Should I Implement a Live Chat Feature?

The eternal question of Live chat – should you install it on your website or not?

The pros are more clients, more sales, faster support, and a more professional looking site.

Some of the drawbacks include having to respond to client inquiries quicker than phone or email support, and not being able to install the widget on your social media… until now.

New studies suggest more than 30% of customers expect you to have live chat on your website.

On a mobile device, that number shoots up to a staggering 62%.

Even though live chat has been around since the 1970’s (believe it or not) it has been getting more popular recently.

In this article, we’ll get into the specific reasons why live chat is great for closing more sales, stepping up your customer support game, and automating your followup.

You’ll learn the practical ways that live chat can increase your bottom line revenue as well as make your prospective clients happier, and your current clients more satisfied with your outstanding service.

It’s easy to discount live chat as ‘just another widget,’ but let’s take a closer look at why this is one of the most game-changing features that you can add to your website. (Or as you’ll learn in this article, to your social media as well!)

WHY LIVE CHAT IS A MUST-HAVE FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS

When clients land on your website, chances are they’re looking for information – more specifically, answers to their questions.

They generally either want to know more about your business to decide if they will become a paying client, or they want to get in touch with you because they have an issue with their upcoming, current, or past service.

If you have a live chat feature on your site, this can be a wildly successful shortcut because it eliminates most of the searching that a customer needs to do in order to get the answer(s) they want.

For example, here are some ways that live chat helps:

INCREASE IN SALES

Live chat builds trust by reassuring the potential client that there is a real person behind your business.

By receiving answers to several questions about your business in real time, they can rest easy knowing that they aren’t just inputting their credit card information into a website that’s built by some scammer or con artist.

You can also have them input their name, email, or phone number, which allows you to take the follow up off-line and onto a communication platform that’s more accessible to them. After all, they’ll leave your website soon enough, and after that you need a way to be able to reach them for follow-up to close the sale!

Essentially, live chat becomes a lead generation system to help you close additional business by providing you with leads.

You’re essentially converting your website visits into client leads, like magic!

Really you’re just capitalizing on the website (or Instagram) traffic that is already visiting your page by converting them into a lead that you can call, text, or email!

To back all of this up, Forrester found that there was a 10% increase in order value from clients who engaged with a rep in live chat before buying.

HELPS WITH SUPPORT

Having a live chat feature also cuts down on the back-and-forth of email and eliminates the wasted time of having to look up answers from past client responses/message threads/emails.

One of the worst things you can do to a frustrated client is force them to be inconvenienced or have them wait to hear back, because this can lead down the road of them leaving negative online reviews on platforms such as Yelp or Google, which will negatively impact your credibility in the eyes of future potential clients.

The quality of your response matters, too. Kayako found that 19 out of 20 clients would prefer a high quality response, even if it took more time.

This can even cut into your current business, if your current clients happen to look your business up online!

Just make sure you respond – SuperOffice found that 21% of live chats get ignored. Don’t become a statistic!

OTHER LIVE CHAT PLATFORMS

Other live chats that you can make use of as a small business owner or solo-preneur are generally  platform specific. We’re talking about Facebook (Messenger), Instagram (DM), and Yelp (Message My Business Feature).

There are also a number of standalone live chat platforms such as Intercom, Weebly, Wix, and Olark.

The problem with these platform specific chat programs (as well as the standalone ones) is that they’re all generally stuck to the platform that they operate on.

PocketSuite is changing the game by having a portable live chat feature.

That’s right, you can now place your live chat directly onto your own website without the knowledge of how to code or get your programming degree!

But websites aren’t the only place you can install PocketSuite’s live chat feature…

LIVE CHAT ON YOUR FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM

How’s this for a mindblowing idea – did you know you can install Live Chat on more than just your website?

That’s right – PocketSuite allows you to install your live chat widget anywhere, including on your Facebook and Instagram profile!

You can engage your clients in real time while they’re browsing your social media, which is probably the best time to engage with them because you’re top-of-mind and they’re not distracted by the million other things that are occupying their busy day.

POCKETSUITE LIVE CHAT HIGHLIGHTS

The PocketSuite live chat widget defaults to OPEN, so your client’s definitely won’t miss it.

When clients submit their info or start a live chat with you, you instantly get a notification in your PocketSuite app, which allows you to start a conversation with them in real time.

You can message them through the PocketSuite app (which you’re hopefully already using for all of your other booking and payment needs) so it couldn’t be any easier to stay in touch.

Once the client inputs their phone number into the live chat, it will send them a text, which they can essentially use to continue the conversation with you.

Texts have a 98% open rate, so you can rest easy knowing that your clients have received your communication.

Just make sure you respond quickly – on average, customers have to wait over 2 minutes for companies to respond to their live chat inquiry. That’s troubling!

From there, they simply respond to the automated text, and their response gets funneled directly into your PocketSuite app for follow-up! PocketSuite automatically marks Live Chat messages as “LIVE” so you know to prioritize responses to those messages, if your Inbox is too full and you need help triaging responses.

It’s simply the best way to convert your website or social media visitors into leads and then into clients!

Speaking of getting more clients and making your current clients happy, have you checked out the best way to run your business using just 1 app – PocketSuite?

Upgrade your business with online booking, accept credit cards, process payments, scheduling, business messaging, and a wild array of additional features that will free up your time to focus on answering all of those live chats coming in!

Try the Premium plan if you’d like to take a look at one of the most powerful business apps out there. Of course, don’t forget to turn on Online Chat and add it to your website, social media, and any other online sites.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019 and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

When to Use Google Voice Business for your Business

You’re an entrepreneur, small business owner, independent service professional, freelancer, or gigster and you’ve decided to take the plunge and get yourself a business phone number.

Congratulations! You’re ahead of the pack, as more solopreneurs rarely separate their business and personal information. This mindset of commingling your contacts can lead to a lot of confusion, not to mention potentially lost income.

How, you might ask?

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive on the topic of using Google Voice as a business phone line or alternate business number separate from your personal cell phone.

We’ll discuss the key reasons why you’d want to do this as well as walk through a quick tutorial on how to set up a Google Voice number.

You’ll also learn the main perks of why many small business owners elect to use a business number through Google Voice as well as the potential drawbacks and features you’re missing out on by going with Google Voice for your business.

I hope you are on the edge of your seat because you’re about to get a brand spankin’ new business line! Look at you. You are official and you’re moving up in the world! 😉

WHY A BUSINESS LINE IS ESSENTIAL FOR YOUR BUSINESS

First of all, let’s talk about how much more professional your business looks when you have a business line.

BUSINESS CARDS

You can put it on your business cards and not worry about giving everyone your personal cell phone number.

TEXTING CAPABILITY

Besides calling, you can encourage your clients to text your business number – any decent business line service such as Google Voice will allow you to receive text messages.

GROUP MESSAGES

How about group messages (for example, if you offer classes, event, or a team?) Google Voice allows that as well.

And don’t even get me started on the benefits as far as your sanity is concerned…

SEPARATE BUSINESS FROM PERSONAL

Finally, you can separate business from personal in a convenient way. No longer will you see an incoming call and wonder if it’s a client or your mother-in-law, Gertrude, asking why you haven’t called her in ages.

QUICK & CUSTOMIZABLE

Additionally, Google Voice is a great choice because you can get your number in literally one (1) minute. All you need is a Gmail account and you’re good to go!

Not to mention, you can even customize your phone number, such as choosing your area code and several different combinations of digits. Anyone who has ever wanted a vanity phone number, this is your opportunity! 😉

VOICEMAIL

You also get a voicemail that Google automatically transcribes and emails to you. So you get an audio message and a written email message for any call that you miss when a client leaves a message. That being said, the voicemail transcripts can be spotty at times (i.e. Customers may be asking for a deep cleaning, but it comes across as “cheap feeling”). I assure you these are not the same, and may leave you confused and need to seek clarification for what should be a straightforward request to begin with. Lol. Excuse me for that chuckle.

