A business that relies on appointments is great in a lot of ways.
You never have to worry about people randomly wandering in to see you, for example, since your time is by appointment only. But with all the great stuff going for it, if your appointment-based company isn’t very organized and streamlined, a lot can go wrong with appointment scheduling services.
Avoiding problems with unrecorded appointments and double bookings will make you look like a champ. Your reputation will also grow because customers love how well you care for them!
Three Ways to Improve Appointment Scheduling Efficiency
Even if your office is running smoothly, there is always room for improvement. You may not realize how frustrating some aspects of appointment scheduling are for your clients, especially when it comes to wait times or lack of self-service options. Your customers may become your competition’s customers if you don’t do more to remove the friction there.
Here are three things you can do to improve your appointment scheduling and make everybody happier:
Add the right services. Your answering service has a dedicated appointment setting queue that can be included in your package. This group of trained operators will make, change and cancel appointments during business hours and beyond, giving your patients more flexibility when it comes to handling their appointments. Often, clients who work during the same hours as you do really need the extra accommodation of making appointments after-hours.
Get computerized! If you’re still handling appointments by hand, stop that right now. Buy an office laptop, desktop or even a tablet and hook yourself up with a cloud-based planning calendar, like Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook. When a client or patient calls to book an appointment, whether you use an answering service or not, you’ll be able to add the new appointment to the one calendar your whole office shares. Keeping everyone in the loop is vital to your success with streamlining.
Online access. In this world of constantly increasing computing power, there’s no reason to not have an online portal that allows your customers to self-schedule appointments. As long as you set your available time correctly and they can find an opening, it’s a simple automation that can free up labor in your office and save you money with your answering service. Many customers would prefer to self-serve, it can make you pretty popular with them, too.
Automating things like appointment setting may feel like it could depersonalize your customers’ experiences, but you can do a lot to personalize most tools. Add branding and other reminders of what your company is about if you’re concerned. Most clients really just want the ease of appointment setting on their own terms, though.
Streamlining your appointment setting workflow can free up lots of time, since customers may call frequently to make changes to their appointments. By taking advantage of automation, outsourcing callers to a dedicated appointment setting queue and using shared online calendars, you’ll find extra hours in your day to see more clients. It’s a total win-win.