How Appointment Scheduling Technology Can Save Your Business Time
When you run a small business, every morning is like walking into a sea of chaos. The phones ring off the hook, the to-do lists keep getting longer, and it seems like no matter what you and your staff do—there’s never enough time in the day! Ever. Time is a precious commodity in a small office. Even if your business is a finely-tuned machine, anywhere you can wedge in a few moments to for you or your staff to tackle another project or—here’s a novel one—take a breather, should be a welcome change.
Luckily, developers are constantly innovating and finding new ways to come up with software that improve office efficiency. Appointment setting technology is one of those remarkable advancements. Let’s look at how these services could improve your office’s workflow and time management.
Freed up phone lines
For many offices, the main reason their phones ring is to book or change appointments. Whether you’re a yoga instructor, repair shop, or piano tuner, answering the phone is a time-consuming endeavor. While providing fantastic customer service is something you or your receptionist undoubtedly excels at, imagine how much time they could save in the day if appointment phone calls took a deep dive in volume.
Booking systems like Calendly or Acuity allow you to integrate your company’s calendar directly into your social media and web site. Instead of picking up the phone, your customers can quickly see when your business has time available, sign up, and get their information on the calendar. Not only does this allow customers to sign up for your service impulsively, but it leads to happy customers who feel like their needs are handled right away.
No confirmation calls and reduced no-shows
So, great, you or your reception staff can answer fewer calls! But what about those confirmation calls? Those are such a time sink. Many of your clients are at work during the same office hours that you maintain, making getting them on the other end of the line nigh impossible. You want to ensure that your scheduled clients know when they should arrive, remember the appointment, and will for sure be coming. Schedule gaps from no-shows are not only frustrating; they’re costly. Luckily, they’re also mostly avoidable.
Appointment reminder services like AppointmentReminder.com allow you to send your customers reminders and confirmation requests automatically easily. After their appointment is booked, you can set your system to send a confirmation when the appointment is near. This confirmation message can be sent via text or email but will ensure that the customer knows when they should arrive, and they intend on coming.
Of course, you’ll always have a few clients that don’t respond to these reminders. Luckily, the number of people who ghost you will be pretty negligible. With all the time you’ve freed up, giving them a quick phone call won’t put a damper on your day.
An accurate daily count of appointments
Imagine you run a business where you must travel to appointments. Whether you’re a mover, piano tuner, or in-home cleaning service, you need to know that your clients are expecting you and will be at home. If you utilize confirmation messages, you’ll have an exact count of customers that are expecting you to show up and perform a service that day. You’ll be able to see, at a glance, your time commitment for the day. Also, you can say goodbye to awkward moments, standing on the porch and wondering if they’re home. Chances are if they confirmed, they will be!
The same can be said for customers that must come into your office. If they confirm their appointment, the chances go up exponentially that they will show up. This means that your reception desk and staff know who should be coming through the door when, for how long, and what services they’ll be expecting.
As anyone who owns a small business can tell you, a little predictability in the chaos of a small office is a welcome reprieve, indeed.
Increase your revenue
If you could cut your no-shows to almost zero, how much would that increase your business? Think about it for a moment. If you run a salon, for example, every no-show is a significant portion of your daily revenue.
By allowing clients to book online, manage their appointments online, and confirm their appointments, you’ll find that your no-show rates will plummet. If you’re expecting an empty chair, you can always run a last-minute social media deal or call a waiting list client. However, if the no-show is a surprise, well, that’s a time block that sits empty.
Email and SMS reminders through your appointment reminder or booking software can keep the channel of communication with your client open. If they confirm their appointment, it’s very likely they’ll show up. A quick reminder allows them to have a chance to cancel as well, which gives you time to fill their seat with someone else.
Happy staff and happy clients
A relaxed staff is a happy staff. There’s nothing more exciting in an office than being on top of the daily tasks. After the list of confirmed customers comes in, your staff has an accurate picture of the whole day. This means that they’ll be able to see their potential downtimes. Not only could they decompress in that time, but maybe they can finally take the time to work on some of the pipedream office improvement projects that you just can’t seem to get to.
An open and friendly communication connection also leads to happy clients, as well. If they need to get ahold of you, many customers appreciate having your contact information in easy reach after their confirmation comes in. A simple reminder can go a long way in not only helping a customer reminder your relationship but building a stronger professional bond with them.
Getting started with an appointment reminder or booking app is simple and will be a boon for your business. Let’s eliminate those no-shows, increase your booking rates, and give everyone in your office a little more time to enjoy their morning latte. They’ve earned it, don’t you think?