Let’s start this way. When booking appointments, a lot of businesses prefer to use a telephone and a receptionist to book appointments. Which, of course, makes way for human errors, receptionist salaries and booking registers.
Plus, if you want your business to grow, it’s inevitable that you will be finding ways to increase the number of appointments like marketing, advertising, referral programs, etc. And automating these processes is the best way to increase efficiency and accuracy with results. Which is exactly why you need appointment scheduling software.
But as a business owner, you might think “Is the ROI high enough to adopt a booking system?”, and we’re here to tell you – yes it is! Having a scheduling system boosts not just your efficiency, but helps you provide amazing experiences to your clients.
In this blog, we will break down all the benefits of a scheduling tool and why it is so important for business growth:
- What is an online scheduling system?
- Why should you use an online scheduling system?
- Parting thoughts
What is an online scheduling system?
An online scheduling system, or a booking software, is a tool that helps your customers book appointments via an online portal. In many such tools, like Appointy, they also have a calendar functionality where you can view everything at a glance. This makes it easy for both you, your staff and your clients to stay on top of all appointments.
Why should you use an online scheduling system?
Consumers are becoming more accustomed to the convenience of online booking. A research at GetApp shows that nearly 70% of the respondents would choose to book online, as compared to just 22% who would prefer a phone call.
We have to remember, customers value convenience. Not only does it increase ease in booking for clients, but also reduces workload for your staff.
Automating your business processes helps you to make data driven decisions because of a lot of inbuilt functionalities that we will be discussing. Here are the benefits of an online booking system:
- 24×7 online flexible booking
The biggest advantage of having an online scheduling system is that you can accept bookings 24×7. It provides your customers with the flexibility to book whenever they want and need.
Like we’ve mentioned before, customers value convenience. Taking into consideration how your clients probably have working hours too, they might want to book for your services after they’re back home and in bed.
Having a 24×7 solution enables you to be available for your customers without being behind a desk. This way, you can also eliminate the worries of losing clients – if they want to book after working hours.
- Boosting online presence
Many online scheduling tools give you the option to add a “Book now” button to your socials like Facebook and Instagram. This way, you can convert your current followers or visitors into potential leads.
In 2020, American spent over 16 trillion hours on their phone. Having a digital marketing strategy is now really important to have. Having a book button on your social media channels gives your clients a clear path to follow.
No more “Dm to book” or “text me on this number”. You can also add a book button to your website and Google business profile, so wherever the customer finds you, they can always book with you effortlessly and immediately. Always remember, the end goal is to make it convenient for your clients to be able to book an appointment with you.
- Customer satisfaction and personalization
Online booking enables your customers to book by themselves, which leaves more time for you to work on other tasks. You can focus on providing quality service without even thinking about other administrative tasks because they will be taken care of.
You can segment your customers and even send intake forms to ask any particular questions to better understand them. This will help you personalize their appointments and cater to their needs.
- Optimizing appointment gaps
A view-at-glance solution can help you keep your schedule full. You see what your calendar for the day/week/month looks like at one glance. You add time-blocks at your convenience. Your clients can also easily see what slots are available and book according to their own preference.
Additionally, with real-time updates added to this, your clients can book to see you sooner if there are any last minute cancellations.
- Staff management and workplace efficiency
Booking appointments does not require a receptionist anymore. Everything in the booking process can now be automated. From booking a service to staff to timings, it is all digital. Having a receptionist only leads the way to human errors.
Most online scheduling softwares can support multiple logins. With this functionality, you can motivate your staff by giving them control over their schedules and the ability to manage their own leaves and calendars.
Plus, having an online tool frees up time for your staff to do more valuable things which in turn increases workplace productivity.
- Data driven decisions
You can track all important business metrics and have a thorough look into your daily bookings, cancellations, no shows, etc. Recording and analyzing these metrics can help you to manage your business and services efficiently.
You can also have dedicated customer profiles to analyze their information. With easy access to this information, you can make decisions and create client patterns. This will help both your business and make your customers feel like they are taken care of.
- Reduce no shows
No matter what industry or business you’re in, you will always have clients that will either not show up for their appointments or cancel at the last minute. Automating text and email reminders reduces no shows by up to 50%.
You can also set cancellation policies and other booking rules to protect your business from casual bookings and last minute cancellations. You can also set approvals for certain clients, if they have a history in cancelling or any other reason.
The chances of having successful bookings significantly increase due to automation. The cost of having an online scheduling service is also much lower in the long run than a full-time receptionist.
Each business is unique, but providing a seamless booking experience to your clients and increasing workplace productivity is a need for all industries. Keeping in mind the current circumstances, usage of scheduling systems becomes an absolute necessity for all service-based businesses.
Choosing the right scheduling software is important, to ensure that you have a streamlined workflow and your clients don’t have to worry about having to call or long chain mail back and forth.