How online appointment scheduling takes center court for Lendale Johnson.
Team Setmore caught up with Lendale Johnson – Founder and Director of the Lendale Johnson High Performance Tennis Academy – to find out how he seamlessly manages his tennis bookings with a hectic day-to-day schedule.
So, how did it all begin? Johnson has always had tennis in his heart. His love of the sport was ignited in his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. While his family took up basketball, Johnson spent his time playing on the neighbouring run-down tennis courts, before winning a grant scholarship from the United States Tennis Association.
His scholarship saw Johnson take up tennis in a professional capacity and he soon began a career in coaching. Johnson’s business began to expand and quickly grew from private tennis lessons to him launching his own tennis academy. “I launched a personal private tennis service just for me and clients and I didn’t think it would get this big. I just thought ‘Hey, I play tennis for a living, maybe I could give a couple of tennis lessons in Chicago!’ One thing led to another and now we’re here in New York, and we have a full business with staff members. It’s really exciting.”
Following the establishment of his tennis academy, Johnson began his ambassadorship. As America’s first openly gay black male professional tennis player, he uses his platform to give voices to those who are underrepresented. “Being an ambassador really lets me and other athletes use our platform to the highest level and the highest potential power,” Lendale said. “When we’re connected with brands it really gives us a voice for athletes that don’t have a voice and that is what it’s all about.”
Serving a seamless set-up
When any budding entrepreneur starts a new business, they have an endless task list. Seeking to streamline booking to balance his busy coaching lifestyle, Johnson discovered Setmore online appointment scheduling.
He tells us: “I was looking to pick out the best technology that would really align with what I needed. It’s very user-friendly so I definitely recommend it to entrepreneurs around the world that are interested in starting their own business or interested in making their own scheduling and payment systems better. This is going to make things extremely smooth for them.”
After setting up his account, the coaching pro was able to hit the courts and take bookings online 24/7. As his business grew, he also assigned individual logins to staff members to empower them to manage their own schedules.
Bookings on the court
Upon establishing his tennis academy in New York – teaching how to ‘hit like a pro’ – Johnson attracted a wide range of clients, ranging from beginners to pro-athletes and celebrities. He soon realized many customers wanted the option to sign up immediately. In a city known for its instantaneous attitude, Johnson was approached on the court by customers looking to book and pay for lessons instantly.
This is where the Setmore mobile app came into play, enabling Johnson to book customers straight from the court. “It was just so smooth,” he enthuses. “I really enjoyed the simplicity; how customers can pick what they want. They can select an instructor, pick a service, and then pick the time and it’s done.”
Clients could be directed to a custom Booking Page and complete contactless payments. Johnson reduced the need for back-and-forth messages and invoicing, and was able to spend more time training.
“People would pay for tennis lessons, without me even knowing about it until I’ve checked.”Lendale Johnson
Acing in-app updates
Johnson’s routine often includes commuting between appointments. This results in a need to keep updated while on and off the tennis court.
The tennis pro transferred his client database from piles of notepads to a digital customer list, accessible from his mobile device.
Speaking of his move from paper to online appointment management, Johnson says: “Setmore has been the glue to the Academy in regards to scheduling and keeping client communication together for our customer service.”
“Our CRM has been huge, and I can’t think of anyone but Setmore for that. Even if it’s someone I meet in the street, I could sign them up on the Setmore app – right then and there – in person. I don’t have to worry about losing the paper or something not getting set up right.”
Ready, set, match!
Johnson utilized his account to personalize his academy’s automated email confirmations and reminders. This included curated virtual welcome packs sent out via Setmore, which gave customers access to a PDF introduction, itinerary and information on their first tennis lesson.
With terms and conditions sent directly to customers, this reduced the need for additional paperwork and in-person explanations, which would take up valuable coaching time.
Alongside confirmation emails, the academy founder praised appointment alerts. Customizable reminders are sent to customers automatically, giving Johnson the opportunity to confirm any final appointment details. These extra prompts also help reduce no-shows and last-minute cancellations.
Reminders to pick up your racket
Johnson and his team keep tabs on their schedules with staff appointment reminder alerts. He says: “We get a reminder that your appointment starts in 15 minutes. I love that notification, it just resets my mind. I usually have so much going on, so it’s really great that Setmore has these notifications to remind me.”
With his business booming and a star-studded clientele, Johnson’s next step is to expand his academy. The tennis pro is also looking forward to the release of his new reality series, ‘Deuces and Love’. Team Setmore is delighted to be part of Lendale’s journey, helping him deliver his magic.
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by Claire White