Imagine this scenario: You’re in the market for a new suit. You want to buy the best-fitting suit, so you want to meet with an in-store stylist for a fitting consultation.
You research suits
How do you schedule your appointment?
Imagine how easy it would have been if you booked the appointment online
The good news is that some retailers and banks have appointment booking capabilities, which create powerful experiences for both consumers and brands. The benefits of appointment scheduling software extends to both customers and businesses. Customers can seamlessly connect with brands
What is online appointment scheduling software?
Appointment booking software easily allows customers to schedule and update appointments via web-based systems. The technology is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week, and can integrate with various customer relationship management tools. It also offers the ability to capture scheduling statistics, accept online payments, and send automated notifications like an SMS and email appointment reminder.
Customers can book appointments with the right people (in-store and in-branch staff) at the right time, saving employees a tremendous amount of time trying to arrange appointment logistics via phone and shuffle through various calendars. The collective data that companies can glean from an online scheduling tool allows them to gather deeper customer
Why use online scheduling software?
Benefits for customers
The primary advantage of using appointment scheduling software is the accuracy and convenience for customers, which allow them to schedule appointments in
Customers can easily update scheduling information, view in-store staff availability through calendars, and purchase services via secured payment options. Perhaps the greatest consumer benefit is how much time an online scheduling platform saves them. Consumers can quickly sign online to book an appointment and don’t have to call stores or branches to speak with staff to make their appointments. The entire online scheduling experience
Benefits for businesses
There are also tremendous benefits for businesses. Brands can use online appointment scheduling software to drive foot traffic back into their stores and branches by creating personalized experiences that customers won’t receive online; for example, in-store fittings for suits where consumers can receive personalized and expert recommendations from staff. And imagine the upsell opportunity for tailoring once the appointment with a stylist
Retailers and banks can even give consumers the option of scheduling their appointments via social media to increase engagement, offering another channel to converse with customers.
Businesses can also use the technology to give their employees an at-a-glance view of all customer interactions, highlighting key behavior patterns that can
Additionally, scheduling software provides automated reminders, which translates into less no-shows. No missed appointments, no wasted employee time! With features to reschedule, an online appointment scheduler also helps reduce cancellations as customers can easily manage the process on their own. This all gives more time back to your employees.
The most important benefit for retailers is that online appointment scheduling drives conversion, which can yield increased basket sizes of 3X-10X.
According to a First Insight Report, 71% of shoppers spend $50 or more when shopping in-store, signaling that consumers purchase significantly more per visit in-store than online. Additionally, 64% of respondents said they typically spend or invest more in products or services after in-person appointments.
For financial institutions using an online appointment solution, the benefits are also clear with 90% of these appointments resulting in new accounts opened and new balances gained.
Who uses online booking software?
There are some examples of major brands in retail and banking that use online scheduling software. Let’s
John Lewis & Partners
John Lewis & Partners is a chain of high-end department stores with 49 shops operating throughout the U.K. While
Over the past three years, John Lewis & Partners tripled its appointment volume by delivering exceptional customer service, which builds stronger customer relationships and has been a strategic business initiative.
Oriental Bank is one of Puerto Rico’s largest banks that experienced long branch wait times for customers. The bank had little to no visibility into their customer volume, which made it difficult to resource staff appropriately. It also needed more accurate customer data to provide continuous improvements to service.
Oriental Bank reduced its wait times by
Bank of America, Apple, and the U.S. Government’s Global Entry program are also
Bank of America
A financial leader in the U.S., Bank of America has an easy-to-use online booking system that allows consumers to speak with financial specialists at their convenience. Customers can manage and reschedule their appointments, and they can provide details in advance about discussion items so that specialists are prepared to have engaging and helpful conversations with them.
U.S. Government’s Global Entry Program
The U.S. Government’s Global Entry program, which permits expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers entering the U.S., enables people to schedule in-person appointments for applications. Customers can view a calendar to select the date, time, and location for their in-person appointments, and they can even schedule multiple appointments for multiple people; a great feature for families applying for Global Entry.
What should I look for in a scheduling solution?
It might be difficult to select the best type of online booking software, but it’s crucial for brands to have complete visibility into valuable customer data to increase conversions. No matter the company size, there’s a solution for all brands.
However, to achieve the best
What are trends in appointment scheduling?
Online appointment scheduling has
While we’re far off from true artificial intelligence (where actual robots with human empathy will undoubtedly help us
As machine learning and RPA advance, speed will become an even more critical factor. For customers, speed means that they’ll be able to schedule their appointments even faster because their online appointment scheduling software already knows their behaviors and interests. As a result, customers can receive even more individualized serviced. For retailers and banks, this can
Advancements in machine learning and RPA also create more opportunities for deeper personalization. The smarter our computers and online systems become, the more data
For example, knowing more about customers’ buying profiles, which include preferred locations for in-store and in-branch appointments, best availability to schedule appointments based on previous appointments, and opportunities for cross-sell and upsell, can help increase the overall in-store and in-branch experience. This will inevitably save consumers time and help them schedule their online appointments even faster. And retailers will
According to GSMA, there are nearly 9 billion mobile connections worldwide, illustrating a ripe opportunity for brands to reach consumers on their most personal device
As today’s digital consumers are constantly on the go, retailers and banks must offer scheduling opportunities via mobile devices. It’s a convenient and easy way for customers to schedule appointments. Brands need to reach consumers wherever they are, and most customers aren’t with their computers all the time. Customers will always have their phones with them so consumers should
Want to learn more about the benefits of managing appointments with scheduling software? Then download our eBook to learn more about the ROI of appointment scheduling software.
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