Appointment scheduling was a monumental part of many businesses’ strategies long before the pandemic. With numerous benefits from increased revenue and loyalty to improved operational efficiency, appointments have been a key component across industries and use cases for years.
From a business perspective, the pandemic positioned appointments to be even more critical - as a way to ensure safety and build trust. Pair that with the convenience, the one-to-one attention, and the personalization that consumers love - appointments are certainly a winning strategy for improving customer experiences. As businesses adapt to keep up with consumer expectations on great experiences, many have turned to appointment scheduling software as a way to meet demand.
How appointment scheduling software can impact your business
Whether you’re looking into appointment scheduling software for the first time, currently using a manual method, or are looking for a better way to accommodate your customers’ requests - online appointment scheduling software can have a major positive impact on your business outcomes.
If you’re wondering how an online appointment scheduling solution can help you and not sure where to start making a business case for appointments, this post is for you! We’ll examine the top benefits of appointment scheduling software and how these benefits quickly outweigh the upfront investment.
1. Appointment scheduling software empowers both your customers and employees
Since appointment booking software easily allows customers to schedule and update appointments via web-based systems, they have access to book appointments 24 hours per day, seven days a week. This gives your customers full control of the appointment booking process, allowing them to meet at a time and place that works best for them.
In addition to saving employees the headache and time spent booking, rescheduling, and canceling appointments, appointment scheduling software also provides employees in-depth customer details. Employees will have all the information they need at their fingertips to properly prepare for each upcoming appointment. This allows your employees to understand their customers’ unique preferences, and gives them ample opportunity to build stronger relationships.
Since scheduled customers do more research upfront and tend to spend more on products and services, your employees are more likely to close the deal and enjoy their interactions with customers. Whether helping someone feel great about their wedding dress purchase or giving their customers financial peace of mind, employees will feel empowered in their customer interactions.
2. Provide a seamless customer journey with online appointment scheduling
Customer experience today must be viewed broadly. It’s not just what happens in-store, online, on mobile platforms, or on social media, but is the total sum of the experiences customers have across all touchpoints.
With in-person and remote appointments, there are plentiful opportunities for your brand or financial institution to exceed customer expectations. These appointment modes also give your customers an easy way to interact with you on their terms - whenever, wherever it’s convenient. With this seamless blend of online and offline channels, your customers can schedule appointments as they please and get the one-to-one, tailored experiences they crave.
3. Appointments increase revenue and conversions
Many companies see immediate results of increased conversions and revenue shortly after implementing appointment scheduling software. Because customers are looking for human interaction, even as technology improves, appointments provide the attentiveness and responsiveness they want. This also lays the foundation for employees to build deeper, more consultative relationships that result in higher transactions.
Just imagine the upsell and cross-sell opportunities for your employees when they have the insight to purchase history, previous conversations, and more. Whether you’re a retailer who offers personal shopping appointments or a bank offering mortgage appointments, the stats speak for themselves!
Customers who pre-book appointments spend 7 - 8X more than walk-ins (Forrester Consulting)
Customers are 110% more likely to add items to their baskets, and spend 40% more than planned when a shopping experience is highly personalized (Boston Consulting Group)
64% of customers will invest more in a service after an in-person interaction (PwC)
90% of financial institutions using online appointment solutions saw new accounts opened and new balances gained (The Financial Brand)
Learn more about the ROI of appointment scheduling by downloading our eBook:
4. Appointments increase customer satisfaction and loyalty
Loyalty comes down to customer satisfaction. Happy customers are not only going to keep coming back to do business with you, they are going to spread the good word to their friends, families, and across their social media. Since appointments build customer experiences based on individual needs and preferences, your employees can connect with customers in a way that is personalized and memorable.
What this does is it makes your customers feel like they’re doing business with a company who knows them as an individual, and can offer an experience as unique as they are. It also shows your customers that you care about them, that you care about their needs and preferences. And by offering an experience this compelling through in-person and remote appointments, you will be the brand or bank your customers remember.
Appointment scheduling software sets you up to provide experiences so personalized and so exceptional that you will win your customers’ loyalty.
5. Appointment scheduling software improves operational efficiency
Your business operates across multiple locations, multiple employees, and multiple time zones. Imagine trying to manage appointments manually across your entire organization (if you are, you deserve a very long vacation)! With an online appointment booking system, you can scale your appointments strategy to suit your business needs. This means your employees will spend less time manually managing appointments, appointments will automatically sync to their calendars, and customers can easily schedule, reschedule, and cancel appointments as needed. This automated scheduling is a win-win for your customers and employees!
You’ll also always have a pulse on employee capacity to ensure operational efficiency. Since employee downtime is a major cost driver for service-based businesses, having a steady stream of appointments will ensure your employees are focused on what they’re best at: serving your customers.
6. Appointment scheduling software increases employee productivity
Since appointment scheduling software allows customers to book appointments with the right employees at the right time, it saves employees a tremendous amount of time.
It eliminates the back and forth of trying to schedule and reschedule customer appointments. They can then spend this time focused on more important tasks, as well as have more time to better prepare for their upcoming appointments and serve customers more effectively.
Additionally, appointment scheduling makes it possible for employees to know exactly who they will be helping in a given shift. This helps them better manage their time and days, allowing them to be as productive as possible.
7. Online appointment scheduling reduces no-shows and cancellations
Online booking software doesn’t only improve the customer experience, it also helps reduce no-shows and cancellations. Why’s that? Because customers can easily manage the scheduling process on their own to reschedule or cancel if needed. In addition, an appointment scheduling system sends out automated appointment reminders. By sending out an automated reminder, there will be a clear path of communication between you and your customer, which is crucial in minimizing cancellations and missed appointments.
8. Gather important customer information to build deeper relationships
The collective data that companies can glean from an online scheduling platform allows them to gather deeper customer insights and continuously provide exceptional customer experiences. Before an appointment, you can collect information that will help deliver better service, or ensure a meeting with an employee with specific skills.
After an appointment, employees can add additional notes and track business outcomes. As a result, businesses can use this information to continuously build and strengthen their customer relationships. Not only are you gathering more information from appointments, you are gathering the information that helps you truly personalize experiences and connect with your customers in new ways.
9. Meet and exceed customer expectations
Last, but certainly not least - we’ve seen a lot of changes in consumer behavior since the pandemic, and consumers, more than ever, want convenience, experiences, and human-to-human connection.
If you have an online scheduling software solution in place, customers know that you care about their wants, needs, and desire for more personalized interactions. It shows that your business takes their unique needs seriously. It means you’re giving them control of their own experience with you - allowing them to schedule an appointment to get the expert guidance they want. You’re empowering your current and future customers to do business with you on their terms. In the ever-competitive experience economy, that goes a long way.
Transform your business with JRNI's appointment scheduling solution
In today’s world, where customers not only expect omnichannel experiences, but also unique, personalized experiences, appointments have become an imperative strategy to transform the way businesses connect with their customers. If you want to learn more about enterprise appointment scheduling software, and how it’s enabling top retailers and financial institutions to deliver exceptional experiences at scale, check out the eBook: “A complete guide to enterprise appointment scheduling”.
About the author
The JRNI team is made up of product, customer, and technical experts who are focused on driving personalized experiences - for our customers, and for theirs. The JRNI blog enables us to dive into how retail and financial organizations can use personalized experiences to grow profitability, build stronger customer relationships, and drive customer loyalty.
June 08, 2021
7 minute read