When your company is successful, you’ll have jobs booked for weeks or months ahead of time. All this business is the heart of your company, but to your clients, it’s an inconvenient necessity when you and your crew show up. Remembering your coming visit isn’t a big priority in their lives, so it’s important for you to remind them a day or two ahead of time. After all, being greeted by a bleary-eyed client before her first cup of coffee in the morning isn’t the ideal way for you to start either your day or hers.
Give her a heads-up and her whole family can be ready for the work you’ll be doing in their home. Whether you appreciate the convenience of automatic messaging or prefer contacting them one-on-one, there’s a way to make sure all your clients are well-informed about your schedule.
Make the Process Automatic
Whatever method you choose to notify clients about their upcoming appointments, it’s crucial that you develop a habit of automatically entering the data into some sort of reminder system for yourself. Keep an appointment book in your pocket, set up an app on your smartphone or use a program on your tablet. The key is to enter all your client’s information into it immediately after having them sign the contract. At the end of each day, add a notification for this client onto your schedule for the correct day, right before the scheduled work date. You won’t have to think about whether your clients are ready for you when you make regular notification a normal part of your workday.
Go High Tech
The easiest way to deal with the problem of appointment reminders is to make the entire process automatic. You can do this easily with any number of apps and websites online that offer business reminders for the service industry. Some are free while others charge a monthly or annual fee, so you can easily find one that fits in with your company’s budget.
• Jobber is an all-purpose website for small businesses working in the service industries. They offer scheduling and invoicing software made specifically for general contractors. Not only will it take care of your scheduling tasks for your entire crew, it will help to manage your cash flow and keep track of multiple job sites at once. Jobber offers a free trial before signing up.
• HeyMarket is specifically designed so you can schedule and send text messages to your clients. After installing the app, you can decide whether you want to send messages to your clients’ phones or on Facebook Messenger. Schedule a message for whatever medium your client prefers and it will get sent without another thought on your part. Try out the free trial before choosing between four pricing levels.
• 10to8 will automatically send emails or text messages to your clients to remind them of your appointment. You’ll get a notification when the messages have been read, so there’s no worry about unseen notices. This appointment scheduling software has a range of other features, and is dedicated to supporting small business. 10to8 will always be free to use for small businesses that need fewer than 100 reminders per month.
The Personal Touch
Automation in your business is a good thing, taking over small tasks that you don’t need to do or keep track of. But there’s something to be said for the personal touch, especially in the world of small business. Instead of an automatic app, consider setting up a reminder system for yourself and using it as an aid for making phone calls to each customer to remind them of your arrival.
Even if you decide to go the automatic route, it’s always a good idea to give clients a quick phone call an hour before you arrive, just to make sure they haven’t had an emergency or that your visit slipped their mind. Talking to them ahead of time will give you the opportunity to reschedule if necessary, instead of showing up at a job site with a crew that’s not going to be able to start work.
When contacting clients to remind them of your appointments, what method works the best for you?