As business-focused technology advances and becomes more accessible to all, 31% of businesses now have at least one fully automated function that replaces manual processes.
Businesses no longer want to invest more time and resources in manually handling processes when tools and software are available. Imagine a situation where you’re stuck entering and managing excel sheets that cater to every customer or employee at your organization.
In addition to being monotonous, humans are also prone to errors, and a slight displacement of information could result in a significant loss of revenue or data for the company.
Not only does automation help employees complete tasks faster, but most businesses also say they recorded a 5-7% increase in revenue when they automate their processes.
Aside from cutting costs and generating higher revenue, businesses must also automate their processes to benefit customers, as most customers now expect to complete their business procedures from the comfort of their homes.
Customers no longer want to call in or go to the physical location of a business before they can schedule an appointment, and 94% would ditch brands for competitors that let them schedule appointments online.
As a result, you must automate your appointment scheduling, or you risk losing your customers to service providers that do.
Customers today also expect you to be available around the clock. No one wishes to wait until the following day to schedule appointments; they’d rather do it at their leisure, which may be outside of business hours.
Other times, clients simply fail to attend meetings without notice, costing businesses thousands of dollars in monthly revenue. This could be because the appointment was scheduled at an inconvenient time for them, or it could be because something new has just come up. Some people even forget they have a meeting at that time.
Scheduling automation improves the scheduling process by allowing your customers to schedule their appointments online at a convenient time. It makes customer management easier and increases work efficiency. Before we go further, let’s look at scheduling automation and how it works.
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What Is Scheduling Automation?
Scheduling automation is a process that uses a company’s data and artificial intelligence to schedule repetitive tasks like scheduling meetings for customers. It allows employees to manage meeting schedules with customers.
Your employees no longer have to sort through tasks by hand or schedule appointments manually. All they need is an effective scheduling automation software that efficiently manages bookings and schedules appointments.
Automated scheduling saves your employees from the complexities of exchanging phone calls or emails with clients to schedule or cancel meetings. It allows you to reduce the workload of your employees and teams by letting your clients book their appointments online.
It does this by streamlining your employee activities and then notifying your clients about available times for appointments, letting them choose the one that is convenient for them.
Since people are more likely to attend appointments that they have scheduled themselves, automated scheduling gives your clients some control and makes them more likely to attend meetings.
Using an automated system provides convenience for your teams and customers because both parties can now book and cancel meetings from any location. Customers no longer have to endure awkward phone conversations about why they no longer require your services because all processes are completed online.
Because all the processes are done online, customers also don’t hesitate to cancel appointments or reschedule meetings. They feel more comfortable when they do not have to have an awkward phone conversation explaining why they do not need your services anymore. This saves you money by reducing the number of no-shows at meetings.
Although this article will only cover one type of scheduling automation (Appointment Scheduling Automation), let’s take a quick look at both Employee Scheduling Automation and Appointment Scheduling Automation to see how they work.
Employment Scheduling Automation
Employee scheduling automation is a process that uses a company’s data and artificial intelligence to create its employees’ schedules and select the right person for a job.
This mechanism uses factors like skills, location, and employee availability to generate efficient schedules for workers. It ensures that your business functions appropriately by helping you assign tasks to the right employees at the right time.
The solution helps you handle otherwise overwhelming amounts of customer requests easily. It does this by analyzing and predicting scheduling needs ahead of time. The system then assigns the appropriate number of employees to shifts based on their roles and availability.
Employees can also change their schedules with prior notice and replace them in time to prevent absenteeism.
Companies use this scheduling automation to make employee management more effortless and avoid scheduling issues like overlapping shifts.
Appointment Scheduling Automation
Appointment scheduling automation helps businesses manage their customers’ appointments by letting customers self-schedule them.
Efficient appointment scheduling software helps you save time by handling the meeting scheduling process without human intervention.
This scheduling system allows your customers to schedule appointments without contacting your employees for help. All you need to do is set the available business hours and staff availability to let them know the periods that are still available for meetings.
Customers can then choose to schedule their appointment at the most convenient time from the available periods.
In other words, appointment scheduling software helps you provide 24/7 online appointment scheduling for your customers.
Most appointment scheduling software has the social media and website integration feature. This allows your website visitors to access your calendar from your web pages and social media handles.
There are many appointment scheduling software available for business owners. Some perform optimally, and some others don’t. To simplify your business’s booking process, you must ensure that you choose an efficient appointment scheduling software with the right features.
Important Features of Appointment Scheduling Software
Easy Set-Up and Use
An efficient scheduling software should be easy to set up and use. It should let you quickly input your business and employee data without spending hours studying the interface.
