At this time last year, The Economist wrote of an emerging trend they called “The appointment economy.” The piece focused on how retailers, supermarkets, bars, and gyms were leveraging booking software to manage business while ensuring the safety and social distancing of patrons.
But think beyond the retail arena. Appointments are now key to lobby management in bank branches and doctor’s offices. They play a pivotal role in the scheduling of vaccinations and testing. They help storefronts determine if they’re at capacity, or have room for that last minute walk-in.
The time has never been better to investigate, deploy, and rely on appointments as a means of running a safe and efficient business. Appointments, booking, scheduling - whatever you choose to call it - is the solution of our times for numerous reasons. In this post, we’ll discuss just a few of those reasons and leave you with the option to learn more:
Appointments build personalized relationships
While the pandemic positioned appointments as a way to build trust and ensure safety, most businesses use them to convert traffic to revenue by providing highly personalized experiences. The right solution empowers a consumer to control his/her own journey, while enabling the service provider to leverage everything they know about that customer to provide the best experience.
In fact, Boston Consulting Group tells us that customers are 110% more likely to add items to their baskets, and spend 40% more than planned when a shopping experience is highly personalized. When an interaction is personalized, every customer feels like that luxury shopper.
Appointments drive customer satisfaction and loyalty
An appointment booking platform enables customers to choose a convenient time to visit the business, and allows the organization to plan accordingly, ensuring they have optimally scheduled staff to meet customer needs. This means that staff is both available, and specialized as required. When employees aren’t rushing through customer interactions and have the time to dedicate to each individual, customer service improves.
And where there’s a positive experience, there’s loyalty, the greater lifetime customer value, greater NPS scores, and more opportunity for upsell and cross sell.
Appointments increase conversions, revenue, and profitability
Research from a number of sources demonstrates that customers who pre-book drive greater value. Sounds far-fetched, right?
Boston Consulting Group 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, and appointments are a key means to end. Similarly, Forrester Consulting reports that retail customers who pre-book appointments tend to spend 7 - 8X more as compared to a walk-in shopper.
Appointments are the solution that keep on giving
On the surface, you may be thinking that appointments may not offer that much to your businesses, but think again about the flexibility of such a solution.
For a bank, appointments can be leveraged for loan or financial consultations, lobby management, broker meetings, security deposit box visits, and investment advice. They also enable the bank to manage capacity, build in time between customers to clean, and integrate with other core systems to get a full picture of each customer.
Similarly, in a retail setting, appointments can be used for fittings, remote consultations, events, managing foot traffic, and allocating available staff and space for curbside pickup. The technology is limited only by imagination, and provides ROI in short order.