Time, time, time. It’s the precious, non-renewable resource that has the power to put us all on the same playing field.
Unlike money which can grow or shrink exponentially in your bank account, there is no equivalent time account and nothing we can do to get more of it. Instead, we have to manage our time so that we use it most efficiently and productively.
Modern home appliances produced some of the largest time-saving advances in recent memory. Washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers, blenders, vacuum cleaners, and the like have decreased the time we spend on household chores and (supposedly) increased the time we get to put into leisure activities.
Since starting to cut the corners of how we spend our time with the modern appliances that fill our homes, we have looked deeper and deeper into how to increase our productivity and efficiency. The personal computer was invented and the age of software was born.
There’s a lot of talk on people being “coded out of a job” because of the functions that some of these softwares serve. As an appointment management software, we often hear people fret over what will become of the receptionist position in the future.
While we can’t predict the future, we can give you an good idea of what sorts of efficiency gains you can expect from using a web scheduler to manage your appointments.
Time Saver #1: Fewer Missed Calls, Voicemails, and Call Backs
When you have a web scheduler embedded on your website, clients no longer have to call you in order to make an appointment. They won’t have to leave a voicemail that you have to listen to and then call them back (where you may have to leave them a voicemail and continue to game of phone tag). They can just book an appointment right from your site and be on your schedule lickety-split.
Time Saver #2: No More Sending Email Confirmations, Reminders, & Follow-Ups
It sounds lame to complain about the amount of time it takes to send an email, but it really does add up. While confirming and reminding people about their appointments takes a lot less time than it used to (when letters had to be sent or phone calls made), it still takes a lot of time to have to sit down and type out a confirmation and reminder for every appointment that’s scheduled with you. Add to that the time it takes to follow up on appointments and you’re looking at somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour every day.
With a web scheduler, all of your appointment based emails are sent out automatically so you no longer have to spend an hour in your email at the end of each day confirming and following up on appointments.
Time Saver #3: No More Time Wasted on People Who Don't Qualify for Appointments
As an example, the Washington State Patrol launched an online scheduling system for vehicle VIN number registrations. In the press release they mentioned they had 47,000 phone calls this past year alone, the majority of which do not qualify for the appointment.
Using an appointment management software will allow you to screen potential customers who are looking to book an appointment before they see your available time slots. You can use screening questions to make sure people meet the requirements you have set for making appointments and avoid spending precious minutes on the phone with them when they don’t ultimately meet your criteria.
Time Saver #4: Being More Present With the Clients You're With
When you don’t have the worry of missing a bunch of calls hanging over you, you can provide the clients you’re currently seeing with a more present & clear-minded focus. While this doesn’t save you time in the traditional sense, it does make your time much more meaningful and impactful for both you and your client.
Isn’t that what this life thing is all about? Having meaningful interactions with everyone in our lives? I think so. And all of the interactions we have are enhanced when we worry less about what may be going on that’s outside of our control.
Time Saver #5: Dropping the Messy Paper Trail
When you move to an online scheduling system, you no longer have to keep up with your antiquated paper based method. Ye olde appointment book can be put in a drawer and forgotten about.
Many of our users tell us how much time they spent just going through their books to make sure they had recorded everything down correctly and followed up with everyone (see time saver tip #2 above). Whatever time they spend on this activity doubles when you add additional locations or staff to a business’s appointment availability.
Time Saver #6: Reducing No-Shows By Enabling Appointment Pre-Pay
When you setup your appointment schedule online, you have the option to require that clients pre-pay for their appointments. Businesses that require clients to pre-pay can see up to a 99% reduction in appointment no show rates.
Now, as a service provider you know the time-suck that no shows cause. Not only have they blocked off your availability keeping other people from potentially booking with you, but you may have also spent time preparing for the appointment, sending emails, or even driving to your office (if they were the only client on your schedule). Using the payment is required option on your TimeTap scheduler can make this time-waster disappear.
Time Saver #7: Fast Reporting That Updates in Real Time
Have you ever spent hours in Excel compiling a report of your upcoming, completed, cancelled, or no show appointments? Most of us have and it is no one’s favorite way to spend an afternoon (except maybe my dad who really, really loves Excel).
You’ll improve your priority management by using an online booking system to categorize and keep track of your appointments. Instead of spending hours entering data in Excel, you can simply classify the appointments on your calendar as completed, cancelled, or no show and voila! You can generate a report in real time of your total number of appointments in any category over any date range.
These are just a few of the ways that having online scheduling for your business will improve your efficiency and priority management. You’ll see a decrease in wasted time and an increase in your overall efficiency in getting appointments made, confirmed, and successfully rendered.
Have you already set up a web scheduler for your business? We’d love to hear from you about how it is saving you time. Write to us in the comments below to let us know!