Rebooking: Use This One Habit to Significantly Increase Repeat Business

Re-Book The Next Visit Now

As you may have heard, it's at least 6 times easier (and more profitable) to get an existing customer to do business with you again, than it is to attract a new customer. Funnily (or perhaps frighteningly) enough, the BIGGEST opportunity for repeat business for generating repeat business is the one that is the easiest to do and the most overlooked as well.

Making it a habit to re-book your customers for their next appointment will significantly increase your repeat business.

In fact, it will almost guarantee that they'll visit your business next time they are in need of your type of product or service. After all, they have already gone to the trouble of arranging a follow-up time with you. And consider too that most people are courteous and won't change their appointment unless it is urgent.

What's possible?

Some business owners sometimes get concerned that asking their customers to rebook is being too pushy. Quite the contrary. Customers really appreciate it. In fact, they appreciate being asked to rebook because it is one less thing that they need to remember to do themselves.

How to make this rebooking strategy work effortlessly in your business

  • Develop a script to use at the end of your appointment.
  • Create a system that ensures that customers are asked to rebook every single time they do business.
  • See if you can book subsequent appointments in advance as well... not just the next one.
  • Here's a sample script rebooking script for a hairdresser:  “[Name], l’m going to recommend that you come and see me again in 4 — 6 weeks time. Our appointment book is filling up fast as this is a really busy time of year. So we can ensure you can secure an appointment when you want one I recommend rebooking. Also, if it works out for your schedule l also highly recommend pre-booking your next two or three appointments as well. So [flick 4 — 6 weeks again] how does [date] work for you [name]? And what time of day suits you best?”

3 important tips to ensure they attend their next appointment

  1. Provide them with an appointment card on the spot.
  2. Send them out a reminder note one week in advance.
  3. Call them two days before reminding them of their appointment. Alternatively you might want to simply send an SMS.

How to secure future bookings if they DON'T rebook on the spot

  1. Send out a ‘reminder to re-book‘ letter 2 weeks before you want them to book in.
  2. If they don't rebook, telephone them 1 week before you want them to book in to see if you can secure an appointment.
  3. If they still don't rebook, send them regular newsletters and occasional reminders.

How to minimise no-shows

Naturally, just because people have re-booked doesn't mean that they'll actually show up on the day (although most will). With that, it's important to remind them of their appointments. Those reminders can be time consuming, so here are a variety of different methods you can use to remind customers of their next appointment. Just use the one that suits your own situation best.

  •  Send a letter 5 — 7 days beforehand
  •  Telephone 2 days beforehand
  •  Send a text message
  •  Send an email a week before

Remember:

~ It's 6 times easier to have an existing customer do business with you again.
~ Most people don't think being asked to re-book is pushy.
~ Develop a script, create a system and re-book several future appointments at once.
~ Remind customers a few days beforehand to minimise no-shows.

 

To Your Success!


Lisa Ormenyessy

Lisa Ormenyessy

Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group

I help SME's gain leads easily without breaking the bank. Talk with me and discover how to spend your marketing dollar and achieve sales using simple, proven, low cost strategies. | SavvySME Members Only Offer - Request your Free Marketing Review Session (valued at $397) & identify the hidden opportunities in your business & put a stop to the expensive leaks in your marketing

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Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

Great topic coverage. I think I would also add that in certain situations like the hairdresser (or salon) you could have specific rebooking questions for a specific stylist as well (not only gaining the business repeat customers but specific people within the business). I think this is why subscription services are so successful because you are agreeing to have a recurring service/appointment from the beginning. Actually, haircuts as a subscription is an interesting idea (you could buy a certain amount ahead of time at a slightly discounted rate with appointments evenly spaced apart). You could also look at providing discounts to people who are willing to pre-schedule multiple appointments in advance. However, I will point out that it is key to ensure that the client is a good fit (for repeat business) before you decided to have them schedule lots of future business. If they are a bad client it may be worth letting them slip away. Bad repeat customers doesn't make for a great business.