Many small businesses rely on bookings and appointments to bring in clients and revenue. And in this technology-driven environment, you can’t rely on phone calls when scheduling appointments, meetings, or consultations. For small businesses to thrive and be competitive, they need to tap into the power of technology. In this regard, it means using online booking and scheduling tools to book appointments and manage business calendars. These tools bring a lot of benefits for small businesses, some of which are outlined below.
Improve Client Experience
People nowadays (especially the younger generation) find the traditional method of booking appointments rather cumbersome and too time-consuming. That’s because they have to pick up the phone, dial your number, ask for available time slots, provide personal information, and answer several questions before they can be booked. All these processes can be a huge turn off to potential clients. Therefore, it can cause your business to lose thousands of dollars in revenue.
Online scheduling tools eliminate most of these steps to improve client experience. Also, they make booking an appointment easier and more convenient. Therefore, potential clients can now schedule an appointment with a few taps on their smartphones or computers. This means there is no more waiting for busy phone lines and back and forth communication. The improved convenience factor can go a long way in attracting more people towards your business.
Additional Features to Help Grow Your Business
Aside from scheduling appointments, many of these booking tools also offer a host of other features and services that can help your small business grow. For instance, Meetfox, a Software as a Service (SaaS) that is predominantly a scheduling tool, has integrated payment systems in place. These allow instant credit card payments and automated invoice management. It also features video-conferencing so you can conduct meetings and consultations online. Take Winning Words Project for instance. Over the years they’ve been using online booking to schedule live 1:1 coaching with their experienced professionals who have successfully completed over 100 projects in their respective fields of specialty. By using online booking and scheduling tools, Winning Words Project ensures that each client is given the time and attention they need and deserve.
Booking and scheduling tools have certainly come a long way since they were first created. Moreover, they are now offering features and solutions and go beyond what they were originally intended to do. Taking advantage of these can contribute immensely to driving growth and taking your small business to the next level.
Increase Workplace Efficiency
Automation has been proven to improve workplace efficiency in various respects including booking appointments. You, your receptionist or administrative assistant no longer need to be tied to the phone all day waiting for potential clients to call. That’s because booking tools operate automatically once set up. It also minimizes human error like overlapping schedules or incorrect scheduling of dates and times. Take the case of Your Mechanic. Online booking and scheduling tools help them avoid overlapping schedules since their mechanics can’t be in two places at the same time. By getting menial tasks out of the way, you and your staff can now focus on other ones and get more things done.
Gather Valuable Data and Insights
Many scheduling tools also come with various business intelligence and analytic tools that you can use to gather important data concerning your clients and your business. Take University Hospitals for instance. They use online booking and scheduling for their patients. By doing so, they can gather and store the patient’s medical history for easier reference by healthcare professionals. They can show the patient’s appointment history, what services they availed of, as well as appointment cancellations and no-show rates. From consumer trends to the most requested time slots in your calendar, online booking tools can provide you with valuable insights. Furthermore, you can use them to level up your business and provide better services to your clients.
Be Available Even After Business Hours
A business stops when you close your office for the day, which is pretty much the case for almost all types of businesses out there. But did you know that about 40% of appointments happen after business hours? Just imagine how much revenue you’re losing!
With booking tools, you don’t have to worry about that because your business is pretty much open 24/7. Clients don’t have to wait the next day before they can schedule an appointment while you’re at home enjoying dinner with your family or hanging out with your friends. Using a scheduling tool makes your business easily accessible, and the immediate availability of service can increase your booking rate dramatically.
Reduce No-show Rates
No-shows cost businesses thousands of dollars in lost revenue every month. As a small business, this is something that you simply cannot afford. Although booking tools can’t eliminate no-show rates completely, it can help to minimize them and consequently their negative effects on your businesses. This is because when clients book their own appointments, they feel much more obliged to see it through.
Some booking tools also offer automated reminders via SMS or email. This is another wonderful feature since it can help to drastically reduce no-show rates according to some studies. And because these reminders are automated, you do not need additional manpower for the task.
Along this line, if the client cancels his or her appointment the schedule automatically opens up making it available to other clients. In this regard, even a cancellation will not result in an actual no-show since you can expect another client to show up for the said time slot.
Booking and Scheduling Tools Are a Boon for Business
Considering all of the above, there appears to be no reason why small businesses shouldn’t be using the different online booking tools available to them. These tools allow you to do away with all the hassles of traditional booking methods and help you run your business much more effectively with all their software solutions. In addition, their features make your business more accessible to your clients, thus allowing you to build vital relationships that can result in an increase in revenue. Whether you’re running a salon, a small restaurant, or even a private dental clinic booking and scheduling tools bring a host of benefits that can help take your business to the next level.