FORWARD TO YOUR CELL

How about forwarding your business line to your cell phone? Of course this is possible – it wouldn’t be very useful to have a business line that didn’t ring to your main phone. Text messages get forwarded also, although thru email, which is pointedly less convenient (for obvious reasons) than regular SMS.

All in all, getting a dedicated Google Voice number is a great choice for your business.

How do you go about doing such a thing? Ask no more!

The good news is, it couldn’t be easier.

Simply go to voice.google.com (don’t you love how easy Google makes it to find their services?)

Then choose For Work from the selection, which will route you to Google’s cloud services. It’s basically the same thing as Google Voice for personal use, but with some extra features.

Here are those extra features (as well as the price tag):

What’s that I hear? You were looking for a free solution?

Well, that’s what most people say, and for that reason I’d recommend that you click Back and click For Personal Use instead. (Note that I’m not advocating breaking any terms of service)

However, it’s a shame that Google doesn’t offer some pretty sweet and much needed extra features for busy professionals.

For example, how awesome would it be if you could do any of the following with your brand new business line (unfortunately you can’t do any of the following with Google Voice):

  1. RANDOM MISSED CALLS – What if you could add your missed calls to your contacts automatically? How much time would that save you digging thru your missed call records and emails trying to figure out which client reached out from which number? Ugh, annoying!
  2. NO PERSONALIZED RESPONSES – What if you could send a personalized response to one or more clients based on certain criteria? (Such the date of their last booking, or whether they owe you money, or on their birthday or anniversary, or when their package is going to expire, or when you have special classes, extra availability, promotions, discounts, etc) – can’t do any of that with Google Voice personal (or business!). I know, I know it’s tragic…hang in there.
  3. NO CUSTOM FORWARDING  – What if you need to forward your number to another line that is not your cell phone? Like when you drop your phone and have to leave it in the repair shop overnight or when you are away on vacation out of the country and don’t have an international voice plan, or you just hired an assistant and want him to answer all of your calls. So sad, can’t do that with Google Voice either.
  4. HEADACHE OF MULTIPLE APPS – If you’re using Google Voice for your business line, which app or software are you using to manage your clients bookings? Which app are you using to process client payments? How about contracts…do you have an app for getting them signed online? Where are you storing notes, class info, etc? That’s right – you have to use multiple apps, which makes everything exponentially more difficult, manual, and inefficient.

How can you take advantage of these amazing business features without having to shell out $30 per month to GoogleDrive, GoogleWallet, and more?

The answer is a tool that you may already have heard about, since you’re reading this article:

An amazing mobile app called PocketSuite, it’s an all-in-one solution:

  1. MISSED CALLS ADDED TO CONTACTS AUTOMATICALLY – every missed call you get (remember, these are only business calls because you get a dedicated business line with PocketSuite) will be added to your contacts automatically. No more sifting through missed calls or staring at a number, wondering which client called you!
  2. SMART MARKETING TO SEND PERSONALIZED RESPONSES – Send personalized, automated responses to your new leads and clients based on any criteria you set – hello discounts, hello promotions, hello increasing your bottom line income!
  3. CUSTOMIZABLE FORWARDING INCLUDED – Easily forward your line to your admin or support staff, and start spending your time growing your business while your team (or assistant) takes care of the support tasks! Unlike Google Voice, with PocketSuite your business line isn’t attached inseparably to your cell phone number. It default forwards to your cell phone but you can temporarily or permanently forward it to any other phone, including (ironically) to a Google Voice number.

ONE APP FOR EVERYTHING – Finally! Running a business in these days already requires so many moving pieces. It can be overwhelming. That’s why if you have a business line, you shouldn’t have to use a separate app just to manage it. With PocketSuite you get a business line integrated into the same app that you already use for payments, messages, scheduling, contacts, and pretty much any other task you need to do for your business. Phew!

Not to mention PocketSuite also allows you to get a brand new number easily and quickly, customize the area code and digits, and the best part…

If you already have a current Google Voice or Google Voice Business line and you love it, no problem! You can easily route your current number to PocketSuite and keep the Google Voice number that you already have (and that your clients have). Boom! You can have it all!!!

If you’re just looking for a business line and that’s it, you can get one from PocketSuite for the nominal cost of $9.99. However, for an extra $10 you also get the entire PocketSuite app with all the amazing features that I outlined above. And that’s still less expensive than Google Cloud’s Premier solution, which doesn’t have any of the features that I referenced above.

It’s a no brainer to do a test drive, even if it’s on PocketSuite’s free plan. There is also a 7-Day FREE Trial – so you have no excuse. Check it out!

So what are you waiting for? We’ve discussed all of the steps to getting either a Google Voice line or a PocketSuite business line or BOTH – now it’s time to make use of this information, because you’ll never get back the ten minutes you invested in reading this article. Carpe diem! (Seize the day!)

As service professionals, let’s be bold and keep expanding and growing our brand and income. We’re laying the foundation for our continued success, one delighted client at a time!

If you liked this article, you’ll love PocketSuite’s Business line – try out the 7-Day FREE trial Premium plan, if you’re not sure, you’ll get the business line benefits!

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

How to Run Your Esthetician Business with PocketSuite

Are you an aspiring esthetician, a full-fledged esthetician-solopreneur, or an skincare business owner?

You’ve probably run into challenges managing your clients – after all, between making other people beautiful, creating beautiful marketing campaigns, and getting your beauty sleep, who has time for all of the admin work that’s involved in making your business run smoothly? You’re busy making your clients’ skin smoother than butter! (Shea butter of course)

Well, have I got a doozy for you. In fact, I’m about to share one of the industry’s best-kept secrets.

It’s no wonder that the ASCP (Association of Skin Care Professionals) deems PocketSuite “The app for Estheticians.”

There’s also a reason why over 10,000 folks have been using PocketSuite to manage their business.

In this article we’ll go over the best features that PocketSuite has to offer specifically for the Esthetics industry.

Get your Jade Rollers and Skin Scrubbers ready, because we’re about to take your Esthetician game to the next level!

In this article we’ll cover:

  1. Getting your Esthetics Business set up on PocketSuite
  2. Importing your Clients
  3. Setting up your Services
  4. Setting up Payments
  5. Key Features (important!)
  6. Best Practices

HOW TO RUN YOUR ESTHETICS BUSINESS WITH POCKETSUITE

You probably offer different services to your clients – from microblading to facials, maybe you even offer monthly discounts on recurring packages!

Either way, PocketSuite has you covered.

The first step would be to sign up and get your PocketSuite account set up.

You can easily go thru the onboarding process, which takes 30 seconds and will customize the app based on which industry you’re in. In your case, we’ll be selecting Health and Wellness -> Esthetician.

Now here’s where the magic starts to happen.

Next, we’re going to set up your services.

SET UP YOUR SERVICES WITH POCKETSUITE

Now we can get to the fun part!

Start by adding your services, ideally in groups of 3 (studies show that psychologically folks like to see items in odd numbered groups). If you have more than 10 services, turn on the “Categories” feature so you can group your services in a way that makes it easy for your clients to click and checkout online.

If you have 3 different prices, keep in mind that most folks will choose the middle price. Set up your pricing accordingly!

Finally, you can add your current clients. PocketSuite makes this easy because of the free importing provided to all signups, even on the free plan!

SET UP PAYMENTS

Are you currently accepting credit cards from your clients? If not, you can easily set that up with PocketSuite. Here’s 10 different ways you can accept payments using the app.

