Customers today want and expect personalized experiences, especially when they leave the comfort of home for an in-store visit. Busy times and staffing challenges, however, can make it difficult for stores to provide that level of personalization, and customers feel like just another cog in the machine.
One strategy businesses can use to change that is intelligent appointment scheduling.
How It Works
Calling a location or a contact center to make a service appointment and potentially enduring a wait with a musical refrain on a loop is no longer necessary. Instead, appointment scheduling technology puts available dates and times at customers’ fingertips so they can choose what works best with their calendars.
Once they confirm their appointment, they receive reminders via SMS messaging or email. If they need to submit important information such as documents or records before their scheduled service, these messages will let them know.
There are numerous additional advantages, including:
Reduce Wait Times
No one likes to wait in line, especially if they made an appointment. Intelligent appointment scheduling reduces the likelihood of a customer waiting in a physical line—and reduces their wait time overall—by providing updates in real time if there are any delays or if they can report early.
How customers wait is also critical for an exceptional customer experience. Real-time notifications give customers options; they decide what works best for them. Maybe they can run one more errand, continue relaxing at home, or grab a bite to eat. Keeping people informed lets them know you value their time and validates their decision to do business with you.
Gather Customer Data Ahead of Time
Intelligent appointment scheduling is designed to enhance the customer experience by alerting staff about what your customers need before they arrive. Workers know which department and employee(s) will best address the reason for their visit and can direct them accordingly.
Customers can be greeted by name, which instantly creates a welcoming atmosphere and signals the beginning of personalized service. Because staff members are prepared for the individuals they’re serving, transactions are completed quickly, so customers can move on with their day.
Additionally, intelligent appointment scheduling improves operations for a better customer experience by helping manage future appointments, people who have checked in for their appointments, and walk-ins. Managers can allocate staff more appropriately according to traffic patterns at branch locations or by service.
Customer demographics and the services they need most often are just two examples of the data businesses can mine from intelligent scheduling. With that information, audiences can be segmented so marketing efforts target the most appropriate customers.
Increase revenue with higher levels of engagement. More personalized interactions boost sales with cross-selling and upsell opportunities and give managers greater insight into high-value customers.
Customers who choose to wait while browsing your store are also likely to buy impulsively. Placing higher-value items in strategic locations with attractive signage and artful displays attracts attention that boosts average order value and daily sales totals.
Happier customers are repeat customers. They tend to buy more and shop more often. And with online referrals driving so many purchase decisions, positive reviews keep stores at the top of search results. Even better, higher customer satisfaction often leads to word-of-mouth referrals to family and friends who patronize the same businesses, and they keep the cycle going.
Intelligent appointment scheduling should be a seamless part of the customer experience. Not only does it put more control over their time in shoppers’ hands, but it also delivers customer insights for data-driven decisions that move businesses forward. When you create exceptional customer experiences, you move the needle for both your buyers and your company.