Many businesses offer appointment scheduling options to their customers. Think about nail salons, restaurants, doctors, travel agencies and more.
When it comes to scheduling appointments, there are multiple ways to approach this: through email, telephone, at the reception desk and, a method that has recently gained a lot of popularity, online scheduling tools (platforms).
Today, we provide you with tips on how to make online scheduling easy and convenient.
Why should you make scheduling appointments with you easy?
For those companies that offer various services based on appointments with customers, making scheduling them easy should remain one of the main priorities in a successful customer journey.
There are a few reasons behind it.
First of all, if your business relies on meetings with customers, making it difficult for them to book services with you can result in a decreased sales volume.
Imagine that you have a wonderful set of services that none of your competitors have. Your regular customers often come back to your business and use them, but for some reason you rarely acquire any new ones.
It could be because you don’t make it easy for people to find you and, eventually, schedule an appointment with you. Maybe you use a faulty booking platform, your phone stopped working or emails with bookings end up in SPAM.
And despite having a competitive advantage thanks to the quality of your services, people will turn to the competition because it’s more “discoverable”.
Second of all, if you don’t ensure that booking meetings with you is a quick and effortless process, you or your employees may end up getting confused with your own systems.
When you decide to set up an online booking platform, for example, you should ensure that it’s not too complicated so that your employees know how to use it.
Otherwise, there’s a long list of potential issues that could happen to your company: missed payments, delayed appointments, cancelled bookings, lost customers and more. And who would want any of this?
Finally, when customers can go through an uncomplicated purchase journey with your business, they will be more likely to come back, and even leave positive reviews.
This will drive customer retention, brand loyalty and will directly impact your bottom line – in a very positive way, let’s add.
How can you make sure that booking with you is a piece of cake then?
How to make it simple to book appointments with you
There are a series of aspects that you should take into consideration when it comes to booking appointments at your company.
You want to ensure that whatever methods you’re using, they’re easily accessible to everyone.
And it’s even more important when you attract customers from all around the world, speaking different languages and being used to different ways of booking meetings.
Moreover, you should aim to be flexible, use reliable tools and allow for various payment methods. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s look into it in a bit more detail.
Give people options
Today, customers absolutely love being independent. Perhaps this is why a whopping number of 88% of them expect brands and organizations to provide self-service support portals.
As a company profiting mostly from meetings and appointments with your clientele, there’s some great potential here for you to take advantage of.
When thinking about what your booking strategy should be like, consider giving people at least a few ways to get in touch with you.
Facebook, your website, Google Calendar, email, telephone call, text message – you name it.
As long as you’re aiming to expand your potential outreach, you should see a gradual increase in the number of successfully booked appointments.
Moreover, people will enjoy a hassle-free and widely available booking process with you – since you’re putting your services in every possible place. For instance, when you use an online booking platform, it may turn out that it has an integration with Facebook Messenger, Google Calendar, and even telephone and email.
This way, you’re using various ways to get in touch with potential customers and they’re more likely to book an appointment with you.
Thus, do make sure you’re using different places to promote your services and allow scheduling meetings with you.
Another important thing to ensure in your appointment booking strategy is flexibility.
Sometimes, people suddenly get the urge to book an appointment at the weirdest times ever. For example, in the middle of the night or during holidays when they should be spending time with their family, away from phones – basically, when your business is closed. But that’s when they have the time to sit back, relax, and browse through offers to book a nice service!
So, as a caring and understanding business owner, you should make every effort to allow those people to book services with you when THEY want it. This could really boost your reputation in the eyes of customers.
Now, if you’re limiting yourself to only allowing people to schedule meetings with you during your business hours, you’re missing out on a ton of sales.
Naturally, this doesn’t mean that you should hire someone who will be on duty 24/7 to answer a phone call or respond to an email.
Today, there are far more intelligent solutions on the market that will make your company seemingly available 24/7/365.
A good example is an online booking platform, which requires little human engagement on the user side – it practically runs on its own. And the best part is that such platforms are usually freely available – all you have to do is sign up.
Use solid software
Speaking of online booking platforms, here’s the next important aspect you should keep in mind. When you decide to use them, it’s vital you use only good and reliable ones.