For now, we’ll walk you through setting up payments via accepting credit cards from your clients.

The benefit of this is you have their card on file, they get an automatic receipt texted to them, and you don’t have to ask for payment each time because their info is stored in your system!

It also makes you look like much more of a professional Esthetician. The kind they can feel comfortable referring to all of their friends!

You can also use these tips to help you get more referrals – after all, in the Beauty industry word of mouth is everything!

KEY FEATURES

Here we will be discussing the key features of PocketSuite that Estheticians in particular rave about. I hope you’re wearing 2 pairs of socks because the first pair is about to get blown off!

Online Forms

You can create beautiful forms for internal use (taking notes about your clients’ preferences) or client-facing intake forms (in order for clients to fill out their personal health history and skincare needs/preferences).

Waivers & Contracts

Say goodbye to using 3rd party apps to send liability waivers or contracts to your clients – a few taps, a signature, and PocketSuite has got you covered.

Products & Inventory Tracking

It’s a shame you’ve been tracking all of your products and inventory manually, since PocketSuite has a built-in online product sales and inventory tracking feature!

Gift Certificates

Gone are the days when you were searching for a third party tool that can send out gift certificates. Or were you just creating them manually in Google Docs? How do you even track those? Forget all of that, you can sell gift certificates and track the purchases with ease from your PocketSuite dashboard. Log in to the app today and try it out!

Smart Campaigns

We’ve got you covered here – auto-send SMS campaigns to your clients encouraging them to book their next appointment, share skincare tips and aftercare guidance, or even offer holiday/special discounts.

Did I mention you can re-engage past clients to build your recurring client base? Yeah, PocketSuite actually helps you to build your business and increase your bottom line. Which makes it practically pay for itself, not once but many times over. And that’s not even considering all the time you’ll save not typing the same message over and over, and customizing it for each client. Hooray for more money in your pocket and more time in the day to spend with your family!

BEST PRACTICES

Signing up new clients is a breeze with PocketSuite. You can literally take all of the pain out of the process. No more relying on spas that barely send you any new clients, just to take a huge percentage of your income.

Now you can be your own spa (not literally, but essentially you’ll have the back office that a spa typically gives you).

For example, a lot of folks get their massage therapy license, and then go back to get their Esthetician license in order to be able to give facials as well as deep tissue massages. The major reason is that they don’t have enough clients for their massage therapy business – but the issue is, the same problems that hinder your massage therapy business will also limit your esthetician business.

The reality is, if you have a stream of clients coming in, you need a system to manage all of them. How are you going to keep track of client preferences, payment info, client intake forms, liability waivers, recurring appointments, cancellations, and charges?

With PocketSuite, you basically get an app that does all of that and more.

Top Estheticians are crushing it with PocketSuite, simply because it gives them more time to focus on what they do best – namely top-of-the-line facials, extractions, and general skin care regimens.

How, you ask? Let’s dive into that now and I’ll give you the low down:

CLIENT MANAGEMENT

How about when clients cancel on you? Now you need to go back into your excel spreadsheet and mark that they canceled. What about keeping track of repeat offenders?

And then of course there’s the waitlist feature. If you’re all booked up, and somebody cancels, the waitlist feature automatically tees up the next person into the time slot that was canceled.

You can literally send out a group message that will alert all of the folks on your waitlist that a spot has freed up. All of this with just a few taps on your phone. No more digging thru SMS threads to find your customers and trying to remember which one wanted the time slot!

PAYMENTS

Not to mention that payment info is stored automatically so you’re not worrying about collecting credit card info or cash from your clients every time.

Your clients can update their own credit card information, saving you the hassle of having to ask them for a new card when one expires.

CANCELLATIONS

Want to initiate late cancellation fees? No problem, you need to protect your time and this also decreases no-shows dramatically (no surprise, huh?)

MARKETING / SALES

Now let’s move on to marketing. I’m assuming you have a Facebook and Instagram page for your business. If not… go make one now!

Okay, now that you’ve made one (or already have one and are puzzled that I even needed to ask) it’s time to hook up your PocketSuite booking widget to your social media.

That’s right, folks can book appointments with you right from your Facebook / Instagram page. I know you’re getting giddy because this is the future!

How about selling products? Facial creams, tweezers, powders… whatever is in your inventory, PocketSuite’s new Inventory Management feature allows you to keep track of how many products you have, how many you’ve sold, and even alerts you when it’s time to re-order.

Not only that, but your products can be separate transactions from your services. It also allows you to apply different discounts on services without compromising your bottom line when selling your products.

Most top Estheticians make a handy profit by up-selling their products after the service, so if you’re not reaping this reward already, you need to get in on it! Studies show that 40% of top esthetician income is typically from product sales. That’s how you’re going to grow your business and ultimately your bottom line. If you don’t, you’re leaving money on the table.

What about following up with current clients? The handy Smart Campaigns feature handles that effortlessly. Simply tee it up and personalized SMS messages will automatically be sent out to your current clients. You can use this to upsell them, offer discounts, and ultimately get them coming back for more (the best way to increase your income without having to find and get more customers).

THE BOTTOM LINE…

If you’ve been puzzled wondering how your competition seems to run huge businesses without breaking a sweat, realize that every part of your business (except the direct services that you provide to clients) can be broken down and streamlined.

Additionally, when you then realize that most of these systems can be automated with a single app, it makes it a no-brainer to give PocketSuite a try.

There’s not a single app on the marketplace currently that makes it easier to run your entire esthetics business from soup-to-nuts.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

Whatsapp Business vs PocketSuite

Are you a solo-preneur or running your own small business, and you’re finding it challenging to keep your client messaging organized and on point?

Lots of small business owners and solopreneurs have been in your exact position, believe it or not.

The worst part is the frustration and confusion that’s caused by not having everything organized in one system.

So you jumped the gun and downloaded Whatsapp for Business, thinking that it would help your disorganized self, but now you’re running into other challenges!

In this article we will be discussing the top frustrations of professionals that use Whatsapp for Business. We’ll cover:

  • Giving out your personal number to clients
    • Checking two different voicemails (if you have Google Voice)
  • Call Routing frustrations
  • Losing track of messaging threads with your clients (and having to dig them out from between your SMS conversation with your niece and your dinner reservation confirmation texts)
  • No Automated Follow Up – aka letting your clients disappear into the night, never to be seen or heard from again, without following up proactively (because let’s face it – you’re busy and you have new clients to bring aboard)
  • Message Templates – having to retype the same messages over and over (on your tiny little phone keyboard! Everytime I type on my phone I swear I feel like I have sausage fingers… Kiolbassas!)

Ready to dive in? Put on your aqualung because we’re going deep!

GIVING OUT YOUR PERSONAL NUMBER TO CLIENTS

How many times have you seen your phone ring and wondered… is this a client calling me, or a friend?

Or even worse… you picked up the phone thinking it was a client, but it was just one of those 3  spammers that keeps calling you (for the thousandth time this week)?

Yes, as small business owners we all get bombarded by solicitors. But at least you should be able to know if it’s business-related or if it’s your neighbor calling you because he needs help finding his cat that got loose and he thinks the cat is hiding under your deck.

So you jump the gun and get a business line with Google Voice.

Not so fast! Now you’re even more handicapped because you have to keep switching between 2 different apps, checking 2 different voicemails.

There’s got to be a better way!

In fact, there is.

Find an app like PocketSuite that gives you a business line for less than ten bucks a month, and your problems are solved for less than two coffees a month.

Seriously, no more checking 2 voicemails. Hooray for saving time!

CALL ROUTING FRUSTRATIONS

So let’s say you already have a Google Voice business line, but you want to take advantage of PocketSuite’s ability to keep your life and business on track.

