How To Keep Customers Engaged Once They’ve Booked
August 7, 2022
If you’ve been in business for years or just starting up, you know there’s no thrill quite like seeing a customer book for the very first time. It’s a sure sign that something’s gone right, but the journey doesn’t end there. After the booking, there’s a great deal more you can do to enhance the booking experience and keep your customers engaged. The most obvious one is keeping up with the online booking system trend if you haven’t already!
Keeping your customers engaged
The relationships you build between your customer and your business are essential. Keeping customers engaged will ensure appointment attendance and encourage repeat bookings.
We’ll share the top ways to keep your customers engaged, and how an online booking system can help you achieve this.
Send customised emails
The first way to keep customers engaged once they’ve booked is to send a series of emails. We recommend three emails; one to confirm, one to remind and one to follow up.
Email #1 – The Confirmation Email
A confirmation email will be familiar to everyone who has booked or purchased something online, but it serves a vital function. Its main use is to confirm that a purchase has gone through, but it also supplies information about booking IDs and contact information if anything should go wrong with an order.
Using BookingLive, you can send an automated confirmation email as standard. Visit your notification settings to easily create a customised email that remains consistent with the rest of your branding. Automated emails are one of the many ways that online booking systems save you time, allowing you to focus on other tasks.
Include a personalised message with ease, thanking the customer for booking with you. It’s the little things that really matter in a congested marketplace, so go all out to make your confirmation email special. Learn more in our blog about how to write confirmation emails.
Email #2 – The Reminder Email
As a business that takes bookings, you’ll be fully aware of the cost and disruption to your business when customers forget to turn up for their booking.
One of the many ways to manage last-minute appointment cancellations is to send a reminder email. As your customer’s booking date approaches, BookingLive’s online booking system will automatically send them an email reminding them of their booking.
They can also include vital information like an itinerary or travel information, and just like the confirmation email, you can customise it. At BookingLive, we understand the value that a timely reminder email can have.
BookingLive’s built-in notification feature allows you to send automated emails, meaning once you’ve written your reminder email, all you’ve got to do is choose when it gets sent! All emails sent out using our booking system go through SendGrid.
Email #3 – The Follow-up Email
With your customer’s transaction now fully processed on your online booking system and their time within your business completed, what next?
By sending a follow-up email within a few days of the booking’s end, you help cement the relationship between your business and the customer. It’s a gentle reminder that you valued their business, and in this era of impersonal online transactions, that’s a thing of real value.
Use these emails to encourage post-transaction interactions, like leaving a review on Yelp or TripAdvisor. Research shows that online reviews influence 67.7% of purchasing decisions so happy customers that leave a shining review will help you gain new customers.
Of course, you don’t want to flood your customers with emails, but with these three simple steps, you can dramatically improve the client/business relationship.
BookingLive integrates with MailChimp
BookingLive also integrates with different email marketing programmes, like MailChimp. This integration allows you to build up your marketing mailing list. When a customer’s placing an order they will have the option to click ‘Marketing Permissions’, where their contact details will be pushed into MailChimp.
The MailChimp integration also means you can track actions, like open and click-through rates so that you can adjust your email design to best suit your clientele.
Stay active on social media
At least two in five consumers report that they engage with a brand or company by “liking” its posts or following it on social media. So, it’s important to have a strong social media presence and make your profile follow-worthy.
Some social media post ideas that drive engagement include:
- Videos of your service
- Encouraging customers to share their experiences and tag the company
- Competitions where followers must tag a friend and follow the page to enter
- Host a challenge, where followers take part by including a specified hashtag
- Run polls on Instagram stories – this is a great way to gather data and feedback too!
Social media allows you to engage your customers long after booking and keeps your brand on their minds – even if it’s subconscious! Being reminded of your services and the great experience that they had means they’re more likely to book again and again.
As your following grows and more people are familiar with your brand, this makes it easier to gain new customers and continue expanding as a business.
Integrating your online booking system with your social media profiles will allow you to generate sales from your highly engaged audience. With BookingLive, you can copy a booking link and place it anywhere in your social media post. You can also embed a link to the main booking page in your profile, so it’s easy to access.
This convenience will increase the chances of customers booking with you, as they can do it whilst you’re on their mind. Without this integration, customers would have to leave their social media app, look up your business online and browse through your site before finding bookable items.
Offer post-purchase guides
Depending on your product or service offering, you may want to send post-purchase guides to keep your customers engaged. 1 in 4 customers aged 16-24 are asking for it, after all. Providing valuable content that has your audience’s interests at heart rather than a hard sell helps you create a credible, trustworthy image.
For example, if you run tutoring services and a student has just booked your course, send a guide that includes everything they need to prepare for the session, along with a taster activity for them to try themselves prior to the meeting.
Another example could be if you run a spa business and a customer has just purchased a package. Send them a guide on all of the benefits of the particular treatment they’re getting and subtly recommend products that would help replicate the experience at home – whether that be a certain serum or simply a calming candle.
Give discounts on their next purchase
Some people are harder to engage than others, but a method that will certainly help your customers return is to offer discounts. It’s a good idea to send this offer a few days after their booking. This way, the customer’s excellent experience is still fresh and they may be likely to re-book anyway – the lure of a discount will encourage them to book again there and then – especially if you put a time limit on the discount.
Another idea is to send discounts to customers that haven’t engaged with your business for a while. Perhaps they’ve seen your efforts on social media but need more of a monetary incentive. Determine a time frame such as one month after the booking and automatically have an email list of these customers created. You can then send the same email filled with discounts in bulk.
With an online booking system, customers can apply these promo codes at checkout with ease. Making the booking and payment process simple with BookingLive means that customers won’t feel cheated out of a discount, and will be satisfied with the experience.
Create a loyalty program
Loyalty programs do exactly that – keep customers loyal. Loyal customers are what you need if you expect high engagement rates. These individuals will be big fans of your business and are likely to champion it to their contacts, so keep them happy by rewarding their loyalty.
There are a few ways to run the scheme. You could use a points-based system where customers earn points for each purchase made, then these points can be exchanged for rewards, such as upgrades on services or free accessories for products.
Or you could offer rewards when customers reach certain booking milestones. For example, once they’ve booked 5 times with you, they can get their 6th visit for half price. When they reach their 15th booking, they could get their next visit for free. Make sure you check your finances and work out what level of reward you’re able to provide without hindering your business growth.
With an online booking system, it’s easy to segment your customers based on the characteristics of your choice. You will have a database of customer information which can be broadly separated into new and existing customers before breaking groups down further by demographics, the type of services they repeatedly book and more. This segmentation could help you create tailored loyalty programs so that you know each audience will get the most out of it. There would be no point in rewarding a loyal customer with a spa treatment that they’re not interested in, for example.
Keep customers engaged with BookingLive
BookingLive is a leading online booking system designed to save businesses time and money whilst improving the customer’s booking journey. There are many features of the system that help you engage customers before, during and after they’ve booked.