You need to ensure that your customers and clients can easily access appointments if you rely on them. Online appointment scheduling is an excellent way to achieve this: customers can see which appointments are open and book them immediately.
Unfortunately, appointments can be overlooked by the process of e-commerce as companies tend to focus more on marketing and outreach. It’s a pity, because an inaccessible or confusing appointment system can ruin an otherwise excellent advertising campaign.
A scheduler for appointments is one of the most useful free tools that you can have in your business. We’ll discuss the main benefits of an appointment scheduler in this article.
- Easy of Use
The scheduler offers the biggest advantage over the traditional way to make appointments. In the past, customers or clients would have to call you and set up an appointment. This means that businesses have to hire more staff, increasing costs.
The ‘old way’ of making appointments increases the possibility for errors and miscommunications. It is difficult to write down email and phone numbers by hand. If you make a mistake you will not be able to reach your client if you want a change in the appointment or need to discuss it.
- Always On Service
You can also be more accessible to your clients by moving your appointment scheduler on the internet. In today’s busy and connected world, clients don’t always have the time to schedule appointments during business hours. Research shows that 35 percent of clients prefer booking appointments outside of office hours and 40 percent of online bookings occur after-hours. These are huge numbers.
A scheduler for appointments can provide your clients with 24/7 access to the system, at a lower cost than hiring extra staff to answer queries after office hours.
- Increased Attendance
It is annoying when clients miss their appointments, but there are far more serious consequences. If 5% your clients do not show up for their appointments, then you lose 5% in revenue. In fact, it could be more than 5% because your high-value clients tend to be the busiest and most likely forget their appointment.
A scheduler that integrates with online calendars of your clients can reduce no-shows dramatically. Healthcare companies have been using this method for many years and with great success: The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine conducted a study to determine the effectiveness of SMS reminders. They found that the number of no-shows dropped by 39%.
- Better Security
The appointment schedulers can help you make your system more secure. This is something that’s often overlooked. was not well-protected and put data at risk . Hackers who gain access to the network of a business can easily obtain a list of names, phone numbers and addresses.
Appointment scheduling systems are more secure because they use cloud storage. A virtual private network can be used as an additional security measure when you are online. You can find the best VPN for Windows in reviews. A VPN masks your IP and encrypts all your data, making it more difficult for bad guys to track you down.
- Google Rankings: Improve Your Ranking
Google’s ‘near-me’ searches have increased exponentially over the past few years. These searches now account for a significant portion of all search traffic. A strong local presence has become a must for all businesses.
- Integrated Marketing
Converting visitors and engagements into appointments is one of the greatest challenges online businesses face. You will lose out on many sales if you don’t include a clear and simple CTA in your marketing materials. A CTA that is strong can increase software conversions by 32%. Another cardinal sin is to neglect testing your CTA.
A booking system allows clients to see your services and availability directly on your marketing materials. You can provide your customers with a simple, no-obligation way to see your services by including a booking system link in your email.
You can include links to your appointment system on many other platforms, including your website and Twitter. This will ensure that all of your marketing efforts are integrated and that no customer engagement is wasted!
- Improved Insight
Online tools are becoming increasingly popular, and this is a great opportunity for businesses. Online appointment booking systems are a great way to generate reports quickly about your business.
These systems will show you your peak hours and if you need to offer more appointments to meet demand. They can also show you when you have very few appointments booked during certain times of the week or day. You can then reduce your staffing at these times.
A scheduler for appointments will ultimately increase the effectiveness of your marketing insights: by giving you extra information and by helping you plan your business better.
- Save Time, Money & Paper
You’ll know if you have ever worked with a paper-based system that they can become extremely complex. Each appointment must be manually entered into a master calendar, then copied by each employee.
These ‘traditional’ systems are a waste of money, time and paper. It’s not surprising that a study by management consulting firm The Alternative Board found that 60% of small businesses would prefer to spend less time with paper-based systems. And 39% said that paperwork was the greatest waste of time.
Online appointment booking systems solve all of these problems, allowing you to focus on the most important thing: your client engagement.
- Multi-Channel Appointments
Online schedulers have an additional advantage, allowing your customers to interact across a wide range of devices. It’s not uncommon for a customer to see your storefront while driving, then check out your website on their laptop and finally try and schedule an appointment using their smartphone.
You are losing revenue opportunities if you do not offer the option to book appointments on all of these channels.
The most important channel for appointment management today is to integrate your system with your smartphone. It is here that most people track their appointments and where the most effective appointment reminders can be sent.
- Reduce Mistakes
Automated appointment systems eliminate many errors that can be introduced by humans into appointment systems. A mistake in a customer’s contact information can have serious consequences. Not only will you miss appointments, but your company will look unprofessional.
Online appointment booking systems don’t make such mistakes. You can also create a database of all the details of your most valuable clients. This will be the basis for any outreach campaign.