Category Archives for "The Buzz"

You asked for it, we’re providing it…

More and more GetBookedUp users who are part of Robert Saunders Alltec SuccessCoach team have asked us to improve the way we present prices for maintenance plans have been asking us to exactly replicate the pricing model used in the system previously supplied by Robert.  At the same time you also want to keep the additional functionality offered by the grid layout we use.  Hmmm, didn’t want much did you?  Well, you kept asking so we’ve decided we need to provide this for you guys.

What does this mean?

It means that after consultation with users we’re now coding things to give you even more flexibility.  You can choose to use, or not use, the maintenance plan pricing, or use a combination of both.  Not only that, you will still be able to choose items for a job from MULTIPLE quotes, ie one you did last year and the one you’ve just done now, AND you’ll still be able to manually edit the price from the old quote.  You won’t have to create a new quote for exactly the items you want on the job you’re going to do.  Phew!

We’re also adding in the additional feature of Area Volume discounts, and you’ll be able to specify that for each Item Category you want, so hard floors, carpets, rugs, upholstery etc can all be custom set.  You will still be able to use the invisible ‘Fudge Factor’ feature  (and one user said this feature was worth the price of the software in extra sales made using it!).  PLUS, all the existing variable Discount tables  and the One click use option will still be there.  Sounds complicated?  It might sound it but it actually makes handling discounts, however you deal with them a breeze, just try it.  And before you ask, you know who you are, YES you will still be able to call the discount, ‘January 2012 offer’, and the correct variable discounts be applied across the services,  so you don’t have to remember what those discounts are, genius!

All in all you will have ALL the same flexibility you’ve always enjoyed, but NOW you’ll be able to layout maintenance plan proposals clearer.  That and combine items from various Item categories to provide a total Job proposal and total price for the client.  If it all sounds Dutch don’t worry.  Those using GetBookedUp who use the existing maintenance plan pricing will instantly ‘get it’  Those who don’t currently, but want to, will be able to watch the How To videos.  And by the way, you’ll still be able to manually change any prices on the fly, including system calculated ones.

So, that’s the best of both worlds. Your feedback has been listed to and implimented, watch this space.  If you’d like to be involved in the Beta testing just let me know.


Need to fill an empty day or just a gap at short notice? Try this, it’s virtually free…

In a service business you’re actually selling time, when a day is gone, it’s gone!  Every gap in the diary costs money and unlike a product you never get the chance to sell it again.  So if you can fill these gaps cheaply you’ll improve your PVA turnover (Per Van Average).  Below are two real scenarios that happen and how, by using  Database Marketing Software, you can use email to fill empty slots in the diary.

Scenario One:-

Today is Tuesday, you had a full days work booked in for Thursday (three jobs).  The middle job calls you and cancels or moves to a different day, OUCH!  Now you have a two or three hour gap in the middle of the day.  You try calling the first and last appointments to move one of them but neither of them can move.  If you have technicians this is even worse as you’re paying them for that ‘wasted time’ between those appointments.  I know that you could leaflet the area, which works and is better than sitting in the van, but it’s far better if you have an easy, CHEAP way to fill that gap.

The solution:-

If you’ve got your database set up right (and in GetBookedUp it’s automatically set up right) you should be able to filter your clients and pull up a list of clients with email addresses in either of the areas you’re already working in, AND any areas in between those two jobs.  You can also pull up your “Short Notice Offer List”, you do have a short notice offer list don’t you?  If not see the end of this article, I’ll explain all. Back to filling your diary… You now need to write a compelling email to send to that list.  In GetBookedUp there is a built in text editor to create emails, and you can save the first one you write as a template to use in future, so next time this happens, and it will, you can just open the email template, change the date and send, easy.

Onto the email…  It should have a great offer in the subject, we find ‘Free Protector’ or ‘20% off AND a FREE Spot Remover’ both work well.  It should also say ‘but you need to act now…’.  Then explain in the email what has happened… “Hi Mrs Ashford, we’ve just had someone in TOWN move an appointment for this Thursday.  That leaves us with a gap between 11:00am and 2:30pm and as it’s already Tuesday it’s unlikely we’ll fill that appointment, which is why I’m emailing.  If you have anything you’ve been meaning to get cleaned, but just not got around to organising it yet, if you act quickly and can fill that appointment you can have a 20% discount AND a free can of Spot Remover.  We’d be able to clean two or three carpets, or your suite, you choose, and we’ll knock off 20% off.  Last time I made this offer it was snapped up quickly, so please call us straight away and the FREE can of Spot Remover is yours.  It’s that simple.