Now, why? Well, simply because the more faulty and weak solutions you pick, the more issues you will have to deal with along the way. Starting from bugs, bad interface, through platform crashes, all the way up to a lack of essential features and privacy breaches – it can be an absolute nightmare.
Luckily for you, distinguishing good from bad online booking platforms is quite easy and straight-forward.
A solid online booking platform has a few significant characteristics:
It’s not too expensive
Don’t trust solutions which are way overpriced. Yes, it does cost to have a fully operational booking platform with various, rich and functional features. But no, it shouldn’t cost you a fortune.
Do some research and make sure you’re not getting ripped off.
Otherwise, you may end up overpaying for a tool with little positive impact on your business. Or, worse, with negative impact.
It offers various features and integrations
Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Stripe, Google Meet, Google Calendar, Invoice Ocean and more.
A good online booking platform will not be a stand alone type of tool and will be easily integratable with other products and solutions. It’s all to make your experience and usage enjoyable.
Do pay attention to the features your potential software offers. Always check with competitors if you’re getting the best value for the price you pay.
It allows for a subscription model
A scamy provider will try to lock you up in fixed contracts with absolutely no option to opt out. If you see one – run away!
By all means, do not go for something like this. It’s the end of 2021 and fixed contracts are, well, passe – to say the least.
Now, flexible subscriptions plans, with monthly or annual billing options, are trending. You can opt out any time and there’s typically no credit card required.
The COVID-19 pandemic showed many businesses how great and fruitful times can quickly change into closed doors and barely any customers. In uncertain times like these, it’s important to put your business’s health first and such subscription models are great for this purpose.
Below there’s an example of how the worldwide tourism sector got affected by the pandemic. If you’ve owned a hotel for a while now, you definitely experienced a drastically decreased number of bookings when the pandemic started and the world got shut down.
Thanks to flexible subscriptions plans with opt-out options, you decide when you want to stop spending money. This is very convenient, isn’t it?
Allow for different payment methods
Now, let’s talk about money. More precisely, your customers’ money. Revolut, credit card, instant payments, cash on appointment day, book now-pay later and more…
Today’s world of services and meetings is full of various payment methods.
As a business owner, you should not allow yourself to stay behind with the fast developing world of payment methods.
Instead, what you should do is always try to provide your customers with at least a few options to choose from.
When you show people that you get close to them by offering their favourite payment methods, they will be more likely to stay loyal to your brand.
It’s all about embedding your brand in the mind of customers with little things like this. When you combine them all together, one day you may wake up with way more loyal customers than you thought you had.
Know your customers
Although the last on our list, one of the key things to making your appointment scheduling process easy is actually knowing what is considered “easy” according to your customers.
To find out these sorts of details, you may need to get to the root of this problem – your customer demographics.
Who are your customers? What do they use? Do they book through telephone, or do they prefer booking through text messages? Do they tend to pay in advance, or maybe are more keen on quick and hassle-free Apple Pay?
It’s all about getting to know your customers. Once you find out who your customers are, the answer to the “How do I make appointment scheduling a breeze?” question should come to you naturally.
Online booking for the win – start with Calendesk
Now that you know the fundamentals to making scheduling appointments with your business effective and, most importantly, simple, we have a bonus for you.
You can get started with a reliable, functional and intuitive online booking platform now.
The solution is called Calendesk and it can make it possible to book appointments with you pretty much around the clock.
Moreover, it’s rich in various integrations, features, offers a subscription plan and its reviews are actually good.
Whether you want to keep an eye out on your schedule, accept payments or look after your appointment – it’s all possible with Calendesk.
Don’t waste your time and register now – you will enter a whole new dimension of appointment booking.
Over to you
Now you know how to make scheduling meetings with your company even easier than ever before.
Booking meetings can be a lot of fun (with profits) when it’s done right. Both you and your customers can take advantage of solutions that are convenient and deliver good quality.
We hope you now have a better understanding of the importance of making your appointment scheduling easily accessible.
If you enjoyed this article, you should have a look at our blog section where we share more insightful tips, advice, guides and more.
Thanks for your attention today and we wish you all the best with your appointment scheduling practices.