Digital transformation is in full effect. The pandemic forced businesses to quickly adapt and offer more digital solutions, and simultaneously forced many consumers to adopt online services. With this acceleration, many organizations are now re-evaluating their digital transformation strategies to meet consumer demand.
If you’re currently evaluating your digital transformation strategy and prioritizing what matters, have you considered appointments? Have you considered the impact of NOT offering appointments?
Appointment scheduling has been an integral business service for years across many industries, and has become a key investment for enterprise-level companies to provide the convenience, speed, and personalization consumers have come to expect. The benefits have been incredible for organizations that have taken action and created an appointment scheduling strategy to improve the customer experience, the staff experience, and the bottom line.
There is a lot to contemplate when it comes to digital transformation, but for many enterprise-level businesses, the return on investment (ROI) by adding an online appointment solution has been significant. So what kind of ROI could you see with appointments? Keep reading to learn more about why now is the time to make appointment scheduling a priority!
The cost of offering an online appointment scheduling solution
Similar to any company-wide initiative, there is always going to be a cost. No matter how you approach an appointment scheduling strategy, whether you go with an automated appointment scheduling software solution or use multiple internal resources to build, it’s going to have some upfront costs and take time and resource. So you might be asking yourself, when does the ROI of an appointment solution outweigh the investment?
Between increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty, and the fact that many consumers purchase more products or invest more in a service when their experience is personalized, there is tremendous value in offering appointments. When done right, the ROI of an appointment scheduling solution will quickly outweigh the upfront time and cost!
The cost of losing customers
We live in a world where customers demand instant access to services anytime, anywhere, via any device. If you’re not offering the ability for new customers or existing ones to easily book an appointment, then you could be losing out to the competition. For consumers who have come to love and expect the convenience of appointments, they will continue to seek out businesses that offer them.
In fact, a recent McKinsey study found that 73% of U.S. consumers have changed stores, brands, or the way they shop. Additionally, recent studies have shown that one out of every ten people is considering switching their primary financial institution within a year and opening new accounts to meet the financial essentials and align with the values in their lives.
It’s certainly not cheap to acquire a new customer, regardless of industry. Plus, the benefits of and profitability associated with existing and loyal customers proves just how important it is to retain them:
Banks spend approximately $200 to acquire a new customer, yet their average customer generates $150 in revenue annually. Retention is key!
Recent studies indicate that increasing customer retention by just 5% boosts profits by 25% to 95%. Retention is key!
Not to mention, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. So yes indeed, retention is key!
With the benefits of customer retention, it’s crucial to consider how appointments can help you improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The ROI of appointment scheduling
Along with the potential cost of losing customers, there is also significant ROI that enterprise-level companies are seeing with appointment scheduling. Here are some of the results businesses are seeing:
The conversion rate of scheduled customers vs. walk-ins
One JRNI customer is seeing a conversion rate of approximately 70% with their scheduled customers. What would a conversion rate of 70% mean for your business? Additionally, a recent study from Forrester Consulting found that scheduled customers spend 7 to 8 times more than walk-in customers. That’s right - 7 to 8 times more! Appointments are helping many businesses increase their conversion rates and average order volume (AOV).
The increased spend for personalizing one-to-one experiences
Consumers want personalized experiences. And one of the best ways to offer one-to-one, unique experiences is through appointments. This type of personalization can help increase revenue and profitability.
In fact, recent studies show the power of personalization:
Boston Consulting Group (BGC) reports that for every $100 billion in assets that a bank has, it can achieve as much as $300 million in revenue growth by personalizing the interaction.
BCG also recently found that customers are 110% more likely to add more items to their baskets, and are 40% more likely to spend more than they had planned when an interaction is personalized.
Epsilon found that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences.
By providing personalized, exceptional experiences through appointments, you can easily impact the customer experience and increase revenue growth.
Profitability and benefits of appointment scheduling
There are significant benefits associated with appointment scheduling! From a profitability standpoint, one JRNI retail customer saw a $3.1 million increase in profit over a three-year period, due to the higher AOV seen with customers booking appointments. Additionally, the customer saw a total of $4 million in benefits over the three-year period.
For financial institutions using appointment scheduling solutions, data indicates that over 90% of their appointments resulted in new balances gained and new accounts being opened. With appointments driving so much value at financial institutions, appointment volume is a key performance indicator (KPI). So what kind of results are banks and credit unions seeing? One financial institution saw a 2200% increase in appointments year-on-year with JRNI. Another financial institution exceeded their appointment-booking goal by 752% shortly after implementing JRNI.
These are real results that leading retailers and financial institutions are seeing with their appointment scheduling strategies, helping them stand out in today’s competitive landscape.
Developing a business case for appointment scheduling
How can you build a case for appointments? Along with sharing the hard ROI that an intelligent appointment scheduling solution can provide, you should also focus on what appointment scheduling can do for your business from all perspectives. It’s not only about improving the customer experience, but the staff experience as well. Appointments are a win-win all the way around!
For customers, having an online appointment solution:
Eliminates frustration: They no longer have to have the back and forth of trying to book an appointment, they can select a service and time that suits their needs.
Provides convenience: Not only can they book whenever they want, with virtual appointment options, they can meet with staff from wherever they are.
Improves the experience: The customer gets to meet with an expert that knows exactly why they made the appointment, and can have a more efficient, more personalized, and more satisfying experience.
For staff, having a robust appointment solution:
Empowers them: They feel in control of their time and feel like they can properly prepare to meet with customers.
Generates efficiency: They can spend more time on what matters versus taking the time to manually schedule and reschedule appointments, or feel ill prepared to help a walk-in customer.
Boosts confidence: By working with scheduled customers, they are more likely to close the deal and enjoy their interactions with customers. Whether helping someone feel great about their new wardrobe or giving their customers financial peace of mind, staff will benefit too!
So while there is a cost to buying, training staff on, and implementing an enterprise appointment scheduling solution, it’s quite possibly only a small fraction of your overall digital transformation strategy budget. Plus, there is so much opportunity to improve customer loyalty and increase revenue and profitability! By waiting to implement an appointment scheduling solution, you could be missing out on new customers and revenue.
So what are you waiting for?! If you’re ready to learn more about appointment scheduling and how JRNI can help you personalize experiences at scale, then sign up to speak with an expert who can help! Not ready to talk to someone, but curious to learn more about the benefits of appointments? Then download our eBook, “The ROI of appointments” to learn how appointments are driving value.
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