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Tech Solutions to Streamline the Booking Process

While the booking process is only the first stage of the client experience, it’s arguably the most critical. It provides you the opportunity to set expectations and build rapport before diving headfirst into the planning journey together. It forms the foundation of your working relationship and allows you to get to know your clients to help achieve their vision.

A custom booking process may be a fresh experience for each of your clients, but you likely have a step-by-step formula that guides you from initial consultation to a signed contract. This streamlined workflow helps you nurture your leads to closing the sale while ensuring every client’s individual needs are met.

The benefits of using technology to support your booking process is two-fold: on one side, you simplify your workload and guarantee a consistent client experience each time. On the other side, your clients see you as professional and reliable as your digital tools make their life easier on their way to the sale.

If you’re wondering how you can implement tech solutions into your booking process, consider the following ideas for each step of the way.

Responding to inquiries

When you first hear from a lead, the number one thing is to grab their email address to feed into your email marketing platform. This is easily automated with your website’s contact form but might take an extra step if you’re fielding requests through social media DMs.

Ultimately, the goal is to create an automated email sequence for new inquiries that build brand awareness, provide helpful resources, and nurture the Know, Like, Trust factor influencing their purchasing decision. While it might seem more straightforward to respond to every inquiry that comes in, spending the time to set up an automated email sequence will save you time in the long run and prepare your prospects for a consultation call.

Creating proposals and contracts

Your proposal is the make-it-or-break-it piece of the booking process, with the power to convince your prospective clients that you’re the best choice for their needs. While proposals need to be customized to their recipient’s event, that’s not to say you can’t use a template. In fact, a pre-written template can save you a lot of time and ensure your proposal is sent out in a timely fashion, which can make all the difference in a buyer’s decision. Similarly, contracts can also run off a template that keeps custom fields open for personalization, like the terms, payment details, and timeline.

Try out a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that stores customizable templates and provides seamless e-signing features, allowing your clients to virtually sign contracts and addendums without needing to print and scan any physical copies. It’s simpler for your client and gives you a quick view of your documents’ statuses.

Setting the payment schedule

Once the contract is signed, and the virtual ink has dried, the only thing left is to collect the deposit and set up an agreed-upon payment schedule. A great CRM platform can effortlessly link a client’s contract with automatic payment emails (and follow-up reminders), so opt for a choice that includes invoicing features when possible.

Once set up with a payment schedule, you can essentially leave it alone and let the program handle the rest. You’ll get notifications when payments are made or when an account is overdue, so you never fully lose sight of where each client stands — you take the legwork out of the process, opening up your schedule to more meaningful tasks.

As technology continues to evolve and transform the industry landscape, there’s no better time than the present to jump on board with modern solutions to streamline your business. All it takes are reliable email marketing and CRM platforms to automate much of the booking process, while still reserving personal touchpoints to build authentic relationships with clients.

Nora Sheils is the co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, the first software platform to bring together wedding planners, couples, and vendors into one system for managing and paying contracts and invoices. She is also the founder and lead wedding planner of award-winning firm Bridal Bliss. She was recently recognized by Portland Business Journal in its 40 Under 40 series.

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