Start Using Your Time Wisely and Let Your Website Do The Work for You
How much time do you waste on the phone, answering the same questions from potential customers?
Let’s say you’re a bakery, and you get the same questions over and over:
Do you make birthday cakes?
What flavors do you make?
Can I personalize the design?
How much do you charge?
Would you be available for this date?
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way these potential clients could have all of this information available to them 24/7? Spoiler alert: it can all be on your website!
Your website is meant to house all of this information, and with Squarespace, it’s either automated, or easy to update on a regular basis. (And with a site custom designed by me, I will walk you through how to do it!)
You may be thinking, “but we already put this on Facebook.”
The problem with Facebook is that your posts get buried over time.
Say you make an announcement that you’re booked for the rest of the year. Then you continue posting pictures of all of the delicious goodies you’ve been making. That announcement gets lost, and you have to field a lot of calls, turning potential customers away until next year.
Your answer may be that you can pin it to the top. But what if you also want to promote your upcoming baking class? Maybe you can’t fit in anymore custom cakes for the year, but these classes were pre-planned. You can only pin one announcement to the top of your page at a time on Facebook. Then, you have to make a decision: answer a ton of calls with all of the same question, or miss out on the opportunity to promote your class and increase revenue. Which do you prefer? It’s a hard choice, for sure.
With a custom Squarespace website, you wouldn’t have to choose what information is most important.
All of it would be easily accessible to your potential customers. You could have a pop-up on your homepage inviting people to sign up for your class, and you could have a calendar integrated into your site that would display your availability.
As for the other common questions, those are easily answered as well. They would be found on your detailed services page outlining exactly what you do. You could have a menu outlining what types of baked goods you offer, your current flavors, images and pricing. And while the need to update this periodically might seem daunting, Squarespace makes it very easy.
Another thing to consider is that you may be missing opportunities to serve your customers by not giving them a way to reserve their time online. Imagine that someone needs a special cake for a certain date, and is at home after work researching local bakeries. Most bakeries would be closed, so they’ll be making a list of places to call the next day.
What if they saw your website, it provided all of the information they need, and they were able to book your services online?
The odds are, they’d be more likely to go ahead and book with you so they don’t have to make those other phone calls on their lunch break tomorrow. In today’s day and age, convenience is key. So, if you can make it as easy as possible for customers to do business with you, they are more likely to commit.
Acuity Scheduling makes it easy to include all of these features into your website, and the Emerging Entrepreneur plan is free with Squarespace for businesses.
You manage your calendar through Acuity’s website, but it is displayed on your website so it is accessible to your customers. Acuity has so many capabilities, but to name a few:
You can create multiple customized calendars. So, if you want one for classes and one for booking pickup for baked goods, you can do that.
Potential customers are able to choose from available dates and sign themselves up through your website.
You can accept payments through Acuity, if applicable.
You can require your customers to complete a questionnaire customized to your needs at the time they book with you.
You can block dates manually if you’ll be on vacation, or set automatic limits to each date so they are no longer available when filled.
Your calendars sync automatically with Google and other online calendars, so you don’t have to maintain both.
You will receive automatic notifications, depending on your preferences.
And so much more!
Even if you don’t want these bookings set in stone without your approval, you can use this tool as a starting point for inquiries. If someone answers your questionnaire, and it doesn’t fit into your work, you can easily send them an email and let them know. Or you can follow up based on the information they’ve provided.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an answering system on your phone that said, “for more information on services and prices, please visit www.bakery.com”? You could spend less time on the phone, more time baking and helping the customers in front of you. Even more so, you would see growth in your business because you’re making it easier for people to work with you.