control over my schedule.
Through the program, I can dictate what types of meetings I'll schedule when. For example, I will only allow new client meetings to be scheduled on certain days and I'll only allow a max of 2 per day. That way, I know that my day won't be taken over by new client appointments and I can still get work done.
You eliminate the back-and-forth trying to coordinate schedules.
Your availability is in front of the client. They check their schedule. They book an appointment. DONE. If they need to reschedule, they do that on their own and it shows up on your calendar. This is especially helpful if there are several parties involved. Let's say a wife is trying to coordinate with her husband to schedule a time to meet with you - THEY have to do that on their end. You're not coordinating with two people. Less headaches for you.
You can easily get the info you need before the meeting.
You can create questions to ask the potential client before they schedule. In my case, I'll ask for the company URL, whether they'd like to talk over the phone or over Zoom, what services they're looking for, etc. That way I have all of that information before we even start.
It's super easy to use! I can create different types of meetings. I can create a "client check-in" for my current clients for 45 minutes and a new client meeting for 15 minutes. Each type of meeting has its own URL and its own set of requirements.
It's a time-saver.
If you have to reschedule it's a huge time-saver. I recently had a client who had a family emergency and needed to schedule quite a few meetings over the span of a few weeks. By using the scheduler, she was able to send quick emails out to the people who had scheduled the appointments and they could then see when she was available.
In the marketing industry, we're REALLY BIG on a call-to-action. Creating an online scheduler and posting buttons throughout your website is one of the simplest calls-to-action you can implement. If people have the choice between actually taking the time to up a phone and going back and forth with someone to try and schedule a meeting OR hitting a button and putting something on their schedule, I can guarantee you they'll pick the latter.
If this sounds appealing to you, here's a quick tutorial on how the free version of Calendly works. I, personally, use the paid version and love it.