Is it really the right time to invest in online scheduling for your business?
Returning missed calls can be annoying, but it’s not the end of the world and it’s always been the cost of running a service-based company. Why should you automate scheduling now?
As a service provider of any kind, it is hard to separate time from money. Someone in retail or someone who makes widgets doesn’t necessarily equate their time to money directly. You, however, intimately realize the cost of even a half an hour of unbillable time.
Spending half an hour returning missed calls versus half an hour on other important items can affect your bottom line in exponentially different ways. As such, you must weigh the opportunity costs of how you spend your time.
The opportunity costs of returning missed calls
Let’s say you’re a business coach who charges $110 for an hour long session.
Scenario 1: No Online Scheduling provided
At the end of the day you check your phone and email and see you have 5 missed calls, 4 emails to set up appointments with you, & 2 emails to reschedule currently booked appointments with you.
You spend half an hour returning the 5 missed calls and, best case scenario, you schedule 5 new appointments for the next week. That will bring you $550 once you finish the appointments, send them the invoice, and have them pay.
You spend 20 minutes replying to the new emails with proposed appointment times. Hopefully those times will work out or else you’ll spend another 15 minutes replying to them later trying to find a mutually convenient time. Let’s say in total another 30 minutes is spent here and again, best case scenario, you get 4 new appointments out of it totalling $440.
You spend a total of 15 minutes going back and forth with the 2 clients who emailed you about rescheduling. We can’t count these as new appointments, so no money made there.
Scenario 2: TimeTap Online Scheduling provided
Now, instead let’s say that you have a scheduler setup & available right on your website. Instead of missing 5 calls, 4 of those folks book with you on your website and you see several new appointment notifications come through on your phone. You’ve missed one phone call and spend, worst case scenario, 10 minutes calling them back. This still totals to $550 for those 5 appointments.
You check your inbox. Beyond just the 4 calls you would have missed who instead scheduled through your website, you also got 4 more folks who would have emailed you for the appointment had you not had online scheduling available. This still gets you $440 but you’ve spent zero time doing it.
You’ve also got 2 notifications that clients have rescheduled their appointments to new times. Fine by you, and even better that you didn’t have to spend any time helping them reschedule.
It’s your time saved, what you do with it is your choice.
You saved a little over an hour of time. Now, you get to decide what you want to do with it. You could:
- Do some online marketing activities to attract new clients who can easily book their first appointment with you through your scheduler.
- Email some leads who could really benefit from your service
- Form a new service offering and position it in a way to attract a different niche of clients
- Learn a new skill or work toward a certification which enhances your current set of offerings
Let’s say spending time doing any of these activites brings you, worst case scenario, 1 new client. You thus spent an hour of your time bringing in 1 new client. First appointment is a wash (you spent an hour and they paid $110 for the appointment) but you start reaping the rewards by the second appointment.
You could also make the time entirely your own:
- Get some quality time in with friends or family
- Exercise or enjoy a relaxing activity
- Take a nap and rejuvenate
- Run one of the errands that’s been nagging at you
The point is, you’ve got time that you otherwise wouldn’t have had. This is time that you apparently were willing to throw down the drain. Do something with it instead.
We’ve not factored in the time of emailing out confirmations, reminders, & follow ups and the effort it takes to make sure you’ve done that for every single person. With online scheduling, you’ll save time at every corner of the appointment process.
Instead of staying late at the office to email out appointment confirmations, reminders, and follow ups, you can automate those standard appointment emails when you set up an online scheduling software for your business.
You also don’t have to worry about adjusting for clients that you meet with in different timezones. In the case of the business coach who runs many of his appointments over the telephone, this could mean that you no longer have to google “What’s the time in Phoenix” when you’re scheduling on the other side of the country.
Finally, unlike many free scheduling solutions, you don’t have to stress about whether you’ve reached the max number of allotted appointments for the month. TimeTap Appointment Scheduling lets businesses have as many appointments per month as they can handle. We think it’s foolish to limit your use of the product in a way that inhibits your business’s growth. Why would that incentivize you to use it if you’re worried about hitting a max?
Our job is to give you the most versatile, easy to use scheduling tool with even more powerful features in the near future. If you signup for our waitlist, we’ll show how we take the problems of scheduling off your plate.
Now we’d love to hear from you. What is the most important thing for scheduling with your business? Is it that you have to take deposits up front? Do you have a strange cancellation policy? Do you require first time clients to fill out special forms? Let us know in the comments below.