Scenario Two:-

It’s Tuesday afternoon, you have a large commercial contract job booked in for three guys on Friday.  The Facilities Manager calls and says “Hi Allan, it’s Tom here.  You’re scheduled to be here on Friday but the decorators will not be completed until Tuesday afternoon, they’re running late.  Can you reschedule for Wednesday please?”  Your heart sinks as now you’re left with three guys empty on Friday.

The solution:-

As with Scenario number one, turn to email marketing.  This time open up the email to a larger audience, as the jobs don’t need to be geographically based.  You obviously need more jobs, so hit a bigger list of people, simple.  Again the email needs a great subject line “FREE Protector, but you need to act now…”.   Then again explain in the email why you’re making the offer.  Tell them you’ve had a job move.  When people understand the reason you’re giving them the offer it becomes compelling, they believe the offer.  I often include the sentence “Everyone wins, I keep our technicians busy and valued clients like you save with this extra special discount.”

Real Statistics:

The last time I sent this same offer in our business was Tuesday this week, because of exactly scenario two.  I selected 386 clients in the area and emailed them at about 4:20pm.  By 4:35 we had one reply by email booking three carpets in, by 7;30pm we’d had EIGHT people in touch to book work in.  Six of those just booking in for work we’d done before, the other two wanted EXTRA work doing so we booked to pop in and do a quote.  As I write this post, on Wednesday morning, we’ve had NINE calls or emails, and I’m sure we’ll get some more today.  The email took minutes to create and send, and has generated enough work to fill three vans for Friday, RESULT!

Any GetBookedUp users who want a copy of the last email template I sent, ready for you to just change your details in, just drop us an email an with the subject “Short Notice Email”

So whats the Short Notice Email?

It’s a list of clients who have told you they would be interested in short notice offers.  Here’s how you build that list…

As part of your satisfaction questionnaire we recommend you add the phrase “If you’d like to know about amazing last minute, short notice offers please add your email here ___________________________ ”

In your database setup a marketing group “Short Notice Offers” and tick this group when clients fill in their details on the questionnaire.

You now have a list of people who will be responsive to your emails, and as you have their permission to email they won’t be upset by you contacting them.

Want more help?

Just call me on 01405 813665



Almost booked up but still Getting Enquiries from Google Ad’s? Here’s an idea…

In our carpet cleaning business we’re almost booked up before Christmas with just a few appointments available the last few days 22nd & 23rd, that’s it.  Whilst it’s a nice position to be in, and achieved by marketing our database effectively, it s frustrating taking calls where people want before the few dates we have left.  So, I was going to just pause ALL our Google Ad’s until the New Year, then thought I’d try something different this year.

January can be one of the quietest times of year for domestic carpet cleaning IF you don’t have a big push to make sure you’re busy.  Many of you know we do a massive pre xmas push for existing clients only to book before Christmas for January.  They can have Buy 1 Get 1 Free on our Clean and Protect or Healthy Home Service ONLY.  It’s always been very popular and means when we lock the door on Christmas Eve we have two to three weeks booked solid in January, and it has become one of our best months, with people having multiple rooms done to get every other one free.  If this works so well for existing clients then maybe, just maybe the same offer may persuade new clients to WAIT until after Christmas and clean in January.  There’s nothing to loose as if people aren’t interested they’ll probably not click the advert anyway, and if they do they just might decide to wait until January.

So, this is what I’ve done with the Google Ads:-

Now Booked Up Before Xmas, Sorry!
Buy 1 Get 1 Free Jan. Clean&Protect

OR EVEN BETTER, create a separate landing page with the offer on.














Let me know how you get on.


Phone gone a little quiet? Try this…

Some of the users I’ve spoken to this week have said their phone is a little quiet this week. They report last week was crazy, but this it’s gone quiet.

I suggested doing another mailing from GetBookedUP to their best clients, filtering however they determine ‘best’ is. So, look for those you’ve worked for several times, with an average annual spend over £X, or a total spend over £Y but find a list of clients to mail to and send them a gentle reminder that you’re almost booked up and reserving the remaining appointments for existing clients. The reason you’re saving them is because it always happens… existing clients call last minute wanting carpet cleaning so that’s why you’re writing to them now, to remind them before it’s too late. You can also offer a discount for January, “after the parties are over” but only if they book before Christmas, so you can plan your diary better.

Make the phone ring, be proactive, once the time’s gone, it’s gone.

If you want any help or support getting the mailing out of GetBookedUp just call.