That’s fine! Just download the app and your existing personal line (or even your Google Voice number) will effortlessly be routed to your PocketSuite business number. Clients will never see your personal number, they will only see the PocketSuite business number, but all of the calls they make to you will be routed to your personal voicemail. So you only have to check one voicemail – all without giving up your personal information and privacy.

No more switching between apps to check different voicemail boxes.

Phew… just thinking about doing that was giving me a headache. We as humans like to have one place for everything, and PocketSuite gives you just that.

LOSING TRACK OF MESSAGING THREADS WITH YOUR CLIENTS

Okay, how many times has this happened to you?

You’re scrolling through your text message threads (or Whatsapp Business threads) and you can’t remember which numbers are associated with your clients vs your friends and family.

You could just save every single client’s contact info in your phone or Whatsapp, but that is cumbersome and takes a lot of manual effort, especially considering as your business grows and this ends up taking more and more of your precious time that you should be spending on income generating activities.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was an app that had all of your clients already stored as contacts, with notes and group messages that you could send out easily without having to scroll past your hubby’s text messages asking if you can pick up some milk at the store on your way home?

Well, you probably know where I’m going with this, but there is in fact such an app.

Try PocketSuite’s free plan, which includes a much more robust organizing feature for your business messaging than SMS or Whatsapp Business. You won’t be disappointed!

NO AUTOMATED FOLLOW UP

Okay, here’s a big one.

How many times have you set the intention of following up proactively with your clients, done it for about a week or two, and then just gave up because it’s so much manual effort to do?

Guess what… you’re not alone.

In fact, this is something I hear all the time from fellow small business owners and solopreneurs.

They’re like, “I really should follow up more with my clients” or “I know I’m leaving money on the table, but it’s so frustrating having to scour Whatsapp or my SMS threads, trying to figure out who to follow up with.”

Trust me, I feel your pain. That’s why PocketSuite came out with the most amazing feature since sliced bread (that is NOT available anywhere else – not even Whatsapp Business) and it’s called Smart Campaigns.

With Smart Campaigns you can literally *schedule* automated follow-ups – proactive, automated text message campaigns that will text your clients automatically and convert more one-time clients to repeat clients so you can grow your recurring income.

You can also offer discounts to your clients to get them to come back.

Smart Campaigns has been “game changing” and has *literally* helped to grow thousands of businesses’ income. Keep in mind, text messages still have a 90%+ open rate.

So if you want to keep nudging your customers to buy more from you, forget email – this is by far the best way to do it.

Did I mention that Smart Campaigns are included in a Premium PocketSuite subscription that literally costs less than $20 per month?

If you even get 1 current client to buy more or come back and become a repeat client, this feature pays for itself many times over.

Remember, it’s easier to sell to current customers than to get new customers – always.

Your current clients are a gold mine of new business just waiting to be tapped into! And now, you don’t even have to do it manually (since you and I both know that it makes way more sense to have an automated system take care of it).

Quit leaving money on the table using SMS or Whatsapp Business, and start utilizing Smart Campaigns with PocketSuite today. Like, right now.

MESSAGE TEMPLATES

How many times have you run into this issue:

  • Client messages you
  • You open up the SMS thread of Whatsapp for Business
  • You start typing out a response, only to realize that you’ve typed out this response literally a million times before

I know that’s happened to me plenty!

Don’t even get me started on the Whatsapp Saved message template feature. It’s weaksauce compared to PocketSuite – for example there’s a character limit, it’s clunky to use, and it makes it difficult to remember which message is which because the shortcodes are all one letter.

On the other hand, PocketSuite’s Message Templates are clean and easy to use. You just tap on the menu and there they are, right where you need them as you’re composing a message to your client. Presto manifesto, you just saved yourself 30 seconds of frustration. Now repeat that with each client and each message to them (not to mention you can eliminate a lot of this follow-up using Smart Campaigns) and you’ve got yourself a recipe for one heck of a time-saver!

Tens of thousands of businesses have switched over to PocketSuite for good reason.

You’d be doing yourself, your business, and your clients a solid by transitioning away from SMS or Whatsapp Business to something more professional, automated, and integrated.

Drop the old and get with the new! Get PocketSuite for free today.

How to Run Your Private Practice with PocketSuite

Not all therapy practices are created equal.

In this article we will discuss how to efficiently and effectively run your practice using the latest tech.

But before we get into it, let me ask you a question: Let’s say you’re looking for a doctor. Would you choose a practice that’s disorganized and still using pen and paper (read: stuck in time) or would you prefer to go with an MD that effectively utilizes the latest tech to create a seamless pre- and post- visit experience?

If you run your own therapy practice, it should come as no surprise that your prospective patients are seeking a really user friendly, on demand experience from you.

Here’s a follow-up question: How well are you prepared to compete with practices that *are* using modern tech? They don’t need to spend hours sorting through patients files, organizing a pen-and-paper office, and endlessly searching for specific patient’s info.

Not to mention that each part of your therapy practice is essentially a system. From the first moment patients find you (probably online) to when they walk through your doors, all the way to your communication (or lack of communication) post-visit… it all matters, and it all stacks up to create a huge differentiation for your practice.

These small changes especially matter when you start to take into account the effects of a powerful marketing strategy, coupled with solid response management systems in place for smoothing out any friction during the visit, all the way to turning more first time patients into regulars after their first introductory visit.

Practice Management deserves a massive article in itself, but in this article we will touch on the major struggles that most therapists experience and how modern technology (namely the device that’s usually in your pocket – you know, the one you’re probably reading this on right now) can change your practice and your life.

Thinking of the future of your practice is also important. As you grow, take in more patients and expand your office, are you going to hire more therapists, admin, office manager, and take on that additional responsibility? How do you plan on managing them? Read on for the solution that’s worked for thousands of therapists across the country…

The bottom line – you need the right tools to properly run your practice. One of the most important and useful tools in your therapy practice is an app that can help you automate everything. Does an app like this exist? Look no further… PocketSuite is here to give you some “couch time”.

Why Choose PocketSuite?

PocketSuite is a completely customizable Practice Management tool that you can use in many different ways. PocketSuite allows you to “fill in the holes” of your practice, giving you and your in-house staff the ability to focus on core competencies and more creative work.

As a therapist, you must also stay compliant with HIPAA regulations, which has so many different layers to it from data privacy to data storage to business associate agreements and more. By the way, PocketSuite is completely HIPAA certified, making it a smart choice if you’re looking to stay compliant.

Let’s take a look at some features that therapists say are essential to their practice:

Calendar Sync

Still using Google Calendar or iCal to sync your appointments? It’s time for a better solution… utilize PocketSuite’s calendar sync feature to keep everyone on the same page without the messiness of Google Calendar or iCal. This also avoids double bookings and makes scheduling easy for new patients.

Recurring Appointments

Easily create recurring appointments for your practice to ensure your patients are coming back again and again! No more playing calendar tetris with your patients.

Payments

With PocketSuite, you can complete and charge appointments, and also save payment information so there is no need for the dreaded conversation with your patient to request their credit card.

Forms (Private)

Our therapists that manage their practice using PocketSuite love the Forms feature, which is completely customizable, as it allows for note-taking during each consultation. Feel free to send them your existing forms and they’ll get them imported for you in 24 hours. No more messy papers or notebooks scattered about! Those notes are all saved in your client history for easy reference when you are on-the-go. See below a list of forms that are available in your default account:

  • Counseling Treatment Plan Template – set treatment plan goals with your client
  • Therapy Progress Note Template – track your client’s progress
  • Sample Model Template – understand client triggers, responses, and implications
  • Behavioral Activation Counseling Template – empowers clients to keep a journal of their experiences and responsibilities
  • Exposure Hierarchy Template – identify high and low stress points
  • Introduction to Anxiety Counseling Template – plan for reducing stress and anxiety

HIPAA Certified

PocketSuite’s entire platform and everyone working at PocketSuite is 100% HIPAA certified, so no worries! Your data is safe, your business line is secure, and your practice is 100% HIPAA compliant with PocketSuite. If you already have a business line that you would like to use, no problem PocketSuite can port your existing business line in so you don’t need to make any changes.

