When most Americans think of St. Patrick’s Day, we think of two things: leprechauns and green beer (in no particular order).
Pardon the generalization, but by and large Americans need an excuse to drink. Whether that’s because it’s 5 o’clock on Friday or because you’re at an event with an open bar, we didn’t inherit the “drinking is acceptable at any time” attitude of our European forefathers.
So for those of us that enjoy a good happy hour, March 17th marks a guilt free drinking day where we also (very) loosely acknowledge other elements of Irish-Americans’ culture. While the term “luck of the Irish” originally stemmed from the success that Irish-American miners had during the gold and silver rush of the 1800s, it’s now come to just be associated with good fortune in general.
All of this green clothing and talk about luck got me thinking about where “luck” comes in when talking about your business, your clients, and your appointments. I know that I rarely attribute the success I see for myself or the people in my life to just plain luck, but in reality, good fortune has a lot to do with it, and it feels pretty darn good to “get lucky” (not like that; get your mind out of the gutter!).
Do you remember the last time something really great happened to you and you felt like luck played a key role? I sure do. When you’re the recipient of an act of unexpected good fortune, your whole body feels elated & joyous like a kid. You feel almost chosen and, here’s the kicker, you want to tell everyone about it.
A few years ago, I won $500 on a scratch off lottery ticket. Did I do anything differently from any of the other people buy scratch off tickets? No. Was there something I did that made me more cosmically deserving of it? Probably not. It was just sheer good fortune.
I know that, realistically, that winning lottery ticket had to go to someone. I know that it was really just random that I won it. I know all these things intellectually, but it doesn’t erase the feeling I had for the rest of the week after winning 500 bucks! I immediately called all of my friends so they could share in my good news.
Thinking about all this luck stuff has my wheels spinning.
What if you could create the same sense of “random good fortune” for the clients who are booking appointments online with you? If you could get them to feel like they’re on the receiving end of a random act of good fortune, might they just pick up the phone and call all of their friends to tell them about their awesome luck and, in the process, also spread the news about your business?
If you could create this feeling for your clients, you could trigger a waterfall of word of mouth marketing for your services, but how do you create it?
First, let’s look at the elements for what makes something feel lucky:
Element of Luck #1: It’s unexpected
Call it what you like – random, magic, accidental – but luck is far from predictable. If people can see what led them to the current good fortune they’re experiencing, they are not going to get that feeling like they’ve been chosen by the goddess of good fortune.
If you are trying to give your clients the sense that they are somehow lucky, they need to feel like they had no control over something very good that happened to them. It needs to happen, it needs to feel awesome, and they need to feel like they had little to no role in its occurrence.
Element of Luck #2: It builds on something the person already enjoys
If I walk down the street and someone hands me a free ticket to go to the premiere of Frozen 2, I wouldn’t feel very lucky. I am among the small crowd of people who cannot stand that “Let it go!” song, but someone else may feel as if the heavens had just shone down upon them.
That lucky feeling can almost entirely consume you, but only if you would actually enjoy the good fortune you’re receiving. In this sense, good “luck” is a subjective experience. There’s no universal experience you could give and we’d all feel the same sense of luck. Even that “pot of gold” wouldn’t feel so lucky if your bank accounts were already loaded. Luck has a unique context for every person.
Element of Luck #3: It makes the person feel unique or individualized
In Oprah’s “Favorite Things” episodes, I’m willing to bet that every person in the audience felt incredibly lucky to get the chance to be there. They didn’t, however, feel lucky among the audience itself; rather, they felt fortunate in comparison to the millions of people around the world watching in envy.
That lucky feeling happens because we get a boost in our own identity that’s unique to us and that not everyone gets to share in. Receiving a random act of good fortune doesn’t have the same effect if everyone gets the same random act of good fortune. Rather, if everyone could get the same thing, then as humans we would just start to feel entitled to whatever it was.
For instance, if you’re at a conference and someone has a booth with a bunch of free swag on it, you’d go up and take it without first thinking how lucky you are to now own this branded pen or stress ball. But, if there is only one piece of swag, and you are somehow chosen for it you start to feel really lucky (even if it is only a pen that you’re winning).
Now that we’ve discussed the three elements of luck, I’ve thought of a few interesting ways you can apply it to your online appointment manager to make even the highest maintenance clients feel special. I’m sure you can build luck into other aspects of your business as well to cultivate that exciting feeling for your clients and fuel word of mouth marketing.
Randomly select a client for a free appointment with you
It doesn’t matter if you charge a huge amount for your services or a small amount, when someone gets selected to receive a free appointment they get the sense that today’s their lucky day. When offering this, make sure to consider the three elements of luck in selecting your recipient. A key thing to keep in mind is to not select someone for the service if they’re not really interested in it. For someone who doesn’t want what you’re selling, a free appointment will probably come off as desperate rather than making them feel lucky.
Add a “Secret Service” and only make it bookable for a small window of time
One thing TimeTap allows you to do is add in “Private Services”. Typically this means that only staff would be adding appointments for these services, but you have the power to make them public at any time for clients to book themselves. If you have a coveted, high demand service, you can cultivate that sense of luck by only opening up booking for it once or twice a year and can do so by just making your private service public. By limiting the window clients can use to book this service, you’ll give them that sense of unexpectedness, and since they are claiming one of only a small number of available spots, they’ll feel really unique as well.
Send clients login information and make it feel unique
On your web scheduler you can make it so that only pre-registered clients are able to book with you. Since TimeTap has free online scheduling accounts (get yours here), even if you don’t typically require clients to be pre-registered in order to book appointments with you, you can set up a side account and just offer a select handful of services through there to only a few “chosen” clients. Send out the link to book with you and use language like “here’s my private link” or “here is where the X# of selected clients are able to book”. When people who are interested in your services feel as if they are among the very elite or selected group of clients allowed to book with you, their individual booking rates increase.
I’d love to know your thoughts on luck in the comments below. Have you ever created a campaign or contest in your business with the goal of making clients feel special? When was the last time you felt really lucky and why did you feel that way? Tell us about it in the comments below!