Why an appointment is not just an appointment

Patient Journey Part 2

For many of us when we hear the word appointment, we think of a face-to-face interaction at a pre-arranged time. And that’s what the dictionary describes an appointment as, “an arrangement to meet someone at a particular time or place”. When we overlay this simple activity with technology, it provides a much richer experience for both parties, that extends beyond the actual appointment time.

For example:

  1. A customer is researching home loan information on their banks website.
  2. Whilst on the website, he simply books an appointment online, at a time and branch that suits him. He is then sent an email to confirm his appointment and details of all the documentation he should bring with him to ensure he is able to secure a loan.
  3. A personalised text message reminder is sent before the appointment time to reduce no shows.
  4. Upon arrival at the bank, the staff member is expecting the customer and is well prepared for the home loan discussion. Any follow up actions are sent via email and /or text message.

From the above scenario, it becomes apparent that booking an appointment is far more than just the service or consultation time. Scheduled appointments ultimately prepare both customers and staff for the journey. It allows staff to know who the customer is and why they need an appointment. The customer retains control of their time and receives notifications and reminders to ensure they turn up well –prepared for their appointment.

To streamline this process, it is essential to have a robust appointment scheduling tool that integrates with your core systems, is easy to use and allows personalisation at each interaction along the journey. Here are 4 main benefits of implementing a technology solution to manage your customers from clicks through to bricks:

  • Keep customers: By making the appointment process easy and convenient, you are more likely to retain customers because they will book an appointment. Appointment scheduling software allows customers to book appointments anywhere, anytime and it doesn’t need to be during business hours! Plus being able to re-schedule easily
  • Increase revenue: Scheduling software helps staff focus on servicing customers and as a result are usually able to serve more customers in the same amount of time. Software that integrates with payment gateways also gives management real-time revenue information so they can make strategic decisions to ensure they reach their targets within the month instead of manually reconciling revenue at the end of each month.
  • Promote productivity: When staff know who they will be serving and why, they can be better prepared for the appointment. By having appointments scheduled management can resource their service centres accordingly. Some tools also manage the entire customer journey providing management with valuable data to help achieve key performance indicators
  • Constant contact: Most software tools will support email, text and phone communication from the time the appointment is booked through to any follow ups required. By keeping customers informed and engaged it reduces the no show rate and increases customer preparedness which promotes completed appointments.

If you are interested in finding our more about NEXA’s Appointment Scheduling tool, view our Solutions Insight webinar here.

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