Businesses that meet with clients by appointment can spend an inordinate amount of time emailing back and forth about possible meeting dates or reservation times, returning calls about appointments, and sending reminders manually. However, by using scheduling software, you can allow your customers to view your availability and schedule their engagements themselves. They can even cancel or change their reservation, and receive reminder notifications about their upcoming calendar commitments – all without any effort from you. This way, your clients get what they need – and you can focus on project work, as well as the customers who are right in front of you.
Choosing a scheduling app
For any booking app to make it worth your business’s time and investment, it must make your life, the life of your team, and the lives of your customers easier. So just what should a business look for in an appointment scheduler? Let’s take a look:
- A streamlined user interface. Aside from providing your clients with the convenience of using a scheduling app any time – day or night, at home or on the go – online appointment scheduling software must be simple to use for the customer, as well as for your business.
- Look for a solution that requires nothing more than a user to view your calendar for availability, choose their services (if applicable), and book their appointment with their desired provider (if applicable), then enter their name and email address. Each selection should lead users to the next step – and should take very little time to complete.
- Make account registration an option. In addition, look for scheduling software that doesn’t require users to create an account, or that makes creating an account optional. This way, if your clients don’t want to create one, they won’t have to – and it won’t be a deterrent to them, or to new clients who are scheduling their appointments online.
- Automated communication: Any scheduling app should not only automatically send users a confirmation email regarding their appointment, but it should also give them an easy way to add the appointment to their calendar, and allow you to send an automated reminder email based on how much notice you want to give your clients before their appointments. And because unexpected events do happen, all of your messages should include a link that allows your clients to easily cancel or change their appointments. This way, you can reduce the number of no-shows.
- Simplified management system: For you, the business owner, manager, or responsible team member, all of your customer bookings should be visible in a centralized calendar. This way, you can get a complete view of upcoming appointments, and reschedule, cancel or re-assign bookings as necessary. Your system should also give you the power to create new bookings without asking the customer to use the app. This way, you can schedule appointments if you're with your customer – either in person, or on the phone.
Along with being easy to operate, your organization's appointment scheduler should also allow you to create a database of customers and their contact information. This way, you can reach out to those who have used your services, and provide them with information on upcoming events and special offers, and stay top of mind.
By giving your customers the freedom to book appointments any time, and freeing your team up from the daily barrage of calls to schedule, change or cancel appointments, you can all focus your energies on the things that matter most. Best of all, with an easy-to-use scheduling app that also provides your customers with confirmations and communication, you can still deliver incredible service, but with little to no effort on your part.