Discounts

Because you are collecting payments individually when you use PocketSuite, you have the ability to give individual discounts as you see fit. Offering a first-time discount is a popular way to expand your practice and nudge patients who are still on the fence about working with you. With PocketSuite, you can easily apply a special discount for select patients. Most importantly, you do not have to give up your profit margin on all patients.

Surcharges

You can add discounts, and you can also add surcharges as well. This is perfect for rush appointments and last minute changes. PocketSuite also protects your practice by giving you the option of passing along the processing fee as a convenience fee to your patients.

Custom Patient Profiles

In order to ensure that your patients are a good fit, you need to screen them! PocketSuite allows you to customize the fields that your prospect sees when going through the online booking process. You can add any question you want answered along with the traditional details that will help to identify and process your patients.

Leads

Outside of helping your therapist practice, PocketSuite also helps you with lead generation. You can build up and manage your list of patient leads online and all of their information will be accessible from the app.

Questionnaires

As a therapist, you definitely know the importance of the exit interview. Add a survey or a questionnaire and send it directly to patients to fill out post-visit. If you have existing forms, feel free to send them to PocketSuite and they can import them for you. Otherwise, they have great default forms that you can customize and use. See below a few client forms and templates that are available automatically in your account.

  • New Client Registration Intake Form – capture new client information
  • New Client Questionnaire Template – document important health and medical information for treatment
  • Notice of Privacy Practices Template – notification of privacy practices so your clients are aware of how you secure their information
  • No Show, Late Cancellation & Co-Payment Policy Template – helps ensure your time is respected
  • Child Intake Form Template – useful when working with adolescents

Staffing

You can have a closer relationship with your staff through PocketSuite in the same way that you can have it with your patients. PocketSuite allows you to add your team of therapists and admin to the platform. From there, you can assign them clients or they can be booked directly by clients. They can also process payments and you can pay them through the app as well.

Recurring Appointments & Appointment Reminders

You can use the PocketSuite platform to schedule recurring appointments so that you don’t lose track of your patients, even as you build the rest of your practice. Automate the process of custom appointments all at one time, and you will never have to worry about patients falling through the cracks again. You can set appointment reminders for clients based on how much advance notice you think they need to ensure they don’t forget a session.

Contracts

When you have patients that are ready to book, it is time to close the deal in an official way. Sending a contract to your patient using PocketSuite locks in the commitment to you. It also helps you keep your patients on the same page and explains the details that usually require a lot of back-and-forth explanation – now that’s no longer necessary. There is nothing worse than working with a patient and then waiting to get paid because of a miscommunication. The contracts feature helps you get rid of this problem for good. If you have existing contracts, feel free to send them to PocketSuite and they can import them for you. Otherwise, they have great default agreements and waivers that you can customize and use.

Online Booking

Your patients will be able to complete the entire booking process online. You can also place a PocketSuite booking widget directly on your website so patients can book their first appointment with you right when they find you online. Boom!

PocketSuite is more than a mobile payment processing app – it literally automates your entire practice. From initial consultations to post-visit follow-up, it provides the tools that you need to run your practice inside and out.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

How to Run your Yoga Business with PocketSuite

Are you a Yoga instructor? Do you run Yoga classes and train students on proper movement, breathwork and poses?

In this article, you will learn the secrets that took me years to figure out. How to set up classes, run them smoothly, and handle all of the back-end admin stuff with no sweat.

As a busy yoga instructor, it was difficult to manage my business while at the same time re-scheduling clients, practicing poses, and coordinating classes for my students. I also needed to manage repeat clients, schedule group classes, and not forget to follow up with current students.

So I set out to find a solution… one app that could help me with all of these tasks and more. Lo and behold, I found that it can be difficult to decide between the full range of tools that are available to yoga teachers.

In this article, you will learn how I saved countless hours and now run my entire Yoga practice from my phone, using just one app. (Seriously!)

Health and wellness is a constantly growing industry and there is no shortage of Yoga instructors. Having amazing Yoga classes does not mean that you were born with a special ability that allows you to focus on yoga and business at the same time.

In most cases, successful yoga instructors who are running full classes with happy students do so by setting up tools and processes to help automate the back-end office work and admin stuff that typically takes up a lot of their time. That’s their hidden secret and that’s what I’ll be revealing to you in this article.

Your best bet is to go with an app that provides you with all the tools you need to run your Yoga classes smoothly – all in one place. You may be able to find apps that address each of these needs individually. Your problem here will be getting used to all of these different apps and making sure they are fully compatible with each other.

Most of the time they will not be! Nor will you have the time to figure out the nuances – you have classes to teach and clients to catch up with!

What is the alternative? PocketSuite.

PocketSuite is the all-inclusive app that allows Yoga teachers to schedule their classes, collect deposits, and manage their Yoga instructors, all in the same platform. You no longer have to worry about learning six different software tools in order to run your Yoga classes smoothly. Moreover, you no longer have to take your clients through a convoluted onboarding process (since you’re stitching together different features of several different apps).

Why not have all of that functionality under one roof – with PocketSuite you will be able to market to prospective students and your current students, organize classes, and collect deposits from your students in a streamlined way.

Many yoga instructors have unfortunately discovered just how much money is lost with a complicated sales process. This is especially true of those instructors who are trying to expand a small practice. No matter how great a teacher you may be, prospects just don’t want to deal with website errors, crude paper and pencil questionnaires, scheduling mistakes, etc. They want to sign up, pay your fee, and receive the best yoga training possible!

What’s more, the modern client does not have to put up with a bad onboarding or scheduling process anymore. The Internet gives the average person more choices than ever. If your process is less-than-perfect, all it takes is one mouse click to find another Yoga studio, book time at a ClassPass gym, or download a self guided workout app with a signup process that is easier than yours.

Unfortunately, clients are less loyal than ever. They will do this with no thought of how it may affect your business, especially if you have not created a real connection or relationship with them.

How PocketSuite Works for Yoga Instructors

PocketSuite is made for Yoga instructors with no time on their hands. As a Yoga instructor, this probably describes you… after all, you are doing much more than just classes.

You have to keep up with the latest in terms of new breathwork techniques, new poses, and sequences for your classes. You need to know the latest in hot yoga, trapeze yoga, goat yoga, laughter yoga, beer yoga, postnatal yoga, etc. You must constantly practice in order to maintain your mastery. Basically, you do not have time to deal with all of the back-office and admin stuff.

First, the app works in your favor by automating the marketing process. It does this by integrating with your social media, scheduling recurring classes, and sending personalized text messages. With PocketSuite focused on following up and building the future of your business, you can focus on doing what you do best – changing people’s lives through centeredness, stretching, and de-stressing.

Your marketing goes to another level when you start using PocketSuite. You can not only create groups of clients with similar backgrounds, you can market to those groups in a streamlined way. No more sifting through clients trying to remember if this one or that one wanted a group class or an extra phone call. PocketSuite does all of this for you, syncing the message that you want to put out with the audience that you want to reach.

Secondly, PocketSuite provides you with more time to focus on your core competency, namely, Yoga! The less time that you have to spend on things like appointment reminders, collecting payments, and rescheduling appointments, the more time you have to focus on creating an amazing experience for your students and changing their lives for the better. With all of the needs of the average Yoga instructor that’s running their own business taken into account – PocketSuite is the one stop solution.