Why not send it from Docmail?  It’s a service we use in our carpet cleaning business. You can send a letter for less than the cost of the stamp, and that includes the printing, folding and stuffing. OR you can send a postcard for 29p, printed and posted. They also do Greeting Cards, with no minimum order either. No hassle, no fuss. Check them out here…

Doughnut Friday! A great Marketing tip for Carpet Cleaners…

So many people have asked me about something I mentioned at a marketing seminar last year that I thought I’d share it again here.

It’s not original to me, i think I heard it from Howard Partridge when he was in the UK many years ago. I immediately loved it and have done it regularly since. So what’s the big idea? DOUGHNUT FRIDAY!

For £1.20 per visit you can get an easy introduction into carpet and upholstery retailers with this cheeky idea. I’ve even used it in hairdressers and estate agents too, with incredible effect. Here’s how it works…

Pick our the retailers who already recommend you but ALSO those who you’d like to start recommending you. Get some boxes of Doughnuts from the Supermarket, don’t go overboard, this is supposed to just be a quick drop in and thank you so don’t go splashing the cash on expensive ones. I use Sainsbury’s as theirs are boxed in 5’s which means I can take a box of Jam and a box of sugar ring into the same place. WARNING! If you’re going to do lots of these then call the Bakery Manager on the Wednesday and warn him you will be coming in Friday morning opening and clearing the shelf of stock, then they’ll have as many EXTRA for you ready to collect from the bakery, and leave his shelf stock intact 🙂

Okay, next step, with a box of each type in hand walk into the retailer and ask to speak to the manager. When the manager arrives just say “Hi I’m Allan from ABC Cleaners and I’m not sure who it was but someone here recommended us to someone who called us to book a carpet clean recently. She couldn’t remember who it was but mentioned this shop. I just wanted to drop these in to say Thanks, it’s appreciated, enjoy them with a cuppa.” Then pause, they will almost certainly say something. If they say nothing just say “Many thanks” then turn and head for the door. They will ALWAYS then say something, and usually start asking staff who are around who recommended us. It is uncanny someone always says they know about us and it might have been them. This is a very soft way into the retailer and works on two fronts. Firstly the law of reciprocity, you’ve taken time to go in with a gift, they will feel obliged to return that, and will do so by ‘repeating’ the behaviour that generated the gift, ie REFER YOU! I GUARANTEE if you do this in a sincere way they will ALWAYS ask if you have any cards you can leave them, RESULT!  You have not had to ask for them to refer you, they will ask you for cards to refer you further, it’s genius.  Secondly, the “Feed ’em!” principle. It’s a basic instinct that is met with the token gesture of food as a gift. Feeding people appears to motivate them, just like the Pizza at staff meetings!

This works even where they have not recommended you, trust me. You will find that the staff start saying they know about you and it was possibly them. It also works in Estate Agents and Letting Agents. Hairdressers are another GREAT place to try this in. I’ll tell you more about how you can ‘use’ hairdressers even more efficiently in another post soon.

So, what are you waiting for, call Sainsbury Bakery Manager, get your order in and get out there building bridges and putting smiles on retailers faces.

Here’s the link to Sainsburys Doughnuts too…



Alternative Postcode Search Software

We’re always looking for ways to reduce costs in our business and a different Postcode Data supplier came to our attention.  Until now GetBookedUp has only worked with AFD Postcode for the ‘instant addressing’ function in the system.   A different supplier contacted us and is offering a data package which does everything GetBookedUp needs at a lower price when compared to the AFD product.  As our AFD licences expired we switched over to ensure their data was ‘up to scratch’ and we’re happy to report it certainly is.  So, we’ve developed GetBookedUp to work with the new data suppliers product also.

The annual cost is just £79.00 + VAT per licence, compared to AFD Postcode costing £154.00 + VAT in the first year and renewals around £84.00 + VAT.

You can find a specific page for GetBookedUp Users HERE – Postcode Software  You just need the Product “1 licence £79+vat (per year)” option, unless you have multiple PC’s you want to use it on.

You don’t need to do anything in GetBookedUp to make Postcode Search work.  Just make sure you download the file into the default location they suggest and GetBookedUp will automatically find it next time you log in.

If you’re not already using the ‘instant addressing’ you really ought to consider it.  You can enter just the house number and Postcode and automatically complete the rest of the details.  Saves time entering data AND no more misspalt adresssus in your database.  The data is in the Royal Mail PAF format, so you can make savings on bulk mailings such as CleanMail, UK Mail and many more.  It also means the data is in a format easily exported to Docmail for online print fulfilment services.

Just call if you have any queries about Postcode Search Software, or Docmail.