Whether you are in the hair salon industry, the medical field, you run a dog walking business or any other kind of appointment-based business, paper appointment books are a sign that your business is working extremely ineffectively.
You’re also hurting your bottom line. Scheduling appointments by pen and paper isn’t just outdated – it could be costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more, every single year.
Here’s why you need to start ditching paper appointment books not just at some point in the future but now.
1. You’re Losing Customers and Money
Above all else, paper-based appointment books are losing you a lot of money every single day in more ways than you likely even realized. First, not only do 90 percent of customers want to book online, but 35 percent of customers want to book outside of typical business hours.
In today’s competitive marketplace, it is imperative that businesses make themselves available on a 24/7 basis and, more importantly, that they give their clients the ability to book appointments whenever they want.
If you are using paper-based appointment books, you are severely limiting the available window that people can make appointments. Therefore you’re losing out on a lot potential customers and, ultimately, money.
Consider, too, that 90 percent of online searches cause people to make a specific action within 5 to 10 minutes. If you are not giving people the option for booking appointments online (and quickly) you’re losing out on yet more business.
Businesses also lose a lot of money on no-shows every single year. Online bookings reduce no-shows by 80 percent due to the fact that your online appointment scheduler will send out texts and email reminders on your behalf.
An online appointment scheduler can also enforce cancellation policies by setting up credit card authorization, making it more likely that patients won’t cancel their appointments and therefore cost you money.
Paper bookings also don’t scale well. As your business grows, your inefficiency does, too, and ultimately hurts your business.
Not only does scheduling software save you money, but it also makes you money. Here is a look at all the other benefits of an online appointment scheduler.
Yocale, the leading online appointment scheduler, makes it possible to embed your schedule onto your website and Facebook so that you can convert your visitors wherever they happen to be, allowing companies to grow their business.
In short, paper appointment books cost your business a lot of money which is why you need to ditch them fast.
2. They Are Highly Time-Consuming (Again, You’re Losing Money)
One problem (of many) with paper appointment books is that they don’t integrate bookings. When people are booking appointments in-person, by telephone or by email, double bookings and other scheduling conflicts are all too common.
Double bookings are bad for business. They don’t look good from a customer standpoint and they also cost you money. Scheduling software, however, eliminates all of these double-bookings and saves you money by syncing all of your calendars.
As you can see, these double bookings are time-consuming. Giving your current customers the option to book online via an online appointment scheduler will free up your staff’s time. They will spend less time on the phone and be able to spend their time on more high-value items.
You know all too well that bookings don’t begin and end by taking down someone’s name. You have to check your schedule, follow up by sending reminders, etc. Ultimately, if businesses want to maximize their revenue, they need to maximize their time.
3. They’re Incredibly Inefficient (They Can’t Do Anything Scheduling Software Can)
An online appointment scheduler does not simply schedule appointments.
It also sends out rebooking reminders for more business, makes recurring appointments, reminds customers via text and email and a lot of other things – it automates nearly every task that is costing you a lot of time.
Yocale’s online appointment scheduler is a powerhouse that not only schedules appointments but stores all of your customer data, bills clients, while also performing marketing tasks, providing important business stats and doing much, much more.
If you want to get the most bang for your buck and completely revolutionize your business, scheduling software is how to do it.
4. It Does Nothing For Customer Loyalty
Nevermind that customers want to book online and by denying them this service you are hurting your business.
The average new customer retention rate is low for many businesses. The average new customer retention rate for salon businesses is around 30 percent. A large reason is simply a missed opportunity to connect with customers. Scheduling software, however, will send out automated rebooking reminders and connect with customers.
Consider, too, that scheduling software also tracks everything about your clients. That’s highly valuable information. You get to know which services they prefer and more, which allows you to offer personalized services, special offers and more. That sets you apart from the rest.
Yocale’s scheduling software will also alert your customers of changes in business hours, new products and anything else they might be interested in – again, this is good for business.
The Bottom Line
The point is that you need to ditch your paper appointment book in favour of an online appointment scheduler. It will revolutionize your business.
Yocale’s scheduling software is free and simple to use. You can read all about the features of our online booking software here.
Have you recently changed from paper-based bookings to online bookings? If so, we’d love to hear more about your experience in the comments below.