How to increase bookings: The ultimate guide for service businesses looking to grow sales | MarketBox

How to Increase Bookings

The ultimate guide for service businesses looking to grow sales

Table of Contents
In this guide, you'll learn how to grow your business's sales by increasing your website traffic, optimizing your marketing efforts, upgrading your booking process, & turning your customers into loyal brand reps. There are free resources at the end & useful tips sprinkled throughout — enjoy!

Marketing 101: How to Generate Leads

There are two ways to increase sales
1. Attract new leads & turn them into customers  
2. Get existing customers to book again (or more frequently)

We'll cover customer retention in chapter four. But first, here's how to market your business effectively so you can attract new customers & increase first-time sales.

Free ways to market your service business

Optimize your Google Business Profile
Add high-quality, descriptive photos, include keywords in your company description, add FAQs, & collect reviews to boost credibility.
Incentivize customer referrals
93% of people rely on friends & family for service recommendations. Encourage word-of-mouth marketing with a referral program.
Build your mailing list
Email provides the highest ROI. Collect contact info via forms & gated content, & send targeted email campaigns.
Launch an introductory offer
Lower the barrier to entry with an introductory offer that gives new customers a discount on their first service.
Update your website
Add targeted keywords throughout your website (including URLs) to show up in the right search results. Learn more in chapter two.

Paid ways to market your service business

Run paid ad campaigns
Paid ads on Google or social media can be a valuable marketing strategy. Do keyword research, get specific on your targeting, & set maximum ad spends.
Distribute flyers & signs
The humble flyer or well-placed sign keeps your company's name top of mind so when a customer's ready to book, you're the first business they think of.
Brand company vehicles
If you're driving around town to appointments, capitalize on the journey by adding company logos & branding to company vehicles so you can advertise on the move.
What is a lead?

A lead is an individual that has expressed interest in what you're selling. In other words, they're a potential customer. How you determine a lead will depend on your business. Still, generally speaking someone who has shared their contact information with you, subscribed to your emails, or submitted a form on your website is considered a lead.

3 Website Improvements to Make

Your website is one of your most valuable marketing tools. Used correctly, it can help you attract new leads, convert them into customers, & drive repeat bookings. Here are three improvements to make to level up your website.
Optimize for
Research keywords relating to your business & services. Add those keywords to your site's pages, title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags, & URLs. Create dedicated landing pages for your services & refresh regularly.
Optimize for
The three main reasons someone visits your website is to find out what you do, how much you charge, & when you can do it (to book). Make your messaging clear & your contact, pricing, & booking pages easy to find.
Optimize for
Ensure every website visitor has a good experience, regardless of device by optimizing your site for mobile. Ensure pages adapt to screen sizes, buttons are visible on all devices, & load speed is under four seconds.
More than 80% of online bookings happen on mobile devices. Optimizing your website for mobile devices is crucial for ensuring a good user experience that will help capture more sales.
of web users judge a company's credibility on website design.
What Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is the process of improving your site so you appear in more search results for more queries related to your business in a more prominent spot.

How to Lock In More Sales

Understand who you are selling to

It pays to know your customers. Analyze your current customers & gain an understanding of your target audience by asking

  • Why do people need/want the services you offer?
  • Where do they go to find services? (Google, social media, review sites, direct to your website)
  • What makes customers choose you over a competitor?

Use this knowledge to inform your marketing strategy & the language you use to describe your offerings.

Simplify the customer experience

Capture more sales by making it easy for customers to find information on your website & book an appointment.

  • Eliminate delays between customer inquiries & order confirmations by removing unnecessary steps
  • Use booking software designed to capture more sales by only collecting essential information before a deal is finalized

Make it easy to  contact your business

Whether a customer wants to book a service, ask a question, or log a complaint, it should be easy to get in touch with your business.

  • Make phone & email addresses easy to find
  • Monitor social media inboxes regularly
  • Implement a chat feature on your website (either live or preprogrammed with common questions & responses)
67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews10% of people leave reviews without being asked

Display customer ratings & reviews on your website

Display customer reviews on your website to add social proof & drive sales by helping persuade on-the-fence prospects to convert.

Dedicated review pages are an option, or you can strategically place them throughout your site, such as on your homepage, dedicated service landing pages, or your pricing page.

