6 Features to Streamline Your Appointment SchedulingStarr Campbell
When a potential client discovers your company and decides to book an appointment, a relationship begins. The best way to give a great first impression is to provide an easy booking process with excellent communication and clear instructions. Once clients have successfully made an appointment, it’s up to you to manage your schedule and give them quality care.
Managing appointment scheduling becomes difficult when you have a rapidly growing client list or several locations. It’s hard to know what you need in a scheduling tool when your company is constantly evolving. Keeping up with the demands of staff and clients while juggling multiple software applicationsis a recipe for disaster, but finding one solution for your scheduling needs can transform your workday.
There are many tools that can help you get a handle on your appointment scheduling and address your specific needs. Keep reading to discover six features that can be a lifesaver for managing appointments.
Build in buffer times
A little breathing room between appointments goes a long way. When you have back-to-back meetings with clients, there’s little room for error in your schedule. A full calendar is greatbut overbooking leads to dissatisfied clients and an overworked staff.
Make sure you have the capacity to spend a few extra minutes with your clients if needed. TimeTap’s dashboard gives business owners complete control over the booking process, including adding buffer times between appointments. Set how much time you’d like to give yourself and the system will automatically include your buffers when generating booking times for clients.
Offer multiple location options (virtual and in person)
Convenience is a huge deciding factor for a potential client. Whether you have a single office in a populated area and need to expand or have several locations and want to offer virtual visits, offering more options helps you retain clients. With the help of a scheduling tool, it’s easy to set up staff appointments for a new location and online booking.
TimeTap simplifies appointment scheduling for expanding businesses with custom booking sites for each location. You can remove some of the pressure of managing multiple schedules by setting security permissions, allowing your managers to oversee scheduling at their respective locations.
You can even include a travel time calculator on your booking site so clients can be directed to the closest location to them. Running a business with different locations can seem like a large undertaking, but it’s easier with the right software.
Automate follow up emails
Communicating with customers can be a full-time job. In fact, if you don’t have a system in place, your front desk is probably spending most of their time sending confirmation emails or calling to remind clients of their appointments. Their time can be better served elsewhere, like answering questions from clients and keeping the waiting room moving.
Automatic messages help you communicate with your clients and provide need-to-know information at any time. This means even when your team is extremely busy (or is dealing with unexpected system problems) clients will still receive messages without any extra work from staff. A follow up email can include important next steps for a client, a treatment plan, or a reminder to schedule their next appointment.
Using TimeTap, you can set up automated emails or text messages to send friendly reminders, welcome messages, confirmations, and in the event of a missed appointment – a no show notice. Your messages can be customized with your company’s branding and saved as templates for easy editing when you need to create a new messaging campaign.
Use 2-way calendar sync
Switching back and forth between your personal and work calendar often leads to a missed appointment or being late to a personal engagement. People with complex schedules tend to have more than one way of keeping track of their time, which can be as inconvenient as it is helpful. Double-booking is a nightmare for busy practices, but luckily,it’s completely avoidable.
Automate management of multiple calendars with 2-way calendar synchronization. TimeTap updates your calendars for you, so your appointment system is on the same page as the rest of your to-do list. Since 2-way sync runs in the background, new events added to your personal calendar are automatically updated to TimeTap and that section of time will be blocked off.
Collect the information you need
Getting intake paperwork done ahead of time saves your client (and staff) a step during the check-in process. You can request important documents like medical history or signed waivers to be attached, so your staff is fully prepared to meet with clients. Instead of keeping track of paperwork and organizing file cabinets full of client information, use digital booking forms to streamline the intake process.
The information gathering process is crucial to a successful visit. TimeTap’s customizable booking forms reduce the risk of human error and help you manage client data securely. Make sure your staff is knowledgeable of client needs and concerns by personalizing your booking fields with specific questions. You can also include waivers or disclaimers to ensure clients don’t forget to sign before their appointment. Finally, add screening questions to your scheduler to ensure clients are a fit for your services.
Create a waitlist
When a client cancels their appointment, what happens next? Can you fill their slot with another client or are you forced to accept the no-show as a loss? An automated waitlist keeps your schedule flowing even when an unexpected event occurs, like a last-minute rescheduling.
When clients join your waitlist with TimeTap, they are immediately notified as soon as an opening appears for their desired service. The members of your waitlist will have exclusive access to new booking times, so you won’t have to worry about double-booking.
How you manage your appointment scheduling can make or break a client’s first impression of you or change how a longtime client feels about their experience. While your current way of doing things may work, automation can enhance your booking process and remove unnecessary pressure from your staff.
Are you interested in scheduling software that can help you better manage appointments, automate scheduling, and streamline client management? See how TimeTap can help.