In the coming weeks or months, lockdown and restrictions will be eased, and service providers will need to be prepared to accommodate customers in these times. As the COVID-19 risk will still potentially be high and some restrictions will still be in place, they need to remain cautious when reopening their premises and delivering their services.
One of the solutions that can be a great help is using an appointment booking system. With appointment management, businesses and service providers have the ability to manage their customer flow and let customers enter the premises only when it's their turn to be served, thus enforcing the social distancing required in this situation.
In this article, we will explain about appointment scheduling tips to improve customer flow management. But before that, let’s talk about the key benefits of an appointment system.
Benefits of an appointment system
Control the number of people on-premise and manage customer flow
Using appointment booking solutions will give you the opportunity to control the number of people in your location. This also allows you to manage customer flow with the appointment slots that you open for certain times.
You can switch to appointment-only policy for your branch, but even if you decide to allow walk-in customers, using appointment solutions will significantly reduce the number of walk-ins.
Give customers more flexibility, peace of mind, and a better customer experience
In this current situation with infection risk still high, customers will likely want to limit their time in public spaces, so giving them a choice to pick a time that works for them and arrive shortly before their appointment offers extra peace of mind. With this, customers can also better manage their time. All of these contribute to better customer experience.
As customers can book an appointment and choose the service they need in advance, it becomes much easier to plan resource allocation, match the required services with available staff, and in general, utilize staff more efficiently.
Less pressure on staff
Scheduled appointments give service providers the ability to manage customer flow, and also provide an overview of the required services in the coming days. With this information and resource allocation planned in advance, staff can be better prepared, which will reduce stress.
Appointment scheduling tips: How to manage appointments to improve customer flow management
Integrate your solutions for seamless customer flow management
Appointment booking is only one part of the solution. To manage customer flow seamlessly, service providers also need to provide robust queuing solutions that can accommodate check-in, serving the customer, and flow management. Appointment solutions need to be well-integrated with these other systems to accommodate customers efficiently.
Segment customers before their arrival
If you provide different services in your branches, you can segment customers based on the service(s) they need. Whenever possible, get customers to specify the service they need upon booking, so you can get an overview of the required services at a particular time, and allocate your staff accordingly.
Always keep customers updated
It’s important to keep customers informed throughout the whole journey, starting from the time they schedule their appointment, right through until after they have been served. Send booking confirmations, reminders, or any updates regarding changes or cancellations to the service.
Make it easy and convenient for customers
Along with timely updates, make sure customers can move seamlessly throughout the journey. You can, for example, send a reminder with a check-in link that they can follow to secure their place in the virtual queue, thus saving time and improving efficiency.
These are just some of the appointment scheduling tips to improve customer flow management. If you’d like to learn more, download our appointment scheduling guide.