For over over five years, Asha built her presence as a spiritual medium on social media, organising appointments through messenger applications. However, by 2019, her popularity had grown to the point that she was losing hours every day organising dates, times and payment.
She was also experiencing a problem with no-shows - people who would book in advance and fail to pay, or ask to pay in cash, and not show up at all. This wasn’t only wasting time, but costing money as the appointments couldn’t be filled at short notice.
Clearly something needed to change. Asha isn’t confident with technology, so any solution had to achieve two key results: -
1. Easy for Asha to operate independently from her mobile phone
2. A straightforward advance booking and payment process with no barriers for the customer
Asha had an old GoDaddy website with a booking facility, but she had trouble operating it, and when we looked at some of the things she wanted to achieve, the functionality just wasn’t there to support it. At the time, she had just started a new text messaging service, and the company had professionally designed some marketing images. This gave me the starting point for the design and colour scheme.
The vast majority of traffic to Asha’s site is people looking to book a session with her. From the old GoDaddy site, it was also possible to see that 95% of her traffic was on mobile. Clearly, the site had to be designed from a mobile first perspective. When a visitor arrives at the site (mobile and desktop) the option to book a session is immediately presented to the visitors, right below the hero image advertising the text messaging line.
The remainder of the site is dedicated to providing more information about the services that Asha provides, with a contact form for anyone wishing to inquire further. Since the pandemic and lockdown have impacted on her ability to do live events and ceremonies, this part of the site has been kept to information only, but will develop further as restrictions ease.
As well as taking bookings and payments, Asha also wanted the ability to sell gift vouchers through her website. The old GoDaddy website didn’t support that, and when I looked into options, I found that the options she could use didn’t work with her existing payment processor.
Eventually, we identified a solution that allowed both booking portal and gift voucher provider to work with the same payment processor, and designed the process to allow Asha to validate the vouchers from an app on her phone. Pre-paid bookings drop directly into her calendar, with online video conference details automatically created during the booking process. Asha is no longer involved in the booking process. All she needs to do is literally turn up.
Asha had also set up a subscription group on Facebook, but had become frustrated when she realised that Facebook keep subscriptions for almost 2 months before they pay out. Things got worse when they arbitrarily banned her from her own group.
I worked with Asha to build a user forum using the same underlying infrastructure that powers her website. Now, Asha interacts with her followers directly in her own App, with all subscriptions processed by her own payment provider, and paid to her within two working days. I also set up a solution that replicates the Facebook Live feature that was instrumental in her growth during lockdown, and she is able to deliver private live sessions exclusively for her own supporters group.
The most interesting thing is that much of Asha’s technical solution has been built using freely available and low cost monthly subscription software with no lock in… and the best thing is that she runs her business entirely from her phone through easy to use apps.
Asha has big plans for 2022 and I’m looking forward to working with her to building the infrastructure to support her journey.
My work had grown to the point where arranging so many appointments was literally eating up all of my spare time. Overnight, One Digital Nation gave me back hours of my day.
Now everything is taken care of through my site and its easy to manage on my phone, allowing me to focus on growing my business. One Digital Nation are great to work with and nothing is too much trouble.
Medium, Coach and Celebrant