If you’re a business owner, you’re probably very familiar with the challenge of ensuring that things are running smoothly in an organized and efficient manner. It’s easy to quickly find your hands full, especially with the combined duties and obligations that often pile up, requiring your full attention and dragging your productivity to a crawl.
Put simply, your time is invaluable – and every second counts.
While there are many ways to speed up and optimize your business, using appointment scheduling software is a quick and easy way to cut down on time spent manually managing your appointments, bookings, or reservations. In fact, it may be an absolute necessity, with 64% of people estimated to book online in 2019.
Here are a few ways scheduling software can transform your business by improving efficiency and reducing headaches, allowing you to focus more and worry less.
Speed Up Bookings With Online Self-Service
Eliminate the hassle of managing reservations by hand and let your clients book at their convenience. Through scheduling software, your customers can book online or by phone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
From here, some services will even allow you to schedule appointments through requests, which allow your customers to inquire if service is available at a specific time and date. You’ll be able to accept, decline, or renegotiate with these clients through email or text message, all while on-the-go.
For any kind of service-based business, this is a game-changer. No longer will you have to check-in with your receptionist or go through your on-site appointment book.
A few taps on your phone and you can manage your bookings practically wherever you are!
Reduce No-Shows And Increase Re-bookings With Notifications
No-shows are a huge burden to service-based business, as we’ve written about previously. It can also be difficult to keep your staff up-to-date on the status of previous appointments while they’re simultaneously on the phone booking new ones.
Reduce the stress on your staff, save time, and avoid cancellations by using software that allows for automated appointment notifications.
This works by providing notifications via email or SMS regarding upcoming appointments, cancellations, and rescheduling. SMS notifications, in particular, have been found to be just as effective as telephone reminders, but more cost-effective.
For your staff, scheduling software can allow them to receive minute-to-minute updates on their schedules. This can be absolutely life-changing!
For example, instead of Sally – one of your best staff members – scrambling to get on the bus for her 8:30 appointment, only to find out upon arrival that her client Robert seems to be MIA, she’d receive a text or email notifying her right away.
On the client-side, picture this. Let’s say Robert – who had fully intended to go to his appointment – merely happened to forget about it. Perhaps he forgot to listen to the voicemail reminder your staff had left earlier that week.
However, with automated notifications in play, Robert receives both a reminder message and email. Suddenly, he remembers! Notifying your staff via a reply, he reaffirms that he is on his way.
Meanwhile, there’s no added effort by your staff to clear up the confusion. By improving communication and convenience with scheduling software, your staff and clients will most definitely thank you!
Keep tabs on your Online Reputation
Many scheduling software solutions also offer integration with other sites like Google. This is especially useful if you’re aware of the utility of bringing your business online but don’t consider yourself very well-versed in SEO or marketing.
Even if you don’t have a website, online scheduling software can automatically share your business’s basic information with Google, creating a business profile. This can boost your page ranking and visibility, drawing more attention to your services and even increasing the number of future bookings.
The best software solutions will even automatically remind your clients to leave a review of your service after their appointments. With a whopping 90% of customers influenced by online reviews, this can be invaluable to attracting and building trust with new potential customers and clients who might be otherwise unfamiliar with your business.
Organize And Manage Your Business Records Effortlessly
The versatility of scheduling software goes beyond just booking appointments. You can also use it to manage nearly every avenue of important business information, improving organization and ease-of-access.
For example, let’s say you run a hair salon. In addition to booking clients and managing your appointments, you also sell a variety of hair and beauty products on-site.
With scheduling software, you could manage and track your product inventory and check up on sales and other relevant data without needing to rely on oversized spreadsheets. Meanwhile, your appointment tracking and other useful features continue to run seamlessly in the background.
An all-in-one software solution is likely your best bet. This way, you can avoid paying various subscription fees and licenses for a whole suite of applications that, in the end, might just confuse your staff as well as employees in training.
Scheduling software can often make your job easier when it comes to finances, too.
You may have noticed while shopping around lately that businesses now have options for electronic receipts, straight to the customer’s inbox. Gone are the days of standardized flimsy paper receipts and invoices (unless, of course, that’s what the customer prefers).
Once again, this is the magic of software at work! This is an excellent way to streamline your checkout process, which in turn will likely boost staff morale.
Offering an online receipt option might please your customers, too, as 45% of surveyed consumers have stated they’d like to receive e-receipts when paying in-store.
It also makes things easier come tax time – good software will allow you to securely manage, track, and record all payments across all services.
Operating with your business with the use of digital services and applications may seem daunting initially. After all, there are thousands of computer programs and subscription services available, and it can be difficult to know which ones are best-suited for your type of business.
That said, we hope that we’ve helped you to see how software can have your business running faster and more efficiently than ever!
For more on business strategy, online and off – keep up with us here, five days a week, at the Yocale blog.