Nowadays, more and more people simply prefer to do things on their own. Whether it’s using the self-checkout at the grocery store, paying for gas at the pump, or ordering meals online, using technology to make processes faster and easier is a hit across all industries. It’s no wonder why online appointment software has experienced so much success.
Why Customers Prefer to Schedule Their Appointments
There are many self-service aspects that online appointment software will introduce to your customers. In fact, you could easily see your calendar fill up by using online software since many customers prefer to schedule appointments on their own. Here are some of the reasons why that’s the case:
1. They Don’t Have All Day
Your customers have things to do and places to be. They don’t want to wait on hold or stand in a line waiting to confirm an upcoming appointment. Even if they did, wait times are frustrating and typically a waste of time. Online appointment scheduling is much faster and can be done at the customer’s leisure.
Another aspect of appointment setting that can get tedious is the amount of time customers have to spend writing or dictating their personal information. When booking an appointment online, they can add this information faster. If customers have autofill enabled, the software can add their pertinent details so they don’t have to type everything in.
Once customers add information to an online customer profile, it stays there. Each subsequent booking will automatically update any necessary information. They will only have to make small adjustments as needed.
2. They Can Correct Their Own Mistakes
We make mistakes every single day. That doesn’t mean it gets any less embarrassing when we commit one. In the case of self-service solutions, customers can discreetly fix their mistakes if they accidentally book the wrong appointment time or input the wrong information.
Some changes are necessary not because of a mistake but due to a simple change of plans. For example, a customer might have booked an appointment and then received a surprise visit from the in-laws. By going online, they can easily reschedule an appointment without making a scene.
3. They Can Make Secure Payments Online
Online payments are quick and efficient and are actually quite safe. There is great benefit in being able to pay for appointments in advance in order to cut down time spent waiting in a lobby. Knowing that these transactions are completely secure means customers can rest easy while taking advantage of this convenient option.
Just as customers can choose to save their information with your business to save time while booking appointments, they can also save their payment information. While fewer customers will want to save payment information online, this can be a convenient option for consumers who want a faster checkout experience.
If you do offer online payments, don’t take data security lightly, especially when it comes to financial information. Make sure you’re staying on top of cybersecurity trends and train your employees on proper data security. Software and hardware offer a lot of protection when coupled with cybersecurity knowledge. So be sure you provide the safest payment options for your customers.
4. Questions Are Easily Answered
Want to know how many appointment slots are available next Friday? With scheduling software, customers no longer have to call and hope they can speak with a representative to ask. Instead of waiting while a customer service rep scours the calendar for an opening, they can check available time slots on their own.
This feature makes scheduling so much easier for customers. If someone is trying to plan out their week on a Sunday afternoon, they can look at appointment openings and even schedule a time slot without having to wait for your business to open the next day.
Your scheduling software landing page can contain other useful information and answers to frequently asked questions. Information such as how long appointments normally last, cancellation policies, and what a customer is expected to bring to their appointment can all be listed for them online.
5. The Options Are Endless
Not only do customers like to do their own thing, they like to have options. Online appointment software enables self-service, but it also allows customers to customize certain aspects of the booking process.
For example, customers can book appointments from any device whether it’s from a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. In some cases, they might even be able to create appointment bookings through texting or email chains.
Other customization options can include aesthetic details such as changing the display to night mode or increasing text size. While these changes aren’t monumental, they can mean a lot to customers who like to tailor their experience to their personal preferences as much as possible.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself what self-serve functionality you would want when setting appointments. Look to make that possible with your own business. By doing so, you’ll see those appointment slots start to fill up much more regularly than they did before.