Manual vs. Automated Appointment Scheduling: What’s Best for Your Business
Appointment scheduling is a crucial task for most service-based businesses regardless of their size. Despite the evolution of the process – from scheduling appointments over the phone and writing them down on paper to managing digital spreadsheets on computers – the manual task is still taking a lot of time and effort to complete.
But with technological innovation, online scheduling software has emerged as a viable solution to the problem, and a growing number of organizations are making the switch to digital. With that said, it’s important to understand the differences between manual and automated appointment scheduling and figure out which one is best for you.
Manual Versus Automated Appointment Scheduling
“Pains” of Traditional Appointment Scheduling
Appointment scheduling is not a simple process for many organizations. It is often considered a trying task that requires a lot of effort and resources to manage client schedules successfully. And it hurts operations and prevents the business from running at optimal capacity to reach its full potential.
Therefore, it is necessary for your business to re-evaluate its current appointment management strategies, and address various issues caused by the manual scheduling process:
Manual appointment scheduling over the phone requires a lot of resources regarding how much the organization spends time, money and staff.
Scheduling an appointment over the phone might take only a few minutes to complete, but over more extended periods this takes increasingly more time to do.
Limiting hours of operation
Manual scheduling is only available to clients as long as the physical office of the organization is open, which puts severe limitations when clients can schedule appointments.
Inconvenience for customers
Clients are unable to schedule appointments whenever they please since the limited hours of operation might interfere with their daily obligations elsewhere.
The Benefits of Online Appointment Scheduling
Online appointment scheduling software is an effective way to manage appointments, bookings and client information all in one place. The tools provide more than advanced functionality to revamp and streamline the entire scheduling process.
As a result, the system becomes more accessible and allows businesses to remain connected with clients 24/7. It is convenient for the clients, but also saves the company a lot of time and money.
Online scheduling also offers advanced functionality. Clients can self-schedule appointments according to available slots on the appointment calendar around their daily personal and work responsibilities.
Another key feature is the automated email or text message reminders which decrease “no-shows.” Both the client and the organization receive timely notifications to their mobile device. In case the client is unable to keep the appointment, they can cancel with enough time for the organization to fill the empty slot with another client.
Client information management
Since all of the appointments are scheduled online using software, it’s easier to manage client information. It limits the number of documents required per appointment. It also eliminates the need for unnecessary spreadsheets, client files, contact form. Or any other documents associated with manual scheduling.
Some service providers require upfront payment when you schedule an appointment. Online appointment scheduling software can connect to payment solutions so you can remit the fee via credit card. It is also more convenient to clients as more people are used to this type of payment option.
Need help with adding automated appointment scheduling software to your organization? Contact us at Appointment Care and learn how our online scheduling app can help you drive more business and grow the company.