How to get more reviews for your business

A BrightLocal study found that 70% of consumers asked to leave a review go on to do so. So if you want to get more reviews, all you have to do is ask!

Here's how & when to do it

  • Via text — Send a follow-up text after the appointment with a link to your chosen review platform (bonus points if you can automate this).
  • Via email — Send dedicated review request emails or include a link in the footer of regular communications like newsletters.
  • Custom hashtags on social media — Encourage users to share their experiences with custom hashtags & reshare their posts to your page.
  • Review buttons on your website — Make it easy for customers to leave a review next time they visit your site with a prominent review button.

How to Encourage Repeat Bookings

80% of revenue comes from 20% of repeat customerssatisfied customers spend on average 2.6 times more71% don't return after a bad customer experience
Let customer create accounts
Accounts make it easy for customers to rebook past appointments & store information for faster checkouts. Capture more sales with booking software that only requires customers to create an account/log in right before finalizing the order.
Improve your nurture process
Send appointment follow-ups & regular email marketing to stay front of mind with customers. If they haven't booked with you in a while, use personalized offers & service reminders to entice them back.
Create a loyalty program
Keep customers coming back with a loyalty program that rewards them for each booking.  Rewards could be points redeemed for money off or stamps that entitle them to a free service after ten bookings.
Sell services in packages
Offer your customers discounts when they pay for multiple services upfront; your customers will love the convenience, & your business benefits from increased upfront payments & guaranteed future bookings.

Booking Trends: What Do Customers Really Want?

94% of customers want to book online & are switching to businesses where they can
One-third of customers book with the same service provider every time
Cash is out — 75% of customers want the ease of online payments
40% of bookings now happen after business hours — online booking is a must
This is where the services industry is heading. Is your business ready?
Read on to find out why online booking software is the next step to growing your business, increasing your sales & keeping up with changing customer demands.

7 Reasons Your Business Needs Online Booking Software

Customers can book 24/7
You never have to miss a sale or answer the phone out of hours because customers can book online anytime.
You can collect payments online
Give customers a fast & convenient way to pay for services online with flexible online payment options.
Scheduling errors are eliminated
Real-time updates to provider availability mean scheduling errors are a thing of the past.
No-shows are reduced
Online booking software lets you automate appointment reminders which reduce no-shows & last-minute cancellations by 41%.
Booking frequency increases 50%
The convenience online booking provides (& your new 24/7 office hours) sees bookings increase by half.
Access data on your business
Booking software pulls reports on sales, provider performance, payments & more for a more precise overview of your business.
Repetitive admin tasks are automated
One benefit that impacts your team the most is the vast reduction in workload. Online booking software allows you to automate time-consuming admin tasks like sending booking confirmations, invoicing, chasing payments, & scheduling providers.

11 Booking Software Must Haves

Instant booking with real-time availability
Customers should be able to book in real time with instant confirmations.
Online payments
Consider if you want to take deposits, cashless tips, add charges, etc.  
Flexible booking options
Look for recurring appointments, packages, repeat bookings, etc.  
The ability for clients to schedule their own appointments
Let customers choose preferred times, providers, & locations.
Promo codes & gift cards
Offer discounts & gift certificates to boost sales.  
Automated emails & appointment reminders
Automate communications to save time & reduce last-minute cancellations.
Provider scheduling capabilities
Let the software automatically update provider schedules, so you don't have to.
User-friendly design
The software should be easy to navigate for both customers & admin.
Mobile-device compatible
80% of bookings come from mobile devices.  
Access data on sales, provider performance, etc. 
Customer relationship management
Store customer data for faster checkouts & improved experiences.  
Travel Zones (for mobile businesses)
Manage where providers work with travel zones & custom service areas.  
MarketBox Logo


MarketBox is the only appointment management software that's purpose-built for businesses offering in-home & mobile services.
Get booked online, 24/7
& let customers book specific times in their preferred location
Accept online payments
& go cashless with everything from service payments to tips
Minimize wasted travel time
by scheduling providers according to their travel zones
Reduce last-minute cancellations
with automated email reminders to customers
Create more repeat customers
with recurring appointments, custom packages, & personalized offers
Access customer information on the go
with our user-friendly mobile app
Eliminate admin headaches
by automating bookings, rescheduling, invoices, payments, & more
Promote your services anywhere
on social media, email, or your website with your sharable booking link
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