I wish if all we had were horses and buggies, growing our food in a distant farm, and waking up to the sunrise and chirping of the birds, unfortunately, humanity has left those things in a distant past, and internet has added pace to life and made it faster.
If you own a small business, it is often activities leading up to appointment that take a good chunk of time, eliminating this piece can free up the slot and can be used to make things much more efficient.
In a survey of nearly 200 North American consumers, who booked an appointment in the last 12 months, respondents pointed to the frustrations of booking by phone when scheduling appointments. 70% of the respondents said they would choose to book online in a variety of booking options.
Leaving the stats aside, if you as a business have any of the symptoms below, you should migrate to an online appointmnet booking solution. Let me narrate few scenarios to see if it resonates with you.
Turning pages shuffling up and down searching for the booking history, while your customer chuckle. You and your staff are wasting a lot of time. The truth is, using a paper calendar is outdated. It is slow, cumbersome, and susceptible to multiple human errors. The process is archaic, it is like washing clothes or pruning the lawn with hand, it is possible but why should one punish self?
Studies have shown that customers prefer receiving text and email reminder messages. You can score a level higher if you can get the reminders to be automated. Assuming a base number, say an appointment booking call takes about 3 minutes, and there are 10 such appointments to be booked, it saves the receptionist a minimum of 30 minutes every day.
As a small business the luxury of having a receptionist is too much of an ask. Besides the one that come at a reduced price are prone to making mistakes, which otherwise the machines would have never made. When dealing with a lot of customers it is easy to see few of the appointments passing into the cracks. These mistakes can all together be avoided with an online scheduling calendar.
The lack of an appointment scheduling software might not be the critical reason why a customer churns away, it is likely to be one of the factors leading to the decision. When the convenience of the customer is compromised in the day and age of millenials, who are used to doing things online, a not so good approach will lead to declining customer interaction.
While trying to come at a mutual zone of availability you have to do multiple back and forth you spend 5 minutes to arrive at a consensus zone, all of this could have been avoided if there were a visual representation of your availability hours for both the parties.
While setting the first appointment itself is a hectic work, to top it up, there are cases when there are multiple appointment re-scheduling and cancellations, the entire process has to be repeated and makes the process super ineffective.
Google Calendar was initially not designed to be a business solution, while it is a great tool to remind you about your doctor’s appointment, your friend’s birthday or a coffee meeting, but the deficiencies start to show up, as you want to keep log of the data, then you have to integrate google sheets with it, you fail to stitch a payment solution, Google calendar can’t do any of those. You further fail to integrate your Social Media, all of it leaves the customer sweating.
In Alice in Wonderland, C.S. Lewis has a short message in the form of Red Queens’ Race. Alice finds that the Red Queen is running in place and not headed anywhere else, as if she were on a treadmill. Alice is intrigued at the sight, and the Red Queen offers her the following response:
“It takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”
The scenario describes the problems of struggling small businesses competing in the internet-based economy. Automation is the key, that will help to run twice as fast and move ahead.
Efficient scheduling systems are designed to tackle all these problems head-on. They are easy to set up and use and address the productivity and scalability needs of your small business. You can bring up the reports of a meeting in a blink, you need not remind a customer of the upcoming booking, on and forth.
Adding online appointment shceduling to your website or process is like adding more lanes on the highway to let more traffic move swifter.
Call it online scheduling software, online appointment program, or online booking platform – it’s all the same. It’s a software that replaces your traditional appointment book and moves appointment scheduling online. The overall goal of the different online appointment platforms may be the same, but that doesn’t mean every program is made the same!
We have designed Karen ground up to meet the needs of small businesses with the latest Artificial Intelligence technology to make things much more easier. Give it a try, and see your business growing.
Life offers challenges as and when a small business has to grow, when these obvious red alerts start affecting your daily operations, it calls for a serious re-thinking of the processes that have been set up at your end, your customers and clients will be more satisfied and delighted, your kids still might want an extra scoop of ice-cream though!
If the article resonates with you, and you feel the need of an online appointment scheduling software, we have developed Karen from ground up, keeping small businesses in mind, do sign up using your Google Account it’s Free, and we would love to hear from you.