When the iPhone came out a little over 9 years ago, it become a popular piece of technology within the realm of communication. Phones, in particular, were used more often then by folks for making actual phone calls. Today when someone calls, one thought probably runs through his/her mind...I’ll call them back later. And when do they really call them back? Probably not until several hours later if not over a day or days (Millennials, this sounds a little like you).
It’s not surprising that with the new advancements in technology that people want to communicate more quickly and efficiently as newer gadgets make processes easier and more concise. Twitter is a perfect example with advertisements and news headlines brought down to 140 characters (or less)--and it grabs our attention.
Similarly, if the business man or woman were to place an advertisement in the window of in his or her storefront for a daily deal containing an entire sentence, potential customers would likely get distracted by the signpost sitting outside of the store next door which contains 5 brief and more appealing words “Sandals 50% Off Today Only!”
Would you be more inclined to visit the store with the shorter or longer ad? Since people today show trends towards conveniency, your customers and clients likely exhibit the same behaviors. Calling in to schedule an appointment is more time consuming and has the likelihood to fail after business hours--which can be an inconvenience to clients seeking a service as soon as possible.
Since today’s society tends to lean toward conveniency as far as communication is concerned, your customers and clients likely exhibit the same behaviors. Calling in to schedule an appointment is more time consuming and has the likelihood to fail after business hours--which can be an inconvenience to clients seeking a service as soon as possible.
To make scheduling more convenient for your clients and reduce frustration, give them the opportunity to schedule appointments online. Get more clients in the door by getting rid of outdated technology such as:
1. Fax Machines
Doesn’t the sound of the modem make you smile? I do, because I can remember the day of dial-up Internet and the modem. Fax machines, as good equipment for sending and receiving signatures, agreements, and other edited documents, are just out of date today. Instead of having clients to fax over an agreement for their appointment with you, allow them to sign up for your publicly available appointments. You can create private appointments if there are special criteria for your clients to meet before signing up.
2. Desktop (Tower) Computers
One more piece of equipment that might be slowing your business down is the desktop (tower) computer. For one, the equipment itself is bulky and takes up too much space, and with computers coming out today with internal solid state drives (SSDs), those hard drives are likely to become extinct in the years to come (or provide slower service for users). Switch over to laptops with SSDs for quicker application access so that your office mainstay isn’t slowing you down.
3. Physical Answering Machines & Voicemail
If checking the physical answering machine is something that’s done quite often, then it’s time to consider email. Checking email could save you more time than sifting through voicemails on your physical answering machine (which might also require you to jot down some notes with a pen and pad). Voicemail is waning, however, mostly due to the fact that many people either send emails or text messages for brief correspondence. Allow your clients to communicate with you via email for their appointments, and have automatic text messages sent to them with an online appointment management system.
Paper will always be used in some form, but many businesses are using virtual communication and file storage. Hauling heavy file systems across the office or checking the records room is just not convenient when you can save and check client’s information on the Cloud. With real time scheduling, your clients don’t have to fill out an appointment form before coming in or set up one using a form afterwards--they can log in to your web scheduler and set up their own appointments when they’re ready.
6. Desk Calendars & Pocket Planners
Desk calendars are convenient for the sake of being able to easily cross of a task or completed appointment physically, but what if you spill coffee on it and it ruins your ink or you forget to reschedule a client’s appointment before leaving the office? Not good news. Pocket planners were also popular as handy purse-sized calendars that keep important dates and even phone numbers. Like the rolodex, these are just out of fashion today: switch over to an online calendar that stores your daily to-dos, appointments, and vacations.
7. The Store Hours Sign
Ah, the handy dandy store hours sign. Many of your customers and clients probably Google business’ hours to see when they’re open or closed, but if you only use the store hours sign, they’re up the creek without a paddle unless they swing by, call, or send a message. Show your customers and clients the dates and times you're available with an online scheduler, and allow them to book with you beyond closing time so that their needs won’t have to wait.
Communication is changing in the world today. Don’t have your clients feel like they’re visiting Jurassic Park when they come to your office. It’s time to switch out those office dinosaurs for faster and more effective equipment and techniques like online booking that you could help you get more clients in the door.
What technology do you believe is on the extinction list? Let us know by sharing in the Comments Box below.