I’ve heard from many Yoga instructors that they make the most money from private appointments. This is also one of the most satisfying ways to teach, because you can relay more information in a one-on-one session than you can in a group setting. However, getting these kinds of clients can be difficult if you’re not a natural salesperson. PocketSuite saves you from having to go back to school for marketing and sales – it does all of this by integrating directly with Google Ads.

Instead of having to sell packages after class, the app does it for you online. People who are looking for one on one classes can simply go to the app and sign up rather than having to ask or go through an awkward sales pitch from you. The result is better classes with no upselling pressure.

Because you can automatically organize your student’s info in the app, you can also easily put together group classes of people with similar skill levels or interests. Imagine not having to go through all of your customer lists in order to find these people. They will actually find you if your onboarding process is solid.

You can also get this done with the PocketSuite app, because your clients will complete your forms and sign up for your classes from the comfort of their home computer or phone.

You will be able to complete the entire sales process thru PocketSuite as well. This means signing students up for classes, creating ongoing connections and keeping private notes on each client for the upsell later. The app will help you target who to give certain discounts to based on how often they book classes and/or appointments with you. It will also help you determine who are the most likely candidates for gift certificates and other online products.

Your Team

It is also important as a Yoga instructor to have the best set of health and wellness professionals around you. You may have a good amount of teachers under your umbrella or you may work with a small staff to ensure the best experience for your clients. Either way, you need to showcase a high level of organization to keep your staff and students happy. PocketSuite allows you to synchronize the schedules of your teams with the schedules of your clients. This is absolutely essential if you’re trying to expand your Yoga business through other teachers.

PocketSuite also allows you to coordinate all of your team member’s calendars. You have the ability to access client information remotely so that you can always seem like the “third-eye” regardless of where you are. You can turn your staff into salespeople, tracking how well they are able to upsell Yoga clothes or Yoga mats to your customers, and paying them a commission on all sales. PocketSuite also allows you to reward them with certificates and other forms of acknowledgment if they positively affect your revenues.

No matter how you plan to expand your Yoga instructor business, PocketSuite is a tool that you can use to make it happen efficiently. Instead of hiring a bunch of admin assistants, paying someone to market your business online, or outsourcing your accounting to an expensive firm, you now have all of that at your fingertips with PocketSuite. This is the only way to expand in the digital era. Your competition is keeping things streamlined and you have to as well. Make sure that you investigate everything that PocketSuite can do for you before committing to any other solution.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

Choosing Software – Housecallpro vs PocketSuite

So, you’re looking for an app to manage your on-the-go business where you’re servicing clients at their homes.

In this article, we will be discussing the ups and downs of using Housecall Pro, how Housecall Pro compares to PocketSuite, and what app would be best for your business based on your needs.

Housecall Pro is famous for being especially suited to businesses that perform services onsite at a client’s home.

Since running a service business has a unique set of challenges, it’s important to choose an app or software that allows you to tackle these challenges head-on.

For example, some common characteristics of apps or software that allows you to manage your on-the-go service business are:

  1. Mobile-first design
  2. Scheduling
  3. Online Booking
  4. Estimates
  5. Invoices
  6. Marketing
  7. Etc…

It’s very easy to assume that just about any software that does scheduling and booking can help you. However, let’s take a look at the breakdown of two giants in this industry – Housecall Pro and PocketSuite.

Both apps are designed for pros that service clients at their location, so it’s worth your time to find out which one of these takes the cake in terms of value and pricing.

It’s important to choose wisely, as the software or app that you use will influence your clients perception of your business. You want that impression to be good, so this decision should not be taken lightly!

Let’s take a look at what Housecall Pro is capable of and how it compares to PocketSuite.

Housecall Pro

Features:

  • Scheduling
  • Estimates
  • Online booking
  • Dispatch
  • On-my-way texts
  • Live Map GPS
  • Custom text and email
  • Invoicing
  • Follow-up marketing
  • Payment processing
  • Recurring service
  • Instapay

PocketSuite

Features:

  • Marketing – Google-driven results (Partnership with PocketSuite <> Google AdWords).
  • Online Booking – Your customers can book you from their phone or computer.
  • POS – Charge customer’s credit cards with our built in card scanner.
  • Scheduling – One tap easy booking for you and your clients.
  • Invoicing – Collect payment upfront and/or when the job is done.
  • Discounts – Give specials discounts to brand new or existing clients.
  • Sales Tax / Surcharges – Uncle Sam’s payments are taken care of auto-magically.
  • Gratuity – Let your clients make it rain ☔ by giving you tips!
  • Custom Fields – Whatever customization you need on your appointments, PocketSuite has the power to make it happen.
  • E-Contracts – Send clients contracts over text or email and get them signed within 24 hours.
  • Forms – Complete private notes on the job and save them for future reference.
  • Recurring Appointments – Keep them coming back for more and lock in repeat clients.
  • Appointment Reminders – Your clients will never miss an appointment.
  • Multi-Services – Offer different priced services to your customers easily.
  • Reservations – Let clients book you for multi-day jobs.
  • Estimates – Send estimates with deposit requirements. Convert estimates into invoices and/or appointments with one tap.
  • Packages – Custom packages have never been easier – get paid upfront.
  • Subscriptions – Auto-pay is the easiest way to collect recurring revenue.
  • Staffing – Easy to assign jobs, pay, manage your team from one app.
  • Job Check In & Check Out – Keep tabs on your team and auto-update your clients on arrival times with location tracking.
  • Group Messaging – Business at the speed of thought. Clients just see it as text, but it shows up in your app as a client message!

As is abundantly clear at this point, PocketSuite’s massive set of features is more than enough for any new or established business owner.

It is also important to take a look at the financial commitment that is associated with each of these software tools. After all, it’s important to make sure you’re not throwing money down the drain!

With Housecall Pro, the interesting thing is that you get limited functionality for more money as opposed to PocketSuite’s fully stocked premium offerings that are less expensive and more powerful.

Housecall Pro Pricing

PocketSuite Pricing

PocketSuite’s free plan arguably has more useful features than Housecall Pro’s lowest monthly plan.

Additionally, the premium features that PocketSuite provides eclipse Housecall Pro’s by a longshot.

Let’s take a looksie at some of these extra features that you would NOT receive with Housecall Pro:

PocketSuite Free Version

  • Direct Messaging – Business messaging, the way it should be.
  • Calendar Scheduling – No more Google Calendar / Outlook confusion.
  • Payments – Get paid via Invoice or Point of Sale.
  • Client Note-Taking – Keep track of the critical preferences and other information for each client as your business takes on more and more clients.
  • Industry Leaderboard – See how your competition is crushing it, benchmark your income, and unlock growth!
  • Pay Now Button (Website/FB/IG) – Yes, folks can book your services right off Instagram or Facebook. Victory dance!
  • Flat 2.7% Processing (No Hidden Fees) – Rates lower than my eyelids after a 12 hour workday.

PocketSuite Premium Version

  • Unique Business # – Get a business phone number that you can put on your business cards and marketing.
  • Group Messaging – No more fumbling to send dozens of the same message to your clients.
  • Saved Message Templates – Easily send off messages based on custom templates.
  • Class Scheduling, Auto Check Ins & Attendance Tracking – Easily track job check ins and check outs.
  • Multi-day Jobs – Allow clients to reserve your time for multiple days. Viola!
  • Tasks / To-Do’s – Always know what you need to get done and don’t miss a single task!
  • Data Importing – Come on over. We’ll take care of getting your clients into the system.
  • Questionnaires / Forms – Collect data from your customers with ease. Painlessly organize and sort it.
  • Contract E-Signing – Need to send a contract out? Never fear, PocketSuite is here.
  • Estimates – I’m estimating that you will love this feature, especially how you can convert estimates to invoices directly!
  • Smart Campaigns – Follow up with your clients automatically – schedule follow-ups via SMS that bring folks back for more!
  • Add-On Products – Now you can sell products alongside your services.

