If your business relies on providing appointment-based services like dental offices, hair salons, law firms, and so on, then how the booking process is managed can really make or break your business.
This is where having an appointments software solution to streamline the booking process and manage your appointments schedule is very important to help your business achieve growth.
The internet has significantly changed how we do appointment-based business and how customers interact with these businesses. In the past, we could only rely on phone calls and in-person communications, and on rarer occasions, direct mails as the primary means of communication between businesses and customers. Nowadays, however, consumers can literally reach out to any business via their fingertips and from anywhere.
An appointments software solution can help your business in providing a consistent experience to clients across all available digital channels.
In this guide, we’ll learn the importance of using an appointments and scheduling software solution in growing your business, and the different ways your business can grow with appointments software.
Without further ado, let us begin:
Why Should Your Business use Appointments Software?
By having the right appointments software solution, your business can experience various benefits in achieving growth, including:
1. Consistent customer experience across different channels
In today’s digital world, it’s crucial to establish and maintain your business presence across all the different channels: your own website, social media profiles, Google Maps, and other relevant channels.
However, managing a consistent presence across all these different channels can be very challenging, and this is where having an appointment scheduling software platform can significantly help.
Bookeo, for example, is an appointment booking software that can integrate with various website builders (Wix, Weebly), eCommerce solutions (Shopify), Facebook, Twitter, Zoom, and others, so you can provide streamlined and consistent experiences across all channels.
Bookeo will display real-time availability across all the different channels, so you don’t have to update the available time slots manually every time, which is often the biggest hassle in managing different channels.
By having a unified booking page across all your different channels, you can also avoid double bookings and minimize no-shows, which in turn will save you time and money while preventing any confusion and miscommunications.
2. 24/7 reservation and scheduling
Another key benefit of having an appointment scheduler software is the ability to take bookings 24/7, which is now a crucial function to have in this increasingly dynamic digital age.
In fact, research shows that 40% of online reservations actually happen outside business hours, and various studies have also suggested that more and more people nowadays prefer scheduling appointments after hours.
If you rely on manual appointment and booking process, then providing a 24/7 booking availability is obviously very challenging and/or expensive to implement, since you’ll need to hire more than one person to do the job in shifts.
By simply installing an appointments scheduling solution, you can effectively attract more clients and let them book your service anytime in a more cost-efficient way.
3. Eliminate double bookings and no-shows
Two of the biggest challenges in managing client appointments and reservations are double bookings and no-shows.
Double bookings happen when your staff (or yourself) accidentally book two different clients in the same time slot, which can lead to various kinds of other problems.
No-shows, on the other hand, can be very serious since they will translate into missed revenue opportunities. This can pile up significantly in the long run.
An online appointments app like Bookeo can send automatic reminders and confirmations/RSVPs to your clients, which have been shown to effectively reduce no-shows by as much as 39%.
Also, with an appointments software capable of real-time scheduling, you can also allow your clients to easily edit their reservations online when they want to reschedule. This can also help eliminate the need for back-and-forth phone calls which is common in the events of rescheduling.
4. The easier and more streamlined booking experience
The manual, traditional booking experience, as we know, is typically a major hassle involving back-and-forth phone calls and/or emails between service providers and customers.
The typical booking experience goes like this:
- The client calls your business and inquires about available time slots
- If the client is not booking for themselves (i.e. for their child), then they have to first confirm with the other party about the available time slots before making a reservation
- The service provider will then need to manually take down the customer’s information
- The service provider needs to update the schedule with the new booking
- The service provider has to follow up with the client so they don’t miss their appointments
As you can see, there are many potentials of errors in each of these steps, and obviously, the process often takes a long time. The manual booking experience can easily frustrate both the service provider and the client with potential miscommunications and human errors.
With an appointments scheduling platform, you can eliminate most of these issues and streamline the overall booking process. For example, services like Bookeo, again, can automatically send reminders to your clients so you don’t have to call them for a follow-up manually.
This can keep your customers happy with a better overall experience, and can also help maintain your staff’s morale.
5. Cost and time efficiency
Time efficiency is very important for appointment-based service businesses since more hours you actually spend on servicing clients will directly translate to how much you make.
Having an appointments software solution can help you reduce or even completely eliminate the need for back-and-forth phone calls, manually taking client’s information, and sending follow-ups, so you and your staff can use your valuable time to grow your business instead.
Not to mention, fewer no-shows and double bookings will also translate into better cost-efficiency for your business, and you’ll also use less paper in the booking process.