Web-based appointment systems have been making a buzz for some time now. They’re a simple yet effective solution to your appointment scheduling woes. Appointment scheduling software can streamline processes and enhance business productivity.
If done right, appointment scheduling can have a monumental impact on your business outcomes. Businesses that require appointments or bookings need to move on from the archaic telephone-based manual system. It is time-consuming and a waste of resources that can be better utilized if you use a lean online appointment scheduling solution.
Appointment scheduling software has numerous advantages, especially if appointment setting is crucial to your business strategy. It is a web-based application that allows your customers to conveniently book an appointment with you online.
Here are seven reasons for investing in appointment scheduling software.
1. Increase customer satisfaction
Real-time online appointment scheduling makes you and your services easily accessible to your customers. It is a great way to offer quality service and give customers control over their appointments. They can find and book appointments at their own convenience, leading to higher customer satisfaction rates. With increased customer satisfaction, you increase customer retention and customer lifetime value.
Build brand loyalty by offering customers a seamless experience using online appointment scheduling. The online customer experience is the sum total of all interactions you have with a customer at multiple points in the customer journey. How your customers are able to set up an appointment with you and how complicated or simple you make that process is an important factor in meeting customer expectations.
An online appointment system lets customers book appointments themselves. This personalizes the experience for them and helps you connect with them in a way that is memorable. Customers crave personalized interactions and convenience, and an online appointment booking system offers them both. It offers customers control of their own experience and empowers them to do business with you on their own terms.The conventional method of booking appointments is cumbersome. It has a lot of room for human error, and that can take a toll on your operations and also leave customers frustrated. An automated scheduling system accelerates the booking process and reduces the chances for mistakes to close to none. This ensures you don’t have to deal with unhappy customers.
2. Reduce no-shows
When clients miss appointments, not only is it annoying, it also costs you money. For every client that doesn’t make it to their appointment, you’re losing out on revenue. An online appointment scheduling system can reduce the no-shows dramatically by sending out reminders.
The appointment scheduler connects with your clients’ online calendars. Their calendar will remind them about their appointment while giving them an appropriate amount of notice. You can also schedule SMS reminders through the system.
When you use appointment scheduling software, you’re making the appointment scheduling and rescheduling process convenient. Most people choose to simply miss an appointment instead of rescheduling to avoid the trouble of calling and arranging another appointment. With the opportunity to easily reschedule on your website, customers free up slots that others are waiting for.
3. Save time to increase productivity
Online scheduling software allows you to identify gaps in your workflows. If you find time between scheduled appointments, you can allow for walk-ins or designate that time for internal meetings. Your customer service staff also saves tremendous amounts of time that they would normally spend handling phone calls and managing schedules.
Once you automate your scheduling system, you also save time on the customer’s end. With the back-and-forth communication eliminated and the simplicity of just logging onto your website, customers don’t need to commit a part of their busy routine to book an appointment.
Whether you automate your inventory system for better inventory turnover or automate your order management to ensure order precision and timely deliveries, automation does away with human intervention. It makes your operations flawless and lets your staff deal with more important tasks that need human intelligence and can help grow your business. 39% of small business owners in a survey said that dealing with paperwork is the biggest time waster. Since web-based booking software lets you and your customers do everything digitally, you reduce a ton of tedious paperwork related to penciling in dates and contact details. That’s a win for your staff and the environment.
4. Improved visibility on Google
Reserve with Google is a service that lets you take advantage of local search traffic. It optimizes your business for “near me” searches on Google, which lets customers search for businesses near them and helps them schedule a booking as well. Partnering with such a program increases your presence in local search.
It is a Google-centric world, and if your appointment booking software is part of the Reserve with Google program, customers can schedule an appointment without having to leave the search page.
5. Better insights
Having the right data about your business can help you make informed decisions about strategy. Answers to questions like “What is your busiest day?” and “What is your most popular service?” can be found through automated scheduling solutions. Most of these offer booking data and analytics that you can extract useful insights from.
If you know what your busiest business hours are, you can design employee schedules accordingly. When you’re aware of what your most popular services are, you can offer them more often and market them better too. To extract the same insights from a manual booking system is possible but a mammoth task if you start pouring over physical calendars and appointment books.
Online tools provide you with the opportunity to learn about yourself. You can generate reports quickly and greatly enhance the efficiency of your business planning.
6. Multi-channel appointments
The modern customer is constantly switching between channels and devices. Whether it is from one online sales channel to the next to research and buy products or between your physical storefronts and your website to find an appointment that suits them, customers switch channels all the time. Staying competitive in the tech-driven business environment of today means having an appointment scheduler that works online and on mobile.
Most appointment scheduling software work well on desktop and mobile screens. Your customers should be able to book an appointment, regardless of what device they’re on. Integrating your booking system with smartphones is important because mobile accounts for 54.4% of global web traffic.
Another reason why mobile users are important is that customers use their phones to keep an eye on their calendars, and that is where you should be delivering them reminders for their appointments as well.
7. More money
You can use your scheduling software to create a financial reporting schedule so that you don’t have to time everything on your income. Whether it’s bill payments, sales tax, or shipping tax, in the long-term advanced scheduling tools can also help optimize cash flow by helping you plan out credit terms and financial transactions.
Manual scheduling systems are paper-based and tend to become enormously complex. There is a master diary of appointments, and employees have their own copies as well. All that paper and time eventually translates into lost money. Web apps are relatively inexpensive to develop. Your IT developer will pass on those savings to you eventually.
When you implement appointment scheduling software, you will find the effects on your conversions and income almost instantaneous. As employees have more time on their hands, they can build better consultative relationships with customers leading to higher transactions. Customers will be able to receive the attentiveness they seek.Customers who pre-book appointments spend 7-8 times more than walk-in customers. This can be credited to the fact that appointment scheduling software gives insights and data about purchase history, prior conversations, etc. Employees can use this information to successfully upsell or cross-sell other products, increasing the average order value.
Once your scheduling software has passed production testing and is ready to be implemented, you can sit back and watch how it transforms how your business works. Elimination of the back and forth of traditional manual booking systems will save you time, paper, and good money.
Your appointment scheduling system will ensure you and your customers are always on the same page. Your calendars will be synced, and customers will be reminded to be at their appointments on time. With every minute of your workday accounted for, you will find time to concentrate on many ignored but important business tasks.
An appointment scheduling system will help you exceed customer expectations as you offer them a multi-channel personalized experience. Automation technology is imperative in today’s competitive world, and enterprise appointment scheduling software can help you deliver exceptional experiences at scale.
With a higher rate of successful bookings, satisfied customers can only mean an improved bottom line for you. Appointment booking systems are part of your marketing arsenal. They not only help you stay on top of your bookings; they improve visibility, boost your reputation, and increase revenue and savings opportunities.
About the author
Nick Shaw has been Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) of Brightpearl, the number one retail-focused digital operations platform automating inventory management, which encompasses sales and inventory management software, accounting, logistics, CRM, and more, since July 2019 and is responsible for EMEA Sales, Global Marketing and Alliances. Before joining Brightpearl, Nick was GM and Vice President of the EMEA Consumer business at Symantec and was responsible for a $500m revenue business. Nick has written for sites such as Hubspot and G2. Here is Nick Shaw’s LinkedIn.