Why are appointment scheduling systems more important than ever and what do you need to know about them? Customer behaviors are constantly changing, and it is important for businesses and service providers to stay on top of these dynamic changes to be able to meet new customer demands. Easy accessibility to products and services and multiple options for booking or attaining them is a customer behavior that is spreading to more industries on a global scale.
One solution that can help businesses meet more elaborate customer demands is to use an appointment scheduling system to manage customer journeys and keep control of the visitor flow.
What is an appointment booking system, and how does it work? We’ve compiled the most frequent questions about appointment booking systems, and some specific capabilities that can help you adjust to new customer behaviors.
What is an appointment scheduling system?
An appointment scheduling system, also known as appointment booking system or appointment management software, is a solution that makes it easy for service providers to manage appointments. The tools within an appointment management solution can include:
When an appointment system is integrated with a customer journey management system, also known as queue management system, it becomes a powerful system that enables organizations to move customers seamlessly from an online to in-person visit.
How does an appointment scheduling solution work?
There are several ways, but the most common appointment booking systems work like this:
The customer makes an appointment either via web booking or by call. Here, the customer can choose the service they require at a suitable time and date and select the preferred location or staff member, if those are available options. Lastly, the customer receives a booking confirmation.
Closer to the appointment date, the customer receives a reminder with a check-in link to announce their arrival.
Customer checks in by themselves using the link in the reminder message or use a self-service kiosk at the premises (staff-assisted check-in is also available).
After check-in, the customer receives a mobile ticket where they can monitor their place in the queue. They can arrive at the building when it’s time for their appointment. The customer is called when it’s their turn and receives the service.
What are the things to consider when investing in an appointment scheduling solution?
The first thing to consider when choosing to invest in an appointment scheduling solution is to identify the purpose the system will have in your organization. Here are some things to consider when investing in an online appointment scheduling system to pinpoint which capabilities are important for you:
Does it offer automatic notification functionalities to send the customer?
Does it have business intelligence capabilities to combine pre-booked appointments and walk-in customers? Having these will be beneficial for planning staff allocation.
How to optimize an appointment management system
Optimizing the use of an appointment management system will help you maximize the value it brings to your business operations. Below, we have collected some of our best tips on how you can make sure your appointment management system is working at full capacity:
Integrate all staff members' calendars so they can easily collaborate and request support from each other.
Introduce booking functionality for internal resources, like meeting rooms, into the appointment management system for staff to book ahead of their appointments.
Which industries can benefit from an appointment booking system?
Appointment management can be used in any kind of industry, for various types of businesses, organizations, and services. In the ultimate guide to appointment scheduling systems, the benefits of an appointment scheduling system are highlighted for different industries. Some of the benefits have been compiled below:
Patient scheduling software for healthcare
As healthcare workers are experiencing an increase in their workload, a patient scheduling system can be a way to relieve some of the stress and administrative tasks. With patient appointments scheduled in advance, healthcare facilities can plan resource allocation in advance, increasing efficiency and reducing staff’s stress levels. Moreover, they canregulate the patient flow betterwith appointment booking solutions and enhance the overall patient experience.
Appointment booking system for government offices
Public departments like tax, driving license, immigration, and pension offices have always been busy and commonly attend to different citizen services in the same office locations. Appointment booking systems can help manage the visitor flow and organize multiple types of appointments at the same facility. As a service provider, you can decide on the number of appointment slots to be opened at any given time based on your staff availability, giving you full control of the number of people on-premise.
With new customer behaviors of easy and fast assistance, multiple delivery options, and online shopping, it can be hard to attend to all customers using traditional methods. An appointment scheduling system can help you organize the different types of customer behaviors and demands by:
Apply online booking for your services so your customers can arrive when it’s their turn to attain a service, for example, a consultation, instead of waiting in long lines at the store hoping there’s a timeslot available.
Offer click-and-collect service, enabling your customers to order your products online and collect them when it’s a convenient time for them, e.g., on their way home from work.
Client booking system for banks and other finance institutions
For banks or any other finance service providers, you can avoid unscheduled visits and minimize the crowd in the waiting room by implementing an appointment-only policy. With advanced appointment booking systems, you can allow your customers to book the type of service they want or select the type of financial assistance they need to match them up with staff members who have the right expertise.
If you want to learn more about our appointment booking systems, visit our website or contact us.
This article has been updated and was originally written by Dixie Tharmin on 03/05/2020.