The winter months are often the slowest for many businesses. Whether it’s because of treacherous driving conditions or the desire to bundle up at home for the season, customers are in short supply for many appointment-based businesses during this time of year.
Instead of counting the days until summer, change your mindset and try to combat the temporary slow season. Not only will this help you keep revenue up during the slower months of the year, but you’ll also make valuable improvements that will come in handy when the busy season returns.
Keep Your Software Updated
Now is the perfect time to make sure that your software is up-to-date. Your online appointment software is a big part of your business process. Therefore, it deserves some love and attention during the slow season. Improvements that you make now will definitely come in handy once the busy season rolls around.
You should be using responsive, user-friendly, and fully functional programs. Use any downtime you have to conduct UX testing. Identify any snags customers may encounter while using your software so they can be remediated before becoming pressing concerns.
See What’s Trending
What is the latest trend capturing your consumers’ attention? Successfully riding the coattails of certain trends can carry your business forward, even during a slow period. Your business can insert itself into the spotlight where customers are currently focusing their attention.
Particularly effective trends to keep your eye on will be tech-related. By staying on top of the latest tech news and trends, you can ensure that your software is keeping stride with other industry leaders.
Pay attention to other appointment-based trends as they arise. For example, curbside check-ins picked up steam during the peak of the COVID-19. It was a way for businesses to continue seeing customers while enabling better social distancing. If you’re aware of this trend, you can implement it so customers seeking appointments won’t pass you up for competitors.
Check In With Customers
With online appointment software at your fingertips, you can see just how much time has passed in between customer appointments. You can use this knowledge to touch base with your regular customers and convince them to book an office visit during this slow patch.
You might have received such a message from a business that you visited once or twice. Something along the lines of “We’ve missed you, here’s a special offer” is a common strategy employed by businesses to spur appointment bookings when business has slowed.
If you choose to reach out to customers and reel a few back in, do your best to personalize the messages you send. A message that clearly looks copied and pasted will not hold the same weight as a personalized message showing that you value the customer as an individual.
Request Appointment Feedback
Feedback can give you great insight into how your customers think and act. After compiling enough customer responses, you can make data-driven decisions that will improve their experience and your overall business model.
After appointments, send an online survey to your customers. This can easily be done with an automated email containing a thank-you message and a survey link. Your survey should remain short yet effective, containing simple questions pertaining to things like the check-in process, wait times, and appointment satisfaction.
If you’re having a difficult time getting customers to complete an optional survey, add a little incentive. For example, customers who bring proof of completion can qualify for a 10% discount on their next appointment. This will get you more survey responses to work with, improve your business, increase appointment bookings, and pay dividends for months or years to come.
Plan for Future Appointments
If you’re unable to pick up the pace right now, start making plans to accelerate in the future. You won’t see the benefits immediately. However, building a strong foundation for upcoming appointments will place your business in an ideal spot for high profits and optimal productivity.
You should certainly be trying to book appointments for future dates, even if they don’t fall within the window of your slow season. This will give you appointment dates to look forward to, a light at the end of the tunnel if you will. These future customers could also motivate you to add other activities to your schedule, such as deep cleaning and organizing your business in preparation for the return of the busy season.
Your online appointment software will also come in handy when scheduling other things such as social media posts. Using downtime to create and schedule content will get your marketing resources lined up and ready to launch so you don’t have to stress about it when your appointment schedule is booked up again.
Don’t let the slow season slow you down. Use appointment software to keep trekking forward and prepare for business to pick up again. With this tool, you’ll hardly lose your momentum.