Appointment scheduling is a key tool for enterprise businesses who want to build meaningful relationships with their customers. By providing one-to-one - and one-of-a-kind - experiences through appointments, businesses are seeing improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.
So how can your business implement online appointment scheduling to improve customer lifetime value? Keep reading to find out!
What is customer lifetime value?
Customer lifetime value (also referred to as CLV) is a measure of a customer’s profitability over the course of their relationship with your business. Because the lifespan of a customer is variable, businesses tend to look at a 12- to 24-month period as a way to calculate the benefits, looking at things like average order value.
The goal of measuring customer lifetime value is to have a more holistic view of your customers, so that your business can focus energy on nurturing customers who are more likely to bring long-term value. That includes customers who do repeat business, customers who recommend you to friends and family, and customers who share positive reviews about you on social media. All of this provides more value than one transaction. And taking a deeper look at customer lifetime value ensures you have a solid customer acquisition and customer retention strategy in place versus only looking at short-term, quick wins.
In fact, retaining customers and building loyalty has been proven time and time again to provide the greatest value:
Recent studies indicate that increasing customer retention by just 5% boosts profits by 25% to 95%
The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, whereas selling to a new customer is only 5-20%
A current customer is 50% more likely to try your business’s new product
The average loyal customer spends 67% more in their 31st to 36th month with a brand than in their first six months of the relationship
There is considerable value in retaining customers - and nurturing them over time. By evaluating and finding ways to improve customer lifetime value, your organization can more easily measure success, and target your customer acquisition efforts where it matters most.
Now you may be asking, how can online appointment scheduling affect customer lifetime value?
Reasons to use online appointment scheduling to increase customer lifetime value
When nurturing customers into loyal customers - your business will automatically be improving the overall customer lifetime value. Nurturing is about building deeper relationships and personalizing experiences that make your customers come back for more! One of the best and easiest ways to do this in today’s competitive landscape? Through appointments!
For customers, online appointment scheduling provides amazing benefits in both retail and banking industries. Appointment scheduling software provides a way to easily connect customers with employees, no matter where or how customers choose to join - remotely from their car, or in-person at your store or branch. Appointments are personalized, efficient, omnichannel, safe, immediate, convenient, and perhaps most importantly - human. After connecting with an expert, customers can leave feeling great about how their time was spent and what purchasing decision they made.
Appointments can lead to greater transaction volume
There are numerous benefits of appointment scheduling, but when it comes to customer lifetime value, it’s all about how appointments give your customers the one-to-one attention they want and give your employees a way to build stronger connections. During an appointment, employees can focus on serving customers in an undistracted environment. This gives them ample opportunity to make tailored product and service recommendations that lead to increased transactions, and additional ways to cross-sell and upsell.
In general, customers who schedule appointments are also more likely to transact and more likely to become loyal because of the one-to-one, personalized interaction. In fact, customers who schedule appointments:
Are more educated on the products and services you provide
Are more likely to transact because of the research they do pre-appointment
Can be more easily nurtured by your staff, who can build deeper relationships with them by knowing their preferences, wants, and needs
Online appointment scheduling ROI
Appointments provide customers convenience and responsiveness from an actual human. This is a main factor driving the hard ROI businesses are seeing from appointment scheduling, especially in consumer-facing industries such as retail and financial services. Recent studies show clear value and ROI associated with appointment scheduling:
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)
Want to know what results our customers have seen using JRNI Appointments? Check out Harry Rosen’s success story! Using JRNI, Harry Rosen is seeing a conversion rate of approximately 70% for customers who schedule appointments. Download the Harry Rosen case study to learn more!
Tips for scheduling meaningful appointments with customers
If you’re looking for ways to ensure your appointments strategy will win the hearts of your customers, there are certainly ways to ensure your teams are properly preparing for, conducting, and following-up after an appointment.
Data and personalization is key
To have the best, most productive appointment possible, employees should do their research prior to conducting an appointment. Utilizing customer data is a key way to provide a better experience and increase customer satisfaction - all of which ties back to improving customer lifetime value.
Employees should review past communications history, past appointments, and any past product purchases or current services to ensure they create an appointment experience that is tailored to each customer.
Follow up and continue to improve after the appointment
Proper preparation means your employees are also ready for the follow up after an appointment. To keep the conversation going, your employees should immediately follow up and personalize the outreach. Perhaps they send more product recommendations, or perhaps they send a link out to schedule the next appointment.
Additionally, this is the perfect time to send a survey on how the appointment went, or for the employee to directly ask for customer feedback. By gathering this information, your teams can continue to improve upon the appointment process and make it even more productive and personalized for your customers in the future.
Want to know more about how to engage your customers after an appointment? Check out industry-specific blog posts to ensure you are engaging your customers post-appointment!
Financial services: How banks can keep their customers engaged after an appointment
How to determine if your customer base will benefit from online appointment scheduling
So will online appointment scheduling benefit your customer base? Will it actually help improve the customer experience and increase customer lifetime value? Yes, why yes it will! Here are some of the benefits of appointment scheduling for your customers:
First and foremost, it's important to find a SaaS solution that makes it easy for your customers to book appointments. The primary advantage of using appointment scheduling software is the accuracy and convenience for customers, which allow them to schedule appointments in real-time and get automated reminders. The entire online scheduling experience - from selecting the most convenient time to receiving appointment confirmations and calendar reminders - can also be done whenever, from wherever consumers are - at home, in the office, or on the go.
How else do they benefit your customers? Well, in a world where omnichannel is now the expectation - appointments can bridge the gap between online and offline to provide a seamless experience. Some people want to open a new checking account online, but would like to meet with a banker in person to ask questions about the account. Some people prefer shopping for certain home goods items online, such as kitchen supplies, but prefer shopping for things like bedding in person - where they can touch and feel the products. No matter if conducted in-person or remotely, appointments pair experts with customers to help guide them in their purchasing decisions. Overall, online appointment scheduling improves the customer experience by:
Eliminating the back and forth: 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.
Providing ease of use and convenience: Easy to book, and easy to join from wherever they are!
Getting human-to-human, expert advice: The customer gets to meet with an expert that knows exactly why they made the appointment, and can have a more productive, satisfying meeting.
So if you are looking to improve your customer lifetime value, then it might be time to consider appointment scheduling!
Want to learn more about how JRNI helps leading retailers and financial institutions personalize experiences at scale? Want to know more about how appointment scheduling can be a part of your strategy to improve customer lifetime value (CLV)? Then be sure to sign up to speak to an expert! We look forward to speaking with you soon!
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