Online consultations are no longer just a thing of the future. One silver lining to come from the last couple of years is that people have become much more comfortable meeting virtually. If you run a consulting business, this is good news. Whereas before, your reach may have been limited to local customers and in-person consultations. Now you can offer your expertise to people from anywhere, as long as you have a few simple tools on your website.
Here’s what you should consider adding to your website if you want to offer online consultations.
Some clients might be ready to book your services as soon as they’ve read the content on your website, but many will have questions before they commit. While email is fine for this purpose, offering a live chat box will make you more accessible to potential customers. There are plenty of free and premium plugins that enable you to install live chat on your WordPress site. Many of them offer features like mobile apps through which you can manage messages, and the ability to have messages diverted to your inbox if you’re not available at the time.
Online consultations booking system
While you can book your clients manually, having an automated booking system will save you time and free you up to get on with other work. Again, there are plenty of WordPress plugins that will handle this for you. Ideally, you want one that provides you with a calendar to display on your site (so your clients can see available appointment times). Use a mobile-friendly interface so people can book your services on their smart devices, support for booking more than one consultant, the ability for clients to edit their bookings, an easy-to-use backend, and integration with your online payment system (if you’re taking payment or deposit upfront).
Having an online payment system not only frees you from the extra work of sending out manual invoices and chasing up late payers. It also provides your clients with the convenience of paying by credit card. You can obtain both free and premium plugins for reputable payment gateways, such as Stripe or Paypal (some plugins work with more than one). Be sure to check out the fee structure when choosing. Payment gateways normally charge you a processing fee per transaction – either a set amount, a percentage of the total spend, or a combination of both.
Video chat for online consultations
Lastly, you’ll need something with which to do your virtual consultations. You can, of course, do this via Zoom, Skype, Google Meetings, Microsoft Teams, or any other number of video chat apps. Once again, WordPress enables you to integrate this feature into your website using plugins. For example, Consulto Video Chat enables you to embed video chat directly into your website, share your screen with your customer (if necessary) and comes bundled with appointment scheduling and PayPal payment collection features.
To search for (and install) plugins for your small business consulting website. Simply go to your WordPress dashboard and look for the Plugins section in your menu.
If you’d like Moreweb to help you choose the right plugins and set up your website for online consultations, get in touch for a tailored solution.