I’d also like to mention one thing that normally gets lost in the shuffle when it comes to choosing a piece of software or an app to help you manage your business.

As you know, the learning curve for new technology can be very high. For this reason, should you run into some roadblocks or headaches when it comes to switching providers, it is important to know that the new software or app you’re using has your back.

As an example, I am very impressed with the support I received from PocketSuite when I tried them out.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that their support team is best-in-class, and you shouldn’t hesitate at all to reach out to them if you have questions.

If you run into problems, just shoot them a text (415-841-2300). They respond quickly and are extremely helpful. They went beyond the call of duty to ensure that my experience with their app was a 6 star rating in every way. And as a business owner, that makes me feel taken care of and happy to be a part of the PocketSuite community of Pros.

When it comes to choosing a business management app or software, I need something that is easy to use when I’m on the go (like when I’m doing appointments at a client’s home) and has full-fledged functionality (so I don’t have to look for 10 other apps to get basic business tasks done).

Housecall Pro has limited functionality and is primarily desktop-based. PocketSuite, on the other hand, is mobile-first in design and has all of the necessary tools that I need to run my entire business from my phone, using one app. How neat is that?

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

Choosing Software – Mindbody vs PocketSuite

So, you’re looking for a solution to help you run your service business and you’re considering MindBody.

In this article we will be discussing the pros and cons of using MindBody, how MindBody compares to PocketSuite, and what we would recommend based on your situation.

We will be discussing the top feature gaps and also pricing differences. A comparison that takes into account not just what the software can do, but how much it will cost you as well!

Choosing the right software to run your service business is critical because the features that the software provides is a direct reflection of how professional and tech-savvy your clients will think you are.

For example, if the software you’re using makes it easy for you to follow up with your clients, then you’re more likely to do so, resulting in a better experience (and more sales for you!)

On the contrary, if the software you use makes it difficult to do certain business tasks (such as invoicing, scheduling, payments, etc) you might have to use multiple solutions to get those tasks done. This creates confusion and the appearance disorganization. It also makes it difficult to manage because you’re relying on so many different tools and software systems to interact with your clients.

Instead, let’s take a look at how MindBody can help you as a solopreneur or a business with a small team and how it compares to PocketSuite.

MindBody

Features:

  • Branded Mobile App – Have a white-labeled app to show your clients.
  • Marketing – Get more clients with MindBody’s marketing package.
  • Online Booking – Have clients book online.
  • POS – Point of Sale system – accept credit cards on the spot.
  • Client Profiles – Each client has their own profile.
  • Staff Tools – Manage your staff members.
  • Reports – See how your business is performing.
  • Automation – Save time with automated tasks.

PocketSuite

Features:

  • Marketing – PocketSuite has partnered with Google AdWords to help you acquire new client leads and give you best in class marketing!
  • Online Leads or Online Booking – Customers can signup and/or book you online on your website or even on your Facebook or Instagram pages. Just add the online lead widget or a booking button in seconds.
  • POS – Point of Sale system (no card reader or swiper needed – just use your our built in scanner to charge cards from your phone!).
  • Discounts – Provide customizable discounts and promotions to your clients.
  • Sales Tax / Surcharges – Make sure you save some for Uncle Sam! This feature makes it easy to charge and set aside sales taxes and to pass on processing fees (if you like).
  • Gratuity – Let your clients show their appreciation by giving you a tip.
  • Custom Fields – Need customizable fields in your client profile to capture additional information when they sign up or complete their first session? You’ve got it!
  • Appointment Reminders – Automated appointment reminders sent to your clients – easy, breezy!
  • Recurring Appointments – Grow your loyal customer base with our handy repeat appointments feature.
  • Multi-Services – If you provide more than 1 service, you want this feature!
  • Estimates – Need to send an estimate for a larger client? Look no further, it’s in your pocket!
  • Packages – Build a custom package for your clients – there are no limits. Allows you to get paid upfront and track sessions completed.
  • Subscriptions – Allow customers to become subscribers, pay a membership fee, set up auto-pay, or establish an installment payment plan.
  • Classes – You can offer group sessions as Series or Drop In classes! Your clients can auto-check in. You can take attendance from the class roster and establish a waitlist.
  • Staffing – Run your business – assign jobs, pay your team, and manage your staff with this powerful set of features.
  • Forms & Contracts – import your forms and contracts within minutes so you can send them via text or email, get them signed online, and store them all in the app. Hassle free.
  • Group Messaging – Keep everyone in the loop and on the same page without messy group texts
  • Smart Campaigns – Are there routine messages that you send out anytime you miss a call, Labor Day and other holidays comes around, clients signup, clients complete an appointment, clients haven’t booked you in a while, a client’s package expires, etc.? Don’t worry about sending out a message. The system automatically sends out personalized messages for you with promotional offers to groups of clients who you identify.
  • Add on Products – Do you sell products that clients can pay for when they book you and pickup when they are onsite? We’ve got you covered.
  • Gift Certificates – How do you reward clients for making referrals? Gift certificates are the best. They are also a great way to get paid upfront during the holiday season. The system automatically applies the gift certificate and tracks the balance for you and your clients.
  • Leaderboard – Curious how much other businesses in your industry are making? You can easily benchmark your income and business metrics. Share best practices with other successful Pros.

As you can clearly see, PocketSuite has a plethora of additional features that are super useful for solopreneurs and businesses with small teams. You can turn on any of the features above that fit your business needs and start getting booked and paid within minutes on PocketSuite.

Additionally the pricing for Mindbody vs PocketSuite is worth taking a look at. You’d think that PocketSuite would be more expensive given all of the additional features that it has at your disposal.

However, the contrary is true! PocketSuite was developed exclusively for solopreneurs and businesses with small teams. We know the best way to support small business and is to provide a super affordable solution. So that what we do. We believe you should invest in your business instead of spending hundreds of dollars on expensive software.

 

MindBody Pricing

PocketSuite Pricing

How crazy is that! PocketSuite actually has a free plan that has all of the essentials you need to run your business. If you don’t yet have any clients or haven’t yet hit your income goals, feel free to start off on the FREE plan.

Additionally, the pro version of PocketSuite is less expensive than MindBody and also comes with more powerful, super simple features.

Let’s take a look at some of those additional features now:

PocketSuite Free Version

  • Direct Messaging – Business messaging on steroids!
  • Calendar Scheduling – No more Google Calendar / Outlook headaches.
  • Client Note-Taking – Never forget critical info about your clients as your business grows.
  • Industry Leaderboard – See who’s crushing it in your industry and beyond!
  • Pay Now Button (Website/FB/IG) – Seriously, people can pay you right from your Instagram page. It’s the future!
  • Flat 2.7% Processing (No Hidden Fees) – Beat those rates.

PocketSuite Premium Version

  • Unique Business # – Get your very own unique business number to share.
  • Subscription Payments – Tired of chasing payments down? Stop being a bill collector and focus on running your business!
  • Customer Group Messaging – No more texts getting lost in the shuffle.
  • Saved Message Templates – Cut down on writing the same messages over and over again, just have them ready to go at a moment’s notice.
  • Class Scheduling, Auto Check Ins & Attendance Tracking – Your classes have never been easier to run or manage.
  • Online Booking – Let people book at any time – day or night.
  • Tasks / To-Do’s – Keep your to do list organized and on track – all in one app!
  • Data Importing – We’ll help import your clients from your old software.
  • Questionnaires / Forms – Ask customers what they think or have them fill out an intake form for your service.
  • Contract E-Signing – Need a contract signed by your clients? We’ve got the tool right here!
  • Estimates – Need to provide an estimate to your prospective client? Here’s the solution.
  • Smart Campaigns – Automated SMS reminders and custom campaigns – convert more one and done clients to repeat customers!
  • Package Sales & Usage Tracking – Keep tabs on your client sessions with fabulous tracking.
  • Add-On Products – Need to sell additional products with your services? This is the answer you’ve been looking for!

