The holidays are a busy (and stressful) time for any business and that is particularly true for appointment-based businesses.
First, the holiday season tends to bring in a lot more online appointment bookings. People have a lot more parties and events to go to during the holiday season; they are booking appointments to make them feel and look their best.
People are also buying gifts for their friends and family in the form of appointments as well.
Your staff is spending all of their time on the phone when, truth be told, their time could be spent elsewhere. The increase in bookings also easily result in a lot of scheduling errors and no-shows if you’re still using a paper-based appointments book.
Then there’s the fact that employees take time off for the holidays, effectively leaving your business closed for days at a time.
Using an online scheduling software, however, can keep your business running smoothly during the holiday rush.
Let’s take a look below.
How Using Online Scheduling Software Can Keep Your Business Running Smoothly
You know firsthand how busy the holiday rush can be – we don’t need to convince you. Here’s how scheduling software can keep your business running smoothly during this busy time of year.
Takes Appointments For You (And Keeps Your Business Open Over the Holidays)
During the holiday season, the phones never seem to stop ringing. This may be great for business, but it means that your admin staff is only able to focus on one task at a time – taking appointments.
An online scheduling software, however, takes online appointment bookings for you. People book your services online and the appointment is automatically added to all of your calendars.
Don’t want to take online appointments? No problem. You can take appointment requests instead. These allow you to still take appointments online, but just not a set time (that’s the thing about great scheduling software – it’s very flexible).
Ultimately, an online scheduler will free up your phone lines (remember – nearly 70% of clients want self-service options and sometimes this number is even higher) and allow your staff to focus on the most important areas of your business.
But, there’s more.
An online scheduler also keeps your business open over the holidays. Closing your business over the holidays may afford you a temporary break, but you will have a lot of emails and phone calls for clients looking to make online appointment bookings awaiting once you return.
An online scheduling software, however, allows you to take online appointment bookings 24/7, allowing you to keep your business closed guilt-free and without the headache once you return.
Minimize Scheduling Issues
Scheduling issues happen – especially if you’re taking appointments via pen and paper. Scheduling issues are even more likely during the holiday season where there is an increase in online appointment bookings.
Nevertheless, scheduling issues are never good for business. They may result in entire cancellations (and lost revenue) and jeopardize your reputation.
Scheduling software, however, completely eliminates these scheduling issues. They simply can’t happen. No more double bookings or other errors.
Moreover, online scheduling software allows you to see all of your staff’s schedules at a glance as well, giving you the tools to ensure that your business is running smoothly.
Automates Booking Reminders
Businesses lose a lot of money due to no-shows each and every year. Most businesses have about 1 or 2 no shows a week, but that number is likely even higher during the holiday season.
And, when are people likely to forget about their online appointment bookings the most?
That’s right – likely during the holidays when people have a lot on their plate. From the holiday parties to the shopping, it’s easy to see why appointments slip through the cracks.
If you’re letting your administrative staff handle your booking reminders, there is a better way.
Research has found that electronic reminders reduce no-shows by nearly 40%.
Yocale, a free and leading scheduling software, has found that its software reduces no shows by as much as 70 to 80%. This keeps profits high while also giving your staff time to spend elsewhere as you saw above.
No Gap Scheduling To Accommodate the Holiday Rush
During the holiday rush, you’re likely going to need to fit in more clients in than you otherwise would.
The best online scheduling software has a no gap scheduling feature which allows businesses to schedule appointments in such a way that those odd gaps between appointments are entirely eliminated.
When these odd gaps are eliminated, your schedule is optimized and you can fit in a lot more clients than you otherwise would have been able to – a necessity during the holiday season.
Manage Your Business On The Go
Most businesses don’t just handle their business from one single location. That’s the nature of business in the 21st century. Scheduling software allows you to manage your business on the go by keeping your business in the cloud.
That means that regardless of where you are, you can always have a tight hold on what’s going on. This peace of mind is exactly what you need during the holidays.
Automates Rebooking Reminders
The boost in bookings that many businesses see over the holiday season is great for business. But it’s also important to follow up on those online appointment bookings to drive even more bookings (as well as customer loyalty).
We’re talking about rebooking reminders. With some many things going on during the holiday season, it can be easy to forget to ask new clients if they’d like to rebook again.
But, did you know that sending out automated rebooking reminders on the client receives a service can repeat visits by 50%
Manage Booking Packages/Gift Cards
One reason why appointment-based businesses see an increase in bookings during the holiday season is due to people making online appointment bookings for their friends and family as gifts.
An online scheduler, however, allows you to sell packages instead of single bookings and increase your profits and customer loyalty as a result.
Better yet, it completely automates the process, giving your staff one less task to manage during this busy season.
The Bottom Line
Online scheduling software takes appointments for you, keeps your business during the holiday season, eliminates scheduling issues and automates booking/rebooking reminders.
It allows you to optimize your schedule to accommodate the holiday rush and accept/manage packages and gift cards.
In short, it keeps your business running smoothly during the holiday rush so you can relax and enjoy the seasonal festivities.
Scheduling software isn’t just important for the holiday rush – it’s essential all-year-round, too.
Yocale is the top online scheduling software on the market today. Yocale also has been featured in Microsoft, Forbes and beyond. We also offer a free suite of business management and marketing tools, including email marketing. For more information, click here.