I’ll be the first to admit that change can be hard. We get used to doing things a certain way, and before long, we feel like that’s the way things should always be. Sometimes we get so entrenched in doing things a certain way we begin to lose touch with what our clients and customers want and expect from us. This is especially true when it comes to the question of whether or not customers should be permitted to book appointments online.
Having recently spoken to a busy office manager, I came away with the impression that appointment scheduling software is viewed both as a blessing and as a potential threat. Let’s set the record straight — web based scheduling software is NOT a threat to anyone at a busy company. There are so many things going on, the last thing a busy office manager should have to be worrying about is fielding calls from customers and making appointments over the telephone. A recent survey conducted by the National Research Institute discovered that a majority of customers prefer booking appointments online. The question you might be wondering is, “why?”
Look at it from the perspective of the typical customers. We’re talking about someone who is incredibly busy themselves and pressed for time. They’ve got to spend the best hours of the day at work, and it’s often challenging to find the time to make phone calls while they’re at work. Either the company they work for doesn’t allow personal calls, or they just don’t have the time. What many of these people DO have is access to the Internet. Imagine how much easier and more convenient it would be if your customers could quickly and easily book their own appointment online without their boss or co-workers ever noticing?
Not only would your customers see what’s available on the schedule, but you’d also have the ability to field phone calls and use the same centralized booking system. No more clumsy paper calendars, and no more wasting valuable minutes during the busy workday fumbling around trying to figure out if a particular date and time are feasible. The online booking software takes care of everything.
Your first step as a business owner should be to equip yourself with an effective web based scheduling system. Start using it internally while still fielding phone calls. Instead of penning appointments into a paper calendar, start inputting them directly into the scheduling software. Then, slowly start educating your customers about the fact that they can check and book appointments on their own online. Trust me, they’re going to love it!