The software should guide you through the process of inputting your data and setting up your calendar. Some appointment scheduling software like Honeybook even allows you to migrate your business data from other apps for free, further simplifying the setup process.
Payment Integrations With Multiple Channels
Sometimes, customers want to make payments online while booking. You may even offer a service that requires them to make some payments before they can schedule an appointment.
You must ensure that your scheduling software integrates payment options. This allows your clients to book appointments and make payments online at their convenience.
Software like Acuity Scheduling supports electronic payments and gives your customers many payment options. It also processes their credit cards and allows them to pay directly from their bank without moving money to other apps.
An appointment scheduling software with affordable services helps you save costs—using scheduling software higher than your budget would be useless.
You must ensure that you choose one that offers you what you need at a budget-friendly price.
Most scheduling software offers different services for different pricing levels. The higher you pay, the more features you can access.
For example, Calendly offers you basic features like automated event notifications for its free “Basic” plan. Still, you must pay $8 to upgrade to “Essentials” and access features like adding links to confirmation pages.
Personalized and Shared Calendars
Your employees must know when clients schedule appointments with them. They must also stay updated by knowing when customers cancel or reschedule meetings.
Effective appointment scheduling software allows workers in your teams to see the meetings they have lined up.
You must choose one that creates personalized calendars for your employees, allowing them to prepare for meetings. This increases your customer satisfaction and, in turn, generates more sales.
Some scheduling software like Doodle allows employees to share their calendars with their colleagues and teammates. It is a handy feature because it helps them avoid double booking or missing appointments with customers.
Easy Self-Booking and Rescheduling
Your appointment scheduling software would be useless if customers can not book appointments. You will lose most, if not all, of your potential customers if they can not book meetings with your sales team to discuss business.
Ensure you choose a scheduling software that simplifies the booking process and guides your visitors through the process of booking meetings.
Not only should your scheduling software allow customers to book meetings easily, but it should also allow them to reschedule instead of not showing up or even canceling meetings totally when something else comes up.
The rescheduling feature is essential because it lets your customers know they can always reschedule until they can make it, which stops them from having to cancel meetings altogether.
Many customers forget about their scheduled appointments if you do not call or text to remind them. Your appointment scheduling software will be unhelpful if it requires your employees to contact clients manually and remind them about meetings.
An efficient scheduling software sends automatic email and text reminders to clients and employees to remind them of their scheduled meetings.
For instance, YouCanBook.me allows you to set up periodic text and email reminders to communicate with your clients. It also lets you send confirmation emails to them to let you know if they can make the meeting or if they would like to reschedule.
This article discusses the benefits of scheduling automation for your revenue teams. However, to understand why revenue teams require scheduling automation, you must first understand what revenue teams are and what they do.
A revenue team comprises workers responsible for marketing products, providing customer support, and generating sales working together to generate revenue for a company.
It combines workers from different departments and makes them work together with a common goal. They generate, track and follow up on leads. They then generate revenue by converting them to closed sales.
Workers in revenue teams often host meetings and communicate directly with clients. Not only do they follow up with sales leads, but they also ensure customers have a pleasant buying experience.
Here are the significant functions of revenue teams in businesses:
Revenue teams perform all sales-generating activities from marketing to the closing of sales. They follow up on leads and check in with prospective customers to ensure they accomplish their sales goals.
The team members and sales reps build good customer relationships and meet with customers to attend to any issues they might have.
Your revenue teams ensure that clients enjoy your products and services thoroughly. They don’t just walk customers through sales to generate revenue, but they do it in ways that leave them satisfied.
The appropriate team members communicate with team members to know what they need to ensure your customers get satisfactory outcomes.
Revenue teams market businesses’ products efficiently to create brand awareness. They must ensure they attract prospective customers and nurture those leads to generate sales.
Sometimes, the team members use online content and ads that lead to your business website when people click on them.
7 Reasons for Using Scheduling Automation
Decreases Operating Costs and Increases Revenue
It would be inefficient to set up a revenue team only to have them use processes that cost your business unnecessary money. Your revenue teams should use scheduling automation because manual scheduling consumes your teams’ time and the company’s resources.
It also reduces the errors in booking appointments, which allows the team to generate more revenue by pleasing more customers and closing more sales.
An efficient appointment scheduling software saves you the operational cost of hiring workers to communicate with customers and schedule their meetings. It lets your customers schedule their appointments online without an employee’s help.
Members of your revenue teams would no longer have to perform the tedious task of making paper calendars and documents. This saves you the money you would otherwise spend on stationery and office materials.
Reliable scheduling software sends automated emails or text messages to remind customers about their scheduled meetings. It reduces your employee workload and saves you the costs of manual calls, texts, or emails.
