How to Successfully Automate Appointment Scheduling
When it comes to selecting the best strategy to streamline your small business’s workflow, automation is always the answer. Automating tasks, or using technology to perform routine tasks without human intervention, frees your staff up to tackle some of the more important things that may be happening in your business. The list of tasks that can be automated in a small business is endless, but in this post, we are going to focus on appointment scheduling.
If you schedule it, they will come
Though it may not seem like appointment scheduling is that big of a deal, it is actually essential to the success of a small business, especially a service-based business. Appointments with customers are the first step in building a working relationship. These interactions set the tone for your relationship with your customers and are the means by which your small business engages customers to purchase your service. Given how important appointments themselves are, it goes without saying that it’s imperative that the scheduling of appointments is managed well.
Time is money
Taking appointments used to look like a receptionist or secretary setting up the appointment over the phone (sometimes this part involved a bit of phone tag), recording the information on a paper calendar, and then following up with both the client and the relevant staff member(s) to ensure that all the parties are aware of when the meeting has been set. Now, in the business arena, time is money, and the more time spent on menial tasks equates to more money lost. Coordinating the day-to-day business schedule with customers’ schedules, ensuring that certain staff members are present to attend relevant meetings, and keeping the line of communication between stakeholders and customers alike can require a significant amount of time.
And that is why automation is such a tremendous support. Electronic calendars and other scheduling software have made appointment scheduling quick, easy, and convenient for small businesses. Instead of spending time out of the work day to track down customers and colleagues to inform them about pending appointments, why not allow the client to cover that responsibility?
Support through scheduling software
Scheduling software like Calendly and Acuity Scheduling allow small businesses to put the control in the client’s hands. All you have to do is set your availability preference, and once you share the link, the client can choose the date and time. The software will then automatically update your calendar and send out automated confirmation and reminder emails. As most of your clients and colleagues will most likely have Google Calendar, iCalendar, Outlook, or Office 365, it helps that this software can coordinate with all of those programs. Clients can also schedule appointments whenever they’d like, even outside of office hours. This is extremely beneficial because businesses actually lose prospective clients in these cases, simply because it’s not always easy for people to avail themselves during a typical work day. With software like this, you’re giving potential customers the opportunity to reach out to you on their own terms.
If you are interested in automating client appointments in order to increase productivity in your small business, contact us here at Tuxedo Impressions LLC™ today, and set up a consultation.
~S. Wasike, Team Tuxedo Impressions LLC™