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September 10, 2023
Updated: January 25, 2024

Automating Rift’s booking process erased anxiety and boosts conversions

Matt, founder of Rift Photography, was constantly on the clock for incoming booking requests... now it's all on autopilot.

Challenge

Matt Reilly, founder of event photographers Rift Photography, was out on a Saturday trying to have a day off work. He saw an email request come through. It was someone trying to book for Tuesday in three days’ time. He felt instant anxiety and his personal time was canceled.

“That person is booking under the pump. They're thinking, oh no, I need to get a photographer for three days' time. It was a lot of stress—for them and for me,” says Matt. Knowing that customers these days are looking for quick solutions, he was under constant pressure to respond to inquiries quickly in order to turn them into bookings. Matt was losing customers when he didn’t have time to respond fast enough, when he was at another job, for instance, or trying to take a day off.

Background

Founded in 2014, Rift is a leading photography service provider based in Perth, Western Australia. Rift specializes in photography for special events, including weddings, engagements, corporate events and milestone birthdays; they cover it all. They have 10 photographers on their roster and take anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 photographs every week.

Rift was using Squarespace forms as part of their quoting and booking system. Potential customers had to send a request for a booking or quote via Rift’s website forms. Matt would then have to manually put together a quote and get back to the customer before they had moved on to the competition.

Leads were coming in unqualified, and it took considerable time to prepare and send quotes to every inquirer—including those that weren’t serious buyers.

Matt was under ongoing anxiety to be available and respond to quote and booking requests, and he was losing crucial time creating and sending quotes manually. The potential for input errors meant that every booking had to be followed up with a phone call or email before the event to double-check details such as address, date, and time were correct to prevent his photographers from turning up at the wrong address or at the wrong time!

As a business owner, it was essential for Matt to find a better way to turn leads into bookings so he could lower his anxiety levels, get his time back, and maximize the success of his business.

Solution

In May 2023, Matt was due to take his first ever 5-week holiday away from his business. He knew he needed to automate the quoting and booking process before leaving so the business didn’t suffer while he was away.

He tried out a few form builders in his quest to find something that was both easy to use and powerful enough to handle his unique pricing system. He finally chose ConvertCalculator finding the flexibility and calculation power that wasn’t there with other form builders.

Recognizing the potential, he made the commitment to replace Rift’s Squarespace forms with ConvertCalculator’s because he could easily connect their existing business apps like Zapier and Google Calendar with ConvertCalculator.

“I set it all up just before I left for my trip because I wanted everything to run smoothly. It was the first time I stepped away from the business for more than probably a week ever,” says Matt.

Using the conditional logic feature in ConvertCalculator, Matt was able to set up question flows for quoting and booking requests for each of Rift's services.

Conditional logic is used to create dynamic and interactive forms that deliver different questions depending on the way site visitors answer each one. This has enabled Matt to remove redundant questions from the flow because the form adapts to each visitor’s needs.

“I love how you can hide and reveal, so it doesn't take up a lot of real estate on my website pages. The order form, which is the calculator, is nice and refined.”

Leveraging ConvertCalculator’s functionality, Matt has created a powerful interactive form that automatically calculates and gives instant quotes for all Rift’s services in one place.

Results

Only three months in, and even during the slower winter period, business is looking great.

Conversions have already increased by 25%. "Customers can tailor the pricing on the form and then make it suit their budget. So I would say it's, conversion wise, very good," says Matt.

Automated booking has removed anxiety and time pressures. Now, when a booking request comes in, it is automatically sent out to his bank of 10 photographers in an instant...

"One of the main reasons I went for ConvertCalculator is that it links to Zapier. So now I can get confirmation emails out instantly. Myself or one of my staff can just click 'yes' on Google Calendar while out and about," says Matt. "And it sends out a booking confirmation. It's all sorted. I don't have that anxiety of needing to get back to my computer. No one else really does that in Australia, that I can find."

Incoming leads are now qualified because Matt has loaded pricing and service information on his form. "Customers are educated on the form page, so once they come through to us, they're ready to book," he says. This is saving the business 8 hours per week on quoting.

Missed leads are a thing of the past, and bookings are on the increase. This will become even more apparent when the busy season starts in a few months' time.

Using the 'Places' element has been a game changer

'Places' is an autocomplete address field that connects to Google's Places API. Using the 'Places' field on their form has enabled them to:

  • Eliminate input errors. "Now I'm so much less stressed about something that's come through Convert Calculator. I don't need to worry. Customers can enter an address or even just the venue name, and Google does the rest, so it's really handy."

  • Delimit Rift's service area. This allows for the automatic calculation of service fees based on kilometers traveled outside this area. "It's all on autopilot, so we're also saving a lot of time with this part of the quoting, as well."

With the new form, Matt is also able to upsell extra services. "Customers can know instantly what the services they like will cost, and it makes it easier for them to add extra services and go ahead and book," says Matt.

Automated quoting has significantly reduced Matt's stress levels and given him back his time. He's able to focus more on growing his business and has been able to add a new service he is really passionate about---mining photography. He has also used ConvertCalculator to set up print sales on his website, creating another income stream.

Moving forward

Now that Rift can accept booking requests with the click of a button, they are snapping up leads as they come in. Matt's anxiety has disappeared, and he has freed up a lot of time, even managing to take that 5-week vacation to Europe while the business ran smoothly back home.

Matt will continue to refine his business processes within ConvertCalculator by utilizing extra features and adding services as his business expands.

Are you losing time and spending money on manual quoting? No matter how complex your pricing it's possible to setup a simple instant quote form on your website that will boost leads, generate more business, and give you your time back. Try free today!

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