Many brands are already offering appointment scheduling to their Clients, which is very smart - but a lot of them are not leveraging this solution to its full potential. Some brands use an e-booking software, specifically designed to offer an intuitive and seamless experience, while others are using a simple booking form. Indeed, a few years ago, offering access to a booking form was considered a best practice in the retail industry. Today, customer expectations and shopping habits have greatly evolved and brands are starting to realize that they need much more than a simple Google Form to manage all their appointments. Hence, using an appointment scheduling software is the best solution. They offer real-time availability and integrate to the best technologies.
The most important thing to do is to let customers know about those appointment-based services. To achieve this, it is essential to have a clear call to action. Customers don’t always know that you offer appointments and aren’t usually looking for the booking button, so it needs to be obvious. You have to place it in a strategic way such as the product page or the store locator and promote it in every strategic place (social media, newsletters, etc.).
Another important element not to forget is to train your employees. Staff should always know if you plan to use a new technology and should be trained to perfectly know and utilize it.
There are a few important things you should look for before choosing one. The first thing that is essential in an appointment scheduling software is to provide real-time availability: if your booking software has a calendar, it will show all the different dates instead of just a form, so customers can choose a time that suits them the most. That appointment invite should automatically be inserted in their calendar. In the same line, SMS and email reminders are a must to avoid no-shows!
Something that seems obvious but actually isn’t for a lot of brands is being able to reschedule the appointment in an easy fashion. A lot of businesses do not offer the possibility to modify or reschedule the appointment; you often have to cancel the appointment and reschedule it from the start. If someone makes a reservation, it generally means that there’s some interest, so we advise you to put a rescheduling option first. Cancellations are rather low unless they went to a competitor. Therefore, putting rescheduling as an option before cancellation is generally a best practice that we recommend.
On the internal side, we highly recommend monitoring and reporting the performance of the booking strategy. Create reports and try to understand how you’re acquiring your traffic, what your customers’ web journeys look like, which pages they’re visiting, etc. so you can focus your efforts on what works the best for you.
You now have all the information you need to leverage an appointment-based service offer and achieve amazing long-lasting results! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more about our e-booking solution.