In this article, I describe what arrival management is and how you can use it to move your visitors seamlessly from an online experience to an in-person visit. At the end of the article, you can download a guide about appointment management where you can learn even more about the solutions.
There are different approaches to concretize the customer's journey. In the article, A 6-step Guide to Successful Customer Journey Management, my colleague Johan Rudh does an excellent job by breaking down the customer journey into six steps; pre-arrival, arrival, queueing and waiting, serving, post-service, and managing. In this article, I'll focus on two of those, the pre-arrival and arrival phase. Note that a customer journey could just as well be a patient journey in healthcare, or a visitor journey in the public sector to name a few.
Today, most customer journeys start online. In the pre-arrival phase, according to our definition, that is when the visitor books their appointment online or via a phone call.
The arrival phase describes the in-person experience when your visitor arrives at your facility, they check-in and get information about where to wait and when to be served.
What is arrival management?
"Arrival management is the bridge between an online experience to an in-person visit."
Many organizations fail to smoothly transition visitors from pre-arrival to arrival, simply because they view it as two separate phases. But it’s not. If you initiate a project to enable visitors to schedule appointments through your website, call-center, and mobile app, don't stop there. Instead, the project's objective should be to improve the entire customer journey from pre-arrival to post-serving. Thanks to smart technology, such as appointment scheduling, all service providers can improve the entire customer journey.
If you want to optimize your customer journey, a good start is to make sure you seamlessly move visitors from an online experience to an in-person visit.
How to seamlessly move visitors from an online experience to an in-person visit
Offer multiple check-in options
Usually, it's during the check-in that the first friction occurs in the customer journey. Until now, I assume the visitor has conveniently scheduled an appointment on, e.g., your website. They might have got an SMS reminder from you a couple of days before the appointment, and they are overall satisfied so far. Now, as the visitors arrive at your facility, you don't want to force them to stand in a queue at a check-in counter.
No, instead, make sure you offer several check-in options. For example, when sending the SMS reminder, include a link which they can use for self-check-in. Or make it possible to check-in via scanning a QR code upon arrival. With the right appointment system, it's also possible to equip your concierge with an app, so they can personally welcome and check-in your visitors when they arrive.
Provide clear information
When your visitors have checked-in it’s important that they get clear information on where to wait or when to be served. This can be done in various different ways, but I prefer to notify the waiting visitor through their phone. By doing so, you can allow them to wait wherever they prefer, which has proved to be appreciated especially during the pandemic.
Get real-time notifications
When you want to improve the visitor's experience, time is crucial. Once the visitor has arrived, you don't want to waste any time. Make sure your staff is notified at a glance. By receiving information such as if the visitor is too early or too late, your staff can prioritize their time, streamlining your operation.
Integrate your systems
The key to moving the visitors seamlessly throughout their journey is to have all data in place. You don't want any isolated systems. Instead, make sure that you have a fully integrated Customer Journey Management System. By, e.g., making sure that your scheduling solution is integrated with the self-service check-in system, you can efficiently deal with appointments, cancelations, or late arrivals.
Appointment Management Guide
I hope this article clarifies how you can seamlessly move your visitors from an online experience to an in-person visit. If you are interested in learning more about appointment management, I recommend you download the Appointment Management Guide.
In this guide you can learn more about:
What appointment management is and how it works
How appointment management can aid social distancing when businesses reopen after restrictions are eased
Benefits of appointment management software
What to consider when investing in appointment management solutions
The best practices for implementing appointment management solutions