Fewer Cancellations and No-Shows
Customers not showing up for scheduled meetings without prior notice harms your business because it wastes your employees’ time and business revenue.
One of the most common reasons people do not attend scheduled appointments is that they forget. And it is inefficient and sometimes impossible to remind them manually through calls or texts.
Appointment Scheduling Software enables you to schedule automated reminders for your customers to ensure they do not forget their meetings.
Other commitments arise from time to time, and your customers must reschedule appointments. Efficient scheduling software allows you to send them confirmation emails or texts to see if they can make the scheduled meeting. It will allow them to reschedule to a more convenient time without having to cancel the appointment entirely.
Some scheduling software, such as Booksy, allows you to automatically charge customers a no-show or cancellation fee, making them less likely to miss scheduled meetings.
Revenue teams have to generate sales for a business and ensure customer success while at it. The team members must ensure that customers have a good time interacting with your brand and get their desired outcome from your services.
An effective way to do this is by ensuring you do not inconvenience your customers with sales or meeting processes. Clients must meet with sales reps at the time that is most convenient for them.
Even if your products are excellent and your potential customers are eager to do business with you, it wouldn’t matter if you keep setting up meetings with them at inconvenient times.
With automated scheduling, customers see the hours your employees are available to host meetings with them. They can then choose the time that is both convenient and fits into the schedule.
Prospective customers can book appointments with the sales team online instead of taking a trip to the physical location of your company. This allows you to attend to your customer round the clock by letting them schedule appointments even after business hours.
Improved Employee Productivity
With a manual scheduling system, your employees spend a lot of time exchanging calls and emails to schedule, reschedule, and cancel appointments. Sometimes, team members spend more time scheduling meetings than attending to clients.
An efficient appointment scheduling software saves time by allowing customers can schedule meetings online. Your employees would not have to spend business hours taking calls or attending to customers in-person just to book appointments.
An automated scheduling solution increases employee productivity by allowing your revenue teams to spend their time attending to more important tasks.
Automated scheduling also lets employees perform optimally by allowing them to plan their day. They would no longer have to take time out of their busy day to attend to customers that want to schedule appointments with them in person.
Fewer Scheduling Mistakes
Humans are prone to make mistakes. Your employees could record the wrong information about clients while booking and negatively affect the image of your business.
Team members can also make scheduling mistakes that would cost your business its prospective clients when they manually schedule appointments for clients.
For example, a customer wants to book a meeting about product A with your revenue teams. But your employee records that they wish to discuss product B. This would cause some confusion because the workers that attend to them would prepare materials about a product they do not want to buy.
Such mistakes would require you to spend unnecessary time and revenue to fix them.
An automated scheduling process reduces scheduling mistakes and saves your company the time and resources you would use to correct them.
It lets customers input their data online and conveys it to the appropriate employees and teams.
Improved Customer Communication
Manual appointment scheduling requires that your customers call or visit your business’s physical location and sit or wait on calls before employees attend to them. Waiting makes customers impatient, and customers would probably not give you enough details about what they need after waiting endlessly.
With automated scheduling, your revenue teams can extract as much information as they need from their clients online. It allows customers to fill in details conveniently.
Some appointment scheduling software like 10to8 also allows you to collect customer feedback. This helps you interact with your customers efficiently and improve your products to satisfy them.
In addition, since most clients do not wish to travel to your office to explain why they want to cancel a meeting, efficient scheduling software enables your revenue teams to extract relevant information from your clients while canceling appointments online.
Appointment Scheduling on Multiple Channels
Revenue teams put out ads to create brand awareness and showcase your business’ products and services. A manual scheduling process would reduce prospective customers’ accessibility to products by preventing them from scheduling appointments at their convenience.
Appointment scheduling software allows customers to interact with your business and schedule meetings from multiple channels. It integrates with social media platforms and your business website. This lets customers view your employees’ calendars and schedule meetings from different channels.
In turn, it enables your teams to raise revenue by securing sales from customers across various channels.
Your scheduling system must also be mobile-optimized, as customers will use multiple devices to schedule appointments with your revenue teams. You should automate your scheduling system so clients can schedule meetings from their preferred devices.
Scheduling automation is essential for businesses that want to market their products online. This is because the solution improves your customers’ accessibility to your products by letting them schedule appointments online.
When done correctly, it increases the number of successful appointments on your team’s schedule. More bookings result in higher sales conversion, which helps your business raise more revenue while cutting costs.
In addition to cutting costs, automated scheduling also increases customer satisfaction and ensures customer success by allowing your teams to communicate efficiently with clients. Here’s a list of some of the best scheduling software to get started.