Massage & Bodywork

July/August 2011

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what's on the web BY LARA EVANS BRACCIANTE WANT TO BOOK MORE APPOINTMENTS? Online Scheduling Boosts Clientele Online booking offers the fl exibility and convenience busy clients demand and allows even the smallest practice to take appointments anytime. With a single screenshot on a computer or smartphone, your clients can see what appointment times you have available and what works with their schedules—all without a single phone call (much less the two or three often required before connecting). The estimated time savings is 1–3 hours per month for the practitioner. But perhaps even more important than your time savings, online booking can help build clientele. TURN CURIOUS VIEWERS INTO CLIENTS Consider the fact that 97 percent of consumers search the web when looking for local services, according to research published by search-engine giant Google. If a potential client gets as far as your website and then is able to book the appointment in that moment—without having to commit to a phone call, and voice mail tag— your bookings are likely to increase. ENSURE CLIENTS KEEP COMING BACK Online scheduling software helps manage and market to your existing clientele and encourage them to book additional appointments. For example, you can automate a "day-before reminder" email, which has been shown to reduce no-shows by 30 percent; a "day-after thank-you" email; and a "month-after reminder" letting a client know it's time to book again. HOW IT WORKS When you set up an account with a software vendor, you establish your types of services, as well as your appointment times. The vendor also provides step- by-step directions for adding the scheduler to your website. (If you don't have a website, ABMP members can easily create a professional site through the ABMP Website Builder.) On the user end, clients can see exactly what services and times are available. When a client books online, you can decide how to be notifi ed: text message, email, or logging in to your account. The ABMP BizFit Practice Management series will be hosting a one-hour webinar with Full Slate on July 12 at 8:00 p.m. EST. The webinar will detail the benefi ts of online scheduling and how to get practitioners up and running with an online appointment scheduler that works for you. SAFETY FIRST Because it's wise to conduct a phone screening for new clients, ABMP encourages practitioners to use a software that fl ags new clients so they receive an "appointment pending phone screening" reply, a "new clients must call to schedule" notice, or other types of options to ensure security. HOW MUCH OUT OF POCKET? Costs for online booking programs for sole proprietors typically run about $20–$40 a month. ABMP has partnered with appointment scheduling 12 massage & bodywork july/august 2011 software Full Slate to bring ABMP members discounted savings. Through Full Slate, the fi rst 10 appointments are free. After that, the cost is $17.97 per month, a 40 percent discount off regular costs. For more information, visit information services for Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals. Contact her at Lara Evans Bracciante is director of

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