Scheduling appointments can be a nightmare, particularly for service-based businesses. If you made a scheduling error or took in some wrong information, it can mess up your entire timetable. Worse, it can severely damage your name and reputation.
But there’s an excellent solution to avoid scheduling mishaps from happening. That’s to provide online appointment booking on your website. A WordPress scheduling plugin can solve this problem in a snap.
Think of it this way. If appointments move and push your business forward, proper scheduling is its fuel. People are now getting comfortable booking services online. And websites that provide this service are enjoying its wide-ranging benefits.
Your business revenue may highly depend on the number of clients you serve. This means an appointment system is a must for your site. It’s all about using the right WordPress scheduling plugin. This can improve your revenue by up to three times!
How Online Appointment Booking Can Help Your Customers
Did you know that booking an appointment by phone can reach up to eight minutes? Roughly 30% of this time is spent on hold. For most people, especially Millennials, that’s already far too long. Service-based businesses heavily rely on appointments for growth. Any customer that is thinking of booking an appointment with you is a potential client. Any customer that books an appointment with you is a converted lead.
Online appointment booking is ideal for your customers because:
Clients love it when they have control over things.
A scheduling tool on your site lets customers self-schedule their appointments. This process – although seen as trivial by others – gives them a sense of control. Customers enjoy it when they can make the original arrangement at their own time and pace.
For instance, they can schedule a salon appointment during their lunch break. This way, they’re unoccupied and can think of the best time to have their hair done.
It may sound like a little thing. But having control over something gives your customers power. Plus, they’ll pay you for your service anyway. You might as well have them schedule at their convenience.
You can’t be available 24/7.
This applies in particularly if you’re running a one-man shop or juggling several responsibilities at once. Personally booking an appointment for all your customers via phone or email means being available for that.
For phone booking, you need to be speaking with your client real-time. For email booking, you need to send a reply immediately. That’s all good and fine if your sole responsibility is to schedule appointments.
Otherwise, a self-scheduling tool on your website is the next best thing. The booking feature will be on your site 24/7. It’s a convenience for both you and your clients.
They get the service they’re paying for.
When you have a booking plugin on your site, you have more time to do what you do best. And that is to provide the service your customers scheduled for. There’ll be no interruptions that will distract you from the client you’re serving. Time is valuable for both parties. The scheduling system on your site ensures your customer gets your attention and service 100%.
An appointment plugin reduces miscommunication.
There’s nothing worse than finding out about a miscommunication about an appointment. This situation can turn a customer into a hater in a snap. And that’s something you don’t want to happen. A scheduling plugin can help reduce the chance of miscommunication.
The plugin will block out the time frames when you’re no longer available. So, there will be no opportunity of double booking. The plugin also highlights available slots. This means your customers can easily choose the best time to book their own appointments.
The scheduling system can turn curious visitors into actual customers.
When a customer books an appointment with you, it means you’re doing something right. This is not just concerning the service you provide, but with your marketing efforts as well. What if someone looking for a local service provider stumbles upon your site? Without a scheduling system, your site visitor may find it hard to call or send an email. But with an appointment plugin, you get to entice visitors actually to make an appointment on the spot.
How Online Appointment Booking Help Your Business
What can a WordPress scheduling plugin do for you? It gives you a host of pretty awesome benefits:
You get zero – or fewer – no-shows.
Businesses that use online appointment booking have seen a greater reduction regarding no-shows. In the healthcare industry alone, the cost of no-shows amounts to billions of dollars yearly.
How does an online appointment booking do this? Well, the system allows your customers to be the ones who book themselves for an appointment.
The booking system on your site is a visual representation of your availability. They would think twice about canceling or completely ignoring their appointment. After all, they’ve seen for themselves how valuable time is for you and your other customers.
You make better decisions.
The detailed reporting on your scheduling system helps you make better business decisions. This is regardless of the size of your business. If you still have a small one, the scheduling system can help you manage the growth of your brand. If you already have an established brand, the system can help you improve operational efficiency.
The plugin on your site will provide you with the number of no-shows daily, weekly and monthly. It presents the number of completed appointments for the same time frames. It offers a comparison report of productivity based on location. This is a huge benefit for a business with different branches. It details the number of appointments made because of a particular marketing campaign. It also provides a comprehensive appointment history for your customers.
These pieces of information will let you change campaigns and strategies that are unsuccessful. You can also find new ways to broaden your target market.
You get more customers.
Customers love convenience as much as they love freebies. If you make it easy and fun for your clients to book an appointment, they’ll become repeat customers. For potential leads, the online scheduling system can push them to schedule an actual appointment with you.
You save time.
Some businesses have converted to 100% online booking – and that’s great! But, for other industries, this is not a realistic prospect. Some customers still prefer to make their reservation by phone or email. And, of course, it just makes sense that you accommodate them. Even if only half (or less) of your clientele uses your WP scheduling plugin to book an appointment, you’re already saving a substantial amount of time. Companies that implement a scheduling system can save 10 to 20 hours per week. With that amount of time, you can learn a new hobby or focus your attention on a different task.
How Online Appointment Booking Increases Your Revenue 3X!
Providing a self-scheduling tool on your website helps you boost your bottom line. The fee you invest on a WordPress plugin to get this service is small compared to the damages scheduling errors bring. That, in itself, is a smart financial move. Even better, a scheduling system online can result in up to three times increase in conversation rates.
- It aids you to deliver a highly-personalized service to your customers. Online appointment scheduling provides the type and quality of service customers want. It makes them feel appreciated and their time is valued. And in any manner, a client or prospect feels that way is a win for you. It turns hesitant buyers to real ones.
- It reminds customers about their appointments. Sometimes, a customer is a no-show not out malice or certain incident. Sometimes, they simply forgot about their appointment. An online booking system will send them a reminder before booking rolls around. This gives them plenty of opportunities to reschedule or cancel if needed.
- It diminishes the chance of double booking. Using an online tool for scheduling gives you a cleaner data. It also gives your customers an organized calendar of your availability. When a schedule is taken, it’s virtually impossible to book the same time again. The system will always provide detailed information about the timeframe. This is to avoid double booking and wasting your and your customer’s time.
- It provides you with a detailed customer database. This way, you can see your top clients and understand the factors that drive repeat business.
Top WordPress Scheduling Plugins
There are tons of plugins available to provide an accurate scheduling system on your website. The three most popular on WordPress are:
This comes with a full booking functionality and a variety of features to organize appointments. It’s also available for all types of scheduling like client meetings, event bookings, resource scheduling and the like.
It provides an efficient scheduling system for all business types and sizes. This user-friendly tool can handle up to 1,500 simultaneous appointments. It also stores appointment histories for an extended period.
BirchPress – Schedule Pro
It acts as a client management and an appointment booking plugin. It’s best for large companies that employ staff in different places and provide various services at a time.