Appointment scheduling: Beyond booking functionality

Appointment scheduling: Beyond booking functionality

John Wordingham |February 12 2020 3 min

Some people refer to appointment scheduling primarily as a booking function. In my opinion, it's much more than that. To improve the customer experience, you need to deal with confirmations, reminders, cancellations and rescheduling. This takes priority when it comes to time and investments.

Improve the customer experience

Many companies, clinics and public institutions serve over a hundred visitors daily. In some cases, the majority of these visitors are walk-ins. This can result in a disordered environment and experience. During my career, I have seen countless examples where long wait times and massive workloads have contributed to decreased customer satisfaction and increased employee stress.

On the other hand, I have seen this problem disappear many times when organizations prioritize the enabling of visitors to book appointments in advance. Appointment scheduling improves the customer experience, as visitors can better plan their day and do not have to wait upon arrival. 

For you, whether you are working in a company, a clinic or the public sector, appointment scheduling creates opportunities for improved staff planning. You get a better overview of how many visitors arrive daily, enabling you to reduce their waiting time and to increase their customer experience.

But before you enable appointment scheduling, it's vital to understand what it requires from you. Keep in mind that it is more than launching a booking functionality. Whether the visitor schedules an appointment through a call center, online or an app, you'll have to organize and manage that appointment accordingly. The administration of appointments involves sending confirmations and reminders and dealing with delays, cancellations and reschedules.

How to manage appointments

  1. When an appointment is made, send a confirmation by email or SMS, including information on how to cancel or reschedule the appointment. 
  2. Some days before the appointment date, send a reminder to the visitor with complete contact information. 
  3. If the visitor cancels or reschedules, send a confirmation by email or SMS. 

Appointment scheduling software

By sending confirmation and reminders to the customer, you are more likely to prevent them from not showing up. Which is a constant concern among service providers. However, as the number of appointments increases, it quickly becomes unmanageable to handle this process manually. 

Therefore, companies, clinics and public institutions are using an appointment scheduling software to manage the process. By integrating an appointment scheduling software with a customer journey management system, it becomes a powerful system that enables organizations to move customers and patients seamlessly from online to an in-person visit. 

In summary, an appointment scheduling software is a set of tools which makes it easier for service providers to handle the booking logic and administration of appointments. 

If you want to know more about appointment scheduling software and how it can improve your appointment, download the presentation below.

Download the Appointment Management Guide

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