Your product is your time and your skills, those aren’t exactly tangible things you can sell online. You don’t need a webstore and you deal with your customers face to face, so you might think that an interactive web application holds little value for your business. Of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Whether you run a power washing business, are a traveling locksmith or work as a CPA, most of your new customers come from referrals and referrals come from happy customers. Beyond the high quality of your work, your customers expect reliable access to you!
A customer can send a text, write an e-mail, fill out a form on your website or leave a voicemail that is automatically transcribed to text. Then, no matter which communication channel they choose, you get notified on your phone instantly and the message you see also shows any other information you already know about that customer, pulled from your custom app and linked to their e-mail address or phone number.
You may conduct your business face to face, but today’s customers still want the ease and convenience of viewing invoices and paying their bills online.
Provide your estimates and have your customer digitally sign contracts online through your secure website. Take a down payment with their credit card so your work can begin right away without waiting for a check to clear. Then send them payment reminders via e-mail after the work is complete that let them pay you in just a few clicks.
Given the choice between calling a stranger or sending a text message, many people would prefer to make their initial contact with you by filling out a simple form or sending a message from their phone. Further more, the more transparent your sales process is and the more informed your potential customers are, the more likely they are to sign with you.
A customer wants to know how much it will cost to plow their driveway. On your website, they enter their address and see a Google map image of their home. They highlight their driveway to get a rough idea of the area that needs to be cleared. The site provides them a low-to-high range costs and gives them the option to submit the form to you for a proper estimate.
A web application might not replace your bookkeeping software, but building custom tools to manage your customers, billing and scheduling can simplify your workflow.
A potential customer fills out a form requesting information for your mobile pet washing business for their dog Marmaduke. Their initial contact information is automatically stored in your web application. You respond, and your message is stored with their information so you always have an easily accessible paper trail of your communications. You make the sale and add their visit to your calendar. Afterwords, you e-mail them an invoice to pay online. A couple months later, they call back for more service. The caller ID brings up the history you already have with them, you greet them by name and ask how Marmaduke is doing. That’s customer service!
So what ideas do you have? You know your business better than anyone, if you were your own customer, what would you want to be able to do online?
Drop me a line and we can chat about what makes sense for you and your customers.