At the core of your business is your customer appointment calendar. Is yours easy to manage? Your scheduling system should be easy for customers to navigate and understand and simple for your employees to check and follow. Last-minute appointments and schedule changes shouldn’t result in dead time for your staff but rather should let them react quickly to give your customers the best possible service. Of course, building an appointment scheduling system that works this way is often easier said than done. Are you missing an opportunity to boost your internal efficiency and your customers’ level of satisfaction? Here are some tips for improving the way you use your appointment software.
Make Punctuality Standard
Start by getting real about being on time. Late appointments should be the exception, not the rule. Part of being punctual means starting on time every day, so that your staff can’t fall behind. Another way you can make punctuality a standard practice is to use your appointment software to schedule times on your calendar for the prep work that goes into each appointment. For instance, if your have a cleaning business and you have two-hour appointment windows on the books, add extra time on each side of that block for loading and unloading supplies into the customer’s home or office. Accounting for the time it takes to set up and break down for each appointment makes it easier to stay on track with your schedule throughout the day.
Refine Your Customer Policy
If your appointment software doesn’t offer customers the ability to log into an account and manage their schedules, then consider switching software to a platform that offers that feature. Once your customers have more control over their appointments, set a clear policy for bookings, cancellations, and new appointment requests. Create a policy that dictates:
- How far in advance cancellations need to be made
- How to handle last-minute cancellations
- Whether any fees are charged for last-minute cancellations
- How to request a change in standing appointment times
Simply having these policies in place can minimize the confusion surrounding schedule changes that can be a drag on your productivity during the day. It can also reduce the number of calls you have to take about scheduling, because your customers will have a better grasp of what they can and can’t accomplish via their online accounts.
Examine Your Software
Your appointment software is the crux of managing your customer scheduling, so if you haven’t updated yours recently, take a step back to see if it still serves your needs. Upgrading your software to a platform with more features could be the only improvement your system needs.
Our business management software offers robust appointment scheduling features, as well as a range of other tools to make your business more efficient. Stop by our website to see how we can help you tackle your scheduling issues, and visit our blog for more tips for streamlining your business’ practices.