Various booking softwares have made their mark in the cleaning industry over the years: Booking Koala, Launch27, Zenmaid, to name a few.
Most of these softwares require a relatively low monthly subscription. You get access to a booking widget which can be installed on your website, and many have automation features around staff management, reputation management & more!
But the primary purpose of these booking softwares: To make the booking convenient for you and the customer!
While I do believe it's an attractive option for the busy business owner, I also believe it can cause issues for some cleaning businesses - Particularly those who think it will solve their problems around getting new clients.
And that is what I primarily want to discuss with this article.
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Newer cleaning businesses typically struggle with getting new clients.
Newer cleaning businesses also tend to start off with beginner-friendly websites and not much of a digital footprint.
Then after doing some research, they realize "Ahh, That's what I'm missing! If I upgrade my site and install this booking widget, my cleaning business will finally grow!"
Then they realize it's not the case. That's because they have a traffic issue, not a conversion issue.
Whether you're using a professional booking widget or a simple pop-up form on Wix, if your website is only getting a couple visitors each month, your cleaning business will struggle to grow.
Most of the vendors for these booking softwares are honest enough to admit their software won't generate more traffic.
Unfortunately, many cleaning businesses don't understand this concept.
Booking forms encourage people to think about "step 2" before "step 1." Fix your lack of traffic first.
Length of Form
Booking softwares create intentional hurdles in the booking process.
The number of questions alone is a big qualifier, and may deter a lot of web visitors away.
This can be a good thing if you're a very established cleaning company and want to pre-qualify your leads as much as possible. It's not a good thing if you're looking to capitalize on every opportunity and squeeze out the ROI on your advertising spend.
When we're implementing lead generation campaigns for a client, we always start off with fairly simple capture forms.
This means asking for:
How many beds + baths is your home?
When are you looking to get service done?
Once you start adding more questions, your conversion rates will begin to drop.
Now, here's what a typical booking form asks for:
How many beds is your home?
How many bathrooms is your home?
Estimated sq. footage?
Need to Select Extras? (Refrigerator clean, Deep clean, Cats, Dogs etc.)
Select a date & time.
Select a tip ahead of time.
Credit Card Info.
More questions = more friction = less conversions/leads.
Again, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if you're struggling with lead quality. But most people are not there yet.
Also, the last part about asking for a credit card ahead of time is a big one, so let's talk about that.
Credit Card Information
Uploading your credit card to a new platform isn't exactly comforting, especially with someone you've never spoken to.
While I do believe this acts as the ultimate qualifier for leads and reduces cancellations, I also believe the loss off traffic at this step outweighs the potential gain.
I have personally witnessed customers calling a cleaning company a scam or being sketchy for including this in their booking process.
I'm not to say whether they're right or wrong, but this is how customers think.
Speaking to a prospect is not a chore - It's an opportunity!
Ultimately, I do believe booking softwares provide a lot of value.
Whether or not you should be using them for your cleaning company will depend on how much traffic you're getting to your website/landing page, and how much of a barrier to entry you want to create for a potential customer.
If you have limited availability and are willing toturn away most of your traffic, then using one these booking widgets is a great idea.
If you have a good amount of availability and are willing to convert most of your traffic, then I would trade these booking forms for something simpler.
Check out the video below where I cover this in greater detail.
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