Additionally I’d like to point out one thing that is generally overlooked when folks are choosing a software for their service business.  This is a feature that is normally not listed on websites, but it actually becomes critically important when it comes to selecting the right software partner.

One thing people generally don’t take into account is the level of customer service that a company provides to their customers.

It’s difficult to quantify the quality of customer service that a company provides since there are no clear metrics other than “they helped me” or “they didn’t”.

That being said, it’s important to note that PocketSuite’s customer service team is absolutely AWESOME. They respond quickly and provide accurate, helpful advice.

You can text them – the number is on the website. I’ve never found a customer support team that is so dedicated to helping business owners – 24/7.

This is important, should you have any issues setting up your app or managing it. Since you’re dealing with your own clients, it’s super important that your app is in working order and everything is taken care of properly, so that makes me appreciate the customer service PocketSuite provides all that much more.

It’s a no brainer when it comes to choosing software for your service business.

If you’re a fan of saving money and having more tools in your arsenal to run your business even smoother and with less hassle and headaches, give PocketSuite a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!

How to Use Venmo for your Business in 2019

Today, service professionals need the ability to process payments as a part of their everyday operations. Today, more than 50% of consumers use mobile payment methods to complete purchases rather than using cash, checks, and other payment methods.

Mobile payment has grown into an industry, valued at more than $220 billion annually. That means that being able to accept credit cards on your phone or ipad/tablet is not just a useful business tool – it’s a necessity. You need a mobile payment processing service that is fast, secure, reliable as well as convenient for both you and your clients.

Working With a Leader in Service Business Mobile Payments

Venmo is one of the leading mobile payment platforms. It is owned and operated by PayPal. It is an innovative mobile payment service that gives users the ability to make payment transactions wherever, whenever. It has made the money transfer process between individuals easy, social, and fun! In the first quarter of 2018 alone, Venmo facilitated more than $12 billion in transactions worldwide.

But in the rapidly advancing information age, breaking ground in service business and being the best are not the same thing. While Venmo is responsible for opening up a whole new avenue to commerce that did not exist before, the market is now demanding more features, faster service, and better results.

Meeting the Demands of Mobile Commerce

It’s a predictable phenomenon; when a company like Venmo comes out with a new product that is a game changer, a product that does things no product has ever done before, it opens up new possibilities. Those new possibilities inspire others to innovate and one-up the original. And generally speaking, they do it lightning fast.

As users adopt the new technology and become familiar with the new capabilities it offers, they quickly discover ways to improve on it. You probably have this experience every day. In your service business you use a product to deliver your service and quickly start thinking of enhancements that would delight your clients even more. You imagine how much more productive you could be if it were streamlined, better integrated, had more features, or more user-friendly.

Once a game-changing innovation like Venmo reaches that point, the race to improve the technology, and to take it to the next level, is on. Too often the original innovator like Venmo is slow to improve, and they are left behind. That’s where other worthy competitors come in.

Enter the PocketSuite Service Business App

PocketSuite is a new mobile payment service provider with an edge that Venmo can’t match. They have taken the underlying technology of mobile payments and taken it up several notches. PocketSuite is an all-in-one business app for your mobile phone or ipad/tablet that is more powerful, more responsive, and has far more features than Venmo. It is designed to help save service businesses time and make them more money.

With PocketSuite, it doesn’t matter where you are, where you’re going, or how quickly you have to be there. It is a comprehensive business application that gives you access to online booking, allowing your clients to schedule appointments from your website or Facebook and Instagram pages. PocketSuite is leaving Venmo in the dust. But that’s just the start.

PocketSuite Does for Your Service Business What Venmo Won’t

The team behind Pocketsuite listened to Venmo users to find out what they needed that Venmo was not providing. In so doing, they came up with a comprehensive list of mobile business features that service professionals need to compete with marketplaces and larger companies. Here’s what they came up with.

Client Notes

PocketSuite allows you to add important notes on any client. This makes it possible for you to remember all those client preferences that make a huge difference to clients. Remember those little unique idiosyncrasies about each client like preferred pronouns, nicknames, weird delivery instructions, things they like and dislike, special discounts, or their birthdays and anniversaries. Venmo doesn’t do that – not even close.

In a service business, these little details are incredibly important. Forgetting them can mean less sticky client relationships and lower client retention. This powerful feature gives you the ability to make your client feel special. It makes a world of difference.

E-Contract Signing

With Venmo, you can’t send contracts or forms to the client as proof of the terms of your payment agreement. Instead, you have to use a separate application, like PocketSuite. (wink wink)

It really is a no brainer. With an app like Venmo, you should be able to accept payment and send all the requisite forms to the client in one (maximum two) tap(s).. But with Venmo, you just can’t do that. Venmo forces you to log into a second program to send forms and contracts. Of course, any time you do that, you run the risk of causing confusion, creating friction in the transaction, and losing the client. There’s so much that could get lost in translation – so much of that could affect your bottom line. Why take the risk?

With PocketSuite, unlike Venmo, you get all of this in one place. Plus, you have your client notes and other important info and services all in one accesible place.

Text Automation

With Venmo, you can’t automate follow-up texts – with PocketSuite you can. PocketSuite allows you to automate important follow-up texts to your customers. Why would you want to leave them in the dark when you can keep them in the loop throughout your process? This is where Venmo really drops the ball.

Suppose, for example, it takes you a week to deliver a service. Until now, the norm with Venmo has been to simply to keep users in the dark about where your funds are until you reach the next stage. Today, mobile users want more and they deserve more. They want to know that you are working on their product, service, or project. They want to be able to plan around delivery times and milestones. Give them that ability with automated text reminders & updates.

Multi-Service Lists

With Venmo you can’t list multiple services for sale, but with PocketSuite you can. PocketSuite is exactly what the name implies- an entire service business suite right in your pocket- complete and ready to go at the tap of a button. PocketSuite lets you list your entire product inventory and service list, all in one place. Why would you want to make potential clients toggle back and forth between your website and Venmo’s payment service? When your clients are trying to fulfill a need, they want a ready solution available to them. PocketSuite gives you that toolset all upfront.

Invoice Sharing

Everyone with even a little business experience knows that invoices can be a pain to deal with. Why not automate as much of the invoice process as possible? Unlike Venmo, PocketSuite lets you do exactly that. Now, you can send invoices automatically.

Full Brand Packaging

Now, your customers can find everything you provide and everything you do all in one easy to use interface- one that’s conveniently accessible via SMS. With PocketSuite, unlike Venmo, you can bundle and add any service that you wish to sell. Choose which one and how many you want to include in a package? Just fill out the remaining details and your PocketSuite client service package is launched and ready to go. It really is as easy as that.

Instant Payments and Payouts

Say goodbye to delays that Venmo makes unavoidable. Take charges and give refunds instantly. Simply tap the “Charge” button to complete payment transaction with any credit card that has a Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, or Discover card logo. Your client gets the benefit of knowing where they are in the payment transfer process and the risk of disputes/chargebacks is drastically reduced. Venmo doesn’t do that.

My reaction when I receive an Instant Payout

We’re all grateful to Venmo for creating such a powerful mobile payment processing technology. But now, it’s time to take mobile payments to the next level. It’s time to transform your mobile digital payment asset into a full-service business suite right in the palm of your hand.

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2019, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!