Missed appointments are missed opportunities. But in such a time of considerable stress and uncertainty, how are you keeping up with customer demand as you shuttle from one appointment to the next?
As circumstances dictate, we are now called to stand against fear - and stay on course with an appointment calendar.
Of course by now you’ve probably learned that this is not as easy to do. Between managing timetables, spreadsheets, and calendars, keeping and maintaining a schedule can be a full-time job on its own. So, if you want your team to continue being productive as you transition to the new normal, an online appointment scheduling can be helpful.
When you pencil in appointments in your team calendar, you’re telling your team “This is what’s on our table and each appointment can take X hours.” When this announcement has been made, it becomes easier for everyone to plan ahead and make an appearance for your customers on the scheduled appointment.
On the other hand, making your business accessible to your customers via online bookings sets the right tone to a potentially long and rewarding patronage. The convenience alone can motivate them to continue doing business with you.
So now that we know how a scheduling program can benefit you, let’s help you find one for your business. Some of the best appointment scheduling platforms are all within your reach - you just have to make sure to choose the right one for your company. To help you pick the best appointment scheduling app, we’ve broken down the next steps that you can take.
3 steps to choosing the right appointment scheduling system:
Step 1: Find out what your company needs
One of your core responsibilities as a business owner or a manager is to regularly check into the productivity of your employees. Consider this as one of the many audits that you should conduct for your company. Take into account the volume of incoming booking requests, what your goals are, the workload of each team, and all the productivity tools that are at their disposal.
A regular audit such as this will not only give you a clear idea of the volume of bookings for your business but also help you find the right appointment scheduling program for your business.
To expedite this step, you can call on the help of representatives from different silos. Find out what features they might feel will be most helpful.
Step 2: Test out different scheduling programs
Once you’ve done an internal audit of your company, it’s time to set your sights to the tools that are available to you. Researching should always be the first step, and testing out your choices should be next.
So, let’s say you’ve narrowed down your top choices. To get a better feel of a product, it’s always best to take it out for a test drive. The last thing that you want, after all, is to commit to a long-term subscription and end up under-utilizing the product.
Be sure to take into account the features included and how intuitive the program is. The easier it is to use, the better the experience will be for both your customers and your employees.
Step 3: Do a final review of the features
Your choice of scheduling software should be unique to your business, but there are certain elements that should be considered as non-negotiable.
- Calendar analysis
One of the things that you should look for in a scheduling program is its ability to automatically confirm bookings and/or analyze your calendar and offer an alternative schedule if the slot has been filled.
- Bulk scheduling
This is especially important if your business offers webinars and workshops. An appointment scheduling software for multiple users can help you enroll more than one participant at once.
When it comes to online appointment scheduling, flexibility is key. Giving your program the freedom to process booking requests is one thing, but you should still have the capacity to edit your appointments so it can work around your schedule.
Good things happen to those who plan (and schedule)
At this point, one cannot argue the importance of planning and scheduling during these stressful times. Customers need it for convenience and a good experience. Employees depend on it for productivity. And you, as the business owner or manager, can use it to plan out your budget and employee timetable ahead.
Recognizing the need for a scheduling program is one thing, but choosing the best one in the market is a whole different step. You will need to do your own research within your organization and then find the right tool that corresponds to your needs. Hopefully, the steps that we have outlined here will help you choose the best program.
If you’re still on step 2 and are researching the online scheduling programs that are available to you, this list of top appointment scheduling software might help.